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Frequently Asked Questions

Being Employed as a Teacher in New Zealand

  • What do I need to be employed as a teacher?

    You need to be a registered teacher who holds a current practising certificate. The practising certificate enables you to be lawfully employed in a teaching position. A current practising certificate is required for actual employment in teaching positions in free kindergartens, primary and secondary schools (state, integrated and independent schools) and kura. It is also required for most teaching positions in early childhood centres.

  • What is a Limited Authority to Teach?

    In some cases you can hold a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT). If you hold a LAT you cannot be appointed to a permanent teaching position. LATs can only be used for employment in a fixed term role.

    Unqualified teachers may apply for a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) to be employed in a fixed term teaching position, if we consider you have either:

    • skills and experience appropriate to advance the learning of students; or
    • skills in an area where there is a shortage of certificated teachers.

    It is illegal for a LAT holder to be permanently appointed to a teaching position. More about LATs

  • Who can be employed as a teacher?

    We are responsible for granting registration and practising certificates to teachers who meet our requirements. You cannot be employed as a teacher if you don’t hold a current practising certificate, even if you are registered.

    If you are working as a teacher in a free kindergarten, primary or secondary school (state, integrated and independent schools), or kura you must hold a current practising certificate. Most early childhood centres also require teachers with practising certificates. 

Extension to teach

  • What are the criteria for providing an extension to teach?

    An extension can only be granted if:

    • a formal application is received
    • your professional leader has requested the application
    • you are not under investigation and there are no concerns with your application.

    Your professional leader must demonstrate they are aware of the nature and extent of the concerns if you are under investigation. If they make a request for an extension they must include a letter showing demonstrating they are aware and have taken steps to address them.

  • How do I apply for an extension?

    An extension request must be made by the professional leader of the school, kura or centre you are working at and can be made here. It takes around five working days to process an extension to teach. If you have any questions please email

  • What if I’m a relief teacher?

    You may be eligible for an extension. Relief teachers only need to have to one school's professional leader apply for an extension. One extension will cover you for teaching across several schools. 

  • Am I eligible for an extension to teach?

    You may be eligible if you:

    • currently have an application for a practising certificate in with the Teaching Council, your registration has expired and you will be teaching beyond the 10 days allowed after the expiry of your practising certificate or your Limited Authority to Teach
    • are applying for the first time for a practising certificate and have been asked to teach before this has been granted,
    • are employed in a teaching position in a setting where holding a practising certificate is compulsory,
    • are doing everything possible to complete your application but facing delays with information through no fault of your own.

Induction of Provisionally Certificated Teachers

  • When can I apply for full certification?

    You must complete two years of supervised teaching after becoming provisionally certificated. A recommendation and endorsement for full certification should be signed and dated only in the final term (or final six week block of teaching) of your induction and mentoring programme. 

  • I’m not happy with the support I’m getting. What should I do?

    Talk this over first with the mentor teacher responsible for your programme. It is important for you both to clarify your perceptions, expectations and needs. If the difficulty is still not resolved, discuss the situation with your professional leader. Refer to the Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers for further advice or options to explore.

    An adviser from School Support Services experienced with beginning teachers may also help.  Following this, you may wish to contact your NZEI or PPTA field officer or counsellor to see what options are available. This highlights the need for everyone’s expectations to be understood before the programme starts, and to ensure programme evaluation is ongoing.

  • What should I do if the mentor teacher does not keep to the programme we agreed to?

    Refer to the contract negotiated at the beginning of your induction and mentoring programme and expectations about frequency of meetings. Restate what needs to happen to make the induction and mentoring programme work for you. Problem-solve together ways in which your needs can be met.  Your mentor teacher may need to review the resources available to them to fulfil the role. If these resources are inadequate, your mentor teacher will need to raise this with your principal or professional leader.

  • I am not getting any formal feedback on my teaching. What should I do?

    Talk with your mentor teacher first. Formal feedback and reflection on your teaching is a really important part of your support programme. Your mentor teacher must regularly see you in action. If talking to your mentor teacher does not resolve the issue, approach your principal or professional leader. If that doesn’t work contact your NZEI or PPTA field officer.

  • What if I need a new mentor teacher?

    If you need help to find a new mentor teacher, you can:

    • Ask your colleagues or other teachers in your community
    • Contact organisations which support teacher certification, such as Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand, NZEI, PPTA or your teacher education provider.
  • What if I’ve been provisionally certificated for six years?

