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Getting Started – Certification

Teacher certification ensures a minimum quality standard is applied to all teachers entering or currently teaching in New Zealand’s general education system.

There are different categories of practising certificate. These show how recently you may have met the practising teacher criteria, or whether you are yet to meet them. When you hold a current practising certificate, it  tells future employers, parents and the public you are satisfactorily trained, of good character and fit to be a teacher.

Practising certificates

When your application for registration is approved you will get a practising certificate that is current for three years. This means you are legally able to be employed in a teaching position in New Zealand. A current practising certificate is mandatory for teachers in primary schools, secondary schools, free kindergartens and in most positions in early childhood education services.

Teachers need to meet specific requirements in the Education Act 1989 to be issued with registration and a practising certificate. Employers should have procedures in place to regularly check the validity of employees’ certificates.

We notify teachers three months prior to their practising certificate expiring. You can keep your contact details up to date by clicking on Update My Details .To see when your certificate expires, check the online register.

The certification and practising certificate process

If you’re in New Zealand and want to teach, the journey towards firstly becoming a certificated teacher begins with completing an initial teacher education (ITE) qualification, and progresses to provisional certification and a two-year induction and mentoring period.

When you have completed the induction period, have enough recent teaching experience and meet the Practising Teacher Criteria you can be recommended to be issued with a full  practising certificate. Overseas teachers who want to teach in New Zealand have specific criteria they need to meet. Read more.

Practising teacher criteria

The practising teacher criteria describe the criteria for quality teaching in New Zealand. All teachers seeking to gain and maintain full certification must meet them. Read more.

Access all forms online.

Email the registration team