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Executive Report: New inservice program will provide leadership certification

January 15, 2019 Mark Swanson, Co-ordinator, ATA Professional Development

Recent amendments to the School Act require all Alberta principals and superintendents to hold appropriate leadership certification, effective Sept. 1, 2019.

To support the transition to this new requirement, all principals and superintendents active in their roles during the 2018/19 school year will receive grandparented certification, as long as they apply to Alberta Education’s Registrar with verification of their employment status.

Other teachers serving in leadership roles (such as assistant, associate or vice-principals and school jurisdiction teacher leaders) during the 2018/19 school year can obtain leadership certification through an inservice program. However, once the inservice opportunity has passed, those wishing to obtain leadership certification or superintendent leadership certification will be required to complete a more comprehensive, formal program offered through Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.

What are the leadership and superintendent leadership certification inservice programs?

The leadership and superintendent leadership inservice programs will connect the practice of teacher leaders to the competencies described in the Leadership Quality Standard (LQS) and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS) and will lead to leadership certification.

There will be two different options for this program. Option A (LQSa) is recommended for assistant, associate and vice-principals, and school jurisdiction leaders who have not had previous experience as school principals. Option B (LQSb) is recommended for principals who are wanting to take the program for professional development, and school jurisdiction leaders who have previous experience as school principals.

A second inservice program will be designed to align with the SLQS and will lead to superintendent leadership certification.

To be eligible for inservice programming, teachers must hold either an interim professional teaching certificate or permanent professional teaching certificate.

Who is eligible?

Individuals working in the following roles during the 2018/19 school year will be eligible for the Leadership Certification Inservice Program:

  • assistant, associate and vice-principals;
  • school jurisdiction leaders (central office staff members — other than the superintendent — required by their leadership position to hold an Alberta teaching certificate, such as deputy, assistant and associate superintendents; directors; heads of independent schools; and consultants). School jurisdiction leaders who complete the leadership certification program may choose to continue to the Superintendent Leadership Certification Inservice Program.

While these roles will not require leadership certification, teachers working in them should consider taking advantage of this one-time inservice opportunity to receive leadership certification. In addition, principals and superintendents who will receive grandparented leadership certification may wish to participate in inservice programs as a professional development activity.

Where, when and how long?

Inservice programs will be two consecutive days and will be offered multiple times in regional locations throughout the province beginning in February and concluding in December 2019. The initial offerings for the program will coincide with the various teachers’ conventions throughout the province, although they will be held at separate venues from the conventions.

Those who are obligated to attend their convention, and are eligible to take the Leadership Certification Inservice Program, may choose to do so as an alternate professional development activity, without having to apply to their convention board for approval.

Access to the leadership certification inservice session(s) is not restricted to those who are attending convention. Any person eligible, as per the guidelines, may attend.

There will be subsequent sessions of the leadership certification inservice offered across the province throughout the remainder of the year.

The Superintendent Leadership Certification Inservice Program will be offered later in the spring and also throughout the remainder of the year. The locations and the dates for the sessions can be found on the website.

How do I register and what are the costs?

A secure website is being used for registration, access to program resources and the development of an online community of practice for those interested.

Each session will have an enrolment cap, but sessions will be scheduled throughout the province on a regular basis to ensure access to all those that wish to take an inservice program.

There will be no cost to take the program, but participants will be responsible for personal expenses related to accommodation and travel.

Go online

A digital platform for registration and information can be found at

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