    You will not need to repeat your initial teacher education programme but you will need to complete our Teacher Education Refresh programme if you need to apply for another provisional practising certificate six years or more after you registered. Teachers are expected to meet the requirements to be issued with a full practising certificate within six years of becoming registered. Teachers who are not able to become fully certificated after six years of being registered may apply for another provisional practising certificate after completing the TER programme.

    The TER programme is designed to update your professional knowledge and practice if you have limited teaching experience within the last six years.

  • How much documentation do I need to keep?

    You may be asked to send evidence of your two-year induction and mentoring programme at the time you apply for full certification. A range of documentation will be expected to show evidence the support programme has been in place over at least two years. For that reason it’s a good idea to provide documentation from the beginning, middle and end of each year of your programme.  Ensure all documentation is labelled with the relevant date of completion.

    The exact number of documents will depend on the structure of your programme and frequency of your meetings with your mentor teacher. You may, for example, have four formal observations completed for your teaching over one year, or you may have eight or more in addition to more informal observations.

    If you are asked to send evidence of your support programme, you will need to provide evidence you met with your mentor teacher regularly. This must show you received formative/summative feedback, observations of your teaching were conducted throughout the support programme and you reflected on your teaching regularly and participated in professional development activities.

    We want to see evidence of a coherent two-year programme of induction and mentoring and ‘hear' your ‘voice' and the ‘voice' of your mentor teacher throughout the programme. This could mean commentary about lessons, or reflections by each of you on activities or professional development you have completed.

  • My mentor teacher does not teach the subjects that I do. What can I do?

    Discuss this in the first instance with your mentor teacher and/or professional leader. You may be able to arrange for additional support in your area from an experienced teacher at a nearby school or from a specialist advisor from School Support Services. This person could assist with your teaching subject while your coordinator supervises your general programme. Joining your subject association may also provide you with support materials and advice. 

  • Do I have to be employed at the same school/ centre for the duration of my induction and mentoring programme?

    No, but if you move to another school/ centre take records of your programme with you and make sure your new employer knows you must continue with your programme. You also need to be employed in a teaching position of at least 0.5 FTTE within the general education system, and be teaching in a minimum block of six weeks. If you are employed in a casual relief position, a teaching position of less than 0.5 or for less than six weeks, the time doesn’t count towards full certification.

  • My mentor teacher has moved away from my learning centre and is hard to contact. Can I change to another mentor teacher?

    Although you should try to keep to the same mentor teacher throughout your induction and mentoring programme, there is no requirement for this to be the case. However, the fully certificated teacher who recommends you for full certification at the end of your programme must be certain you meet the requirements to be a fully certificated teacher. That means they must be familiar with your practice, have regularly observed you and provided feedback in relation to the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

    If you need a new mentor teacher near the end of your induction and mentoring programme, it may be better to delay your application for a full practising certificate by a couple of months so the new teacher can provide a fair appraisal of your practice.

    It’s important to keep all your documentation relating to your induction and mentoring programme.  This way your new mentor teacher can assess your work so far. It may also be appropriate for your new mentor teacher to contact your previous teacher to exchange professional information about you. This should only happen with your knowledge and permission.

  • How can I get a higher level of discussion going in my induction and mentoring programme?

    Refer to the Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers for help with lifting the quality of your induction and mentoring programme, and talk to your mentor and professional leader about your expectations. You can also engage in action research, join subject associations, access readings, and think about reflective questions generated by the Standards for the Teaching Profession. Your relationship with your mentor teacher is only one part of the professional community you join as a practising teacher.

  • I have two part time teaching positions. Can I combine my hours to meet the minimum time of 0.5 FTTE?

    Yes, but you will need to make sure your supervising teacher is familiar with your teaching in both centres. If your mentor teacher is based in one centre, you will need to arrange times for formal observations of your teaching to be completed. You must also have follow-up meetings to discuss your goals, follow up on goals previously set, and receive feedback on your teaching. Your mentor teacher must regularly observe you teaching at both centres to determine you are demonstrating the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

  • I work in a remote area and there is not much professional development available. What can I do?

    Professional development is not solely about attendance at courses. You can engage in professional development by reading online papers, books and blogs. There is Induction and mentoring professional learning available for PCTs and their mentors. Some of it is face to face across the country and some of it is online. Learn more about Mau Ki Te Ako .


