Stage two: portfolio process

Principal’s role in the portfolio process
Invited teachers have 19 weeks to compile their portfolios, which comprise both the Portfolio Form and a supporting body of evidence.

Please see the timeline for the due date of the portfolio to be submitted.

To help principals to have professional conversations with teachers regarding ACET recognition and to endorse expressions of interest, an overview of you as the principal and you role in the portfolio process is provided below.

You the principal are to be involved in the teacher’s portfolio process in three ways:

  • providing advice and guidance to the teacher as they compile their portfolio
  • certifying that the final portfolio accurately represents the teacher’s work
  • making a recommendation as to whether the portfolio meets all the ACET professional criteria.

If a teacher is selected from the expression of interest process, they will be invited to present a portfolio to demonstrate they have satisfied each of the agreed professional criteria detailed below.

  • Portfolio and the professional criteria
  • Section A: Overall impact on student learning outcomes
  • Section B: Professional practice (criterion 3a)
  • Section C: Engagement (criterion 3b)
  • Section D: Peer leadership (criterion 3c)
  • Section E: Professional learning and development (criterion 3d)
  • Appendix 1: Example of referencing and annotating evidence
  • Appendix 2: Examples of organising digital evidence

The teacher’s portfolio will contain evidence with an accompanying narrative which explicitly demonstrates exemplary practice (i.e. over and above accepted practice) that meets or exceeds the ACET professional criteria practice. The teacher’s practice must be presented in a way which is able to be evaluated by someone outside their particular school context. Portfolios should draw on rich, broad curriculum contexts (the New Zealand Curriculum or Te Marautanga o Aotearoa), for example, across learning areas and key competencies.

Submitting evidence - requirements

  • Evidence must be current (within the past three years) and should include planning through to outcomes.
  • Evidence should follow the inquiry cycle that is central to the New Zealand Curriculum.
  • Data explicitly showing positive outcomes (social, cultural and academic) for all learners is required, with specific information about meeting the needs of priority learners.
  • Data showing learner outcomes should show progress over time.
  • Submit any piece of evidence only once and consider the section in which it best fits.
  • Ensure that references are dated and signed and other correspondence is presented in original form.
  • Provide explanations for, and links to, criteria for photos, videos and other pictorial data.
  • Reference readings or articles that indicate the impacts they had on their practice, but don’t include copies of the readings or articles.

Important feedback from the portfolio evaluation process

  • The guidance given to teachers that the panel would need to be able to read a portfolio in 60 minutes had not, in many cases, been heeded. Creating a portfolio is an exercise in being clear and succinct.
  • The evidence presented by teachers was both qualitative and quantitative. That was appropriate and helped to provide a rich picture of the teachers’ practice.
  • All evidence needs to be clearly linked to criteria and to clear claims made about teaching practice.

Certification of a portfolio
You the principal must certify that the evidence upon which ACET recognition of a teacher is ultimately based is a true and accurate representation of the teacher’s own recent classroom and professional practice. This ensures the integrity of the ACET recognition process.

To certify a portfolio, as the principal you will use your knowledge of the teacher’s practice alongside what is captured in the supporting body of evidence to determine whether the body of evidence is a true reflection of the teacher’s professional practice.

Recommendation for ACET recognition
Once as the principal you have certified a portfolio, you need to make a judgment as to whether the teacher should be ACET recognised on the basis of the final portfolio the teacher has presented to you.

This judgment required of you as the principal is to consider the quality of evidence provided in support of the commentary to determine whether the portfolio demonstrates that that teacher meets all of the ACET professional criteria.

You need to sign the portfolio form validating your recommendation. If you are recommending that the teacher should not be ACET recognised, you must indicate the section(s) of the portfolio that, in your professional judgment, do not meet the ACET professional criteria and provide a brief explanation of your decision.

All portfolios should still be submitted to TeachNZ for evaluation by the independent panel of experts, regardless of the principal’s recommendation.

Further information and inquiries
In the first instance, if as a principal should refer to the information on the TeachNZ website and the Portfolio Frequently Asked Questions.

Principals and schools can also contact TeachNZ by phoning 0800 165 225, or emailing

TeachNZ’s website will be updated throughout the ACET process,

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