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.

The PFP Course is also accepted as a management training course required for promotion to the post of deputy heads (i.e., Principal Graduate Master/Mistress in secondary schools/Senior Primary School Master/Mistress in primary schools).

Course Contents

The Course will last for 78 contact hours, including six core areas of leadership and a 3-hour seminar on “Basic Law”. In addition, participants must attend an action research training session on how to develop an action plan and three action research follow-up meetings. Participants must also engage in an action research project in a school setting in order to apply what they have learned from the Course. Participants will be given a maximum of six months to finish the Action Research Project after attending all sessions of the six core areas of leadership.

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 Certificates of Completion:

  • attending at least 80% of the Course. Those who miss more than 20% (i.e. five sessions) of the Course 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.

Course Schedule (Tentative)6 November 2018 – 12 March 20197 March 2019 – 25 June 2019
DayTuesdays, Wednesdays & ThursdaysTuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays
Time6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
VenueThe Chinese University of Hong KongThe Chinese University of Hong Kong
Application Period10 August 2018 – 21 September 201819 November – 31 December 2018
Application DeadlineNew Deadline: 3 October 201831 December 2018
On-line ApplicationClick hereClick here
Course Leaflet
Course Leaflet


Tel: (852) 3943 1051; Email:

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