Unlocking Potential: Principal Preparation

  • Audience
    Leading teacher
    Principal class
  • Next Intake
    Not scheduled
  • Location
  • Duration
    12 months
  • Mode
  • Fees
    DET Fully Subsidised


Develop the confidence, skills and professional knowledge to be thoroughly prepared for your first principal appointment.

Through the Education State reform agenda, the Victorian Government has invested $12.1 million over 4 years to develop current and future principals and school leaders. Unlocking Potential (UP): Principal Preparation is the flagship principal preparation program for high potential leaders.

The aim of this rigorous and highly innovative program is to thoroughly prepare you for your first principal appointment. UP provides you with the confidence, skills and professional knowledge necessary to create school cultures that provide high quality educational opportunities for all students.

UP graduates receive a Graduate Certificate of Principal Preparation (Victoria). This formal qualification is given by Monash University and is a mark of excellence in school leadership, with graduates considered as highly capable candidates for principal positions.


Designed for school leaders who plan to apply for a principal position in the next 12–18 months. 

The program runs for 12 months and includes pre-workshop activities, post-workshop support and ongoing formal assessment tasks.

UP is structured around research-based content aligned to principal accountabilities. It is personalised and flexible to suit your needs.

You are expected to engage in and contribute to:

  • 12 workshop days, including a 2-day Open-to-Learning™ Leadership workshop, tailored masterclasses with experts and Victorian principals and a capstone interview
  • a 20–50 day internship in another school working alongside a highly effective school principal (based on individual development needs and negotiated with your school)
  • up to 4 hours of coaching following completion of a 360-degree diagnostic tool to help determine learning needs
  • a small-scale intervention project around a leadership challenge in your school
  • an online learning community through Bastow’s online learning environment, Bastow307, and Monash University’s online learning platform, Moodle
  • access to Monash University facilities and services, including libraries and Student Support

See Unlocking Potential (UP): Principal Preparation – 2020 schedule (PDF - 600KB) for 2020 UP intakes dates.

The program gives you the opportunity to broaden your understanding of the following areas of professional practice, which are aligned to the Australian Professional Standard for Principals:

  • leading teaching and learning
  • developing self and others
  • leading improvement, innovation and change
  • leading the management of the school
  • engaging and working with the community.

These research-based areas of professional practice are developmental and interconnected, with a focus on learning and teaching as central to all educational leadership.

Credits for Bastow professional learning

Charles Sturt University offers subject credits for a range of Bastow professional learning, including Unlocking Potential: Principal Preparation.

Subject credits reduce the time commitment and tuition costs for postgraduate study.

For more information, see Recognition of Bastow professional learning.

This program is subsidised by the Department of Education and Training.

Participants can claim Casual Relief Teacher funding for attendance at workshop and internship days.

See Fees and financial support for more information. 

Acceptance into UP is dependent on a selection process. Applicants will need to respond to the key selection criteria. Those who are shortlisted will be invited to an interview.  It is a requirement that you discuss your participation in the UP program with your principal and seek their endorsement before applying.

Successful applicants also need to meet the selection requirements for the Graduate Certificate of Principal Preparation (Victoria).

Learn more about the application and selection process (PDF 423KB). 

Refer to our frequently asked questions (PDF 385KB) for more information on eligibility and key selection criteria.  

Emma Winter
Course Coordinator
03 8199 2929

Expression of interest