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

Overseas teachers

Information for teachers outside of New Zealand who want to teach in New Zealand, including English language requirements, registration and police checks.

To be employed as a teacher in New Zealand, you need to be registered and hold a current practising certificate. You must also have the legal right to live and work in New Zealand - contact Immigration New Zealand for information on this.

How to become registered and certificated:

1. Check if your overseas qualifications are exempt from assessment by NZQA.

2. If they aren’t exempt from assessment, you’ll need to apply for an International Qualifications Assessment.

3. Gather supporting information for your application listed below: 

  • Copies of your qualifications, transcripts and NZQA assessment (if applicable)
  • evidence of your English language competency
  • overseas police certificates 
  • testimonial letters (from previous employers regarding your teaching)
  • assessment of your teaching practice (including observation or annual appraisal)
  • any evidence of induction and mentoring you have completed since completing your teaching qualification (e.g. NQT/probation year)
  • statements/certificate of professional standing (this includes evidence of Qualified Teacher Status being awarded in the United Kingdom)
  • a copy of your curriculum vitae

We require certified copies of documents. We are not resourced to return originals.

4. Submit all supporting information with your application. 

Please note, prospective or current teachers with undergraduate qualifications obtained overseas may, at some point, need to complete an International Qualifications Assessment (IQA) for other purposes, such as for salary assessment. Find out more here


What does teaching look like in Aotearoa New Zealand? from CORE Ministry Video on Vimeo.

Satisfactorily trained to teach requirements for registration

If you hold qualifications that are exempt from assessment (ie on the NZQA pre-approved list), the Council considers this as evidence that you’re satisfactorily trained to teach. If your International Qualifications Assessment report shows that your qualifications are assessed by NZQA to contain the core knowledge components of an approved New Zealand ITE qualification, then it is likely that you will meet the requirement, but the Council will still need to review your qualifications.

Discretionary Pathway

The Discretionary Pathway considers qualifications, teaching experience, appraisal material and professional development as a package to determine whether you meet the registration requirement of being ‘satisfactorily trained to teach'. To be considered satisfactorily trained to teach you need to have a tertiary level qualification that includes sufficient elements of teacher education and pedagogical study usually equivalent to a level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Find out more here. Please note, employment-based pathways (such as the Graduate Teacher Programme from the United Kingdom) don’t result in the award of a qualification. NZQA is unable to assess the study of these employment-based programmes, as this is a status and not an academic award.

If a person does not meet the satisfactorily trained to teach requirements, they can complete an approved initial teacher education programme. The TeachNZ website includes information about Teaching Council approved teaching programmes.  Read more here.

Police vet/clearance

If you have lived for 12 months or more in any country other than New Zealand within the last 10 years, you’ll need a national police clearance (police vet) certificate from that country covering the entire time you lived there. Find out how to apply for a police clearance.

Recent teaching experience and Teacher Education Refresh Programme requirements

If you have not completed recent teaching or the Council are not assured that your skills and knowledge are up to date then you will be required to undertake a refresh programme. See Teacher Education Refresh.  

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement

If you are registered and hold Provisional or Full registration in one of the following registration bodies, you may eligible for a practising certificate under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA) 1997:

  • Queensland College of Teachers
  • Teachers Registration Board of South Australia
  • Victoria Institute of Teaching
  • Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania
  • Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia
  • Teachers Registration Board of the Northern Territory
  • ACT Teacher Quality Institute.
  • NSW Education Standards Authority

You will need to apply using a TC15 form