FAQs

 

Part A – About COTAP
A1: Why was it necessary to reconstitute The Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) to the Committee on Professional Development of Teachers and Principals (COTAP)? Are there any changes in its roles and functions?
Ans: The former ACTEQ has been reconstituted as COTAP since 1 June 2013 after extensive consultation with the education sector.  COTAP will have a more explicit role in advising holistically and strategically on the professional and career development of both teachers and principals along the different stages of their career pathways.  Apart from performing the former ACTEQ's roles and functions in advising the Government on policies and measures relating to the professional development of the teaching profession, COTAP will also assume a number of functional roles, including providing platforms for sharing of best practices and exchanges, as well as commissioning training programmes and educational research studies that are conducive to the professional development of teachers and principals with a view to enhancing school effectiveness and student learning.
A2: To what extent is the school sector represented on COTAP?
Ans: Taking into account the views from stakeholder groups, the composition of COTAP broadly follows that of the former ACTEQ, i.e., it has a significant representation from the school sector, covering different types and levels of schools.  Ten out of the 20 members on COTAP come from the school sector, including teachers, principals and representatives from school sponsoring bodies.  COTAP will work closely with stakeholders in championing the robust development of the teaching profession for the betterment of education and student learning.
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Part B – CPD Policies
B1: What is the CPD framework for teachers?
Ans: A CPD framework for teachers has been introduced since 2003.  Teachers are encouraged to meet the soft target of engaging in CPD activities of not less than 150 hours in a three-year cycle, including both structured learning (e.g. seminars, conferences, staff development days) as well as other modes of learning (e.g. collaborative practices, mentoring and professional reading).

Based on the positive outcomes in the three-year try-out period, the former ACTEQ affirmed in 2009 the continuation of the CPD framework for teachers. Since then, school-based implementation of teachers’ CPD has been widely encouraged.
B2: Are there adequate CPD opportunities to cater for teachers’ development needs?
Ans: In collaboration with teacher education institutions, tertiary institutes, other professionals and organisations, the Education Bureau (EDB) organises a wide range of programmes and activities to cater for the various CPD needs of schools and teachers.  Schools also organise school-based CPD programmes to cater for their teachers’ needs.  Teachers are encouraged to explore various learning modes, including self-directed learning, such as participating in online courses and consulting materials available from various sources to enrich their learning experiences.
B3: Who should be involved in coordinating CPD in schools? How does the EDB support teachers to take up the task of CPD coordination?
Ans: CPD coordination is an integral part of school work.  This role could be assumed by a senior staff member who will be in a good position to relate teachers’ CPD to the school context.  In primary schools, it is usually taken up by Primary School Curriculum Leader, who is responsible for leading whole-school curriculum planning and implementation, and could better identify the development needs of the school and teachers. In secondary schools, this function is usually taken up by a vice-principal or a senior teacher, which reflects the importance attached to CPD coordination in school development.

Since the 2009/10 school year, EDB has also rolled out a training course on “Coordinating and Developing Teachers’ Continuing Professional Development Programme” to support those school staff who perform CPD coordination duties.
B4: Is it necessary for schools to report their staff’s CPD to the EDB?
Ans: Schools and teachers exercise autonomy on, and take responsibility for, their own CPD.
B5: How should teachers and schools make use of the generic Teacher Competencies Framework (TCF) for CPD planning?
Ans: The prioritisation of CPD is a matter of agreement between individual teachers and their schools, the ultimate aim being for the interests of students’ learning and education.  To help schools and teachers plan their CPD activities, a generic TCF has been introduced since 2003.

The generic TCF is built on four core domains, namely “Teaching and Learning”, “Student Development”, “School Development” and “Professional Relationships and Services”.  Each of these four domains is extended by four dimensions, highlighting important aspects of teachers’ work.  Each dimension has a number of strands with stage descriptors linking typical competencies with particular stages of teachers’ professional maturity (Threshold, Competent, and Accomplished) to show the progression of teachers’ professional growth.

The generic TCF also enables the schools to look at the collective competency of their staff at both individual and organisational levels.  By looking at the competency profiles of individual teachers in a collective way, the schools could plan the professional development of their entire staff strategically to address both individual and school development needs.
B6: Which types of activities will be recognised and counted towards CPD?
Ans: Teachers’ CPD refers to all kinds of learning opportunities that help teachers strengthen their professional practices.  Schools and teachers have the discretion to decide on the CPD plans that are most appropriate for their professional and school development needs.  Subject to the mutual agreement of teachers and schools, various kinds of professional development activities, "structured learning" or "other CPD modes", will all be recognised and counted towards CPD.
B7: How has the EDB supported the professional development of beginning teachers (BTs)?
Ans: To help BTs adjust to the new school environment with the full support of the school, a Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) has been launched since 2008.  In recent years, the TIS, supported by an Induction Tool Kit, has been adopted and adapted by most schools according to their needs.

The TIS serves as a platform for not only the professional development of BTs but also the CPD of mentors.  To boost the effectiveness of the TIS, the EDB has since 2009 organised the “Mentorship Training Programme for Teachers” (including seminars, workshops, experience sharing of effective practice on mentoring, small group discussions and case studies) to prepare teachers who are responsible for teacher induction, serving or designated mentors and other interested teachers for assuming the role of mentors.
B8: What are the CPD requirements for aspiring principals?
Ans: As from the 2004/05 school year, before aspiring principals could be considered for appointment to principalship in public sector schools, they are required to attain the Certification for Principalship (CFP), in addition to complying with other prevailing appointment conditions.  The CFP process comprises three components: (i) needs analysis; (ii) preparation for principalship course; and (iii) professional development portfolio.
B9: What are the CPD requirements for newly-appointed principals?
Ans: As from the 2002/03 school year, newly-appointed principals in their first two to three years of principalship are required to attend a designated programme on school administration and development, mentoring and networking with leadership enhancement through study visits. Besides, they have to engage in CPD activities relevant to their personal and school needs, and present annually their professional portfolio to their School Sponsoring Bodies/School Management Committees.
B10: What are the CPD requirements for serving principals?
Ans: A CPD policy for serving principals has been in force since September 2002, requiring them to engage in at least 150 hours of CPD in the three modes, including structured learning, action learning and service to education and community, over a 3-year cycle.

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