Accreditation via ISBL – unlock and demonstrate your full potential through ISBL Professional Standards

December 14, 2023

When developing any skill, it’s crucial to have a framework to follow, to make sure you are on the right track and to make sure you are always progressing in the right direction.

For school business professionals, ISBL aims to provide just that through our Professional Standards documentation, used by employers and as a reference for accreditation. In this blog post, we introduce these standards, giving a brief overview of their content, and sharing the extent of the national endorsements and expert opinion that back them up.

What are the Professional Standards?

ISBL's Professional Standards framework sets out the six main professional disciplines of school or trust business leadership, alongside six key behaviours.

School business leadership encompasses a broad range of positions and organisational situations, but common to all positions is the importance of operational leadership, which consequently sits at the core of the ISBL Professional Standards framework.

The structure is arranged such that for each profession, and each level of practitioner – from a foundational, task-oriented junior to a high-level strategic leader – differences in role are accounted for while the primary consideration of all practitioners remains common.

As well as outlining key competencies, our framework also includes an ethical component. Practitioners keeping to our professional standards are expected to measure up to an ethical code and should develop behaviours that universally benefit the effectiveness of their role.

Sector backing

While the content of the framework is robust, we understand that its credibility relies on the trust the sector has in our work. The framework is built on an unparalleled wealth of experience and endorsed by the most important organisations within the field of school business leadership.

We believe that the standards for any sector should be set by practitioners within that sector. Our professional standards document is written and annually reviewed by key sector stakeholders and practitioners and includes contributions from a range of national associations. Recognising our place within the larger public sector, the professional standards have been created in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, an organisation with over a century of experience developing professional standards.

Our standards are fully endorsed by ASCL, CST, NAHT, NGA and Unison and recognised by the Department for Education.

Get accredited, build your career

ISBL has launched a self-assessment tool for members to carry out a diagnostic review of their experiences in relation to the Standards. This will allow SBPs to identify strengths and areas for development and create a personal development plan, which will aid senior leaders and line managers in performance management processes and conversations.

Once members have completed their self-assessment and received their report, they can apply for formal accreditation against the identified practitioner level by uploading supporting evidence. This means that members will be accredited at Foundation, Associate, Lead or Strategic Practitioner Level and will receive official certification.

SBPs can use their accreditation to demonstrate their competence and capability within the role as part of performance management processes and to demonstrate to current or potential employers their level of professional expertise and their ongoing commitment to continuing professional development.

If you want to learn more, sign up and download the full professional standards document. Additionally, take a look at the self-assessment and accreditation process by clicking here.