    You can also use classroom release time and your beginning teacher release time to attend professional development. It’s important to embed the theory and ideas you learn by reflecting on, and discussing, your professional development as you progress with your induction and mentoring programme.

  • What should I do if there is no mentor teacher available in my learning centre?

    This can happen sometimes but it’s rare. You will need to discuss this when you are appointed to a position as you will need to find a fully certificated teacher who can supervise your induction and mentoring programme in flexible ways.

    Your options are:

    • You work under the supervision of a fully certificated teacher from another learning centre who keeps in contact and visits you regularly.
    • You use a fully certificated teacher in a nearby learning centre serving a different age group, for example primary school, secondary school, advisory service or teacher education institution, as a mentor teacher. Your mentor teacher will need contextual understanding of your teaching setting. The Standards for the Teaching Profession are the same for all sectors, and can be interpreted and applied for working with a range of age groups and communities.

    In either case, you should have an initial planning meeting followed by regular documented visits.

Limited Authority to Teach (LAT)

  • What is a Limited Authority to Teach?

    A Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) is an authority for a person to teach in a temporary capacity. It isn’t a form of registration or a type of practising certificate. A person who holds a LAT can't be appointed to a permanent teaching position. 

    LATs may be used to cover teaching positions for a variety of roles. Holders must meet specific requirements and have either the skills or experience appropriate to advance the learning of students or skills in an area where there is a shortage of certificated teachers.

    If you want to apply for a LAT, read the Limited Authority to Teach Policy to make sure you can provide all the necessary evidence before you submit an application.

  • What requirements are needed for a Limited Authority to Teach?

    You need to demonstrate that you either have skills and experience appropriate to advance the learning of students, or have skills that are in short supply.

    You will need to provide:

    • copies of your qualifications
    • your CV
    • a self-reflection outlining how you can meet the requirements for a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT)
    • testimonials from previous employers from the last five years attesting to your skills and how they have been demonstrated in practice
    • an endorsement from the professional leader of a school or kindergarten that you meet the requirements to be granted a LAT.


    You must also include in your self-reflection and testimonials evidence of your understanding of relevant official curricula, assessment tools and strategies.

    If you apply for a LAT on the basis your skills are in short supply, the testimonials and endorsement must show evidence your skills are in short supply.

    In both cases, you need the full endorsement of a professional leader. For full details of the LAT requirements, refer to the our Limited Authority to Teach policy.

  • I got my Limited Authority to Teach under the Education Council. Does anything change?

    The expiry date and terms of your Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) remain the same as when they were approved. To change your terms, apply for a new LAT by completing the EC40 application form.

About Getting Certificated

  • What do I need to be able to teach in New Zealand?

    You need to be registered and to hold a current practising certificate. Registration does not expire, unless it is cancelled. Practising certificates are renewed every three years. There are three levels; provisional, full and subject to confirmation. 

  • How do I become fully certificated?

    If you are provisionally certificated you must complete at least two years of teaching with an induction and mentoring programme provided by a fully certificated mentor teacher in New Zealand.  You must be employed in a teaching position of at least 0.5 of full time teacher equivalent (FTTE) and the teaching must be completed in blocks of no less than six weeks.

    If you are a subject to confirmation teacher you must complete one year of mentored teaching suitable for an experienced teacher and be meaningfully appraised by a fully certificated teacher using the Practising Teacher Criteria. You do not need to be employed in a role of 0.5 FTTE or more, but you do need to be employed in a role of a sufficient size to allow for meaningful appraisal.

    Day to day relieving and any teaching of less than six weeks can't be considered towards the requirements for being issued with a full practising certificate. Long term relief teaching can be considered, provided that it meets the above requirements.

  • How do I stay registered?

    Your registration is granted when you have met the requirements to join the teaching profession. It doesn't expire and you don't need to apply for it again unless it is cancelled. Registration alone doesn't allow you to lawfully work as a teacher - you also need a current practising certificate. To keep working as a teacher you must renew your practising certificate every three years.

  • How do I register?

    You will need to fill in either an EC10 or EC15 application form and send it to us. 

  • My application has been approved but I haven't received my practising certificate card. Where is it?

