Most established professions have developed their own performance standards and it gives it members’ certification to validate that they have met the standards and certification requirements. The advantage of having a professional certification is that it is recognized in the industry. Ingvarson & Kleinhenz (2006) found that it gives individuals the incentive to strive for “standard based professional learning”. Since the certification is not restricted to one employer individuals can easily justify to new employers their level of knowledge and skills attained (Ingvarson, Kleinhenz & Wilkinson, 2007).
In principle certification based pay schemes are similar to knowledge based pay system but the main difference is that the teaching standards and methods of assessment are developed and conducted by external, independent, national, education employing authorities or consultants hired by those authorities (Ingvarson, Kleinhenz & Wilkinson, 2007).
Assessing teacher performance is complex and requires extensive use of resources to ensure that a thorough system is developed and operated which is objective, valid, fair and free from bias. Individual schools do not have the resources to develop such a rigorous system and research has shown that certain performance pay systems failed because the teacher assessments were left primarily on the school (Ingvarson, Kleinhenz & Wilkinson, 2007).
Examples of some professional certification systems for teachers are the “National Board for Professional Teaching Standards” in USA, “Scottish Chartered Teacher Scheme”, Australian “Advanced Skills Teacher Classification” and the “Dutch Principals Academy” (Ingvarson, Kleinhenz & Wilkinson, 2007).
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