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Quality Professional Learning Standards

The Quality Professional Learning Standards (QPLS) present the elements of a quality professional learning system that, if well implemented, will benefit educators focused on increasing their professional capacity and performance.

The Standards

Quality Professional Learning Standards External link opens in new window or tab.

The Quality Professional Learning Standards (QPLS) identify characteristics of professional learning that are most likely to support educators in building individual and collective capacity to meet professional, school, and student performance expectations.

Seven interdependent standards promote professional learning that is:

  • Rooted in student and educator needs demonstrated through data
  • Focused on content and pedagogy
  • Designed to ensure equitable outcomes
  • Designed and structured to be ongoing, intensive, and embedded in practice
  • Collaborative with an emphasis on shared accountability
  • Supported by adequate resources
  • Coherent and aligned with other standards, policies, and programs

By utilizing the QPLS, educators, policymakers, education officials, and other stakeholders will share a common understanding regarding the features of high quality professional learning and how best to support it. The standards are not meant to be used to evaluate any educator in any aspect of his or her work.


Professional Learning System Review: A Companion Tool for the Quality Professional Learning Standards External link opens in new window or tab.
Co-developed by the CDE and the California Comprehensive Center, this tool supports educators to collaboratively engage in careful study and analysis about whether they are implementing professional learning that is based upon sound research, strategies, and practices.

Professional Learning Stories
See the QPLS in action! PL Stories is a collection of videos and resources showcasing high-quality professional learning systems in California districts and schools.

Quality Professional Learning at a Distance
Guidance and resources to support quality remote professional learning.

Quality Professional Learning Standards Video External link opens in new window or tab.


Recognizing the critical relationship between educator effectiveness and student outcomes, the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) convened the California Educator Excellence Task Force, which published the Greatness by Design: Supporting Outstanding Teaching to Sustain a Golden State (Gbd) (PDF) report.

In partial fulfillment of the recommendations outlined in Chapter 5 of GbD ("Opportunities for Professional Learning"), the CDE convened a group of educators from across the state to guide the development of the QPLS. The QPLS were approved by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in December 2013, and approved by the State Board of Education in May 2015.

Questions:   Professional Learning Support Division | | 916-319-0600
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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