Preparation for Principalship Course for Aspiring Principals (PFP)


The Chinese University of Hong Kong has run the "Preparation for Principalship Course for Aspiring Principals (PFP)" since 2002 in order to help aspiring principals (APs) to attain the "Certification for Principalship (CFP)". With effect from the 2004/05 school year, APs have to attain the CFP, in addition to complying with the appointment conditions in force at the time, before they could be considered for appointment to principalship. To attain the CFP, APs must satisfy the following criteria within a two-year CFP process:

  1. successful completion of Needs Analysis for Aspiring Principals; NA
  2. successful completion of Preparation for Principalship Course for Aspiring Principals (PFP Course); and
  3. successful completion of the professional development portfolio.

The Education Bureau has accredited The Chinese University of Hong Kong to deliver the PFP Course in order to help participants to fulfil the second component of the CFP requirement.

Course Contents

The Course will comprise 81 course hours, including 75 lecture hours covering the six core areas of leadership with a number of compulsory assessment tasks and a 3-hour seminar on “Basic Law”, as well as 6 hours on the methodologies of conducting action research. Action research follow-up meetings will also be arranged to help participants to develop an Action Research Project which is to be included in the professional development portfolio. Participants will be given six months to engage in their action research projects in a school setting in order to apply what they have learned from the PFP Course.

The six core areas of leadership for the Course are as follows:

  1. Strategic Direction and Policy Environment
  2. Learning, Teaching and Curriculum
  3. Teacher Professional Growth and Development
  4. Staff and Resources Management
  5. Quality Assurance and Accountability
  6. External Communication and Connection to the Outside World

Target Participants

All serving teachers and educational practitioners with five or more years of teaching experience and a recognized teacher training qualification are eligible to apply for the Course. The Course will be open to school nominations (i.e. nominations from school supervisors/chairpersons of sponsoring bodies) or individual applications. In case of over subscription, the priority for admission will be accorded in descending order as follows:

  1. serving vice-principals/deputy heads in government and aided schools or equivalent;
  2. participants who have successfully completed/enrolled in the Needs Analysis for Aspiring Principals;
  3. serving middle leaders including Senior Graduate Master/Mistress, Education Officer, Primary School Master/Mistress and Assistant Master/Mistress; and
  4. other applicants.

Graduation Requirements

Upon the completion of the PFP Course, participants must fulfil the following graduation requirements for the award of Certificate of Completion:

  • attending at least 90% of the six core areas of leadership lecture hours and Seminar on Basic Law (i.e. 23 sessions out of 25 sessions). Those who miss more than 10% of the lecture hours will automatically fail.
  • submitting one assignment for each of the six core areas of leadership. Such assignments should be professionally interesting and important to school leadership. Before submitting the final product, participants should meet with their instructional associates to ensure that the format and content are acceptable. Participants who fail to meet appropriate quality standards will not receive a passing grade and may be asked to revise their work.
  • completing an action research project in a school setting. Projects which do not reflect class content, or which contain technical errors will not be awarded a passing grade. If this occurs, participants will be required by their respective action research supervisors to revise the project.

The Certificates will be issued along with transcripts stating the grades gained in the assignments and the action research project.

Participants who have successfully completed the requirements in re-taking PFP Course will be issued with Letters of Certification.

Medium of Instruction

Cantonese (English as a supplement).

Application for PFP Course

Applicants are required to fill in the application form before the deadline.

Cycle 41 42
Course Schedule (Tentative) 1 November 2022 – 16 February 2023 2 March 2023 – 8 June 2023
Day Mainly on Tuesdays & Thursdays Mainly on Tuesdays & Thursdays
Time 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Venue Subject to the development of the Covid-19 pandemic, classes will be conducted online or face-to-face at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Application Deadlines 1st round: 31 August 2022
2nd round: 19 September 2022
3rd round: 6 October 2022
31 December 2022
On-line Application Closed Closed
Course Leaflet
Course Leaflet


Tel: (852) 3943 1051; Email:

Student Information
For more course information and useful forms, current students please click here.