Victorian Aspiring Principal Assessment

​The Victorian Aspiring Principal Assessment (the VAPA) is an assessment for aspiring principals that determines whether they are ready to be appointed to a principal role, and what professional development they require. It recognises the strengths, potential and expertise within educators in Victorian schools.

The assessment is part of a system-wide approach to identify and prepare Victoria’s next generation of principals. It aims to identify and prepare every aspiring principal by ensuring they gain deep insight into their leadership capabilities and areas for development.

In 2021, the VAPA will be implemented as a requirement for appointment as a principal through two stages:

  • Stage 1 - For principal roles advertised from 1 August 2021, aspiring principals will be required to have registered to undertake the VAPA before being appointed to a principal role.
  • Stage 2 - For principal roles advertised from 1 January 2022, aspiring principals must have completed the VAPA, and be provided with a statement of readiness before being appointed to a principal role.
Substantive principals will not need to undertake the VAPA. More information is available from the Policy and Advisory Library.

About the assessment

The VAPA evaluates readiness for the principal role against a framework aligned with the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (AITSL, 2014) and identifies professional learning needs for aspiring principals of both primary and secondary schools, including emotionally intelligent leadership competencies. Participants can complete the VAPA in a minimum of five weeks, or up to three months. It is fully subsidised for Victorian government school participants.

The VAPA enables aspiring principals to:

  • evaluate their readiness for the principal role
  • identify their targeted professional development needs
  • create an evidence base for professional recognition of performance.

At each stage of the assessment process, participants are supported with expert guidance and feedback by trained VAPA assessors. VAPA assessors have been selected for their experience and expertise working in Victoria’s school system. The VAPA process is self-paced and available on demand.


The VAPA is offered through the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership and is open to all school leaders and aspiring principals in government and non-government schools.

The VAPA is fully subsidised for each Victorian government school participant. A fee applies for each Catholic and Independent school participant.

Visit the VAPA webpage to apply.

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