The Croatian educational system is comprised of four levels – pre-school education, basic education (which is also compulsory), secondary education and higher education. Pre-school teachers, primary and secondary school teachers are educated according to educational level i.e. the age of children they work with and teachers in Croatia are highly qualified in their profession (trained at tertiary level) and initial education requires pedagogical education of 60 ECTS.
Every teacher has ensured mentored introduction to the profession in duration of one year.
Teachers have right and obligation to continuously professionally develop, which is ensured by state and implemented by education agencies and other authorised bodies.Teachers have possibility of professional progression through three levels and professional progression is directly linked with continuing professional development. After they graduate all teachers have to undergo one year traineeship under mentor’s supervision and after they pass the licencing exam they become qualified teachers.
All future teachers to be qualified to work in school and early childhood education and care must undergo study programmes leading to higher pedagogical education and teacher qualification in the respective level of education. Two main types of institutions for initial education of primary and secondary school teachers are: the faculty of teacher education and (former primary school teacher training college) where pre-school teachers and primary school teachers are educated and educational specialization faculties where specialist teachers are educated.
Thus, completion of a certain kind of programme entitles to teach the respective subject(s) at the respective level of education.
Primary school teachers (general) and specialist teachers in Croatia are public employees and their qualifications and professional development are regulated by several legal acts and regulations adopted on the national level, whereas one of the main is Primary and Secondary Act.
The institutions/bodies responsible for decision-making concerning the conditions of service for teachers are: Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, municipalities and education institutions. Conditions of service are stipulated by national regulations (Labour Act, Primary and Secondary Education Act, Act on Salaries in Public Services, Academic and Expert Titles and Academic Degree Act, Basic Collective Agreement for Servants and Employees in Public Services, Secondary Teachers' Basic Collective Agreement, Primary Teachers' Basic Collective Agreement…). The adequate type of education of primary and secondary teachers and expert associates is prescribed by the minister.