This is a legacy provincial website of the ATA. Visit our new website here.

Chapter 9: Teacher Professional Growth, Supervision and Evaluation

La version française 

Guiding Beliefs and Principles

Professional growth and supervision are dynamic and ongoing processes. They form the basis for the development of teaching abilities, and should be founded on the Teaching Quality Standard (Ministerial Order #001/2018).

The evaluation process must reflect the central importance of the Teaching Quality Standard and be consistent with Alberta Education Policy on Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation. Anonymous questionnaires or interviews are not an acceptable part of a fair and ethical evaluation process and may violate the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct.

The evaluation process must be reasonable and in keeping with procedural fairness and the rules of natural justice. The rules are based on precise legal concepts that govern the actions of public bodies such as school boards and apply in any situation where an individual’s rights may be affected by the actions of the employer. These include the following:

  • The teacher is provided guidance and support prior to the initiation of an evaluation and throughout the evaluation.
  • The teacher knows the expectations of the position.
  • The teacher receives written notification that an evaluation of professional practice is to be undertaken and the reason(s) for it.
  • The teacher is a full participant in the evaluation process.
  • The basis for the evaluation process is identifiable data which is made available to the teacher.
  • The teacher is made aware when expectations of the position are not being met.
  • If there are performance concerns as a result of information from a source other than the supervisor, the information is provided to the teacher in sufficient detail for him/her to understand the concern and have an opportunity to respond. This includes copies of any notes or letters.
  • The teacher is provided with appropriate assistance and time to address any identified performance deficiencies.
  • The teacher understands the possible outcomes of a failure to improve performance.

The evaluation process is consistently applied to all teachers recognizing that expectations for the beginning teacher may not be as rigorous as those of an experienced individual. Effective systematic communication is a key component of fairness in any evaluation process, where the evaluation process is conducted in a cooperative and supportive climate that fosters mutual trust. The teacher has the right to consult with the Association during any part of the evaluation process.


Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy

The Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation policy reflects a professional model based on teacher growth rather than teacher deficiency. The policy takes seriously the professionalization of teaching. All teachers are responsible for students’ learning. A collegial model fosters continued professional growth as well as collaborative professional learning.

Basic Positions

  • There is an assumption of teacher competence.
  • Professional growth is a major focus of the policy. Teachers who are required to create individual professional growth plans do so based on assessment of their own learning needs.
  • Principals are required to supervise all teachers and, when there is a concern about a teacher’s teaching practice, the principal will work directly with the teacher to provide support and guidance. If no growth is noted, the principal conducts an evaluation.
  • Teachers who do not hold a continuing contract or permanent certificate will be evaluated.
  • Supervision is a fundamental component of the policy and is pivotal to its success.
  • Ongoing guidance and support is required throughout the processes of growth, supervision and evaluation.



  • Teacher professional growth means a career-long learning process whereby a teacher annually develops and implements a plan to achieve professional learning objectives or goals that are consistent with respectively, the Teaching Quality Standard, the Leadership Quality Standard or the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard.
  • Teachers employed under probationary or continuing contracts, or under other provisions of the Education Act, if required by school authority policy, are required to complete an annual growth plan.
  • The teacher is required to submit his or her plan for review or approval.
  • At the end of the year, the completed plan is reviewed.
  • A teacher’s annual growth plan shall
  • reflect goals and objectives based on an assessment of learning needs by the individual teacher;
  • provide a basis upon which the individual can collaborate with others;
  • show a demonstrable relationship to the professional practice standard aligned most closely with their role; and
  • take into consideration the educational plans for the school, the school board and Alberta Education.
  • Responsibility for receiving and reviewing growth plans may be delegated to a body of teachers.
  • Unless a teacher agrees, the content of an annual growth plan shall not be a part of the evaluation process of a teacher.
  • Despite this, practices that require an evaluation may be identified, provided that the information is based on a source other than the teacher’s professional growth plan.



  • Supervision means the ongoing process by which a principal or superintendent exercises instructional leadership and carries out their duties with respect to teachers and principals, as required under section 197 and 222 of the Education Act.
  • A fundamental component of the policy is ongoing supervision of teachers by the principal or of a principal by the superintendent including
  • providing support and guidance to the teachers or the principal,
  • observing and receiving information from a variety of sources about the quality of education a teacher provides or the quality of leadership a principal provides and
  • identifying the practices of a teacher or principal that are not in keeping with the Teaching Quality Standard or Leadership Quality Standard, respectively.
  • When a principal or superintendent has reason to believe that a teacher’s teaching or a principal’s leadership may not meet the standard, the principal or superintendent may
  • work with the teacher or principal directly, through supervision, to provide assistance to change practices or
  • initiate an evaluation
  • Throughout the supervision process, the principal or superintendent should share relevant information with the teacher or principal, respectively.
  • Through ongoing supervision, the principal or superintendent seeks to be satisfied that a teacher’s teaching or a principal’s leadership meets the requirements of the Teaching Quality Standard or Leadership Quality Standard.
  • An important role of the principal and superintendent is to provide guidance and support to improve the teacher’s quality of instruction or principal’s quality of leadership.
  • Teachers and principals should be willing to receive collegial advice and assistance.



