Helping NSW Teachers Realise Their Potential Through Better Career Development


The performance and development plan supports teachers to demonstrate their commitment to developing their teaching practice – ultimately in service of bettering students’ lives.

Collaborating with principals, teachers, and support staff, we designed and launched the first digital PDP platform. The new, streamlined process supports teachers development to assist career growth.

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  • The impact of investing in the development of teachers cannot be overstated. PDPs are a powerful tool to guide teachers towards realising their full potential. We identified the current paper-based system was hard to engage with, creating unnecessary administrative burdens that detracted from the purpose of focusing on development. The fragmented nature of paper meant there was no source of truth, information was easily lost and staff needed to re-enter information manually. Brief: How can we leverage the power of digital to build a tool that solves these problems and enables the best educational outcomes for teachers and children alike.

  • The digital PDP tool is designed to empower teachers to create, manage, and track their professional development plans easily. Serving as the single source of truth across various stages of the PDP cycle, it eliminates the need for disparate documents. Relevant resources are surfaced to provide guidance, while contextual assistance is provided to aid in completing PDP goals and uploading evidence. With a built-in notes feature, teachers can easily access their progress and maintain context throughout the year. This two-way platform enables both teachers and supervisors to better facilitate ongoing career development, ultimately leading to better educational outcomes for all.

  • For teachers: Since launch uptake has increased in teachers creating PDPs. Teachers are not mandated to use the tool, yet there has been over 16,000 PDPs created in NSW, surpassing initial goals set by the department and validating the tool's value. For principals/support staff: It has reduced administrative burden freeing support staff to focus on what matters most - guiding teachers on their career progression. For the Department as a whole: The transition from paper to digital PDPs means that there is now access to powerful data that can be translated to insights that drive more effective policy outcomes across NSW.

  • Our strategy was built around leveraging digital to deliver the best possible human outcomes. Professional Development is about teachers learning, growing and achieving personal goals that help them to be the best version of themselves whilst also focusing on their passion – helping children excel in their learning. Research with teachers, principals and support staff demonstrated that teachers are busy, overworked and stressed but crucially passionate about helping children thrive. The product was designed to fit into their lives and meet them on their terms. “This lets you spend more time on quality conversations, less time tracking down pieces of paper.” – Teacher “It gives you more time to meet the needs of the kids in your classroom.” – Principle “By removing paper-based limitations and restraining the digital capability to as needed only, we are now able to learn from how the tool is used providing equity in the voice of schools where it was once lost in paperwork.” – Department of Education Staff