    It takes around two weeks for your practising certificate card to arrive in the post. The online register is updated immediately, so you can use this as proof of your current practising certificate until your card arrives. If your card still hasn't arrived after two weeks, please let us know so we can check we have your correct address.

  • What forms do I need?

    Your situation is:  

    You need

    Completed initial teacher education (ITE) never registered


    Qualified as teacher overseas but not registered here


    Previously registered with Teachers Council but currently unregistered


    Hold current Australian registration and want to teach here



  • What's the difference between registration and practising certificate?

    The difference between 'registration' and 'practising certificate' is important. Registration shows you have met the requirements to join the teaching profession in New Zealand. Once granted, it doesn't expire, but it can be cancelled (for example, on grounds of serious misconduct). Registration alone doesn't allow you to lawfully work as a teacher - you also need a current practising certificate.

    Your practising certificate allows you to be lawfully employed in schools, kura, kindergartens and in most positions in early childhood education settings.

    Practising certificates expire after three years. If you are employed in a teaching position, you need to ensure you renew your practising certificate promptly and meet all the requirements. This includes demonstrating satisfactory recent teaching experience, satisfactory professional development, and that you are of good character and fit to be a teacher (including a Police vet). 

  • How long do practising certificates last?

    • Registration – doesn’t expire (unless cancelled)
    • Provisional practising certificate – three years
    • Full practising certificate – three years
    • Subject to confirmation – three years


  • What if I’ve lost my practising certificate?

    A practising certificate can be reprinted for you at a cost of $40. You can pay this by credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or cheque. You can also refer to the online register for details of your current practising certificate status and expiry if you'd rather not pay for a reprinted practising certificate.

  • How can I update my contact details?

    Use the onlne change of details form or give us a call on (04) 471 0852. 

  • I was registered with the Teachers Council but my name isn’t on the Teaching Council register, why?

    Registration under the Teachers Council expired after a certain time depending on your category of registration. If you were unregistered at July 1 2015 (Education Council goes live) you will need to apply to be registered under the new organisation, which is now the Teaching Council.

  • What are the differences in expiry dates between the Teachers Council and the Teaching Council?

    Teachers Council

    Registration category

    Practising certificate

    Registration expiry


    Issued for 3 years 

    2 or 3 years* after expiry of practising certificate


    Issued for 3 years 

    5 years after expiry of practising certificate 

    Subject to Confirmation

    Issued for 3 years 

    On expiry of practising certificate

    *s127(1)(c) of the Education Act 1989 before the commencement of the Education Council stated that provisional registration expired after five years, but allowed the Teachers Council to grant one further year (to a maximum of six years) of provisional registration.

    Teaching Council

    Registration status



    Does not expire

    Practising certificate category



    3 years


    3 years

    Subject to Confirmation

    3 years



  • How long can I stay provisionally certificated?

    It is important to become fully certificated. This tells parents, peers and the community you are of the highest standard. Becoming fully certificated means you have undertaken induction and mentoring for at least two years, and have been supported over that time to make the transition from being a student teacher with limited experience to being a confident and effective teacher. Full certification also means you meet the Standards for the Teaching Profession. All provisionally certificated teachers should be working to meet the Criteria and be issued with a full practising certificate as soon as possible, with the appropriate support.

    If you haven't been able to complete these requirements within six years of becoming registered, and you want to renew your provisional practising certificate, you'll need to complete the Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme first.

  • What if I was registered with the Teachers Council but haven’t renewed my registration since?

    We will take into account your previous registration category and the date it was approved when we assess your application. Once you receive your registration you won’t have to apply for it again because under the Teaching Council registration doesn’t expire. However to be lawfully employed as a teacher you will need a current practising certificate which is renewed every three years. 

  • What do the different categories of practising certificate mean?

    There are three categories of practising certificate: provisional, full, and subject to confirmation. When a teacher holds a practising certificate they are referred to as a 'certificated teacher'. If a teacher is provisionally certificated this signals:

    • they are a recently qualified teacher, or are new to the New Zealand teaching profession
    • they need to complete an induction and mentoring programme, supported by a fully certificated mentor teacher, before they can be assessed using the Standards for the Teaching Profession to be issued with a full practising certificate.

    If a teacher is fully certificated this signals:

    • they are an experienced teacher
    • they have recent teaching experience
    • they have recently been appraised as meeting all the Standards for the Teaching Profession.

