Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) System
What is the CPTD System?
The CPTD system described is a management system for teachers' continuing professional development. It has been designed in terms of the Minister of Education"s National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development (NPFTED, 26 April 2007). The policy framework envisages that teachers will in future engage in endorsed professional development activities for which they will earn professional development (PD) points over successive rolling three-year cycles. An electronic management information and communication infrastructure (CPTD-IS) will support the efficient operation of the CPTD system. The South African Council for Educators (SACE) will manage the CPTD system with the support of the Department of Education. SACE will endorse PD activities on grounds of their fitness of purpose and quality, and in so doing ensure that professional development is purposeful and effective.
The vision of the CPTD system is to support and facilitate the process of continuing professional development, to revitalise the teaching profession and to reward those who commit themselves to these goals.
Purpose of the CPTD System
The CPTD system has six main purposes:
- To improve schooling and the quality of learner achievements.
- To coordinate professional development activities with a view to achieving sharper focus and effectiveness.
- To revitalise the teaching profession and foster renewed commitment to the profession’s seminal role in the development of our country.
- To contribute to the responsible autonomy and confidence of the teaching profession.
- To enable the profession to re-establish its professional standing and role in advancing the ideals of social justice.
- To acknowledge the effective participation of teachers in PD activities which are priorities for the education system and the teaching profession.
CPTD Activities Priorities / Categories
Professional development activities will be grouped into three kinds according to the main basis of their priority:
- Teacher priority activities are those chosen by teachers themselves for their own development and the improvement of their own professional practices.
- School priority activities are undertaken by the school leadership and staff collectively, focussed on whole school development, the institutional conditions for the improvement of learning, and improved teaching.
- Profession priority activities have directly to do with enhancing the professional status, practices and commitments of teachers in areas of greatest need, as defined by the Department of Education, SACE, national teachers’ unions or other national professional bodies.
The CPTD system will operate according to three rules:
- A member is required to earn 150 PD points per rolling three-year cycle.
- A member may be awarded no more than 90 PD points in one year, except when the member earns 90 points for completing a formal qualification.
- A member is required to earn at least 30 PD points in each of the three priority categories during each rolling three-year cycle.
Quality Management of the CPTD System
The CPTD system must contribute to the improvement of teaching and learning. Quality management is therefore an essential feature of the system. To attract PD points, professional activities must be endorsed by SACE as fit for purpose and of good quality. The criteria for endorsement approved by SACE, and the weighting system for the allocation of points, will influence all concerned with professional development. Endorsement will be undertaken by an Endorsement Sub-committee of the SACE Council serviced by an Endorsement Unit within the Professional Development component of the SACE secretariat.
Who is the CPTD System Applicable to?
The CPTD system described here applies to all SACE registered school based educators. It is expected that other categories of SACE registered educators will be included in the system once it is operating smoothly for teachers. They will be expected to earn a target number of 150 PD points in each successive rolling three-year cycle by undertaking a variety of professional development activities endorsed by SACE on grounds of their fitness of purpose and quality.
The implementation of the system will be sensitive to the conditions under which teachers work in different parts of the country.
Some Milestones Reached
SACE-DoE CPTD Task Team
Since the signing of the National Policy Framework on Teacher Education and Development (NPFTED) in 2007, the SACE - DoE Task Team was established to oversee the planning and development of the new CPTD System and provide the necessary advice on the resources and structures needed to roll out implementation throughout the country. The SACE-DoE Task Team managed to put various implementation processes into place and developed initial conceptual documents that assist in providing guidance and direction in as far as the CPTD system development and planning processes are concerned.
In addition to the Task Team we have a Reference Group that is made of various national stakeholders, such as, teacher unions, provincial departments of educations, SAQA, ETDP SETA, CHE, and others. The Reference Group advices the Task Team on a regularly basis. It also serves as sounding board to it.
The CPTD Design
The first conceptual document developed was the CPTD Design.This document, prepared by the SACE-DoE CPTD Task Team, presents a management system for Continuing Professional Teacher Development This document went through several writing and consultation stages until the final version was produced in May 2008. That is, CPTD Design version 13A. This will be treated as a working document until such time that certain key areas are resolved. It is also important to note that the CPTD Design document has endorsement criteria that is unpacked clearly in the Endorsement Handbook.
The CPTD Unit is located within the Professional Development Division of SACE. The Unit has three core sub-units as follows:
- Member Support
- Provider Support
In addition the CPTD Unit has two sub-units that provide support to the three core sub-units, that is, the ICT and Communication sub-units. Currently the CPTD Unit has six staff members - the CPTD Coordinator, Endorsement Sub-Unit Head, and four admin persons. SACE is in the process of employing additional staff members in the ICT, Provider, Communication, and Member Support sub-units.
