Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Discretionary pathway for overseas teachers

Your NZQA report may state that your qualifications are not comparable to a recognised New Zealand teaching qualification. The discretionary application pathway allows your qualifications, teaching experience, appraisal material and professional development to be taken into consideration.

The Teaching Council will use the information you provide with your application to determine whether or not you are satisfactorily trained to teach. When an application is considered in this way, there can be no prior assurances given about the outcome until a decision is reached.

If your application to register as a teacher and be granted a practising certificate is approved under the discretionary pathway, you are unlikely to be considered a qualified ECE teacher for Ministry of Education funding and licensing purposes. This means that you could not hold the 'person responsible' role as a visiting teacher in home-based setting or as a teacher in a teacher-led centre-based service, or be counted in the qualified staff ratio in teacher-led centre-based services, and you would not count as a certificated teacher for higher rates of funding. Information about ECE funding and licensing requirements is available on the Ministry of Education website.

When to apply

The Council considers discretionary applications at a monthly meeting. Once we have received your application we may request further information. This must be provided by the deadline given to ensure there is enough time for consideration and processing. Please allow additional time for your application to be processed and make sure you provide all the information required to avoid additional delay.

The Council requires some teachers to complete a Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme. If you completed your teaching qualification six or more years ago and have not completed teaching acceptable to the Council since then, it is likely that you will be required to complete a TER programme to be eligible for registration and a practising certificate.

How to apply through the discretionary pathway

You must complete the EC15 application form and provide the documents listed below.

Please provide certified copies of originals and don’t send information in sleeved folders or bound booklets, as this makes your application harder to scan.

1. NZQA assessment report of your qualifications and copies of your qualifications - The Council will look for evidence that you have appropriate tertiary qualifications for teaching in the New Zealand education system, and appropriate qualifications for teaching in the public education system in your previous country.

2. Certified copies of each of the transcripts for each qualification - These should be your official transcripts issued by the institution you completed your studies with. If you also have a Diploma Supplement for a European higher education diploma or a course/ qualification outline, then please also provide a certified copy.

3. Information regarding the practicum component of your teaching qualification - Please provide an explanation of the practicum component of your teaching qualification including the length, age of learners taught and the type of institution where you completed your practicum.

4. Information about professional teacher registration status - If you hold registration/certification or another type of status as a teacher in another country, please provide official documentation detailing your professional status.

5. Teaching service - Please provide evidence of all teaching service. If you have any significant gaps in teaching service, please explain them. Include details of any senior teaching positions that you have held and of the types of institutions where you have taught. Statements of service from employers are preferred.

6. Language proficiency - Evidence that you meet the Teaching Council's current language proficiency requirements.

7. Appraisal, observation and teaching assessment - Evidence of appraisal documentation, lesson observations, performance management documentation/reviews relating to recent teaching experience (usually within the last five years, but older documentation will be considered).

8. Induction/Mentored teaching - Evidence of a supervised programme of induction or mentored teaching completed as a newly qualified or beginning teacher. This should be in the form of a detailed statement from the professional leader of the school outlining the structure and content of your induction programme. It should include details regarding the regularity of your meetings with your mentor teacher, frequency of their observations of your teaching, and identify what professional standards you were expected to meet by the end of the induction programme. Teachers from the UK may provide this in the form of an Induction certificate issued by the GTC in England, Scotland or Wales.

9. Support from professional leaders - Testimonials or references (on official letterhead, signed and dated) that relate to the Graduating Teacher Standards, and Fit to be a Teacher requirements. These testimonials should be written by a Principal or Centre Manager. Testimonials from other senior teachers can be considered. They should be recent -- within the last 10 years.

10. Professional development - Evidence of continuing education or professional development. Please provide a list of workshops, seminars, in-house training, courses and other development activities that you have undertaken since gaining your initial teacher education qualification. Copies of each of your certificates are not required.

11. A current copy of your curriculum vitae - This can be helpful!

The decision making process

The Council considers discretionary applications on the basis of all the material you provide. The following factors are taken into account:

  • Your qualifications, including the content and level at which they have been placed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework by the NZQA.
  • How much teaching experience you have and whether it was recent.
  • Appraisal documentation and comments by your professional leader/s attesting to your ability to meet the standards for certification in New Zealand.
  • Evidence of professional development.

Registered teachers in New Zealand are expected to have tertiary qualifications with enough elements of teacher education, with an equivalence to level 7 on the Qualifications Framework and which meet the Standards for the Teaching Profession, with Support.

It is important that you provide as much relevant information as possible. Each application is considered as an individual case and all material is reviewed thoroughly by a Committee. There can be no prior assurances about the final outcome until the Council has made its decision.

More about teacher certification.