    If a teacher is certificated subject to confirmation, this signals that:

    • they are an experienced teacher
    • for valid reasons, they haven't been appraised using the Standards for the Teaching Profession in the last five years.

Conduct and Competence Process

  • What is meant by serious misconduct?

    Any behaviour which is abusive and puts a student at risk is considered serious misconduct.  Abuse can be physical, psychological or sexual.  Other types of serious misconduct include having an inappropriate relationship with a student, neglect or ill treatment of a child, theft or fraud, involvement in illegal drugs, viewing pornography while working as a teacher or anything that is an offence punishable by time in prison.  Anything that brings the profession into discredit is also seen as serious misconduct.

  • What are competence assessors?

    Competence assessors review a complaint about a teacher’s competence in the classroom.  They tend to work with the teacher to develop a plan to get them up to the appropriate professional standards.  

  • What is the Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC)?

    The CAC assesses a complaint about a teacher to decide if it should be escalated to the Disciplinary Tribunal.   The committee can also refer a case to an impairment committee which assess any issues which might impair a teacher’s ability.

    When cases go to the Disciplinary Tribunal, the CAC becomes the prosecuting body and is represented by a lawyer.

  • What is the Impairment Committee?

    This committee focuses on any issues that might affect a teacher’s ability to teach such as a mental health problem, an addiction or an issue with drugs and alcohol.

  • What is the Competence Advisory Group (CAG)?

    This group reviews recommendations made by competence assessors, making further recommendations to the council.  CAG members are experienced teachers with the knowledge and experience to provide expert advice on matters of competence.

  • Why are some details suppressed?

    Respondents may request suppression of all details about the case.  The chairperson will consider this, balancing the public’s interest with the respondent’s right to privacy.  There is a strong mandate for transparency in these matters so the chairperson will consider this very carefully.

    Sometimes details may be suppressed if there is concern about the age of a witness or where allowing this information to be public could have an adverse effect on a witness or member of the respondent’s family.  Suppressed details may then include the name of the respondent, and any other identifying details.

  • What does being censured mean?

    A censure is similar to a formal telling off.  It lets the teacher know the profession regards their behaviour as unacceptable.  More serious censures are annotated – marked – on the teacher register.

  • What does a hearing held on paper mean?

    This is where the Disciplinary Tribunal will review and make a decision on a case based on written submissions from both parties where it’s convenient, practical and fair to do so. 

  • Conduct and Competence – How it Works

    With over 103,000 practising teachers in New Zealand, teaching is one of the largest professional groups in New Zealand.  Teachers hold a position of trust – teaching and nurturing young New Zealanders.  So it’s right they should come under public scrutiny with an expectation of exemplary professional behaviour.

    While most teachers take this position of trust very seriously, a very small number behave inappropriately.  As the professional organisation for teachers, investigating complaints about a teacher’s conduct (their behaviour) or competence (their ability to teach), is one of the Teaching Council’s core roles.

    The following information answers commonly asked questions about the processes for dealing with conduct and competence issues with teachers. 

  • How is the Teaching Council notified about an issue with a teacher?

    The Teaching Council gets involved when a complaint is made about a teacher or a teacher has been dismissed from a school.  Schools must report a dismissal of a teacher, and some resignations, or if there is a matter of serious misconduct, to the council.  This is done through a mandatory report.  The council can also act on concerns about a teacher without receiving a complaint.  Complaints can’t be made anonymously.

  • What is a mandatory report?

    A mandatory report is an official document which a school or early childhood centre must complete and send to the Teaching Council if a teacher is dismissed or resigns or their employment finishes and their employer needs to progress a complaint or a competence issue or has reason to believe the teacher has engaged in serious misconduct.  A mandatory report must also be made if the employer believes a teacher has not reached an appropriate level of competence.

  • Can a member of the public make a complaint about a teacher?

    Yes, however complaints should be made to the teacher’s employer at first as complaints made to the Teaching Council will be referred back to the teacher’s employer.  However if you aren’t satisfied with your response, or the teacher doesn’t have a current employer, you can come direct to us.  If you are concerned the teacher has committed an offence, you should contact the police.  Click here to make a complaint. 

  • What happens when the Teaching Council gets a complaint about a teacher?

    First the council will review the complaint to see if it should have gone to the teacher’s employer.  If not, it will start the investigation process.   The teacher will be given the full details of the complaint and an opportunity to answer the allegations and correct any inaccurate information. 

