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Employer satisfaction survey results

The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) seeks to support principals and early childhood managers with their teacher registration requirements. We are committed to being responsive to their needs and concerns, and to resolving issues as they arise.

In order to continuously improve the way in which VIT delivers its regulatory functions, we utilise feedback on VIT’s processes, communications and actions.

An employer satisfaction survey was sent to over 2,300 principals and 4,000 early childhood managers in May 2022. Results will form the baseline for satisfaction surveys moving forward and will allow VIT to gauge what we are doing well, identify what areas need to be improved and evaluate suggestions for improvement that we may not have considered.

After analysis of the survey results, the following actions will be undertaken to address areas for improvement regarding VIT’s communications and processes.

Website

Feedback regarding the website has been predominately positive since it was redeveloped in July 2022, however some features have been identified as requiring improvement, including the search function and mega dropdown menu.

Useful Resource

The VIT will engage its website developer to refine the search function parameters to ensure only relevant information is generated as well as examine alternative drop-down menu options.

Circulars and newsletters

Feedback regarding VIT’s regular employer communications, such as the circulars and Professional Practice newsletter, was overall positive, with the majority of employers satisfied with the content and frequency. 

However, there were conflicting comments and specific suggestions for improvement including

  • targeted communications – some employers requested less frequent communications that include multiple topics, while a similar number of others requested more frequent communications that focus on one topic
  • more concise / brief communications – some time-poor employers requested ‘need to know’ content only, with the use of dot points and brief summaries so they can quickly scan the content and decide if it’s worth reading.
Useful Resource

The VIT will look at restructuring the circular calendar and combine content to reduce the frequency of communications as well as accommodate bite sized content with links to news articles housed on the VIT website (similar to Professional Practice newsletter) to deliver a succinct communications piece.

Administrative process

Responses regarding VIT’s administrative process and communication indicated some employers are frustrated with the time it takes to receive a response and the accuracy of information being provided.

FYI

Note: during the past 12 months, application assessment times has improved markedly. 

Despite assessing 26% more applications, assessment time has been reduced by over 50%, with an average assessment time now between 1-2 weeks. It is therefore likely that the survey comments are a hangover from previous periods and do not necessarily reflect the current situation.
  
There has also been improved efficiency and quality of engagement across the hotlines. This includes

  • improved call waiting times by more than 15 minutes
  • waiting times reduced to less than 1 minute or less
  • improved call answer rates by 40 per cent, with 98.6% of all calls answered. 

These standards were kept up during the recent annual registration period.

There has also been a reduction in email response time by three weeks (on average emails answered within two business days of receipt). 

Useful Resource

The VIT will develop a suite of email templates and phone scripts to assist the Teacher Engagement and Registration Officers to communicate quickly and clearly with employers (and teachers), ensuring the correct information is provided in all correspondence.

We will continue to resource principal and early childhood hotlines with priority over email, ensure staff training and support levels remain high, and conduct regular QA of email responses and principal / early childhood hotline calls.

Permission to teach (PTT) process (n/a for early childhood managers)

Responses regarding the PTT process indicated principals agree it is easy to understand and complete.

However, some areas in the PTT process have been identified as requiring improvement, including

  • application assessments – some principals disagreed the application was assessed in a timely manner
  • communications / information – some principals disagreed the communications / information provided was timely and easy to follow
  • issues with applications – some principals disagreed the candidate was able to complete their application with minimal issues
FYI

Further to the successes noted in previous section, improvements have been made to the automated email journeys to include more communication with schools. Targeted campaigns regarding the PTT process have also been undertaken in recent months, and VIT has opened discussions with the Department of Education and Training about using its communication channels to explain the PTT process. Broader discussions about PTT registration are also happening with other stakeholders. As these conversations progress, other recommendations will be put forward.

Useful Resource

The VIT will continue to offer PTT seminars for principals and other school staff to better understand the requirements. A stronger PTT policy will be developed, and will be accompanied by a communications campaign that explains key changes.

VIT misconceptions

Responses regarding what VIT does and how VIT is funded to deliver its regulatory functions indicated many employers are mistaken or simply don’t know.

