Competence Profile School Management (CPSM) – an Inventory for the Self-Assessment of School Leadership


For the development of the instrument, Prof. Huber has been cooperating since 2006 with ELIGO, a consultancy that has specialized in online-based aptitude diagnostics for many years. ELIGO, initially under the direction of Prof. Dr. Heinrich Wottawa (University of Bochum, Chair of Methodology, Diagnostics and Evaluation), oversees projects in the European region with over 100,000 tests per year and is now managed by Dr. Christian Montel and team in the Bergmannkiez in the heart of Berlin.

  • the competence profile school management is divided into requirement areas and requirement dimensions assigned to them, which go back to:
  • theoretical considerations (theory of school management/pedagogical leadership, cf. Huber, 2005; Moos & Huber, 2007).
  • studies on requirement profiles in German-speaking countries (cf. Huber & Schneider, 2007)
  • reviews of empirical studies on school and school leadership effectiveness and the role of school leadership in school development (cf. Huber & Mujs, 2010).

The online implementation builds on the scales provided in the PERLS testing platform (Kirbach & Montel, 2005). The scales were checked for their content suitability for the school context, linguistically adapted if necessary, or supplemented with newly developed test scales.



The implementation of the KPSM Self-Assessment includes two parts. In the first part, important demographic data and data on the school context are collected. This part is variable, i.e. it can be adapted to the different requirements of the runs and thus ensures optimal surveys. Filtering and masking conditions are used to adapt the questionnaire to the context and the correct terms in the corresponding school and education system. After completing this bio-questionnaire, participants are taken directly to the second part of the self-assessment or can log in directly for the second part at any later time. The second part includes the actual scales of the self-assessment and is identical for all participants.


On average, participants need just under three hours to complete the KPSM Self-Assessment. The entire self-assessment can be interrupted at will and the total time required can thus be divided into several smaller time units.

Test areas

In the KPSM, test procedures are used that record abilities (achievement tests) as well as test scales that record a person’s personal motives and inclinations (personality tests).

Note: Survey between February and May 2014. 

FB = questionnaire scales, MG = motive grid scales, LT = achievement tests.

Ongoing development

In version 1.0 of the instrument, 30 requirement dimensions were included. The first implementation phase took place in 2007. In the second edition (version 2.0), the KPSM was shortened to 24 requirement dimensions. These showed good reliability scores, mostly between .70 and .86. Data from nearly 400 individuals from the school context from the piloting in the period from September to November 2007 were included in the normalization. In mid-2010, comprehensive analyses were conducted with the purpose of improving the economy of the instrument while maintaining or improving the quality of the self-assessment. Based on this, the remaining 23 scales were shortened, in some cases considerably, for Version 3.0, making the instrument much more efficient. 

The current KPSM Self-Assessment Version 5.0 was introduced at the beginning of 2014 (as part of the international expansion of the PROFLEC project, see below) and receives further renewals. The twelve questionnaire scales were partially adapted and further shortened. The six scales of the motive grid were revised and shortened as well. Four time-intensive language-based performance scales were removed from the inventory. A reliable language-free performance test was added to the existing simulated planning task. In addition to the existing scales that measure general competencies of pedagogical leadership, an additional nine questionnaire scales on task-related competencies of pedagogical leadership are now collected. In total, the KPSM Self-Assessment Version 5.0 contains 21 questionnaire scales, 6 motivational scales, and 2 performance tests. In the latest version 5.1, a problem-solving ability scale and a diagram analysis are used as performance tests. 

The introduction of KPSM 5.0 took place in the course of PROFLEC (Professional Learning through Feedback and Reflection), a continuing project of KPSM, which includes the extension of the self-assessment to several countries. In addition to Switzerland and Germany, the instrument is now also being used in Australia, Denmark, England, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Spain, the Czech Republic and Cyprus. Within the project, the coaching offer is also being further developed, with the results report also being revised to provide participants with even better support in their reflections. 


Fig.: Example from Evaluation 2.0 of the KPSM Self-Assessment: Assessment of the overall impression. 

Übersicht Evaluationsergebnisse

Note: Summary of the main points of the evaluation 2.0. 


Huber & Hiltmann, 2011


Continuous Optimization 

The instrument is continuously reviewed and further developed. The focus is on continuous optimization with regard to the scientific quality criteria of reliability and validity as well as test economy. Evaluations of construct and criterion validity are currently being planned. Furthermore, evaluations on the perceived benefit and acceptance of such an offer are carried out on an ongoing basis. 

Further Development 

At present, supplementary modules to KPSM are in preparation, for example with regard to a possible comparison of self-image and external image or with regard to knowledge test modules on various topics of school management. The online implementation and the workshops are also being continuously evaluated and further developed. 


