A strengths-based assessment that ensures every aspiring or past principal is supported and ready for appointment to a principal role.

The Victorian Aspiring Principal Assessment (VAPA) is part of a system-wide approach to identify and prepare Victoria’s future principals.

It is designed to assess the readiness of future principals – both aspiring and returning – for a principal role and to identify the professional development they need to be fully prepared.

Candidates who are not current principals require a VAPA statement of readiness before they can be appointed to a principal role.

The assessment requires candidates to present a valid, sufficient, current and authentic evidence base for professional recognition of their performance.

Find out more about the assessor role

Candidates that meet the requirements will receive a statement of readiness. 

The VAPA is designed to be accessible and equitable and was developed in partnership with the University of Melbourne and Genos International.

Candidates are provided with expert guidance throughout the assessment and receive targeted professional feedback by trained assessors. These assessors are selected for their expertise and experience working in Victoria’s school system. 

For more information about principal appointment requirements, see the Victorian Department of Education Policy and Advisory Library

How the assessment works for aspiring principals

The VAPA uses 2 assessment frameworks to determine readiness:

Evidence of a candidate’s leadership capabilities are demonstrated through 360-degree feedback, a portfolio and an interview.

At the end of the assessment, candidates receive a report for the professional practice areas and emotionally intelligent leadership competencies. The VAPA assessors use the report to debrief and support candidates to identify their strengths and any areas for future development.

Download the VAPA Infographic (PDF 238KB) for a detailed explanation of the VAPA process for aspiring principals.

How the assessment works for past principals

The VAPA has been streamlined for past principals and recognises their experience and expertise when considering suitability for the principal role.

Past principals are required to:

  • provide a career map outlining their previous organisations and roles, including evidence of having held a substantive principal position
  • be assessed using the emotionally intelligent leadership competency assessment framework.

At the end of the VAPA assessment process, candidates receive a report that is used as part of debrief with a VAPA assessor, and to identify their strengths and any areas for future development. 

Download the VAPA Infographic (PDF 640KB) for a detailed explanation of the VAPA process for past principals.

Next steps

To find out more, register for a VAPA Information Session.

To register for the VAPA, Victorian Aspiring Principal Assessment

Last updated 23 August 2023