Victorian Aspirant Principal Assessment

​​​​​​​​Are you interested in becoming a principal?

Bastow, in partnership with the University of Melbourne, has developed the Victorian Aspirant Principal Assessment (VAPA). VAPA supports a system-wide approach to identifying and preparing the next generation of Victoria's principals.

VAPA provides a means for aspiring principals, from all pathways, to evaluate their capability for the role and identify their development needs. It aims to provide an evidential basis for professional recognition of accomplished performance against a framework consisting of 45 Performance Indicators aligned with the Australian Professional Standard for Principals.

The VAPA process is developmental and you will be provided with feedback and support at each stage of the VAPA assessment process.

The VAPA process consists of a mixed-method assessment combining creation of a portfolio of evidence-based practice, 360-degree feedback from colleagues, and an interview. The total time commitment for candidates is estimated at two-to-three days, excluding the creation of the portfolio.

After a successful trial in 2018, Bastow is now seeking expressions of interest from aspiring principals across a variety of school contexts to participate in VAPA for 2019.


There are two key audiences for VAPA: candidates and assessors.


Leading teachers or assistant principals aspiring to apply for a principal role.


VAPA will be quality assured and managed by assessment panels comprised of a Lead Assessor (retired principal) and a Partner Assessor (current principal) to ensure robust assessments are made and moderated for all candidates.​​

Career Stage

You are required to undertake two initial pieces of assessment to demonstrate your readiness for the VAPA:

  1. Self-Assessment
  2. Sample of Practice


​You can begin your Self-Assessment by completing th​is registration form​.  

The Self-Assessment is an online questionnaire to determine your current level of development against the VAPA Leadership Framework.

The Self-Assessment can be completed at any time during your career stage journey, regardless of whether you are considering applying for VAPA now or in the future. The Self-Assessment may take up to an hour and is best done in one sitting.

On submission of your Self-Assessment, you will receive an email including your Self-Assessment results, the VAPA Leadership Framework Scaffolds booklet, and a Victorian Aspirant Principal Professional Development Plan template. The Scaffolds booklet provides possible actions for the next steps in your development, while the Professional Development Plan template can be used to guide the development of goals in your Performance and Development Plan (PDP).

Your Self-Assessment results and resources can be used in a variety of ways, including:

  • to track your own development in key areas of educational leadership
  • as evidence of your capability development for your PDP
  • in discussion with your principal to determine how they can support your development
  • for guidance about undertaking the VAPA.

The Self-Assessment results email will also provide further information about completing your Sample of Practice.

Sample of Practice

Following your Self-Assessment, you will be invited to undertake the next stage of the process which is the submission of a Sample of Practice against selected Performance Indicators from the VAPA Leadership Framework.

Your Sample of Practice will be assessed by experienced retired principals to determine whether you proceed to the VAPA or whether the evidence presented in your Sample of Practice indicates that further learning and development is required before undertaking the full VAPA.

Please visit the 'Sample of Practice' tab for further information.


If you are deemed eligible to undertake the VAPA, you will be required to complete the following tasks.

Task Time commitment
Provide contact details of your current principal (or equivalent supervisor) and agree for them to nominate raters (your principal included) who will assess you against the VAPA Leadership Framework and a social and emotional competency framework.Five minutes
Participate in a briefing session.Up to a full day
Assemble a range of existing materials that you have produced independently and/or as part of a team (e.g. within your workplace) and annotate them to show your unique contributions.Up to four days over two months in your own time
Present your portfolio to an assessment panel and provide additional evidence (if required) to demonstrate your individual leadership expertise.Approximately 60 – 90-minute interview
Participate in a telephone debrief.Approximately 30 minutes

 Indicative key dates can be found on the 'Intake Dates and Apply' tab.