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Getting Started – Certification

Teacher certification ensures all teachers entering or currently teaching in New Zealand’s general education system meet our high standards.

Entering the profession - becoming a registered teacher

To enter the teaching profession in New Zealand, you’ll need to apply for Kaiako Whai Rēhitanga | Teacher Registration. Registration doesn’t expire, even if your practising certificate expires and isn’t renewed. Registered teachers must apply for and hold a valid practising certificate to be employed in a teaching position in New Zealand. Make an application for registration and your first practising certificate at the same time.

Working as a teacher – getting or renewing your practising certificate

Renew your practising certificate, by satisfactorily completing recent teaching in New Zealand. If you’re returning to teaching after five or more years away, you’ll be required to engage on your return to refresh your knowledge.

Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act, teachers from Australia may be eligible to hold the equivalent practising certificate they hold in Australia.

There are three main practising certificates depending on where you are in your teaching career:

Your practising certificate type will be next to your name on the Teaching Council Register of New Zealand Registered Teachers.

How to apply for registration and/or certification if I am a new teacher?

If you’re applying for registration and/or certification you’ll need to complete the digital form below:

  • TC10 Application form to register as a teacher and for a practising certificate for 
     - A New Zealand teaching graduate applying to teach for the first time.
     - A previously New Zealand registered teacher whose registration expired prior to July 2015.
  • TC15 Application form to register as a teacher and for a practising certificate for 
     - An overseas trained teacher without any form of New Zealand teacher registration.
     - A teacher applying for a New Zealand practising certificate under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA). This can include when you have previously registered in New Zealand.
  • Proof of Identity Overseas (POI-OS) Form – for those currently residing overseas.

How do I apply for renewal of my practising certificate if I am a registered teacher?

Please log in through Hapori Matatū to renew your certificate online. Hapori Matatū allows teachers to access all online services and renew your certificate. You will need your Education Sector Logon (ESL) to log in to Hapori Matatū.

You’ll be asked some questions and to upload certified copies of relevant documents. The Registration team will assess your application to grant you registration and/or the appropriate practising certificate.

For more information on Hapori Matatū, including how to apply for an ESL account, please refer to our FAQs.

Proof of Identity Requirements

Check out the proof of identity documents needed for new graduates, overseas trained teachers and for those who haven’t previously provided this information.