Teacher Registration - FAQs


The Teachers Council has introduced some changes to registration requirements.  View a brief NZEI Te Riu Roa summary, or go to the Council's microsite here.

Beginning Teacher Time Allowance

What is the Beginning Teacher Time Allowance (BTTA)
This is additional staffing to assist primary and area schools to meet the employer obligations to beginning teachers. The allowance is for the board to ‘enable an advice and guidance programme to be resourced.

Who is able to use the time allowance?
  • In primary schools, the time allowance is allocated to the school, not to the individual teacher. The time must be used by the school to support the advice and guidance programme for the provisionally registered teacher. Schools should have policy clarifying the use of the BTTA by those involved with the advice and guidance programme.
  • In areas schools, there is a contractual right for the teacher to receive a time allowance for their advice and guidance programme.

What are the eligibility criteria?

For the school to be eligible for the BTTA, the beginning teacher must:

  • have completed an approved teacher education programme
  • have completed less than twenty-four months teaching
  • meet the service eligibility (see grid below)
  • be appointed to the position for a minimum of ten weeks/one term
  • be paid from Teacher Salaries, or relieving for a teacher granted Ministry of Education study leave. (ie not paid from Operational Funding [Bulk Grant])

An appropriate advice and guidance programme must be provided by the school for provisionally registered teachers who are employed above entitlement, or who do not meet the beginning teacher criteria, even where no Ministry resourcing is available.

How much time is there?

The Beginning Teacher Time Allowance
  Teaching experience Teacher Employed Allowance
Beginning Teacher (1st Year) Less than 12 months Full Time (1.00 FTTE) 0.2 FTTE
Part Time (0.5 – 0.9 FTTE) 0.1 FTTE
Less than 0.5 FTTE Not eligible
Beginning Teacher (2nd Year) Between 12 and 24 months Full Time 0.1 FTTE
Less than Full Time Not eligible

The principal applies to the Ministry for the BTTA using these forms. The Ministry of Education Funding, Staffing and Allowances Handbook contains further information. Can the BTTA be back dated?
No. The Ministry approves the staffing from the date the application is received, or the date the teacher takes up the position, whichever is the later date. The board (or principal) should apply immediately following the appointment of an eligible teacher. Is the PRT also eligible for the CRT?

Yes. if they are eligible under the criteria to provide teachers with classroom release time (CRT). Eligible beginning teachers are entitled to CRT in addition to any release associated with the advice and guidance programmes.

Please Note:
In exceptional circumstances, some PRTs may not meet the beginning teacher eligibility criteria as outlined above. Schools employing such teachers should contact NZEI 0800 HELP.
For further assistance, contact NZEI 0800 HELP.

Support Grant for PRTs in ECE 

What is the Support Grant?The Support Grant for PRTs provides additional funding for some permanently employed PRTs who are ECE qualified in achieving full registration.

The Support Grant is available only for licensed teacher-led services funded below the 80% registered funding band. This means most PRTs will not be eligible for the grant.

NZEI has expressed grave concern at the removal of this funding, and is campaigning for the funding cuts to be reinstated.

Note all PRTs are required to an induction and mentoring/advice and guidance programme even if the Support Grant is not available.

Contact your worksite representative or 0800 NZEI HELP for assistance if you do not have such a programme.

What does this mean for those teachers who are eligible for a support grant?

The following information is provided for teachers who are eligible for the Support Grant. 

What can the support grant be used for?

NZEI believes that decisions about the use of the grant should be made in close collaboration with the PRT and the mentor teacher. It is intended that this grant will directly benefit the PRT, and support their work in achieving the goals they have identified as part of their advice and guidance programme.

Contact 0800 NZEI HELP if you feel your service’s grant is not being used appropriately.

The grant must be used to provide support for working towards full registration status. Ministry of Education approved uses are:

  • Professional learning experiences (such as release time for a supervisor/tutor from the same service as the provisionally registered teacher to do the role, release time for the provisionally registered teacher, and payment of external mentor teacher fees).
  • Professional development opportunities (Fees and travel costs for: attending seminars, conferences, workshops, short courses and observations of best practice).
  • The chance to gather evidence and advice for best teaching practices, including the costs to compile portfolios.

Which teachers are ‘provisionally registered’ in terms of the support grant?

For the purposes of the support grant, ‘provisionally registered teachers’ are all teachers who:
  • hold the Diploma of Teaching (ECE) or another New Zealand Teachers Council approved ECE qualification and
  • hold a New Zealand Teachers Council practising certificate that indicates they are provisionally registered as teachers.
  • For the support grant, 'PRT' does not include NZ qualified primary teachers.
Where can I find more information?
Ministry of Education: Support Grant For PRTs or 0800 NZEI HELP

Salary for Beginning Teachers in Schools (PRTs)

NZEI believes beginning teachers must have a smooth start to their teaching career. Making sure beginning teachers get paid on the correct step from the start of their first year of teaching is a key to this. NZEI has developed steps to help get it right:
The principal is responsible for ensuring the beginning teacher has provided a complete and accurate set of information before the principal’s declaration is signed and the forms are sent to the Salary Assesment Unit and the school’s local payroll provider.

