How do I get accredited?
From 1 January 2018, all teachers will need to be accredited to start, continue or return to teaching in a NSW school.
Being an accredited teacher means you have met the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) at one or more of the four career stages in teaching. NESA oversees and coordinates teacher accreditation across the career stages.
Accreditation has to be maintained, by undertaking ongoing professional development that demonstrates teaching practice to the benchmark standards in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
Quality teachers are the result of high standard initial teacher education programs (ITE). NESA also assesses and accredits ITE programs working collaboratively with universities and higher education providers to ensure rigour and standards are upheld in course design, content and delivery.
To start teaching in NSW:
- You must be provisionally or conditionally accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA, previously BOSTES)
- You then need to achieve and maintain Proficient Teacher Accreditation to continue.
There are voluntary, higher levels of accreditation available to teachers who seek to extend themselves professionally.
1 January 2018 accreditation requirements
Teachers who have worked in NSW since before 1 October, 2004, and have not taken a break from teaching in NSW of more than five years, are not currently required to be accredited.
Starting 1 January 2018, all teachers will need to be accredited to start, continue or return to teaching in a NSW school.
If you are a teacher working since before 1 October 2004 and have not taken a continuous break from teaching of 5 years or more, there’s a 3 step accreditation process available to you to be awarded the mandatory Proficient Teacher accreditation.
Teachers, who have taken breaks from teaching continuously for 5 years or more since October 2004, will have to apply for provisional/conditional accreditation first. Then, they have to achieve and maintain Proficient Teacher accreditation to continue to teach in NSW schools.
What are the accreditation levels for NSW teachers?
Quality teaching is central to improving student learning outcomes. Accreditation means a teacher has met the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) one or more of the 4 key career stages below.
- Graduate teacher has achieved mandatory level Provisional or Conditional accreditation
- Proficient teacher has achieved mandatory level Proficient teacher accreditation
- Highly Accomplished has achieved voluntary level H/A teacher accreditation
- Lead Teacher has achieved voluntary level Lead Teacher accreditation.
To start or return to work as a teacher in a NSW school:
- You need to be provisionally or conditionally accredited with NESA
- You must then achieve and maintain Proficient Teacher Accreditation.
Voluntary, higher levels of accreditation are also available for teachers wanting to extend themselves and be recognised for stand-out achievements.
First time being accredited: Apply for Provisional or Conditional accreditation
The first step to being accredited is to apply to NESA for Provisional or Conditional accreditation. Depending on your qualifications NESA will assess whether to give you Provisional or Conditional Accreditation.
The application process is done online and requires you to provide certified documents to verify your identity and qualifications. You are advised to have all your certified supporting documents ready before you start the application process.
To apply for Provisional or Conditional accreditation, you have to first create an online account. You’ll also need to complete an online form and post a number of certified supporting documents including academic qualifications.
Once you have completed the application, NESA will take 5-10 days to assess your application. They will let you know by email if you have been given Provisional or Conditional Accreditation. You will also get details on the subjects for which you would be approved to teach on appointment to a permanent position in a NSW public school.
You can then start to apply for teaching positions to begin working.
Once you begin working as a provisional or conditional accredited teacher you need to collect and annotate evidence of practice towards your proficient teacher accreditation within a specific timeframe. This is mandatory, to continue to teach in NSW schools. You will need to undertake professional development which is required to maintain your accreditation.
Who administers teacher accreditation?
NESA oversees and coordinates teacher accreditation and its maintenance processes across each of the four career stages. Accreditation of initial teacher education (ITE) programs is also managed by NESA.
Teacher Accreditation and its maintenance
Teachers are themselves responsible for managing their accreditation requirements.
A number of key participants are involved in the accreditation process supporting teachers gain and maintain their accreditation across the career stages. They are:
- Principals/Service Directors
- Observers (when applicable)
- Teacher Accreditation Authorities (TAAs).
For these participants NESA has resources including policies, procedure documents, templates and workshops to assist them in supporting teachers in their accreditation journeys.
Initial teacher education (ITE) programs and their accreditation
To ensure graduates have the necessary foundations to be accredited to teach in NSW schools and other child care services, NESA assesses and accredits ITE programs offered through universities and higher education institutions/providers.
Higher education institutions/providers are advised to first contact NESA to discuss their ITE program proposals. There are processes and steps to follow when providers seek to introduce new programs or make changes to current ones.
The accreditation of an ITE courses involves 5 stages. It can take 8 months from preparing and sending program documentation through to the final stage when the Minister accredits the program on recommendation from the Initial Teacher Education Committee (ITEC).