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Answering your questions

From 1 January 2018, all teachers must be accredited to continue, return to or start teaching in a NSW school. This is a new requirement for pre-2004 teachers.

Who is a pre-2004 teacher?

A pre-2004 teacher started teaching in a NSW school before 1 October 2004 and has not had a break from teaching for five or more years.

This includes:

  • full-time, part-time and casual classroom teachers
  • executive teachers
  • principals (who teach)
  • teachers who may teach outside the classroom, such as teacher librarians and teacher careers advisors.

When do I need to be accredited by?

From 1 January 2018, every teacher across NSW, including all pre-2004 teachers, must be accredited to continue, return to or start teaching in a NSW school.

How will I be accredited?

The process is well underway.

NESA, the Department of Education, the Catholic Education Commission NSW and the Association of Independent Schools of NSW have worked together to develop a simple, three-step process for awarding Proficient Teacher Accreditation to pre-2004 teachers. The process will recognise your skills, knowledge and expertise meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the level of Proficient Teacher.

Read the 3 Steps to Accreditation for Pre-2004 Teachers flyer (PDF, 135 KB)

Read the 3 Steps to Accreditation for Pre-2004 Teachers poster (PDF, 215 KB)

Do I need to do anything now?

No. Not yet. Please wait to hear from us.

Employers will be facilitating the first step involving Working With Children Checks and registering teachers’ details with NESA. Please follow your employer’s instruction regarding your Working With Children Check process.

If for some reason you do not hear from us by 1 September 2017 please contact your employer who will follow up on your behalf.

What if I work as a casual or part time teacher?

From 1 January 2018 all teachers, including casual or part time teachers, must be accredited to teach in a NSW school.

Casual or part time teachers will have additional time to complete mandatory accreditation requirements.

All employers have provided us with details of any casual teachers. We will be in touch with you in the second half of 2017 to confirm your details and next steps.

Will there be a cost?

Payment of an annual fee (currently $100) is a condition of accreditation. The annual accreditation fee is payable for each year you actively teach.

As a pre-2004 teacher you will have until 31 January 2018 to pay your annual fee and officially activate your accreditation. The fee is payable upon receipt of an invoice from NESA.

NESA will send you an e-Induction pack later in 2017 with all of the information and instructions you need to become accredited.

What if my qualification isn’t on the list of accredited teaching degrees?

No pre-2004 teacher will need to upgrade their qualifications to be accredited.

The existing qualifications of all pre-2004 teachers will be recognised. This includes an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any discipline and/or a teaching qualification.


What if I started teaching before 1 October 2004 but have taken a break from teaching in the meantime?

As long as your break has not been longer than five years, you can be accredited at Proficient Teacher. This accreditation scheme for pre-2004 teachers is open until 31 December 2022.

Do non-school based teachers need to be accredited also?

Pre-2004 teachers working in non-school based positions can apply for voluntary accreditation (this includes school counsellors, those working for a union, professional association, as an initial teacher education lecturer, or in an administrative role within the education sector).

Employers are in the process of providing NESA details of teachers who are working in non-school-based positions. We will send communications out to all non-school based teachers in the second half of 2017 to request confirmation that they intend to apply for voluntary accreditation.

Do pre-2004 teachers in non-teaching roles within schools need to be accredited?

School principals and executive teachers are responsible for curriculum and assessment and make decisions about the accreditation of teachers in their school. It is critical that principals and executive teachers are accredited to provide leadership in quality teaching practice.

Do teachers in other states and territories need to be accredited/registered?

Yes. Accreditation/Registration is compulsory for teachers in all other states and territories. Until now, NSW was the only jurisdiction which did not require all teachers to be accredited. Accreditation at Proficient Teacher (or Full Accreditation) in NSW is equivalent to full registration as a teacher in other states and territories.

What are the requirements for maintaining accreditation at Proficient Teacher?

Accredited teachers are required to maintain their accreditation in five-year (for full-time teachers) or seven-year (for casual or part-time teachers) cycles. For those accredited at Proficient Teacher, this involves:

Find out more on Maintaining Accreditation.

How will accreditation requirements help to support teacher performance?

Accreditation requirements for all NSW teachers have been introduced to ensure quality and consistency across all NSW schools. To maintain accreditation at Proficient Teacher, teachers will need to show their practice continues to meet the Standard Descriptors at proficient teacher level in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

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