Evaluation means the formal process of gathering information or evidence over a period of time and the application of reasoned professional judgment by a principal or superintendent in determining whether one or more aspects of the teaching of a teacher or the leadership of a principal meets or does not meet the Teaching Quality Standard or the Leadership Quality Standard.

  • The evaluation of a teacher by a principal or of a principal by superintendent may be conducted under any of the following circumstances:
    • Upon the written request of a teacher or principal
    • For the purpose of gathering information related to an employment decision
    • For the purpose of assessing the growth of the teacher or principal in specific areas of practice
    • When, on the basis of information received through supervision, the principal has reason to believe that the teaching of the teacher, or the superintendent has reason to believe that the leadership of the principal may not meet the standard
  • On initiating an evaluation, the principal or superintendent shall communicate explicitly to the teacher or principal the
    • reasons for and purposes of the evaluation;
    • process, criteria and professional quality practice standards to be applied;
    • timelines to be applied; and
    • possible outcomes.
  • When an evaluation determines the teacher’s teaching or the principal’s leadership does not meet the Teaching Quality Standard or Leadership Quality Standard, the evaluation period may be extended or a notice of remediation may be issued to the teacher or principal.
  • The notice of remediation describes the required change in practice; strategies the teacher or principal is advised to pursue; how it will be determined whether the required changes have been made; applicable time lines; and the consequences of not achieving the required changes.
  • Following the notice of remediation, the following steps are recommended:
    • A program of assistance is offered to the teacher or principal.
    • If the teacher’s teaching or principal’s leadership meets the standard, the evaluation ceases.
    • If the teacher’s teaching or principal’s leadership does not meet the standard at the end of the timeline specified in the notice of remediation, and considering the best interests of the students, teacher, principal, profession and the jurisdiction, then it may be appropriate to

- offer an additional period of remediation or
- give the teacher or principal a change of assignment or
- a combination of the above two or
- recommend termination of the teacher’s or principal’s contract of employment.


Steps in the Supervision/Evaluation Process

The principal or superintendent conducts ongoing supervision.

  • The principal provides feedback to the teacher or the superintendent provides feedback to the principal on concerns raised during supervision.
  • The principal or superintendent provides guidance, support and assistance to address concerns identified through supervision.
  • The teacher or principal demonstrates improvement or seems unable to respond to the assistance and suggestions offered during supervision.
  • The principal or superintendent decides, based on the evidence gained through supervision, that the teacher’s teaching or principal’s leadership may not be meeting the expectations of the applicable professional quality practice standard and board policy.
  • The principal meets with the teacher or the superintendent meets with the principal to discuss the concern or evidence that the teaching or leadership may not be meeting the applicable professional quality practice standard.
  • This meeting may result in
    • the teacher or principal continuing under the supervision process or
    • a written notice of evaluation being given to the teacher or principal.
  • The principal and teacher or the superintendent and principal meet to discuss and draft an evaluation plan.
  • Appropriate time is provided to carry out the evaluation as described in the evaluation plan.
  • The principal or superintendent writes and presents the evaluation. The teacher or principal has the opportunity to append notes to the report. The evaluation report may recommend one of three options:
    • The teacher or principal, having met the expectations of the Teaching Quality Standard or Leadership Quality Standard, continues in the supervision process.
    • The evaluation timeline is extended with specific actions outlined.
    • The teacher or principal is issued a Notice of Remediation because the evaluation shows that the teacher or principal did not meet the expectations of the applicable professional quality practice standard.
  • The program of remediation as outlined in the remediation plan is implemented.
  • Evaluation at the end of the remediation process may result in:
    • a return to the supervision process (if the teacher or principal has met the expectations of the applicable professional quality practice standard) or
    • an extension of the remediation plan or
    • a change of assignment or
    • a recommendation for termination of contract.

Reasons for the initiation of an evaluation of a teacher or principal on continuing contract can be quite diverse but they should not be frivolous, petty or vexatious. In short, they must be professionally defensible. A single complaint about a teacher or principal should not, as a matter of course, start an evaluation.