  • What’s the difference between conduct and competence?

    Competence complaints are mainly around the performance of the teacher – how they might teach or interact with students or colleagues.  These are investigated by competence assessors and generally treated in a more rehabilitative way, working with the teacher to an agreed plan to address the teacher’s shortcoming.  The council can however make a final determination on the teachers’ competence.  

  • What is the Disciplinary Tribunal?

    The Disciplinary Tribunal has powers and procedures similar to a court of law.  It must objectively review and determine facts and draw conclusions based on that process.  It considers matters referred to it by the Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC).  Tribunal hearings are formal but members of the public can attend them, unless the chairperson decides otherwise.  The chairperson can also decide if any details are suppressed.  The tribunal usually comprises two panel members and one chairperson.  The chairperson is a lawyer while the other panel members are teachers and appropriately experienced lay people. 

  • When are hearings held?

    Hearings are held mainly in Wellington and Auckland.  There’s no regular schedule, although upcoming hearings are posted on the Teaching Council’s website. 

  • Why are some hearings held in private?

    Hearings are rarely held in private because there is a strong argument in favour of the public’s right to know.  The chair might decide a hearing needs to be held in private, for instance to protect a vulnerable witness, but this isn’t common practice.  Details are suppressed if a hearing is held in private.

  • What decisions can be made in a hearing?

    If the tribunal determines a teacher’s conduct was serious it will then determine what the outcome will be, for instance, the teacher might be censured but allowed to carry on teaching under certain conditions.  The teacher’s practising certificate might be suspended for a period, or if the matter is extremely serious the teacher’s registration might be cancelled.  This bans them from teaching again. 

  • Can teachers be fined?

    Yes, and ordered to contribute to the costs of the hearings. 

  • What is a Specified Offence?

    Broadly speaking a specified offence is one which is of a sexual or violent nature. See the full list here under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Vulnerable Children Act

  • How do I Apply for an Exemption?

    You must apply for an exemption to teach through the Ministry of Social Development.

  • What is the Vulnerable Children Act?

    Protecting vulnerable children is everyone’s responsibility. The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 helps protect young people at risk of child abuse by bringing a child-centred approach to policies and processes for government agencies working with children. It strengthens the safety of children by making sure state services, and their funded providers, adopt child protection policies. It helps ensure a safe and competent workforce so people have the core competencies to recognise and act on a child who may be vulnerable to abuse. Click here for more information. 

  • What if I have a conviction for a specified offence?

    We must cancel your registration and practising certificate if you are convicted of a specified offence under law. You can apply for an exemption and our Complaints Assessment Committee (CAC) will investigate you to ensure you are competent and safe to teach. This also applies to those with a Limited Authority to Teach. 

  • Who considers exemptions?

    The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has an exemptions team which manages applications for exemptions on behalf of government departments and ministries. This includes teachers. If MSD has approved your exemption you will then be referred to the Complaints Assessment Committee. 

  • What does an exemption mean?

    Getting an exemption means you are entitled to work as a teacher as you have been cleared by the Ministry of Social Development and investigated by the Complaints Assessment Committee and found to be competent and safe to teach.

  • What if I don’t get an exemption?

    You will not legally be able to be employed in a teaching position in New Zealand and we must cancel your practising certificate.

  • How long will the exemption process take?

    This process can take up to two months from the date of submitting the application.  

  • What is a Specified Offence?

    Broadly speaking a specified offence is one which is of a sexual or violent nature. See the full list here under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Overseas Teachers

  • When do I need an overseas police clearance?

    You need a police clearance certificate from the country you lived in if you’ve lived outside New Zealand for 12 months or more within the last ten years.  The clearance must cover the length of your stay in the country. You don't need to provide a new clearance with your future applications, unless you again live outside NZ for 12 months or more.

  • How do I apply for a police clearance?

    Details on how to apply for police clearances from most countries are available here: overseas police clearance.

  • My overseas police clearance isn't in English. Does it need to be translated?

    Yes, you must provide translations if your documents are not in English or Māori.  The translation must be word for word and certified as correct by an official New Zealand translation service.

  • How do I apply from New Zealand to teach in Australia?