The Task Team began the endorsement work by meeting with quality assurance bodies/organizations such as, the Council on Higher Education (CHE)’s Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) for purposes of consultation, sharing information and learning from them. This assisted the Task Team in taking the endorsement work forward by commissioning out the initial draft of the endorsement handbook.
Subsequently, the Task Team established the Endorsement Working Group (EWG) which was tasked with the responsibility of developing an Endorsement Handbook. The purpose of the handbook is to provide a simple and manageable administrative and governance model that will be followed by SACE in its endorsement of the CPTD system. In addition, part of the processes of developing the handbook involved the unpacking of the endorsement criteria by developing some level descriptors and professional development points allocation. This process was also subjected to vigorous interactions within different structures until the final draft was produced.
The prime audience of the Endorsement Handbook is the Endorsement Committee of SACE who is responsible for awarding professional development (PD) points to activities within the CPTD system and the Evaluators who will be tasked with evaluating submissions made to the Endorsement Committee
Endorsement Interim Committee
The SACE has established the Endorsement Interim Committee (EIC). This is a sub-committee of the Professional Development Committee (PRODCO) of SACE. It was set up according to the stipulations of the CPTD Design document version 13A.
The sub-committee has the responsibility to endorse the professional development activities and programmes that would have been submitted by the providers, to SACE, in line with the within the three agreed upon priorities:
- Teacher priority activities;
- School priority activities; and
- Profession priority activities
The EIC has already met and started with its initial endorsement work. The Endorsement sub-unit is also serving as a secretariat to EIC.
Part of the endorsement process involves the evaluation of the CPTD activities by evaluators who will make the endorsement recommendations to the Endorsement Committee. SACE is in a process of recruiting and developing a database of potential evaluators who will be responsible for evaluating the CPTD activities and programmes submitted to SACE by various providers.
2008 Research Study on Continuing Professional Teacher Development Practices in Schools
In 2008 the SACE and DoE commissioned research study on continuing professional teacher development practices in schools. The research study was conducted in 36 schools in the three provinces - KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape, and Free State provinces. Each province had 12 schools. It was the purpose of this research study to investigate the new CPTD system focusing on the new features.
In order to explore the scope, quality and frequency of teachers’ current PD activities across the 3 priority areas. The research looked at:
- "The current ongoing professional development activities undertaken by teachers between July 2007 and July 2008”
- Scope of Professional Development activities
- Duration and frequency of PD activities
- The quality and relevance of programmes
- Involvement in other activities and schools structures and committees
It was found, amongst other things, that the majority of teachers and principals participate in various professional development activities. Nonetheless, most activities undertaken focused on curriculum, in the form of workshops. The duration of activities varies according to the activity, from less than a day to more than 10 days. Although, most programmes were offered by DoE and Higher Education Institutions, it is important to note that schools, unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) play a significant role in providing PD activities as well.
The research study managed to produce a report that was presented to Council and DoE. In addition, SACE sent the final research report to the schools and stakeholders that participated in the research study.
2009/2010 CPTD Pilot Study
We have indicated in the previous section that we conducted a research study Continuing Professional Teacher Development practices in schools. One of the key findings of the study was that implementation should not be rushed and that more research was needed to inform an effective roll-out of the CPTD system.
In light of this, SACE PRODCO proposed that a CPTD Pilot should be run from July 2009 to October 2010. This was accepted by the Task Team and HEDCOM.
What Needs to be Piloted?
The pilot must test the readiness of the CPTD system to be rolled out to SACE-registered school-based educators from January 2011. The readiness of the following CPTD components must be tested:
- Endorsement processes. The effectiveness of the Interim Endorsement Committee and Endorsement Unit which will include testing the provisions of the handbook, the endorsement of PD activities by the Interim Endorsement Committee and the allocation of PD points to such activities as indicated .
- CPTD-IS. The functionality of all aspects of the CPTD ICT system.
- Management, administrative and support capacity. Personnel, skills, systems, infrastructure in SACE, schools, district offices.
- Advocacy and communication. Levels of understanding and buy-in among teachers, principals, district offices, teachers’ organisations, providers.
- Provider capacity. Personnel, skills, systems, infrastructure in HEIs, NGOs, privates, PEDs, teachers’ unions.
- Investment. Funds invested in PD activities by DoE, PEDs, other employers, other funders, teachers; and on what kinds of PD
activities.The pilot will indicate the strengths and weaknesses of these components and enable the Task Team to take corrective measures or recommend them to SACE or DoE.
The CPTD System will include an electronic management information and communication infrastructure with the capacity to support the efficient operation of the CPTD system. This ICT system is called the CPTD Information System (CPTD-IS), and it is the primary administrative tool of the CPTD system. SACE is in the process of finalising the development of the CPTD-IS. Currently we are busy with the process of running various tests and training staff with the view of going live towards the end of August 2009. The CPTD-IS will be used for the pilot and will be revised on the basis of the pilot results.
Download CPTD Design Document draft 13A