Teachers Competency Assessment (TCA)

Web-Based Self- and Peer-Assessment of Teachers’ Competencies
Using Competency-Based Evaluation to Drive Teacher Excellence

Research shows that there is a substantial amount of common content across the different approaches. Almost all of the systems we reviewed have substantial content related to the following teaching competencies: instructional planning, classroom management, interactions with others (staff, parents), and professionalism.

There is general consensus in the research that teaching competencies can be grouped into three main categories:

  • Content Expertise
  • Instructional Design
  • Instructional Delivery

Research indicates that excellent teaching consists of a number of competencies related to content expertise, instructional design, and instructional delivery, as well as interpersonal traits such as helpfulness, friendliness, and open mindedness.

Our Teachers Competency Assessment (TCA) model, is about much more than creating a rating – it is about giving teachers opportunities to improve through specific and ongoing feedback.

Structure of the Teachers Competency Assessment (TCA)

Descriptors: Performance descriptors are observable and measurable statements of teacher actions and behaviors aligned to each element and serve as the basis for identifying the level of teaching or administrative performance in one of four categories: Low level, Fair level, Satisfactory level and High level.

Teacher Competency Domains

The TCA competency model specifies key performance domains, and within each domain are the specific behaviour indicators. The competency model is organised around the following eight domains covering all aspects of a teacher’s job performance:

  1. Understanding the Curriculum
  2. Planning and Assessment of Instruction
  3. Management of Classroom
  4. Instruction
  5. Standards for Student Achievement
  6. Appreciation of Diversity
  7. Professional Responsibilities
  8. Student Outcomes

These competencies are the basis for making actual assessments of teacher performance. The assessments will yield information of suggested areas for improvement.

Behavior Indicators

Each of the above domains has a number of indicators. Indicators are observable and measurable statements that provide evidence of the application of knowledge and skills in practice. These may be visible during individual lessons or over the course of the year. In turn, the information can be used as an input to an individual professional development plan (IPDP).


The elements are more specific descriptions of actions and behaviors related to each Indicator. The elements further break down the Indicators into more specific aspects of educator practice and provide an opportunity for evaluators to offer detailed feedback that serves as a roadmap for improvement.

Levels of Performance

The TCA model identifies what each indicator looks like in practice at four levels of Performance Standard Index (PSI) with each performance level populated with a percentage range  as shown below.

Competency Level Labels for the Index Description
87.51 – 100 Expert Teacher has almost all the competencies for effective teaching at high level. These are the identified strengths. Strengths have to be sustained and enhanced; however professional development needs  have to be continuously address.
62.51 – 87.50 Effective Teacher has majority of the competencies at high level for effective teaching. Strengths have to be enhanced. Training and professional development needs have to be addressed.
37.51 – 62.50 Developing Teacher has average of all the  competencies at high level for effective teaching. These strengths have to be enhanced; however, training needs have to be addressed as  priority.
25.00 – 37.50 Beginning Teacher has very few of the competencies at high level for effective teaching. Training needs have to be given priority and addressed urgently.

Teachers and other staff at the school should clearly understand the meaning of these ratings. And they should discuss, with their peers, supervisors and principals, if there is a need to clarify what is expected of them at the school.

Uses of Teacher Competencies

The teacher competencies may be used in several ways.

  • Self-assessment: Teachers may assess their own knowledge and skills by using the self-assessment tool that has been developed for the teacher competencies.
  • Job descriptions: To assist with staff recruitment and hiring, administrators will find the competencies useful in developing job descriptions for a range of program positions.
  • Appraisals of performance: Administrators may use the competencies as a tool in conducting performance appraisals. An administrator and an instructor can view the competencies as a tool for identifying instructor strengths as well as areas for improvement, and then design a professional development plan appropriate for the individual.
  • Peer supervisors and mentors: The competencies can guide supervisors and mentors as they employ these emerging and increasingly popular forms of professional development.
  • Professional development plans: Administrators and instructors can collaboratively identify elements of the competencies relevant to their program to design both a program-wide professional development plan as well as individual professional development plans.

The teacher competency Assessment will be useful to many different groups within an educational system, including:

  • individual educators (teachers and principals) planning their own professional development;
  • planners of professional development;
  • providers of professional development;
  • evaluators of existing professional development programs and systems.
Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)

Teachers must document the IPDP and share them with their administrator. By completing the IPDP at the start of the year, teachers and administrators. The IPDP or will serve as a reference document for, discussions and professional development throughout the year.

To learn more about Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) click the following button:

To take the Teacher Competency Assessment. (for registered Expert Teachers only) Click the following button