The ACU Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework is a tool to guide you in your pursuit of excellence in learning and teaching.

The Framework can support you with:

  • A structure for career planning
  • Preparation for performance review
  • Preparation for applying for promotion
  • Meeting probation
  • Applying for awards and grants
  • Collecting evidence of quality teaching for a portfolio
  • Developing a reflective teaching practice
Go to the ACU Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework


Collecting evidence for a portfolio

Learning and teaching quality should be evidence-based. In building a teaching portfolio, academic staff should describe their work in relation to each of the seven teaching criteria and provide evidence in support of their claims.

The term ‘teaching’ is used to encompass the full range of teaching contexts, that is, undergraduate, postgraduate, clinical, laboratory, workshop, studio, field and work-based teaching.

The descriptions and indicative evidence outlined in the framework are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. It must be emphasised that it is not expected that each and every item listed under each criteria must appear in the portfolio.

Furthermore, other examples that are not listed can be used to demonstrate performance and achievement. The suggested indicators of evidence provided are not exhaustive. Actual evidence used will depend on a number of factors including the staff member’s pathway.

For further information about ePortfolios see:

Building a case for promotion

In building a case for promotion, it is not necessary for an academic to be strong in every one of the seven criteria. Instead, the applicant should highlight the criteria and contributions in which they have particular strengths.

Making it work for you

The ACU Teaching criteria and standards framework (ACUTCSF) assists academic staff in understanding what teaching excellence is and how to achieve such excellence by gaining overall experiences in various aspects in learning and teaching.

By looking at the examples within ACUTCSF and linking such examples in your everyday teaching, an academic can explore, develop, map and characterise their individual journey in learning and teaching whilst at ACU and beyond ACU.

Whilst at ACU, the ACUTCSF can support individuals with a structure and collecting evidence for teaching portfolio, career planning, performance review process, meeting probation requirements, promotions process, applying for awards and grants and developing a reflective teaching practice. Every academic’s professional and personal journey is unique.

Personally I have used the ACUTCSF to map my professional development and teaching portfolio for application for grants, teaching awards, performance review process, meeting probation requirements, promotion and to develop a personal reflective teaching practice.

Dr Isabelle Lys - Lecturer in Bioscience

Resources to support each criterion

The details of the criteria can be found here ACU Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework. What follows are resources and professional development that will support you in using the criteria. There are a range of professional development opportunities offered by the University to support the achievement of learning and teaching; and leadership excellence.

Design and planning of learning activities: Planning, development and preparation of learning activities, learning resources and materials for a unit, course or degree program; including coordination, involvement or leadership in curriculum design and development.

Professional development


Policies and guidelines

Teaching and supporting student learning: Quality teaching, including; lecturing, classroom, on-line, field, work-based, studio, laboratory, workshop, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Professional development

External courses


  • LEO guides - essential support guides to help you navigate the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) tools provided at ACU.

Assessment and giving feedback to students on their learning: Design and execution of assessment tasks that are aligned with student learning outcomes and the provision of appropriate and timely feedback.

Professional development


Policies and guidelines

Developing effective environments, student support and guidance: Activities related to the creation of an engaging learning environment for students, including supporting transition; the development of learning communities; and strategies that account for and encourage student equity and diversity.

Professional development


Policies and guidelines

Integration of scholarship, research and professional activities with teaching and in support of learning: Learning and teaching research incorporated into teaching practice. Inclusion of discipline-based research in the curriculum and engagement of students in pedagogically sound discipline-based research. Incorporation of professional, industry and work-based practice and experiences into teaching practice and the curriculum.

Professional development

  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE)
  • HERDSA SOTL modules - HERDSA released a series of modules to introduce the nature, purpose and process of scholarship of teaching and learning. The modules act as a capacity building resource to develop and refine SoTL knowledge and skills. ACU is able to provide access to these modules for independent professional development.
  • Learning and teaching conference
  • Workshops can be provided by LTC on themes such as: 'Publishing from your teaching', 'Writing for publication' and 'Preparing for an ACU teaching development grant'. Contact LTC for more information.


Professional and personal effectiveness

Professional development


  • The ACU training and development page shows up and coming professional development opportunities.
  • The University offers a number of professional development opportunities to support managers and supervisors, emerging leaders and senior leaders to build on their skills and enhance their career opportunities. See the Development for leaders and managers page for more information.
  • The Capability development framework (CDF) articulates the essential competencies that staff require to achieve the University’s strategic objectives and support our Mission. The CDF describes the skills, knowledge and attributes that will support staff members to strengthen capability in their current role and understand expectations of potential future roles.
  • The Academic performance matrix and evidence framework (APME) describes performance expectations that will normally apply across the broad range of performance standards over time by Academic level for each Academic Career Pathway. The APME Framework supports ACU people management processes including probation, promotion and performance review and planning. The Teaching Curriculum Development and Scholarship of Teaching section of the matrix is aligned with the Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can provide support for conversations about career and professional development with supervisors.

Policies and guidelines

Do I need to meet all the criteria?

No. You only need to draw upon the criteria that are appropriate in any given circumstances. For example, if you are telling a story about your excellence in teaching for a PRP process, there will be some criteria that will be useful and valid; and depending on your pathway, others that will not.

Do I need to meet all the standards?

No. Many of the standards are indicative and some may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may also have other standards not mentioned in the Framework that are more appropriate for you. The Framework provides ideas and words that you can tap into, but it is up to you to tell your own story using the Framework as a guide.

Do I need to provide all the indicative evidence?

No. The indicative evidence are suggestions for possible ways for you to demonstrate your excellent teaching. Not all of the evidence listed will be relevant to you and there are many other ways to show that you are achieving quality teaching. The Framework is not a box-ticking exercise, but it can guide you to telling your own story.

Can I use evidence that is not listed?

Most definitely, yes. That is what we are really seeking. There are examples of excellent teaching that cannot be predicted and put into a framework. Use whatever real-world examples you feel appropriate to demonstrate your quality teaching.

Will the promotions committee be using it?

Yes. The promotions committee is using the Framework; plus, it is also being utilised in policies; by other committees; and in other Frameworks around ACU. This makes it incredibly useful and important for academics to align their own narratives with those that are being used in the university.

Will it help me with my promotion application?

Yes. It will help with a promotion application; with your PRP; with your application for a grant; or with your application for an award. There are many ways it will help you, but it must be emphasised it cannot be used as the sole reference point for any of these things. It is to provide us with a common language and a common set of understanding in general terms of what is considered to be excellence in teaching. We want people to be able to tailor the Framework to develop their own narratives.

What is the history of the development of the Framework?

At ACU many staff are on a teaching only pathway or a combination with teaching pathway, so the Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework was developed as a practical guide to assist academic staff clarify what constitutes quality teaching.

The Framework is evidence-based and builds on a framework originally created by the Universities of Western Australia, Murdoch, Curtin, Edith Cowan and Notre Dame through funding from the Office of Learning and Teaching.

Why did you take higher degrees research (HDR) out of the Framework?

HDR supervision is a very important type of teaching. At ACU however, HDR is considered to be part of the research agenda, so was not considered by those consulted during the development of the Framework. This may change over time but right now, HDR is not part of the Framework.

Page last updated on 25/08/2020

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