Overview

A professional practice standard identifies the competency requirements for members of a profession.

Professional practice standards:

  • guide university and other education programming for teachers and leaders
  • provide the basis for teacher certification, mentorship, induction and career-long learning
  • provide the foundation for teacher growth planning, and for supervision and evaluation of professional practice

Government and community partners worked together to develop Alberta’s 3 professional practice standards for the teaching profession. All 3 standards align with and build on each other:

  • The Teaching Quality Standard (TQS) describes the professional expectations for teachers who work directly with students.
  • The Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) outlines the professional expectations that principals and school jurisdiction leaders must demonstrate to create the conditions under which teachers can do their best work.
  • The Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS) defines the professional expectations that superintendents must demonstrate to create the conditions under which school leaders and teachers can do their best work.

The standards are Ministerial Orders, making all teaching professionals accountable for their applicable standard to the Minister of Education.

Standards

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Teaching Quality Standard

The professional practice of all Alberta teachers is guided by the Teaching Quality Standard (TQS) (PDF, 950 KB). This standard is the basis for certification of all Alberta teachers and holds them accountable to the profession and to the Minister of Education.

The TQS applies to all certificated teachers in Alberta and is aligned with the LQS and the SLQS.

The TQS:

Quality teaching occurs when the teacher’s ongoing analysis of the context, and the teacher’s decisions about which pedagogical knowledge and abilities to apply, result in optimum learning for all students.

The standard further identifies 6 competencies teachers must meet in order to hold and maintain an Alberta teaching certificate:

  1. Fostering Effective Relationships
  2. Engaging in Career-Long Learning
  3. Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge
  4. Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments
  5. Applying Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  6. Adhering to Legal Frameworks and Policies

Each competency in the standard includes several indicators showing examples of competent teaching practice, and support resources are available.

Teacher certification

Teachers applying for an Alberta teaching certificate must meet the TQS to be recommended for certification.

Learn more about teacher certification.

Leadership Quality Standard

The Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) (PDF, 1.1 MB) aligns with the TQS and the SLQS. The standard is applicable in public, separate, francophone, charter and funded accredited private school authorities to all:

  • principals
  • assistant, associate and vice principals
  • school jurisdiction leaders (a central office staff member, other than the superintendent of schools or deputy superintendent, who is required by their leadership position to hold an Alberta teaching certificate)

The LQS:

Quality leadership occurs when the leader’s ongoing analysis of the context, and decisions about what leadership knowledge and abilities to apply, result in quality teaching and optimum learning for all school students.

The LQS further identifies 9 competencies which leaders must demonstrate in their practice:

  1. Fostering Effective Relationships
  2. Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  3. Embodying Visionary Leadership
  4. Leading a Learning Community
  5. Supporting the Application of Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  6. Providing Instructional Leadership
  7. Developing Leadership Capacity
  8. Managing School Operations and Resources
  9. Understanding and Responding to the Larger Societal Context

Each competency in the standard includes several indicators showing examples of competent leadership practice, and support resources are available.

Leadership certification

The LQS governs leadership certification and aims to help individuals entering leadership roles have a common level of preparation.

Principals and superintendents of schools are required to hold leadership certification. Newly hired principals and superintendents who do not have leadership certification can still take on these roles by obtaining temporary leadership certification.

Teachers new to leadership roles or aspiring to them can get leadership certification by completing approved leadership coursework (PDF, 130 KB) through Alberta post-secondary institutions. Teachers may complete the leadership coursework at any time – contact university providers directly for more information.

Learn more about leadership certification.

Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard

The Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS) (PDF, 968 KB) aligns with the TQS and LQS. The standard applies to all superintendents of schools and deputy superintendents in public, separate, francophone and charter school authorities.

The SLQS:

Quality superintendent leadership occurs when the superintendent’s ongoing analysis of the context, and the superintendent’s decisions about what leadership knowledge and abilities to apply, result in quality school leadership, quality teaching and optimum learning for all students in the school authority.

The SLQS identifies 7 competencies superintendents must demonstrate in their professional practice:

  1. Building Effective Relationships
  2. Modeling Commitment to Professional Learning
  3. Visionary Leadership
  4. Leading Learning
  5. Ensuring First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education for All Students
  6. School Authority Operations and Resources
  7. Supporting Effective Governance

Each competency in the standard includes several indicators showing examples of competent leadership practice.

Superintendent leadership certification

The SLQS governs superintendent leadership certification and aims to help individuals entering these roles have a common level of preparation.

Superintendents of schools are required to hold superintendent leadership certification. Newly hired superintendents of schools who do not have superintendent leadership certification can still take up their roles. These individuals will be issued temporary superintendent leadership certification as part of the appointment process.

Teachers new to superintendent of schools roles or aspiring to them can get superintendent leadership certification by completing approved leadership and superintendent leadership coursework (PDF, 136 KB) through Alberta post-secondary institutions. Contact university providers directly for more information.

Learn more about superintendent leadership certification.

Resources

Government maintains a variety of Kindergarten to Grade 12 education resources to help teaching professionals implement the professional practice standards. These include: