Continuing professional development (CPD) is compulsory in Latvia for teachers at all education levels. Teachers themselves are responsible for acquiring the mandatory in-service training, acquiring CPD programmes of at least 36 hours in three years period.
In 2014, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations on the Necessary Academic and Professional Qualifications of Pedagogues and Professional Competence Development Procedures for Pedagogues/ Noteikumi par pedagogiem nepieciešamo izglītību un profesionālo kvalifikāciju un pedagogu profesionālās kompetences pilnveides kārtību. This document defines the procedure of CPD for teachers.
The minimum amount of CPD is 36 hours per 3 year. CPD can be credited within 12 hours of self-development and experience module (seminars, conferences, informal adult education programs). Certified private educators plan their professional qualification improvement individually.
A teacher has to plan CPD activities in cooperation with the head of the school. A teacher who is engaged in certified private practice activity has bear responsibility on planning of his or her CPD activities. In Latvia CPD programmes are divided in type A and type B programmes.
Following institutions are authorised to develop and implement CPD programmes of type A:
- education institutions;
- teachers’ professional NGOs;
- institutions subordinated to the ministries.
Type A programme may consist of modules and a teacher can form the training of modules from different programmes. Amount of a module is at least six hours, both including theoretical and practical parts. There are five modules involved to develop:
- general competences of teacher
- education content and didactics
- management of education process
- teacher’s self-development
- teacher’s experience (participation in conferences, seminars, master classes etc.)
Type B programme acquisition entitles a teacher to teach any other subject or to work in other education level. It also gives teaching rights for a person without the higher pedagogical education.
Training amount of type B programme is at least 72 hours. Developers and implementers of B type programmes are initial teacher training institutions. The programmes have to be coordinated with the Ministry of Education and Science.
Teacher receives a certificate after acquisition of the A and B type programme.
Until 2009 schools administrated teachers' CPD experience by themselves. Since 2009 information about teachers' CPD is administrated centrally by National Education Information System in an electronic database.
Since the year 2009 teachers' Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was financed also by the European Social Fund. There were four activities, related to CPD:
- Support to Ensure Sufficiency of General Education Teachers in Priority Subjects (Atbalsts vispārējās izglītības pedagogu nodrošināšanai prioritārajos mācību priekšmetos) (the programme completed);
- General Teachers’ Competence Promotion and Renewal of Skills (Vispārējās izglītības pedagogu tālākizglītība);
- Promotion of Teachers’ Competitiveness within the Optimization of Educational System (Pedagogu konkurētspējas veicināšana izglītības sistēmas optimizācijas apstākļos);
- Competence Promotion of the Educators Involved in Vocational Education (Profesionālajā izglītībā iesaistīto pedagogu kompetences paaugstināšana).
Teacher in-service training is not in this moment fully financed from the state budget, but most municipalities assume these costs. Still many courses of CPD are for pay and are not covered. There are no regulations on covering expenses. In case a teacher wants to attend professional development courses in other area, training fee is almost always to be covered by teacher.
Incentives, supporting measures and funding for participation in continuing professional development (CPD) activities
Teacher has the right to use 30 calendar days during a 3-year period for professional development, including improvement of competences, with basic salary being retained.
CPD is one of the criteria which are taken into account when a teacher's professional activity quality level is evaluated. According to the Cabinet of Ministers' Regulation on Pedagogues' Work Remuneration (2016), teachers with 3rd, 4th and 5th quality level of professional activity performance evaluation system received allowances of EUR 45, EUR 114, and EUR 140 respectively for one teaching work rate, thereby motivating teachers with the highest professional qualifications.
Teachers’ professional activity quality evaluation system
Teachers’ Professional Activity Quality Evaluation System envisaged voluntary evaluation of teachers according quality performance levels ranging from 1 to 5. In the schol year 2016/2017, teachers with 3rd, 4th and 5th quality level of professional activity performance evaluation system received allowances of EUR 45, EUR 114, and EUR 140 respectively for one teaching work rate. The teaching performance quality evaluation system changed since 1st of January 2017 and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th quality levels were changed to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd levels.