Part A: Purposes of the Registration Policy
Registration signals that a teacher has met the initial requirements for entry to the teaching profession. In order to become registered, a teacher must demonstrate that they are of good character and fit to be a teacher, are satisfactorily trained to teach and have a satisfactory Police vet.
Registration is granted only once, and does not expire. To be lawfully employed in schools, kura, kindergartens and in most positions in early childhood education settings, teachers are required to be both registered and to hold a practising certificate.
In order to be issued with and renew a practising certificate, a teacher must demonstrate on an ongoing basis that they are of good character and fit to be a teacher and have a satisfactory Police vet. When a teacher holds a current practising certificate, employers, colleagues, learners and the wider community can be assured that a teacher has been recently assessed as being safe and competent.
The category of practising certificate indicates how recently the teacher has met all of the Practising Teacher Criteria, or whether the teacher is yet to meet them for the first time.
A practising teacher is expected to be actively engaged in the process of being issued with and renewing a practising certificate and ensuring that their employment is lawful by holding a current practising certificate when employed in a teaching position.
This document explains the rules, guidelines, policies and procedures that the Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand (the Education Council) will use to interpret and apply the legislation in relation to registering and issuing practising certificates to teachers in New Zealand.
This policy applies to all registered teachers, practising teachers and those authorised to be employed in a teaching position in New Zealand. It explains how people can join, remain within and leave the New Zealand teaching profession.
The guidelines, policies and procedures set out in this document are underpinned by:
legislation (the Education Act 1989 and subsequent amendments)
ongoing consultation with the profession including key stakeholders
engaging with the wider community (including learners, parents and employers) to support widespread confidence in the quality of the teaching profession.
The Education Council works closely with other government agencies, in particular the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), NZ Police, the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), the Education Review Office (ERO) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) as well as approved providers of initial teacher education programmes, to help ensure a consistent and co-ordinated approach to the policies and requirements across the education sector.
Part B: Definitions used in the Registration Policy
The following terms are applied consistently throughout this document and to all registration and practising certificate policies and guidelines.
This term refers to the official recognition of a course by accrediting bodies in a state or territory. It indicates that academic quality and standards have been checked and verified.
Ākonga are learners who may be in a range of settings, from early childhood to secondary and beyond. Throughout the Education Council policies and guidelines ‘learners’ and ‘students’ can be read interchangeably with ākonga.
An educational institution is an organisation outside of the general education system that is recognised by the Education Council as a setting where a teacher may complete ‘satisfactory recent teaching experience’ to renew their practising certificate.
An educational institution must be an accredited, registered institution or licensed learning service and employ teachers in roles that meet the Education Council’s definition of a teaching position.
Those educational institutions that wish to have approval from the Education Council as a setting where teachers can renew a full practising certificate must apply for approval from the Education Council and provide evidence of having an appraisal system that requires teachers to meet, with evidence, all of the Practising Teacher Criteria, and be meaningfully appraised using the Criteria.
Experienced Teacher/Pouako (for practising certificates)
An experienced teacher is someone who has at least two years of teaching experience and has either:
demonstrated that they have met the Practising Teacher Criteria by having held full registration or a full practising certificate or its equivalent at any time in New Zealand; or
met the following requirements (usually overseas teachers):
has held a senior teaching position (at the level of Head of Department or higher); and
has more than five years of teaching experience; and
has undertaken professional learning and development associated with teaching and learning within the last five years; and
has had a professional appraisal of their teaching and learning by a supervisor within the last five years.
Experienced teachers can either hold a full practising certificate or a subject to confirmation practising certificate.
Likely to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria
A teacher is likely to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria if their experience and training signals that they are likely to meet the Criteria when they can be meaningfully appraised using them. This is a factor the Education Council considers when determining whether a provisionally certificated or subject to confirmation certificated teacher has completed satisfactory recent teaching experience and satisfactory professional development.
Refer to the Practising Teacher Criteria Policy’ for more information and explanation.
Meets the Practising Teacher Criteria
A teacher has met the Practising Teacher Criteria when:
they have been appraised by their professional leader10 who most recently employed them in a teaching position for a minimum of six consecutive weeks; and
this professional leader can attest that the teacher has provided evidence of meeting all of the Practising Teacher Criteria.
For provisionally certificated teachers or teachers certificated subject to confirmation who are applying to be issued with a full practising certificate, the most recent six week period of teaching is required to have been completed within the last six months.
A teacher who has completed their teacher education qualification outside of New Zealand.
A current practising certificate allows a teacher to be lawfully employed in a teaching position in a school, kura, kindergarten, and in most positions in early childhood education settings. A practising certificate is usually issued for three years.
Having a current practising certificate signals that a teacher has recently demonstrated that they met the requirements of being of good character and fit to be a teacher.11 When a teacher renews their practising certificate they are required to have completed satisfactory recent teaching experience and professional development appropriate to their category of practising certificate.
There are three categories of practising certificate: provisional, full and subject to confirmation.
The category of practising certificate is an indicator of whether a teacher has yet to meet all of the Practising Teacher Criteria for the first time (provisional), has recently met the Practising Teacher Criteria (full), or has previously met the Practising Teacher Criteria but not recently (subject to confirmation).
Depending on their category of practising certificate, a teacher may be referred to as a provisionally certificated teacher, fully certificated teacher, or teacher certificated subject to confirmation.
A teacher who holds a current practising certificate in any category.
Practising Teacher Criteria
Throughout the Education Council policies and guidelines the ‘Practising Teacher Criteria’ can be read to mean the Practising Teacher Criteria or, until the Education Council commenced, the Registered Teacher Criteria.
