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Guidelines for returning to teaching

If you are returning to teaching in NSW after a break of five years or more, you must be accredited by NSW Education Standards Authority, NESA ( previously BOSTES). From 1 January 2018 all NSW school teachers will need to be accredited to start, continue or return to teaching.

How does accreditation work?

Accreditation supports quality teaching, recognises the invaluable role teachers play in the community, helps train and develop teachers, and improves student learning outcomes. To start or return to working as a teacher in a NSW school, you must be provisionally or conditionally accredited. You must then achieve and maintain Proficient Teacher Accreditation. Higher levels of accreditation are also available to teachers who want to extend themselves professionally and be recognised for stand-out achievements.

Read how accreditation works

What steps do you need to take to become accredited?

Teachers returning after an absence of five years or more follow a similar accreditation process as new teachers, or teachers from overseas or interstate. This includes:

1. Apply for Provisional or Conditional Accreditation

The first step to accreditation is to apply for Provisional or Conditional Accreditation. This is done online and by posting us your academic qualifications and other supporting documents – ideally before you start applying for teaching positions. NESA (previously BOSTES) will confirm your accreditation level and give specific advice on subjects for which you would be approved to teach on appointment to a permanent position in a NSW public school. Depending on your qualifications you will be given either Provisional or Conditional Accreditation.

How to get Provisional or Conditional Accreditation

Read the document checklist

How to get accreditation for the first time

2. Refresher Courses

You will need to complete at least 10 hours of Refresher Courses in your first year of provisional accreditation if:

  • you are returning to teach in NSW after five or more years away from teaching or
  • you are coming to teach in NSW from overseas.

Read more about refresher courses

Find a refresher course

How to find work as a NSW teacher

Once you are provisionally or conditionally accredited, you should provide evidence of your accreditation to prospective employers as part of the selection and recruitment process.

See NSW school employers

What if you have been away for less than 5 years?

If you taught before 1 October 2004 and your last day of teaching was not more than 5 years ago, then you do not currently have to be accredited to work as a teacher in NSW. Accreditation will be mandatory for all NSW school and early childhood teachers in the future. This requirement is being rolled out with a focus on  2015/16, in consultation and planning with key stakeholders.

More information

If you have a question please email or call us on 1300 739 338 (within Australia).

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