The common misconceptions among employers include

  • funding – majority of employers don’t know whether VIT receives government funding or it is funded solely by teacher registration fees
  • advocacy 
    • majority of principals don’t know whether VIT has a legislative remit to lobby on behalf of the teaching profession 
    • majority of early childhood managers believe VIT does have a legislative remit to lobby on behalf of the teaching profession
  • statutory authority - majority of early childhood managers believe VIT is part of the Department of Education and Training (DET).
Useful Resource

The VIT will develop a communications campaign that clearly explains VIT’s role as a teacher regulator (including legislative requirements for VIT, teachers and employers) as well as a range of infographics / mind maps to illustrate specific regulatory functions and how they are funded.

An Employer Pack will also be developed to increase employer’s knowledge about VIT’s role as a teacher regulator.

Clearing up misconceptions about our role

As an independent, self-funding authority, the VIT regulates the teaching profession in the public interest. Although we report to the Minister for Education, we are not a Victorian Government department or part of the Department of Education and Training.

Some common misconceptions about VIT’s role are clarified in the table below.

Misconception Correct information
The VIT is a government department Although we report to the Minister for Education, VIT is not a Victorian Government department.
The VIT is funded by the government The VIT is funded solely by teacher registration fees and receives no funding from the Victorian Government. 
The VIT is part of the Department of Education and Training (DET) The VIT is not part of DET. The VIT registers and regulates members of the teaching profession and DET employs members of the teaching profession. Employment matters are not within the jurisdiction of VIT.
The VIT advocates on behalf of teachers and the teaching profession The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic) was amended in 2011, to remove VIT’s professional advocacy role, and we no longer have a legislative remit to advocate on behalf of teachers or the teaching profession. 
Registered teachers don’t get anything in return for paying registration fees The VIT’s wide range of statutory functions are completed on a cost recovery basis, with operational costs funded primarily through teacher registration fees. While many of these functions might not apply to every teacher (e.g. investigating misconduct), this important work provides for the safety and wellbeing of children and ensures the public standing of all teachers.

Survey data

  • majority of employers (67%) are satisfied with email, circulars and Professional Practice content although a medium level (27%) of neutral responses indicates there is room for improvement and / or employers are not engaged enough to read the communications
  • majority of employers (67%) are satisfied with website content, although a higher level of unsatisfied responses compared to the other communications (11%) indicates some employers have grievances with it
  • majority of individual responses from both employers 28% were categorised as general positive comments - these employers indicated they had no concerns and were content with our communications
    • negative comments indicated a need for
      • more targeted communications that are more frequent and relevant to employers
      • an improvement in administrative processes (these comments were focused on the difficulty contacting VIT via phone and the amount of time it takes to receive a response via email) 
      • better education on what VIT does (these comments were mainly from principals and stemmed from a lack of understanding of VIT’s role as a teacher regulator). 
  • majority of employers (61%) are satisfied with the support received from VIT regarding general teacher registration issues and understanding and / or managing the provisional to full process
  • majority of employers (48%) are satisfied with the support received from VIT regarding teacher conduct issues - a medium level of neutral responses (40%) indicates many employers have not required our support in this area
  • majority of employers (64%) agree their query was answered in a timely manner, their issue was resolved and they were provided with enough information to understand the situation
    • principals have a higher disagree rate than early childhood managers (24% vs 17%), and early childhood managers have a higher indifference compared to principals – likely to due to principals contacting VIT more often
  • majority of principals (61%) agree the PTT application process was easy to understand and complete
  • majority of principals (53%) agree the PTT application was assessed in a timely manner
  • majority of principals (49%) agree the communications / information provided was timely and easy to follow 
  • majority of principals agree the candidate was able to complete their application with minimal issues - a medium level of disagree responses (35%) indicates there is room for improvement
  • majority of employers (54%) don’t know whether VIT receives government funding or is funded solely by teacher registration fees
  • majority of employers are aware of VIT’s regulatory functions and legislative remits – although some don’t know whether VIT approves pathways into initial teacher education programs in Victoria (this is understandable, given this is a new function that has not widely been communicated)
  • majority of principals (40%) don’t know whether VIT has a legislative remit to lobby on behalf of the teaching profession and majority of early childhood managers (52%) believe VIT does have a legislative remit to lobby on behalf of the teaching profession
  • majority of early childhood managers (46%) believe VIT is part of the Department of Education and Training (DET).
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