Recent teaching experience
Recent teaching experience is relevant to the definition ‘satisfactory recent teaching experience’ and relates to employment in a teaching position/s in the New Zealand general education system or an educational institution recognised by the Education Council. The definition of ‘satisfactory recent teaching experience’ varies depending on the category of practising certificate.
For a fully certificated teacher seeking renewal of their practising certificate this means either:
two years of uninterrupted employment in a teaching position completed within the last five years;12 or
one year of uninterrupted employment in a teaching position completed within the last three years.13
For a provisionally certificated teacher, or teacher certificated subject to confirmation seeking renewal of their practising certificate this means the teacher has completed within the last three years:
six weeks of full time continuous teaching employment; or
80 days of teaching employment (including day relief); or
three months of full time teaching employment in an educational institution recognised by the Education Council.14
If a provisionally certificated teacher or teacher certificated subject to confirmation does not meet the above, the Education Council may exercise discretion to consider any previous teaching employment completed within the previous five years.
See the ‘Satisfactory Recent Teaching Experience Policy’ for further information and explanation.
Satisfactory professional learning and development
The Education Council considers that professional learning and development is satisfactory when the teacher has met the following key indicators from the Practising Teacher Criteria:
4. i. identified professional learning goals in consultation with colleagues
4. ii. participated responsively in professional learning opportunities within the learning community
4. iii. initiated learning opportunities to advance personal professional knowledge and skills15
5. i. actively contributed to the professional learning community.16
In addition, a teacher should demonstrate criterion 12 of the Practising Teacher Criteria and its key indicators to effectively incorporate professional learning and development within their professional practice.
A teacher is required to have met all of the Practising Teacher Criteria, including the above key indicators relating to professional learning and development, to renew a full practising certificate. A teacher is required to be likely to meet all of the Criteria, including the above key indicators, to renew a provisional practising certificate or subject to confirmation practising certificate.
When a teacher applies to renew their practising certificate the Education Council may request a list of professional learning and development activities a teacher has undertaken within the last three years.
Satisfactory recent teaching experience
This is defined in the Education Act 1989 as recent teaching experience (see earlier explanation and definition) that has been satisfactorily completed in the previous five years. The Education Council has discretion under s363 to determine whether a teacher has ‘satisfactorily completed’ their recent teaching experience.
The Education Council considers that recent teaching has been satisfactory if the teacher has met the Practising Teacher Criteria (fully certificated teachers) or is likely to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria once they are able to be meaningfully appraised using them (provisionally certificated teachers and teachers certificated subject to confirmation).
The Education Council will consider:
the view of the teacher’s professional leader, or his or her employer if the person is a professional leader;
whether the teacher has been able to be meaningfully appraised using the Practising Teacher Criteria;
whether the teacher has met the Practising Teacher Criteria, or is likely to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria; and
any other relevant matter.
See the ‘Satisfactory Recent Teaching Experience Policy’ for more information and explanation.
Satisfactorily trained to teach
The Education Council will consider a person satisfactorily trained to teach17 if they:
have a tertiary level qualification/s that include sufficient elements of teacher education; and
can demonstrate that they meet the Graduating Teacher Standards.
The Education Council considers how recently the Graduating Teacher Standards have been met to be relevant for teachers applying for registration. Teachers applying to be registered six years or more after completing their Education Council-approved teaching qualification will be required to successfully complete the Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme, unless they have also completed recent teaching employment acceptable to the Education Council.
See the ‘Satisfactorily Trained to Teach Policy’ for more information and explanation.
Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme
A programme of study and supervised practicum focused on the current education ‘landscape’ and changes that have occurred in education and teaching over the previous six years. TER programmes are delivered by providers approved by the Education Council and are based on a curriculum developed and owned by the Education Council.
Those provisionally certificated teachers who have made significant progress towards meeting the Practising Teacher Criteria may request a review of the requirement to undertake the TER programme. The framework for requesting a review is appended to the ‘Likely to meet the Practising Teacher Criteria Policy’.
Under s348 of the Education Act 1989, a teaching position is defined as a position in the general education system that:
requires its holder to instruct students; or
is the professional leader, deputy professional leader, or assistant principal of a school; or
is the professional leader of an early childhood service or other educational institution.
The Education Council interprets ‘instructs students’ as the person in the teaching position having responsibility for teaching and learning.
A person is considered to have responsibility for teaching and learning if their job description expects them to:
cause learning (either as an individual or a member of a teaching team) and
to act autonomously and without day to day supervision.
For clarity, the Education Council considers this:
includes positions where the teacher has responsibility for the teaching and learning of other teachers, but may not have regular contact with children or young people;
includes casual and day-relief positions;
includes positions where the teacher receives mentoring or other forms of regular support and supervision from other teachers as they still retain autonomy for their own teaching and learning and are expected to be teaching without day-to-day supervision;
excludes the position of teacher aide and other educational support staff.
“Too part time or too casual”
This is relevant to a teacher’s ability to be appraised using the Practising Teacher Criteria and their eligibility to renew a full practising certificate. When used in this policy this means:
in the view of the teacher’s professional leader, the teaching position has been too casual to enable the teacher to be meaningfully appraised using the Practising Teacher Criteria. This might occur for example where the teaching position is casual or day relief teaching and the teacher has no consistent relationship with any one class, group of students or programme of learning within any one school, centre or kura; or
in the view of the teacher’s professional leader, the teaching position has been too part time to enable the teacher to be meaningfully appraised using the Practising Teacher Criteria. This might occur for example where a teaching position is for so few hours each week that their professional leader does not consider it meaningful or possible to undertake formal appraisal where the teacher can demonstrate, with evidence, meeting all of the Practising Teacher Criteria.
The Education Council will determine in any individual situation whether the professional leader’s assessment that the position was ‘too part time or too casual’ was reasonable in the circumstances.