Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Quality Professional Learning Standards

The Superintendent's 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.

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.

Approved by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in December 2013, the QPLS identify a clear outcome for professional learning – to continuously develop educators' capacity to teach and lead so that all students learn and thrive – and seven interdependent professional learning standards that focus on:

  • Data
  • Content and Pedagogy
  • Equity
  • Design and Structure
  • Collaboration and Shared Accountability
  • Resources
  • Alignment and Coherence

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.

Quality Professional Learning Standards (QPLS) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Quality professional learning standards 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.

Professional Learning System Review: A Companion Tool for the Quality Professional Learning Standards External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This tool, co-developed by the California Department of Education and the California Comprehensive Center, supports educators to collaboratively engage in careful study and analysis about whether or not they are implementing professional learning that is based upon sound research, strategies, and practices.

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

Questions:   Professional Learning Support Division | QPLS@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-8901
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Recently Posted in Professional Standards
  • CA Education Leadership Grants (added 07-May-2018)
    The grant provided professional learning opportunities for a cohort of teacher leaders and practicing and aspiring school administrators that resulted in a self-assessment tool designed to improve educator leader readiness and program quality.
  • CA Elementary Math and Science Initiative (added 07-May-2018)
    The grants provided in-depth professional learning opportunities in mathematics and science for collaborative teams of elementary educators, teachers and their school-site administrator, to improve instructional practice and leadership.
  • CA Math Readiness Grants (added 07-May-2018)
    The grants provide in-depth professional learning opportunities for secondary educators to support the implementation and evaluation of grade 12 experiences that are designed to prepare pupils for placement into college-level courses in mathematics.
  • Teacher-based Reform Pilot Project (added 03-May-2018)
    The Teacher-based Reform (T-BAR) Pilot Project (2009-18) provided access to teacher selected professional learning that was both flexible in its design, embraced by site administrators, and embedded trusted intermediaries.
  • BTPD Program Descriptions (added 03-May-2018)
    Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program descriptions for the awarded local educational agencies.