Teacher accreditation reform
NESA is updating teacher accreditation requirements for NSW in stages. Find updates and information about the changes to teacher accreditation.
Changes to accreditation requirements
NESA is implementing reforms to teacher accreditation requirements in NSW. The teacher accreditation reforms are being implemented in stages, and will streamline processes and make it clearer what teachers need to do at each stage of accreditation.
NESA released a video to explain the reform changes. The video explains why the reforms are being introduced and how they will impact teachers, principals, schools and services.
To learn more about the reform process, watch the video below.
NSW Teacher Accreditation Manual
The TA Manual describes the requirements, conditions and criteria for teacher accreditation in NSW. It is being implemented in stages.
The TA Manual defines the roles and responsibilities of:
- Accreditation Supervisors
- principals/service directors
- HALT Assessors and External Assessors
View the NSW Teacher Accreditation Manual which provides information on accreditation in one easily accessible location.
NSW Public Register of Teachers
The Public Register aligns NSW with all other states and territories that already have a public list of registered teachers.
By appearing on the NSW Public Register, the community knows that a teacher:
- is qualified
- meets national teaching standards
- has a current Working with Children Check (WWCC)
- regularly completes professional development.
You can use the search by visiting the NSW Public Register of Teachers.
The reforms are being introduced in stages during 2022 and 2023. Below are key dates in the timeline.
30 June 2022
NSW Public Register published (Section 3 of the TA Manual).
24 October 2022
NSW TA Manual is published.
29 November 2022
NESA becomes the decision maker for all stages of accreditation (Sections 4-7, 9, 12 and 14 of the TA Manual).
27 February 2023
Suitability to teach assessments are introduced for new teachers (Section 13 of the TA Manual).
17 July 2023
Streamlining the logging of Elective Professional Development (Section 5.1.1 of the TA Manual).
10 November 2023
- Streamlined maintenance of accreditation processes for Proficient teachers (Section 5.1 of the TA Manual).
- First time and re-accreditation applicants consent to a nationally coordinated criminal history check and new ID requirements.
Further changes to be implemented:
- non-practising teacher accreditation will be implemented on 8 December 2023 (Section 8 of the TA Manual).
- principals will be able to delegate responsibility for making Proficient teacher accreditation recommendations via the electronic Teacher Accreditation Management System (eTAMS).
The role of NESA in accreditation decisions
NESA now makes all accreditation decisions for all teachers in NSW. This means teachers from the three school sectors and early childhood services have the same accreditation decision maker.
It also means there will be a consistent process for the first time.
Streamlining Elective Professional Development recording
Teachers no longer need to log Elective PD in their NESA online account (eTAMS).
Teachers can record Elective PD in a way that suits them.
Teachers can record Elective PD anytime and anyway that suits them in their daily practice, needing to only capture essential information, including:
- date PD was completed
- duration of each PD activity
- the Standard Descriptor(s) your activity addresses from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
- whether the activity was a Professional commitment activity (required by HALTs).
Teachers can use our optional Elective PD personal record (PDF, 4 pages, 2.17MB) or their preferred method of capturing the essential information.
Teachers no longer need to write a reflection for each PD activity
Elective PD must continue to address the Standard Descriptors, but teachers no longer need to explain how each PD activity meets the Standard Descriptors.
Teachers still need to complete 100 hours of PD, including the minimum NESA Accredited PD requirements.
Previously logged Elective PD in eTAMS is still visible.
For some time, we will continue to provide the option for teachers to log Elective PD online as they transition to the new and simplified process. We will advise teachers when this function will be removed. Teachers will still be able to view Elective PD previously logged in eTAMS.
Teachers do not need to submit their Elective PD record to their principal or service director
When a teacher finalises their maintenance of accreditation, they do not need to submit their Elective PD record to their principal or service director.
Instead, when a teacher submits their maintenance of accreditation, they declare that any balance of their mandatory 100 hours of PD has been met through Elective PD.
Teachers need to retain the Elective PD record for 12 months after their maintenance period ends, and provide this record to NESA if they are randomly audited as part of our quality assurance processes.
Suitability to teach
Suitability to teach assessments have been expanded to include teachers applying for initial accreditation and those seeking re-accreditation.
Suitability assessments are in addition to the mandatory Working with Children Check (WWCC) clearance, with the aim of ensuring only those candidates suited to teach in NSW classrooms and early childhood services are accredited.
Being suitable to teach is also an ongoing requirement of accreditation at all levels.
Teacher accreditation reforms require NESA to broaden its scope for suitability to teach assessments. This is in response to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
First time accreditation and re-accreditation applicants
First time accreditation and re-accreditation applicants now need to complete a new ID process, and consent to a nationally coordinated criminal history check. These changes ensure our children are better protected and community expectations of NSW teachers are upheld. They align NESA with other jurisdictions, improving national consistency on suitability to teach processes.
The following changes now apply:
- Consent to a nationally coordinated criminal history check for new and returning teachers – Nationally coordinated criminal history checks are conducted via the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). It is expected that 95% of checks will be processed within 10 business days though some applicants may require further investigation or may need to provide additional information. All assessments are considered on a case-by-case basis. Having a criminal conviction does not automatically deem a person unsuitable to teach.
- Assessment of overseas criminal history – If you have lived overseas for 12 consecutive months or more in the past 5 years, you will need to provide either:
- an international police check
- a national police check from a specific country/countries.
- New ID processes – We must collect information needed to perform a nationally coordinated criminal history check. We have updated our ID requirements to collect 3 identity documents that biometrically link applicants to their ID. Biometric linkage helps us verify an identity and ensure sensitive information is not disclosed to an unauthorised person.
If you are an accredited teacher or have already applied for accreditation, you do not need to provide any more information.
You can learn more about how suitability to teach is assessed by visiting suitability to teach.
Why there is teacher accreditation reform
Recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the National Review of Teacher Registration prompted the need for amendments to the Teacher Accreditation Act 2004 in 2020.
The reforms gave NESA the opportunity to improve national consistency and assess what other areas of the Teacher Accreditation Act could be amended to:
- improve the effectiveness of the teacher accreditation process
- reduce administrative burden on teachers, schools and services
- relieve or reduce unnecessary compliance practices.
You can learn more about why teacher accreditation is being reformed by reading the NSW Government’s response to the Royal Commission.