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Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher (HALT) Certification

Get the recognition you deserve for the profession you love.

Becoming certified as a Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher (HALT) recognises quality teaching, provides feedback on practice and supports your professional growth.

HALT certification:

  • recognises and promotes quality teaching
  • provides an opportunity for teachers to reflect on their practice
  • provides a reliable indication of quality teaching to support professional growth and recognise high performing teachers.

ISV supports national HALT certification, which provides a high quality, nationally consistent approach to identifying and certifying teachers according to the advanced career stages of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).

The Independent Schools Victoria Certifying Authority (ISVCA) is responsible for administering HALT certification for teachers at Victorian Independent schools.

What's involved?

To achieve certification as a Highly Accomplished or Lead teacher, applicants are required to:

  • Engage in professional learning and development through reflection that includes self and peer review.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of what quality teaching is based on the advanced career stages of the APST.
  • Work with a school-based mentor to deeply reflect on your practice as it aligns to the Highly Accomplished or Lead teacher career stage.
  • Collect, collate and annotate evidence of practice at Highly Accomplished or Lead teacher career stage.

HALT certification is open to Early learning, Primary and Secondary teachers.

Information session

Tuesday 12 October 2021

Information session: Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher (HALT) Certification

Are you looking to pursue HALT certification in 2022? Join our upcoming info session to find out what's involved.

Register your place

Apply now for 2022

Applications are now open for 2022

We are now accepting applications from teachers for HALT certification in 2022:

  • Step 1. Complete the online application form below.
  • Step 2. Ask your Principal to complete the online endorsement form.

Applications are open until Friday 19 November 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What's the difference between Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers?

Highly Accomplished teachers are highly effective and knowledgeable classroom teachers. According to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST), Highly Accomplished teachers are characterised as advocates of the profession, who contribute to the professional learning of peers through a range of activities that include (but are not limited to) supporting, working with and assisting their colleagues.

Lead Teachers are exemplary classroom teachers. They are committed to quality teaching and learning, and their leadership positively impacts students and their colleagues across and/or beyond their school. Lead teachers regularly innovate, initiate, evaluate and review programs and practice across the school.

2. How will I know if my practice is Highly Accomplished or Lead?

Applicants are required to choose which career stage they will be applying for – either Highly Accomplished or Lead. Deciding to apply for certification requires applicants to honestly reflect on their practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).

AITSL has provided a Self-Assessment Tool and Classroom Practice Continuum to support this reflection and assist applicants to understand where their practice lies against the career stages of the APST.

The regular conversations applicants have with peers, mentors and school leaders also provides valuable information regarding readiness to apply.

3. How long does the certification process take?

The HALT certification process takes approximately 12 months to complete.

  • December 2021-February 2022 | Candidates will be required to attend three preliminary workshops
  • June 2022 | Assessment Stage 1, Collection of evidence
  • July-September 2022 | Assessment Stage 2, School visits
  • Late Term 4, 2022 | Official certification

A detailed timeline, with submission and other key dates, will be provided once you have enrolled.

4. What if my Principal doesn’t know me?

If you or your Principal are new to the school, you can still apply for HALT certification. Your Principal can nominate a delegate who is familiar with your work.

If you have started at a new school, your previous Principal/Supervisor’s details must be provided in addition to your current Principal/Supervisor’s.

5. What kind of support should my school provide?

You will need to have an authentic teaching role and be given responsibility for an ongoing teaching program. There needs to be opportunities to be observed in a classroom setting. Ideally your school could provide a mentor and release time to attend certification workshops at ISV.

School leaders are part of all stages of the certification process and encouraged to provide support and constructive feedback throughout.

The Principal/Supervisor must provide a referee statement and be prepared to discuss your practice with reference to the teacher standards.

Schools are not expected to provide time release to prepare an application.

6. What kind of support will ISV supply?

ISV will conduct information sessions for applicants and will provide access to timelines, guides and other resources. ISV will appoint assessors to evaluate evidence, conduct interviews and observe classroom practice. Assessors will provide constructive feedback after the first submission of evidence. ISV will also support and promote a network of Highly Accomplished Teachers and Lead Teachers.

7. What resources are available?

In addition to ISV resources, there are a number of AITSL resources available on their website.

8. What if my first evidence submission is not successful?

Applicants will receive written feedback on their first submission of evidence. If you are unsuccessful you will have detailed information as to the strengths and weaknesses of your evidence and you can reapply in the next round.

9. What if I change schools while going through the certification process?

If you change schools or roles during the process you may continue with your application as long as you are able to show that you are working at the Highly Accomplished stage. You can use evidence from your previous school or role but it must be able to be verified. Your current supervisor and colleagues must be able to confirm your ability to meet the appropriate standards during the site visit and you must have some evidence relating to your current setting.

10. Can I use hard copy evidence as part of my application?

All evidence will need to be submitted electronically so any hard copies will need to be scanned.

11. From how far back in my practice can my evidence be drawn?

Evidence can be drawn from the past 5 years, however, it must be able to be verified.

12. What if I disagree with the decision?

The Independent Schools Victoria Certifying Authority (ISVCA) will determine if you have been successful or unsuccessful based on the recommendations of the external assessors. Regardless of the result you will be provided with a copy of the assessment against the Teacher Standards. If you are unsuccessful there is a process to appeal.

13. Why do I need to attend a teacher information workshop?

Teacher information workshops will enable you have correct and reliable information about the process. You will be able to ask questions to ensure there are no misunderstandings and you’ll be able to network with others who are undergoing the process. It is highly recommended that you attend.

14. What does the assessment cost?

The cost of assessment for certification is staggered across the period of review and will be payable only as applicants proceed through the application process:

  • Initial application deposit: $150.00
  • Stage 1 Assessment: $900.00
  • Stage 2 Assessment: $900.00

Schools will be invoiced for the cost, which they can choose to recover from the applicants by negotiation.


15. What if I need to withdraw or postpone?

To withdraw you will need to put a request in writing. Any refund will be at the discretion of ISV. You are unable to postpone your application, but you can reapply in the following year.