At any time in the process, the principal and/or the teacher may seek assistance from the Association.


Professional Practice Review Process

The Teaching Profession Act, section 4(b)(vii), provides for the Association to assess the professional competence of its members by means of a practice review process provided for in the bylaws of the Association. Under the Practice Review Bylaws, the monitoring and maintaining of practice standards is in accordance with Alberta Education’s Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy, the Teaching Quality Standard (Ministerial Order # 001/2018) and the Leadership Quality Standard (Ministerial Order # 002/2018). These documents, as well as the complete text of the bylaws, can be found in the Members’ Handbook and on the Association’s website.

Any individual can make a complaint to the superintendent regarding the practice of a teacher.  Before proceeding to a formal investigation, the superintendent must meet with the complainant to determine the nature of the complaint and to ensure that the complainant has made reasonable attempts to address the matter with the teacher and principal concerned. The superintendent must also gather details to determine if the complaint is appropriate to the practice review process and if the actions occurred less than two years prior to the complaint being made.

In many instances, when a concern is raised, the superintendent can resolve the matter informally by meeting with the complainant to discuss possible solutions that would be acceptable to all the parties involved. If the complainant believes that it is necessary to proceed to a formal complaint under the Practice Review Bylaws, he or she must submit a written, signed complaint. In cases where there has been no complaint submitted by another person, but the superintendent has reasonable grounds to question the professional competence of a teacher, he or she may initiate an investigation in accordance with the bylaws.

The superintendent will investigate to determine whether the teacher’s professional practice is meeting the requirements of the Teaching Quality Standard. The superintendent must also ensure that the provincial Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy has been followed. This assessment could be based on

  • information or evidence from recent evaluations and/or
  • information obtained from the principal.

Based on the investigation, the superintendent may decide that the competence of the teacher is not in question or that there is a need to engage in further supervision and evaluation of the teacher’s practice. If the superintendent decides that an evaluation is to be conducted, the process for that evaluation must also be in accordance with the provincial Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy.

Following an investigation arising out of a complaint, the superintendent will advise the complainant and the investigated teacher of the outcome of the investigation. Should the superintendent determine that the teacher’s professional competence will not be assessed by the Professional Practice Review Committee, the complainant may request a review of the superintendent’s decision by the Complainant Appeal Committee.

When the superintendent, whether acting on a complaint or not, concludes that a teacher is not meeting the requirements of the Teaching Quality Standard, that the Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy has been followed and that the teacher’s suitability for certification is in question, he or she may refer the matter to the executive secretary of the Association to order a hearing by the Professional Practice Review Committee. On receiving such a referral, the executive secretary of the Association must order a hearing.

As is the case during the investigation process conducted by the superintendent, the teacher, if he or she so requests, may be represented at the hearing by the Association in accordance with Association guidelines.

A teacher may voluntarily request the cancellation of his or her teaching certificate by the registrar. If the certificate is cancelled, the executive secretary shall then cancel the teacher’s membership in the Association and any investigation or hearing that may be in progress.

The practice review process goes beyond employment. It is a process by which, in the interest of students, the public and the profession, a teacher’s membership in the Association may be cancelled or suspended and a recommendation may be made to the minister to suspend or cancel the teacher’s certificate, ensuring that the individual can no longer practise in Alberta. If the hearing committee makes any other order and the teacher contravenes the order, the teacher’s membership in the Association may be cancelled or suspended.


Implications of the Code of Professional Conduct

Professional judgment may quite properly cause a principal to inform supervisors of a teacher who is encountering serious problems or whose work is below an acceptable level of competence as an individual or as a member of the school’s staff. As long as the statements are true and unbiased and the process conforms to clauses 13 and 14 of the code, this situation will not lead to conflict between a principal’s duty to the school and employer on the one hand and obligations to the Code of Professional Conduct on the other.

Before finalizing a report, the evaluator should arrange for a discussion with the person concerned. This discussion should be solely between these two people. A copy of a report by any person should be given to the person reported on before it is sent to anyone else. The person about whom a report is written should have the right to comment on it and submit it to the author of the report. The author of the report should file both the original report and the commentary jointly, or subsequently file a copy of the commentary, with all parties who received a copy of the report.


Code of Professional Conduct

14 The teacher, when making a report on the professional performance of another teacher, does so in good faith and, prior to submitting the report, provides the teacher with a copy of the report.


In conclusion, it must be remembered that related policy and relevant clauses of the Code of Professional Conduct make certain demands on a principal with respect to relationships with staff members. They make equivalent demands of a teacher, and principals have every right to expect to receive the same professional courtesies that they are required to extend.


« Previous | Next »