- National Quality Framework
- Guide to the NQF
- Section 3: National Quality Standard and Assessment and Rating
- Quality Area 7: Governance and leadership
- Standard 7.2: Leadership
- Element 7.2.3: Development of professionals
Element 7.2.3: Development of professionals
What Element 7.2.3 aims to achieve
A system of regular performance review alongside individual learning and development plans is essential to the development of skills and professional knowledge of educators. Performance planning and review ensures that the knowledge, skills and practices of educators and other staff members are current, and that areas requiring further development are addressed.
An effective performance review provides opportunities for educators to assess their own work performance against their job description, relevant code of ethics (for example Early Childhood Australia’s Code of Ethics) and the service’s code of conduct. The process recognises the specific strengths and contributions of each educator, which has the potential to encourage continuous quality practice and motivate them to continue to learn and develop professionally. Services can address areas that require improvement using a supportive and professional approach, to assist in accessing opportunities to engage in ongoing learning.
Educators who are committed to ongoing learning and performance improvement lift the quality of the service, potentially benefitting staff members, children, families and communities.
Learning and development can be enhanced when educational and/or service leaders (see Element 7.2.2) take on an active mentoring role, in collaboration with educators, to develop individual professional development plans that:
- develop educators’ professional knowledge, skills and practices
- support creativity, imagination, innovation and continuous quality improvement
- build an understanding of the influence of theories and beliefs
- support educators to stay abreast of current policies, practice and thinking (for example inclusive policies and practice).
For example, educational leaders can mentor new educators to develop their capacity for inclusion and ensure that an inclusive philosophy underpins their pedagogy, program planning and interactions with each child and their families.
There is no one size fits all approach to the performance review, planning and improvement process. The main focus should be on developing an effective and efficient process for quality improvement. The outcome of the process is to:
- build and strengthen educators’ understanding of the National Quality Framework
- support the development of strategies, practices and processes to meet the Standards
- further educators’ knowledge of quality early childhood education practices and programs.
Effective performance reviews include the following components:
Assessment guide for meeting Element 7.2.3 (for all services)
Supporting staff learning and development
Assessors may observe the performance of each educator, co-ordinator and staff member supported by the educational leader and/or nominated supervisor.
Assessors may discuss:
- processes to ensure each educational leader, co-ordinator, educator and staff member receives ongoing feedback about their performance and support to improve practice
- how the educational leader, co-ordinators, educators and staff members self-assess their performance and set individual performance and learning goals
- how performance processes identify strengths and areas for development, and how these areas for development are addressed
- how the service’s performance review process contributes to planning for educators’ learning and further development, and how the service supports this process
- how the effort, contribution and achievement of educators, educational leaders, co-ordinators and staff members is acknowledged and celebrated
Assessors may sight:
- individual performance plans for educators, co-ordinators and staff members
- documented position descriptions for educators, educational leaders, co-ordinators and staff members that:
- clearly outline the responsibilities of the position
- clearly explain the approved provider’s expectations
- are used as the basis for monitoring and reviewing the performance of educators, educational leaders, co-ordinators and staff members
- evidence of participation by educators, educational leaders, co-ordinators and staff members in professional development activities to update their knowledge and skills
- evidence that performance reviews for all educators, educational leaders, co-ordinators and staff members are conducted regularly and include a process for reviewing and updating professional development plans based on an evaluation of their professional strengths, interests and goals