Codes of Conduct and Ethics

About the Codes of Conduct and Ethics (the Codes)

Under s2.6.3 of the Education and Training Reform Act (2006) (the Act), the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) must develop, maintain and promote a Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics for the teaching profession.

The Codes apply to everyone currently registered with VIT, whether they are currently working as a teacher or not.

The Codes are public statements developed for and by the teaching profession to

  • reflect shared principles about practice, conduct and ethics to be applied to promote the highest standards of professional practice
  • enable registered teachers to reflect on their ethical decisions
  • establish the quality of behaviour that reflects the expectations of the profession and the community
  • provide a clear statement to the community about these expectations.

The Victorian Teaching Profession's Code of Conduct supports all teachers to understand the expectations of the teaching profession and the community in relation to their professional conduct, personal conduct and professional competence.  

The VIT has an overarching function of providing for child safety and wellbeing, and this underpins the principles set out in the Code of Conduct.

As part of a registered profession and a profession of high public trust and accountability, teachers must be aware of and reflect the expectations and standards expected of them – the Code of Conduct can assist teachers to guide their professional and personal conduct.

show more

The revised Victorian Teaching Profession's Code of Conduct

Forward on behalf of the Minister for Education

"In the Education State, we want every learner to feel safe and supported each and every day of their education journey.

"Teachers play a crucial role in supporting all Victorian learners to achieve the best educational outcomes and providing for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

"Teachers, along with other professionals who command responsibility and trust, such as
psychologists, medical practitioners and lawyers, have Codes of Conduct that guide their professional practice. These codes provide the community with an assurance that members of that profession are governed by standards which promote trust and confidence.

"Teachers are members of a skilled and trusted profession and the Code of Conduct reflects the high standards that the teaching profession holds itself to, and the community rightly expects of it. It provides the foundation for the accountability and integrity of the teaching profession.

"The Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct describes the behaviours that exemplify the values of the Victorian teaching profession and the community’s expectations of teachers.

"It has now been over a decade since the Victorian Teaching Profession’s Code of Conduct was
established. Since that time, much has changed in the education landscape, including the welcome addition of early childhood teachers into the registered teaching profession in 2015. The growth of social media and the impact of the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry and Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has dramatically changed the public expectations of teacher conduct and behaviour. These changes prompted a review of the Code, with the intention of revising it in the context of the transformed landscape.

"During 2019 and 2020, the Victorian Institute of Teaching widely consulted the education community to develop a revised Code of Conduct. The revised Code provides a more contemporary reflection of the expectations on a teacher’s professional conduct, personal conduct and professional competence, and more appropriately reflects the significant role that teachers play in providing for the safety and wellbeing of children and young people, as well as the unique position of trust and influence they have over their learners.

"The revised Code of Conduct reflects contemporary expectations on teachers in maintaining expected professional boundaries with their learners, including in the online space. The Code now encompasses the full range of teaching contexts in Victoria. It also articulates the competencies that teachers must have to support Victorian learners and be responsive to their specific backgrounds and vulnerabilities.

"I invite all registered teachers to take the opportunity to refresh their understanding of how the Code of Conduct guides their behaviour and to engage with their colleagues and leadership about how they can best adhere to its principles. I’d like to thank all registered teachers for their integral part in helping young Victorians look forward to a bright future."

--The Hon James Merlino MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education

show more

Code of Conduct

Download

Code of Ethics

Download

FAQs – The Victorian Teaching Profession's Code of Conduct

▼ Who does the Code apply to?

If you are a registered teacher or provisionally registered teacher, you are able to undertake the duties of a teacher. You are eligible to apply for the Tutor Learning initiative thorough DET. You are not required to contact VIT or apply for a different category of registration.

➤ Who does the code apply to?

▼ What is the Code used for?

The Code is used by teachers to guide their professional and personal conduct and assist them to solve ethical dilemmas.

The VIT may use the Code to assist in determining if a teacher has engaged in misconduct, serious misconduct or whether there is a question regarding a teacher’s fitness to teach. If there has been a considerable departure from the Code, VIT may take regulatory action (such as suspending a teacher’s registration).

The VIT will always consider individual circumstances and the context in which the conduct occurred. Any regulatory measures should always be viewed within the context of what is considered necessary to protect the safety and wellbeing of children and young people.

➤ What is the Code used for?

▼ What professional learning can teachers undertake regarding the Code?

The VIT has developed some guidance material including podcasts, videos and case studies that explore the Code. Engaging with these resources and responding to the reflective questions provided (or by writing your own reflection) can be considered professional learning for the purposes of renewal of registration.

The VIT is also delivering a number of online webinars / seminars about the revised Code in 2021. Teachers and employers can find details on how to book into these sessions here.

➤ What professional learning can teachers undertake regarding the Code?

▼ Why is the Code important to teachers?

The Code is an important tool for all teachers to understand the expectations of the teaching profession and the community in relation to their professional conduct, personal conduct and professional competence.

As part of a registered profession and a profession of high public trust and accountability, teachers must be aware of, and reflect, the expectations and standards required of them; the Code can assist teachers to guide their professional and personal conduct.

➤ Why is the Code important to teachers?

▼ Why doesn’t the Code include reference to the responsibilities of parents / carers / students?

Under the Education and Training Reform Act (2006), VIT only has jurisdiction to regulate registered teachers / early childhood teachers.

➤ Why doesn’t the Code include reference to the responsibilities of parents / carers / students?

▼ Why doesn’t the Code direct employers to provide support / specific working conditions for teachers?

The VIT’s regulatory functions are outlined in the Education and Training Reform Act (2006) and do not include oversight of employment matters.

If teachers have any issues relating to specific employment matters, they should speak to their employer and / or union.

➤ Why doesn’t the Code direct employers to provide support / specific working conditions for teachers?