In addition to the continuous optimization and further development of the instrument, relevant research questions in the field of pedagogical leadership are pursued. 

The focus of interest is on possible profile differences of participants. In particular, these will be contrasted for individuals with different levels of leadership experience, i.e., differences between aspiring and experienced school leaders will be clarified. Research on the Leadership Motive Pattern in the context of other KPSM scales is also planned. Another research focus is the relationship between personality and career goals and career motives. 

Currently, stress perception is also becoming part of the KPSM investigations. To this end, the predictability of stress resistance is being examined by other KPSM scales in order to determine which personality traits promote helpful handling of stressful situations. Further, research on the relationship of the KPSM scales with work addiction and burnout is planned. 

The PROFLEC project (Professional Learning through Feedback and Reflection), in the context of which KPSM 5.0 was extended to several countries, provides starting points for further research questions. For example, country-specific standardizations are planned for Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Cyprus. Furthermore, the head teacher profiles of the respective countries can be compared with each other. In addition, PROFLEC opens up a broad field for the investigation of cultural aspects. 


As a rule, interested teachers, but also experienced school management staff, have little feedback and comparison possibilities that allow an answer to the question: Where do I stand in comparison to others with regard to set requirements? The Self-Assessment for the Competence Profile School Management is a self-assessment specially adapted to the educational leadership context, which was developed in close cooperation with experts for aptitude diagnostics. The aim is to provide a personal assessment for teachers interested in leadership activities as well as for newly appointed and experienced school management staff in order to deal with the new or already experienced professional requirements and as an impulse for reflection in order to identify possible potentials and areas in which one can and wants to develop personally. 


What do you receive? 

You will receive a comprehensive feedback report on the competence areas with the competence dimensions. The report shows how you rate yourself in terms of these requirements or competencies compared to other educational leaders. For example, it provides feedback on how well you have mastered analytical tasks of the self-assessment or which attitudinal and behavioral tendencies are present in comparison to other pedagogical managers. 


The report includes for you: 

  • Explanations of the procedure with notes on how to read the report as well as how the result values are arrived at and interpreted. 
  • Descriptions of the competence areas or competence dimensions 
  • Definitions and explanations of all requirement dimensions 
  • Graphical representation of the results in an individual competence profile or a summary graphical representation of the results as an individual profile 
  • Graphical representation of each individual result value for each competence dimension 
  • Descriptions of high and low values for each competence dimension and notes on its relevance for pedagogical leadership action, in order to be able to classify one’s own results. 

What are the benefits of self-assessment? 

  • It provides orientation in consciously seeing your own behavior (self-image) from a new perspective. 
  • It offers the opportunity to reflect on one’s own inclinations and abilities in comparison to professional colleagues (peers). 
  • It is a good basis for reflection on one’s own strengths and areas of development. 
  • It is an impulse to discuss with others about pedagogical leadership and leadership actions as well as leadership activities. 
  • The results can be an occasion to obtain targeted further feedback. 
  • The results can provide suggestions for identifying one’s own potential for further development and one’s own need for further training. 

What are the advantages of the self-assessment? 

  • It is developed according to scientific criteria and aptitude diagnostic quality standards. 
  • It is adapted to the educational leadership context. 
  • It can be carried out at any time and from any location. 
  • It has password-protected access and encryption according to SSL security standards. 
  • It allows an implementation without observation by third parties or knowledge of third parties. 
  • It has a high acceptance by the participants. 


How can you participate? 

The KPSM Self-Assessment is only offered in conjunction with a workshop, embedded in the context of continuing education programs offered and conducted in cooperation with external institutions. 

Evaluation Workshop 

The workshop on the Competence Profile School Management is aimed at people who have previously completed the Self-Assessment. The workshop consists of lectures, group work, discussion and question rounds and offers an optimal explanation, supplement and consolidation to the personal feedback report. 

The following topics will be addressed in the workshop: 

  1. competence profile school management

Which central requirements are associated with pedagogical leadership activities, which competencies are necessary, what distinguishes successful leaders? 

  1. information about the Self-Assessment KPSM

How exactly do my result profile and my individual result values come about, how do I read my result report, the profile and my individual result values correctly, how do I get from values to assessments? 

  1. interpretation and possible consequences

What opportunities and what possible difficulties can arise with high or low result values? Which dispositions are beneficial for me in my daily work, which ones offer potential for further development? Which focal points do I see for my further development? 

