Teachers’ conditions of service entitle them to continuing professional development (CPD). The founder of the school ensures that teachers and other staff engaged in the process of education receive remuneration for their CPD for at least five days per year. This provision is laid down in the Law on Education
The process of continuing professional development comprises non-formal education and self-education for the purpose of acquiring and developing those competences that are necessary for one’s professional activities.
On 30 May 2012, the Teachers’ Professional Development Concept was approved by the Minister of Education and Science. The Concept recognises the following forms of professional development:
- individual learning (including scientific activities and research and professional publications);
- collegial knowledge sharing (participation in methodological groups and associations of subject teachers, demonstration and reflective supervision of lessons and other educational activities, coaching, mentoring and consultation);
- specialised events (seminars, courses, projects, internships, trainings);
- academic studies (higher degree studies, studies in another study field, study programmes aimed at retraining which do not award a degree, etc.);
- public activities (social activities, cultural activities, artistic expression).
The Concept states that teachers’ professional development should continue the training they received in higher education institutions and last during their entire professional career.
The Ministry of Education and Science plans funds for teachers’ continuing professional development and, in conjunction with other relevant institutions engaged in the process, organises, co-ordinates and undertakes studies on the system of teachers’ continuing professional development and performs analysis of the need for arranging professional development events.
Institutions providing teachers’ professional development include methodological centres at schools, municipal teacher education centres and professional development providers at higher education institutions. Other institutions, such as non-governmental organisations and agencies under the subordination of the Ministry of Education and Science, can also arrange professional development events.
Teachers wishing to attend professional development events can contact people responsible for teachers’ appraisal and continuing professional development in their schools or directly the regional teacher education centres. The municipal education authorities and regional teacher education centres regularly provide information about the plans for continuing professional development programmes, seminars and other events.
Continuing professional development providers charge fees for their services. The greater part of the costs related to professional development activities are covered from the state or municipal budgets and some costs are covered by individual teachers themselves. After launching the general education funding reform, funds for professional development are provided for in the school budget and depend on the number of pupils enrolled (the pupil’s basket).
After the adoption of the Teachers’ Professional Development Concept ,teachers’ professional development will continue to be financed from the state budget (pupil’s basket) and other sources of financing. The Concept specifies that teachers can accumulate funds provided by the State for their continuing professional development for several years. Schools will also have the opportunity to have CPD consultants who will help everyone build up a professional development plan. The new function will not require establishment of a full-time position.
Every eight years, teachers acquire a right to get a sabbatical leave of up to one year for study or internship, without losing their monthly salary.
Incentives, supporting measures and funding for participation in continuing professional development (CPD) activities
Participation in continuing professional development activities is very important for teachers as five days of in-service training per year is a necessary pre-condition for a teacher to be appraised and acquire a higher or retain the same qualification category. A higher qualification category leads to a higher salary.
Other incentives for participation in CPD activities include the teacher’s right and opportunity to freely choose the field and form of professional development in line with the needs of his/her education institution and the whole country well as an opportunity to pursue his/her career in management after gaining the necessary managerial skills and competence. In addition, continuous professional development may lead to self-actualisation and fulfilment.