January 4

AUSTAT Training Governance Review




A number of prototype procedural documents have been developed to support the Constitutional change motion being put to the 2023 AGM in November. They currently carry the copyright of the author. If the Constitutional Changes are voted in at the 2023 AGM, the authors will transfer copyright to AUSTAT.

Those prototype procedural documents are called:

            The AUSTAT Training Standard

            The AUSTAT Assessor Course

            AUSTAT Teacher Trainee Logbook

AUSTAT full Teacher Members are welcome to inspect these and ask questions about them, but you will not be asked to vote for them in November, as they are procedural documents. They are not part of the Constitution.  Read through the material and think about the change that is being suggested. The panel will be answering  your written pre-submitted questions about this change. 

To see the Constitutional Change Motion click here.

Third Consultation Session with Members

20th August 2023

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Anonymous

Over the last seven months AUSTAT Council has been speaking with our members about changes to the way in which AUSTAT oversees teacher training. Through our conversations, questions and feedback, a new approach to AUSTAT’s involvement with training Alexander Technique teachers has evolved.

Ideas have been drafted, rewritten, worked on by groups, argued and nuanced. AUSTAT has created a Training Standard that breaks new ground in the way in which AUSTAT training is benchmarked.

The Standard provides an agreement on what is expected from the teacher training process. Each Head of Training will bring their own style and personalisation to that Standard (as they do now to their training courses), but the community will also have the formal assurance that new AUSTAT-trained graduates have completed training in twelve agreed-upon areas, that you would reasonably expect Alexander teachers to know.

To facilitate this positive change, the AUSTAT Constitution will also need to change.

AUSTAT Council, The TCSC, Heads of Training, and AUSTAT members have developed a draft motion that amends the AUSTAT Constitution. The motion will be put to the 2023 AGM for you to vote.

Because it is a significant change, we want you to have time to look at the amended Constitution, develop questions and take part in the change process. We are asking for your support.

You will get to see a copy of this draft motion before the end of July. The third consultation session was held on 20th August via zoom where members presented questions and constructive feedback (recording below). We will incorporate feedback into the design of the motion and you will get to vote for that completed motion at the AGM in November.

AUSTAT Training Governance Review
2nd Consultation Forum about suggested changes to the AUSTAT Constitution

4th June 2023 - for AUSTAT Teacher Members. 

After Consultation with our Membership via email and through a Zoom forum in February 2023, the Training Governance Review Project (TGRP) moved into Phase 2. A further consultation will provide constructive feedback from our Members.

A performance based Standard

Consultation has already told us that AUSTAT could move towards a more collaborative and supportive role in the training of Alexander Technique teachers. Development of Training Standards, designed to be “performance based” rather than “prescriptive”, allows teacher trainers to maintain their individual approach to training while still meeting the expectation of a professional training course. Referencing and assessing against those standards provides AUSTAT with a quality model that reflects consistent and reliable training outcomes. It also provides substance to the AUSTAT Approval process.

As a part of phase 2, we have looked at everything to do with training governance in the current constitution. We have re-written those sections to reflect the new ‘assessment model’ of training governance that we put to membership in February.

Consider our suggested changes

The “Suggested changes to the AUSTAT Constitution 2023.” document is a large document which reflects many changes to the Constitution. It has been looked at by members of the Training Governance Review Project, the Training Standing Committee, AUSTAT Council and Jeremy Blackshaw, senior partner at Minter Ellison. That document is linked below for you to  consider and comment on.

After a process of feedback and consultation, we hope to put this document to the 2023 AGM as a motion to be voted on. It is such a significant change that we would like to offer you the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback.

Questions about the suggested constitutional change were submitted by Wednesday 31st May.

Consultation Session 4th June

AUSTAT hosted a zoom session for full Teacher Members at 4pm on Sunday June 4th with TGRP members:

  • Dr. Terry Fitzgerald (PhD in Adult Education; AUSTAT’s first Chairperson)
  • Jenny Thirtle (Assistant Head of Training SOFMAS)
  • Tony Smith (Past Chair AUSTAT; past-lecturer at VCA)
  • Michael Shellshear (current Chair AUSTAT; lecturer in Vocational Education & Training). 

The document called "Suggested changes to the AUSTAT Constitution 2023" was discussed and answers provided to Teacher Members' questions.  See recording link below


  1. The Training Governance Review Project is suggesting that AUSTAT develop governance that is performance-based rather than prescriptive.  That requires changes to the Constitution.
  2. Under a performance-based governance a person evidences their readiness to be an AUSTAT member against pre-determined criteria. This provides a fair and objective measurement of a person’s performance.
  3. AUSTAT no longer polices training schools or interferes in any way. Nevertheless, the AUSTAT Training Standard ensures that any and all AUSTAT Approved trainings are of a consistent and reliable quality.
  4. The Training Governance Review Project has developed AUSTAT Training Standards, that provide a rigorous reference benchmark, to support and enable the suggested Constitutional Changes. These don’t require your vote but they are important. What are your feedback on these?
  5. The Training Governance Review project has developed some suggested changes to the AUSTAT Constitution. What are your thoughts? These will need your vote in November. Are you in favour? Questions?
  6. There are many reasons to change the way we have governed training in order to strengthen AUSTAT into the future. Please help us undertake a positive step to change on June 4th at 4pm

On behalf of the Training Governance Review Project

Michael Shellshear



AUSTAT Training Governance Review Consultation Forum

5th February 2023

Oversight of training schools requires volunteer’s time & energy and AUSTAT resources. It is often seen as an invasive process by training schools, carried out by teachers with less experience and seniority than a Head of Training. The current process does not allow for remedial actions to be enforced, cannot be easily policed and is often inconsistent, unreliable and contentious.

Any change to our operations requires deep consideration and slow steps to ensure constructive outcomes. The project has been in process for two years so far. Invested stakeholders have been consulted in the first instance. Changes to the model have been made from their feedback. All Heads of Training unanimously agreed that the current training course governance is not the ideal model.

You are invited to provide respectful feedback within a positive frame about this project. Your ideas, suggestions and comments will be taken into consideration before the project moves into its phase 2 stage from design to implementation.

You are welcome to ask questions, provide positive suggestions, and offer comments.  As with all public forums your comments will be moderated.

Members are welcome to read the Step 1 Assessment Model document for a more detailed explanation of the model.   That document has more of the technical details of the assessment design that will provide for fair, equitable and transparent adjudication as well as accurate measurement of quality.
CLICK HERE to download

(Posted 4/1/23)

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