    If you are applying for registration in Australia under the TTMRA, you will need to be registered and hold a current practising certificate to be registered in the relevant Australian jurisdiction. For more information contact the relevant Australian registration body:

    ·         Queensland College of Teachers

    ·         Teachers Registration Board of South Australia

    ·         Victoria Institute of Teaching

    ·         Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia

    ·         Teacher Registration Board of Tasmania

    ·         Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory

    ·         ACT Teacher Quality Institute

  • How do I apply from Australia to teach in New Zealand?

    You can apply for registration and a practising certificate in New Zealand under the TTMRA if you hold current registration in one of the states or territories recognised under the Act.

    In Australia, teachers don't hold a practising certificate in addition to registration. In New Zealand, you must hold registration and a current practising certificate to be lawfully employed in schools, kura, kindergartens and most teaching positions in early childhood settings. If your application is approved you will be granted registration and a practising certificate.

    You are expected to meet the teaching service and other requirements for the renewal of your practising certificate.

  • I previously taught in Australia. Will I get a practising certificate?

    The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA) allows teachers to gain equivalent professional recognition and be employed as teachers across New Zealand and most of the states and territories in Australia.

Online Renewal of Practising Certificates

  • Can all teachers with a full practising certificate choose to renew online?

    Teachers currently working in a school or centre can apply online. The identification verification tool we’re using for the first stage of our online process is the Education Sector Logon (ESL) which is currently available through schools and now in ECE via the paper application form available on the Ministry of Education website here:


  • Can all teachers renew online?

    Teachers with full practising certificates can renew online. These are teachers who are already registered. The Education Sector Logon (ESL) is the identity verification tool required for online access.

  • Who can renew online?

    Teachers with full practising certificates and an Education Sector Logon (ESL) account.

  • When will teachers with other types of practising certificates be able to renew them online?

    We are taking a staged approach to ensure we get it right. We are working on a system that will make the process available to all teachers and will release this as the next stage.

  • Will I be able to pay my application processing fees online?

    You will be able to pay the renewal of your practising certificate fees online (and any late fees where applicable) using a debit or credit card.


  • How do I access training about this?

    We have developed training modules to introduce the online application. Note that these training modules use school-centric language.

    You can access them here:

    Preview module

    Introduction module

  • What is an Education Sector logon account and how do I get one?

    An Education Sector logon account is a user id/account used in schools for access to Education sector applications such as PACT, eAsTTle, and NZQA and in ECE for ELI web and reports.

    You can arrange an Education Sector logon account through your school’s Delegated Authoriser or via the form available on the Ministry website here ( if you work in ECE.


  • Will I need to post anything in or is everything done online?

    We expect that you will be able to complete everything needed for your renewal application online.

    The process is designed to collect any changes in address, your teaching experience, your declaration and information about relevant overseas stays. Your endorser (who will most often be your current principal/ECE professional leader) can access the endorsement section for your application and can also complete ‘Proof of Identity’ online.  In some cases, a teacher may need to post a supporting document, but this would be an exception.


  • What kind of support will be available to help teachers?

    Two training modules are available to help you with the process. 
    Training can be accessed here. Note that these training modules use school-centric language:

    Preview module

  • Will teachers be able to register online?

    At this stage teachers won’t be able to register online but we are working towards this. Our first priority is the online renewal of practising certificates for those teachers already registered.

  • What if I don’t want to go online?

    For now, you can continue using a paper-based system but we will be moving towards a fully online system.

  • I am a principal/ECE professional leader; how do I endorse a teacher’s application?

    A teacher will receive a tracking number to forward to their endorser (who will most often be their current principal/centre manager). The endorser will log onto the Teaching Council Confirmation Dashboard using their Education Sector Logon (ESL) username and password, enter the tracking number and then endorse the application. If the teacher requires the ‘Proof of Identity’ check to be completed this can also be completed online.


  • What do I need to do now?

    Check we have your current contact details. You can update your details online. If your practising certificate is expiring in the next six months you should be able to use the online renewal process (remember you can apply to renew your practising certificate up to six months before its expiry).

    Make sure you have your Education Sector logon username and password handy, along with details of your teaching experience over the last five years. It would also be helpful for you to be familiar with the proof of identity requirements to check you have the right documents needed for that process.

    Note that these training modules use school-centric language:

    Preview module

    Introduction module

    Principals/ECE professional leader should complete this training module before they carry out the functions to support applications (i.e. endorsing applications, completing Proof of Identity for teachers and certifying documents online).