The Professional Learning and Capability Enhancement (PLaCE) Framework situates student learning at the centre of Macquarie’s education practice, recognising the need for staff to enhance their own learning for this purpose. 

The framework enables academic and professional staff, including sessional staff, to integrate their teaching development and evidence achievement for recognition. Its purpose is to guide staff: 

  • seeking professional learning and recognition of achievement
  • undertaking scholarly reflection on practice
  • applying for roles or promotion
  • serving on promotion or selection committees
  • participating in performance development reviews
Read the PLaCe Framework document

Why is the PLaCE framework important?

As educators we play a critical role in the success of our students

The PlaCE Framework is a key enabler of the Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework 2020–2024. It has been conceptualised in consultation with colleagues and stakeholders from across the University and endorsed by the Executive Group. Feedback was provided across faculties, departments and offices, and included levels from sessional staff to those in learning and teaching leadership roles. A summary of the feedback received and the integration of the feedback into the framework can be found in the Response to PLaCE Feedback document.

How will staff use the framework?

The framework is intended to be a ‘one stop shop’ for academic and professional staff to integrate development of their teaching practice and evidence of achievement, for the purpose of career progression and professional recognition. The framework will enable staff to self-assess their capabilities, identify areas for development and guide PDR discussions. It will be underpinned by a range of resources and training, which will be established over time. This framework is designed to align with recognition (e.g. promotion, L&T awards), enabling staff to articulate and evidence their achievements. 

‘Personas’ are currently being developed that will give examples of how staff in particular contexts, with specific developmental interests and needs, can use the PLaCE framework.

I hope the framework is a beneficial resource that provides the guidance and information staff need to plan and achieve their personal and professional goals. 

Professor Dominique Parrish, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching)

How is the framework structured?

The framework is structured around five levels of competence and five domains of educational practice and development: 

Levels of competence

  • Foundational
  • Proficient
  • Accomplished
  • Highly Accomplished
  • Expert

Domains of educational practice

  • Learning and teaching scholarship in higher education
  • Student learning and support
  • Curriculum and assessment
  • Reflection and feedback on practice
  • Developing self and others

What resources are being developed to support PLaCE?

Over time, the PLaCE Framework will be linked to resources and activities including: 

  • teaching development programs and communities of practice
  • an online interactive version of the framework
  • a self-assessment tool to identify capability development needs and resources to inform the design of personalised professional learning plans
  • recognition of learning and promoting achievements

An example of a recent initiative is the development of video resources to support staff in the creation of effective online audio and video recordings – there are 2 modules: Develop your Online Presence and Discover your Voice

What are the priorities for implementation of PLaCE? 

We are prioritising the induction of new teaching staff, with a focus on core capabilities in the Foundational level. The following are under development: 

  • an induction module for new L&T staff to complete as part of their HR induction process
  • L&T induction resources
  • an online program following in the footsteps of the currently running Beginning to Teach program. 

We are working with Faculties and Offices to ensure staff at all levels have opportunities for professional development in priority areas such as online teaching and academic integrity, and we are establishing communities of practice and networks to support specific groups such as Unit Convenors and members of the Teaching and Leadership job family. 

Work has already commenced on: 

  • Updating the promotion criteria and Vice Chancellors’ L&T Awards to align with PLaCE 
  • Preparation of a Glossary of L&T terms and acronyms to accompany the framework 
  • Creation of Personas to explain the different scenarios for staff and how it can be used to apply to their circumstances and stage. 

We are passionate about learning in higher education. This includes continuous learning for teaching staff. We want to showcase the excellent work happening across the University and provide evidence-based support to teachers. Our overarching goal is to build strong relationships between teachers and students. The PLaCE Framework facilitates this. 

Associate Professor Agnes Bosanquet – Director, Learning and Teaching Staff Development

Subscribe to the Teche blog for updates about professional learning offerings. 

Meet the Professional Learning & Staff Development team in this article from This Week

Email with questions or requests. 

Posted by L&T Development

The Learning and Teaching Staff Development team works with staff across the University to ensure they are supported to facilitate quality learning for students. This includes offering professional development, contributing to curriculum and assessment design, recognising and rewarding good practice, supporting peer review of teaching, and leading scholarly reflection. Email with questions or requests.

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  1. […] 2020 we introduced the Professional Learning and Capability Enhancement (PLaCE) framework which makes explicit the capabilities for the professional practice of teaching and teaching […]


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