EPD Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first thing a teacher should do before commencing EPD?

The teacher must register online with the Education Authority  for EPD Year 1 and again for EPD Year 2 at http://www.eani.org.uk/schools/beginning-teachers/.   This enables the EA’s Induction and EPD team to communicate with EPD teachers about EPD information seminars and their support needs.

What is the aim of EPD?

EPD is the third stage of the continuous integrated process of teacher education.   Its aim is to embed career-long professional learning as an essential part of the definition and behaviour of being a teacher. EPD sees the focus of reflection shift from thinking about teaching to thinking about learning, and is designed to ensure that teachers continue to receive the support from within the teaching profession which is characteristic of the best practice of professional development.   It should provide a continuing basis of professional learning leading to the annual PRSD process, the next stage in the CLPD pathway.

Who takes part in EPD?

All teachers who have successfully completed the Induction stage of their CLPD are required to take part in EPD. This includes teachers who return immediately to Northern Ireland having completed the equivalent of Induction in Great Britain.

When is a teacher from Great Britain exempt from EPD?

If a teacher has completed the equivalent of Induction in England, Scotland or Wales and has verifiable evidence of having taught for at least two further years, he/she should not normally be required to take part in EPD upon coming to teach in Northern Ireland. However, the school should consider the teacher’s level and breadth of experience in order to determine the level of support it may need to put in place to enable the teacher to integrate fully into the Northern Ireland education system. 

What should an EPD teacher do who is in short-term and part-time employment?

All Beginning Teachers who have successfully completed Induction and who are not in regular employment can register for and engage in EPD. The Education Authority’s Induction and EPD team will be able to provide further specific advice and support to teachers who do not have full-time/long-term employment on how best to engage with the EPD process. 

*EPD teachers should refer to the ‘What if … EPD’ scenarios for further advice if not in full time employment

Can a teacher complete the Northern Ireland EPD process if he/she is: (a) outside the UK jurisdiction; or (b) outside the statutory school setting?

(a) Outside the UK jurisdiction- A teacher who has successfully completed the Northern Ireland Induction programme and who then takes up a teaching position in a school outside the United Kingdom in their second and third years’ of teaching, cannot complete the Northern Ireland EPD process.   The teacher should, however, engage with the school’s staff appraisal process. 

(b) Outside statutory school setting - A teacher who has successfully completed the Induction programme and who then takes up a teaching position in any of the following contexts in their second and third years’ of teaching cannot complete the Northern Ireland EPD process.  

  • Homework Centres 
  • Charities e.g. Barnardos 
  • Home Tutor Roles 
  • Vocational/Training programmes  
  • Voluntary Playgroups 
  • Further Education Colleges 

However, for both outside the UK and outside statutory school settings, it is advised that the teacher:

  • familiarises him/herself with the requirements of the Northern Ireland EPD process on the Education Authority’s Induction and EPD website 
  • keeps their knowledge and understanding of the Northern Ireland Curriculum up-to-date through background reading and research 
  • maintains a portfolio of evidence of reflective practice while teaching outside the UK or outside the statutory school setting within Northern Ireland.  Should he/she later return to Northern Ireland and/or to mainstream teaching, it will be at the discretion of the employing school as to whether or not this evidence will contribute to the completion of his/her EPD portfolio 

Can the two year EPD programme be condensed into one year?

The  two year EPD programme cannot normally be shortened to one year.  It is designed to support teachers to build upon and show evidence in a portfolio of their progressive development as competent practitioners over a 2 year period within their individual school contexts.  Core to this, is the completion of two discrete professional development activities (PDAs), one in EPD Year 1 and one in EPD Year 2.

What support is available to EPD teachers during EPD Year 1 and EPD Year 2?

Support is available to EPD teachers from colleagues within schools, particularly the Teacher Tutor whose role it is to support Beginning Teachers.  Support is also available from the Education Authority’s Induction and EPD team on the requirements of the EPD stage.  This support is supplemented by online information and resources from the Education Authority’s Induction and EPD website.  The EPD Teacher and the school take the lead at the EPD stage.

What will be the workload for the EPD teacher and the school?

Evidence of reflective practice presented by the EPD teacher in their portfolio over the two year EPD programme should relate directly to their professional needs within the context of their classroom and their school.  The 2 PDAs will enable the EPD teacher to focus on specific learning and teaching needs within the classroom and, through engagement in the ‘plan, teach, review and reflect cycle’, identify impact of teaching on pupil learning and achievement.  It is essential that EPD supports the teacher, remains manageable and is not regarded as an ‘add on.’

How is the standard of work completed by teachers in EPD evaluated and quality assured?

The school is responsible for quality assuring the EPD process, including the two Professional Development Activities (PDAs) contained within the EPD Portfolio of Evidence. Observations (a minimum of 2 per PDA) and discussions with the EPD teacher take place throughout the two year process and are linked to the PDAs.  The Principal and Teacher Tutor complete a ‘Quality Assurance’ profile at the end of each PDA as well as a ‘Confirmation of Completion of PDA’ form which provides a continuing basis of professional learning throughout the annual PRSD process.

Who tells whom that EPD has been successfully completed?

The Board of Governors confirms, on the recommendation of the Principal, that the teacher has successfully completed EPD.  The letter of completion is only issued at the end of EPD Year 2 and sent to the GTCNI, 3rd Floor, Albany House, Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7AF.  A copy is given to the EPD teacher for his/her own records, a copy is retained by the school and a further copy is sent to the Induction and EPD team officers in the Education Authority.

How does EPD relate to Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD)?

The EPD Portfolio (Year 1 and Year 2) should act as a bridge to PRSD.  Areas for development highlighted in the EPD quality assurance process may be used to develop personal targets for PRSD on a continuing basis.

Last upated: 06/12/2018