The Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs has endorsed a National Professional Standard for Principals to support the professional preparation, development and self-reflection of aspiring and practising principals in schools across Australia.


The National Professional Standard for Principals sets out what principals are expected to know, understand and do to achieve excellence in their work. The Standard will, for the first time, unify the profession nationally by describing the professional practice of principals in a common language and in making explicit the role of quality school leadership for improved student outcomes.


The Standard was developed by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), following research and consultation involving national and international experts and stakeholders, as well as testing of the Standard in ten pilot studies.


The Standard will provide a national framework that school systems can use in shaping and developing their professional learning for principals and aspiring school leaders. The National Professional Standard for Principals can be found at


The release of the Standard is supported by a Clearinghouse for school leaders. The Clearinghouse provides an interactive research repository and online tool designed to foster the exchange and development of the knowledge and skills of principals, deputies and department heads. It is a reform under the Smarter Schools National Partnership and can be accessed at