Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads

In 2003, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) developed the Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads. The competency framework was envisioned to provide a common foundation for defining what skills and attributes are needed of school heads in order to effectively carry out their roles, and lead their schools to excellence and success. Since then, the framework had been used as basis for INNOTECH’s program offerings for school heads in the region.


Ten years after, SEAMEO INNOTECH undertook the challenge of reviewing and updating the competency framework to make sure that it remains responsive to the changing contexts and needs of school heads as well as the communities they serve. Accordingly, a consultative and participatory process that spanned nine months (October 2012 and February to September 2013) and covered 9 countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) was undertaken. The process took into account views and responses of agood number and mix of school heads and stakeholders composed of ministry of education officials, teachers, students, parents, and education experts from all over the region. The result is the Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads (2014 Edition) comprised of five competency domains, 16 general competencies, 42 enabling competencies, and 170 indicators.  The five general competencies were ranked by the participants in terms of their importance, frequency of performance, and amount of training school heads would need the most as follows:

(1) Strategic Thinking and Innovation
(2) Managerial Leadership
(3) Instructional Leadership
(4) Personal Excellence
(5) Stakeholder Engagement.


The competency framework is intended to be a basis for the development of SEAMEO INNOTECH’s capacity-building initiatives for Southeast Asian school heads. It doesnot replace, but rather complements, existing regional and national standards.


Ministry of Education officials may find the framework an important and useful benchmark. School heads may find it useful in keeping themselves informed of the competencies that they need in order to successfully perform their role as school heads in Southeast Asia.


In 2015, SEAMEO INNOTECH developed a learning guide which will facilitate the use of the competency framework for the professional growth and development of high-performing school heads in Southeast Asia. Training personnel from the ministries of education may also find it useful in developing capacity- building programs for their school heads. To expand its reach and maximize its usability, the learning guide was translated in other Southeast Asian languages. The guide can be downloaded for free in EnglishBurmeseThai KadaiVietnameseThai, and Khmer.

Related Resources
Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads (2003)
Competency Framework for Southeast Asian School Heads (2014)
Learning Guide (English)

Share us on social media!

By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more about our Privacy Policy here.