How it works
Accreditation continuously develops teachers. Maintaining accreditation by participating in high quality professional development (PD) is essential for teachers to improve their teaching practice. Teacher accreditation and its maintenance is your responsibility and a condition of your employment in any NSW school or approved early childhood education and care service. It happens over a set 5 year period for full time teachers and 7 years for part-time or casual teachers
Be proactive and communicate regularly
Whether you are a school teacher or an early childhood teacher (ECT), it is important to discuss your PD preferences and goals with your colleagues, school principal or management representative (for ECTs) and NESA (as TAA for early childhood teacher).
Your principal or Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAAs or TAA (A/L) may have a PD plan for your service, school or network of schools related to each of the career stages of accreditation.
Early childhood teachers, may be able to discuss PD requirements with relevant management representatives for your service and NESA (the TAA for early childhood teachers).
Maintaining teacher accreditation at specific career stages
To maintain accreditation at specific career stage you need to:
- continue to demonstrate competent teaching practice to the Standards at the relevant APST career stage
complete at least 100 hours of professional development (PD) over a set period (five years for full-time and seven years for part time or casual teachers) and submit a report at the end of each cycle that reflects competent practice.
- record you PD and keep your details updated with NESA
- pay your annual fees
Find out more on the requirements for maintaining accreditation at the career stage of:
- Proficient Teacher
- Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher
Keep focused on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers include seven Standards outlining what teachers should know and be able to do.
To maintain accreditation you need to continue to demonstrate how you are meeting the relevant career stage Standard Descriptors’ through your teaching practice, at either:
- mandatory, Proficient Teacher level
- voluntary, Highly Accomplished OR Lead Teacher level.
Complete you PD then write and submit your maintenance report
Teachers need to undertake 100 hours of PD in line with the maintenance requirements at their relevant career stage.
More about the types of PD which count towards your 100 hours
At the end of a maintenance cycle, you are required to write and submit a Maintenance of Accreditation Report specific to your career stage at either the:
• Mandatory Proficient Teacher level
• Voluntary Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher level.
This report should demonstrate how your classroom practice has reflected the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers over the period of your maintenance cycle.
Record and validate your PD achievements
When you complete any professional development (both NESA Registered and Teacher Identified) you need to make sure it has been recorded and also validated.Check your PD is validated
Pay your annual fee
NESA supports great teaching through overseeing a system of accreditation which helps train and develop teachers to improve student learning outcomes. Accreditation celebrates quality teaching and inspirational teachers and safeguards the the teaching profession.
Paying your annual fee is a condition of accreditation, and therefore employment as a teacher in a NSW school.
Your annual tax deductible fee covers the full calendar year, and can be put on hold if you are taking extended leave.
Maintenance at Proficient Teacher level
Maintenance of accreditation process ensures you continue to meet the Standards at Proficient Teacher. This involves completing 100 hours of PD. More about the types of PD which count towards your 100 hours
The 100 hours of PD must also meet particular Standard Descriptors for Proficient Teacher from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST), to include:
• all descriptors in Standard 6
• at least one descriptor from Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7.
Meeting specific Standard Descriptors at Proficient Teacher level from the APST is a requirement for all teachers at Proficient level including early childhood teachers.
Interim arrangements for early childhood teachers
There's an interim arrangement in place for early childhood teachers who were accredited at Proficient Teacher before 1 October 2016 to meet the 100 hour requirement for your initial maintenance cycle.
School teacher accredited at Professional Competence (NSW Standards) prior to 1 May 2008
PC Accreditation Date
Teacher Identified PD
NESA Registered PD
1 January 2006 – 31 December 2006
1 January 2007 – 31 December 2007
1 January 2008 – 30 April 2008
1 May 2008 onwards
Maintenance at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher level
For school teachers accredited at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher level, the 100 hours may include:
- at least 20 hours of NESA Registered PD . The descriptors achieved can only be from the Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher levels. Find a course
- at least 80 hours of Teacher Identified PD - of which 20 hours should consist of Professional Commitment activities
Your 100 hours of professional development must also meet particular Standard Descriptors for Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher level from the APST (PDF 2.2 MB)
• All descriptors in Standard 6
• At least one descriptor from Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7
Details, on the professional development framework on which the maintenance of accreditation policy was developed, are in the Professional Learning Policy (PDF 894 KB)
More information on the requirements and processes around maintenance of accreditation at specific career stages can be found in:
• Maintenance of Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Policy (PDF 448) KB)
• Maintenance of Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Policy (PDF 170 KB)
If you have a question please e-mail or phone us on 1300 739 338 (within Australia).