Duration: 1 day 

Documents & Literature 

Information document


Publikationen KPSM

  • Huber, S. G. (2008). Das Self-Assessment zum „Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement“ (KPSM). Infonium, 1, 7.
  • Huber, S. G. (2009). Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement: Self-Assessment für pädagogische Führungskräfte. Schulverwaltung Spezial, 2, 47.
  • Huber, S.G. (2010). Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement KPSM 2.0. Self-Assessment für pädagogische Führungskräfte. Erziehung & Unterricht Österreichische Pädagogische Zeitrschrift 7/8, 651-658.
  • Huber, S.G. (2010). Orientierung und Reflexion durch Self-Assessment. Schulleitung heute 16, 2-3.
  • Huber, S.G. (2011). Competence Profile School Management (CPSM) – An Inventory For The Self-Assessment Of School Leadership. Social Validity – The Participants’ Perspective. Vortrag im Rahmen der European Educational Research Association (ECER) vom 12.-16. September 2011, Berlin, Deutschland.
  • Huber, S.G. (2013). Das Self-Assessment Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement (KPSM). In S.G. Huber (ed.), Handbuch Führungskräfteentwicklung. Grundlagen und Handreichungen zur Qualifizierung und Personalentwicklung im Schulsystem (pp. 897-907). Köln. Wolters Kluwer Deutschland.
  • Huber, S.G. & Hiltmann, M. (2008). Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement KPSM 2.0 – Self-Assessment für pädagogische Führungskräfte. Vortrag im Rahmen der 71. Tagung der “Arbeitsgruppe für Empirische Pädagogische Forschung” (AEPF), vom 25. bis 27. August 2008,Kiel, Deutschland.
  • Huber, S.G. & Hiltmann, M. (2009). CPSM – an online-based inventory for the self-assessment of educational leaders. Paper at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) vom 28.-30. September 2009 in Vienna, Austria.
  • Huber, S.G. & Hiltmann, M. (2009). Feedbackverfahren als Impuls zur persönlichen und beruflichen Weiterentwicklung. Das Self-Assessment Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement (KPSM). In A. Bartz, J. Fabian, S.G. Huber, C. Kloft, H. Rosenbusch & H. Sassenscheidt (eds.), PraxisWissen SchulLeitung (53.12). München. Wolters Kluwer.
  • Huber, S.G. & Hiltmann, M. (2009). Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement KPSM 2.0, Self-Assessment für pädagogische Führungskräfte. Vortrag im Rahmen des Jahreskongress 2009 der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Bildungsforschung (SGBF) und der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Lehrerinnen-und Lehrerbildung (SGL) vom 29. Juni-1. Juli 2009, Zürich, Schweiz.
  • Huber, S.G. & Hiltmann, M. (2011) Competence Profile School Management (CPSM) – an inventory for the self-assessment of school leadership. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 23(1), 65-88.
  • Huber, S. G., Hiltmann, M. & Lehmann, M. (2008). Evaluation des Kompetenzprofils Schulmanagement (KPSM) 1.0. Projektbericht. Institut für Bildungsmanagement und Bildungsökonomie, Pädagogische Hochschule Zentralschweiz, Zug.
  • Huber, S.G., Kaufmann, E., Schwander, M., Kreienbühl, L., Hader-Popp, S., Skedsmo, G., & Hiltmann, M. (2010). Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement: Self-Assessment für pädagogische Führungskräfte. Infonium, 2, 8.
  • Huber, S.G., Kreienbühl, L., Schwander, M. & Kaufmann, E. (2010). Evaluation des Kompetenzprofils Schulmanagement (KPSM) 2.0. Projektbericht. Institut für Bildungsmanagement und Bildungsökonomie, Pädagogische Hochschule Zentralschweiz, Zug.
  • Huber, S.G., Skedsmo, G., Kaufmann, E. & Schwander, M. (2011). Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement KPSM 3.0-Self-Assessment für pädagogische Führungskräfte. Ergebnisse zur Güte. Paper präsentiert im Rahmen des Jahreskongress 2009 der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Bildungsforschung (SGBF) vom 20.-22. Juni 2011, Basel, Schweiz.

Publikationen Hintergrund


Apart from KPSM, there are no German-language aptitude diagnostic test procedures that have been developed specifically for the context of school management and that allow the assessment of interdisciplinary competencies for educational managers.

The object of this project is the ongoing scientific review and further development of the online-based potential analysis instrument “Kompetenzprofil Schulmanagement” (KPSM). On the one hand, this included the determination of classical main and secondary quality criteria (Huber & Hiltmann, 2011). On the other hand, this project is also concerned with gaining knowledge about the target group of pedagogical managers with the help of the instrument, i.e., its embedding in further scientific work.

Huber & Schneider, 2007

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