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Quality assurance of teachers’ continuing professional development

This rapid evidence review looks at lessons from other quality assurance systems, and how they could be applied to teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) in England.

What’s inside 

  • evidence on current quality assurance systems – in England and internationally – and their benefits and drawbacks

Who this is for

  • policy makers
  • school leaders
  • CPD providers 
  • teachers
  • education professionals interested in teachers’ professional learning

Key findings

  • CPD can be quality assured through a range of systems and processes that have different purposes and outcomes. Currently, there is no consistent or widely-used process to assure the quality of teachers’ CPD in England.
  • Quality assurance systems for professional development can be broadly classified as:
    • kite-marking – CPD provision meets an accepted minimum standard
    • professional recognition – CPD provision is accredited against professional requirements and career progression pathways.
  • In some high-performing education systems, there is no perceived need for quality assurance because the whole system is assumed to be high-quality. 
  • In some other professions, for example in healthcare, quality assurance not only makes sure that CPD meets required standards, but also regulates who provides CPD and what they offer.   
  • All quality assurance systems are influenced by their wider social and professional contexts. If there is to be successful quality assurance for teachers’ CPD in England, it needs to function within the wider influences of the English education system.