There are two forms that must be completed:
  • FORM NOVO1t – will be sent to the school’s local payroll provider
  • FORM NOVO7t – will be sent to the Salary Assessment Unit
  • Beginning teachers must check that all the required pay-related information detailed on the forms is completed correctly before giving the information to the principal for processing.
  • Beginning teachers should start by collecting all the information needed. Make sure:
    • all documents are certified (e.g. qualifications, and relevant work experience documentation) and by a person who is allowed to take declarations
    • all documents are signed
    • the school stamp is used when the principal certifies a document
    • all statements of service contain the full date (i.e. day/month/year) and hours worked per week
    • certified true copies are stamped and signed as a true copy (no photocopies of the certification)
  • Make sure all required information is completed accurately and in the format specified.
  • The Salary Assessment Unit will process the application within fifteen days and send it on to the payroll provider Novopay for payment in the next possible pay period.
  • Incomplete forms will be returned to the school. When the Salary Assessment Unit finally receives all correct and completed documents the clock starts again, i.e. fifteen days for processing before it is sent to the payroll provider Novopay for payment in the next possible pay period.
  • If information is missing, or not specific as required, then a beginning teacher will be paid at the minimum step on the scale until the correct information is finally received by the Salary Assessment Unit. Only then will the Salary Assessment Unit send it to the school’s local payroll provider Novopay for processing.
  • Until the process is completed a beginning teacher will not be on the correct step of the teachers' salary scale. This could leave the teacher in a difficult financial position at the start of their career. Further details are available at NOVOPAY and salary assessment, NZEI checklists for provisionally registered teachers and principals contain advice about many topics including the counting previous work experience for salary purposes.
For assistance call NZEI 0800 HELP.

Renewal of a practising certificate

How can principals/professional leaders and teachers ensure that practising certificates do not expire?
The expiry date is noted on the practising certificate (the wallet card) and the register on the website. The Council sends reminders to individual teachers prior to the expiry date (Teachers must keep their details up to date with the Teachers Council for this to happen). Schools and centres should have a system to highlight when practising certif icates are due to expire. This can be linked to the school’s or centre’s appraisal system. When can a teacher apply?
The Council will now accept applications for renewal of practising certificates as early as six months prior to the expiry date. NZEI recommends early application to ensure the practising certificate remains current. What needs to happen if a practising certificate expires?
Teachers need to be aware that, if their practising certificate expires and the renewal process has not been completed, there are two actions that allow them to continue to teach legally.
  • They may teach for up to twenty half-days in a year, after which -
  • the employer must apply for an extension in order to continue to employ that teacher.
This extension means that although the teacher does not have a current practising certificate, their employment remains legal. If a practising certificate expires, NZEI would advise that application for an extension is made immediately (ie prior to the twenty half-days being completed).

What happens when a teacher applies to renew their practising certificate?

When a teacher applies for renewal of a practising certificate, the Teachers Council sends an acknowledgement letter. This acknowledgement letter confirms receipt of the application, and informs the teacher that an extension can be issued to the employer. This letter is not evidence that the teacher holds teacher registration and a practising certificate, but can be supplied to an employer as evidence that the Teachers Council has received an application. Where the practising certificate expires, and the teacher is already employed, the teacher may teach for twenty-half days without a current practising certificate. Once that time is competed, the employer must have an extension in order to be able to continue employing that teacher. Late fee for teachers renewing/applying for practising certificates
The Teachers Council has now introduced a late fee of $50.00 (including GST) for teachers employed in teaching positions who fail to renew or apply for their practising certificates by the due date. This is additional to the cost of the practising certificate fee of $220.80. For more information visit their website - www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz

Extension to a practising certificate

When a teacher’s practising certificate has expired an extension is required to ensure employment remains legal.

Step One: The teacher must:
The teacher must send an application for registration or the renewal of a practising certificate to the New Zealand Teachers Council on the Teachers Council’s Form TC1 or TC3. Step Two: The principal/professional leader must:
The principal/professional leader must request an extension to be able to continue to employ the teacher beyond the twenty half days allowed under the Act. The request must

be in writing by:
fax to 04 471 0870, or
e-mail to inquiries@teacherscouncil.govt.nz or
post to PO Box 5326, Wellington.
  • include the teacher’s name and registration number
  • be made on letterhead.
The Council will now accept applications for renewal of practising certificates as early as six months prior to the expiry date. NZEI recommends early application to ensure the practising certificate remains current.

In the early childhood education sector, the Council can grant extensions to practising certificates only to those who are employed in settings where teacher registration is compulsory.
Information on the implications of this for funding is available separately.

Late fee for teachers renewing/applying for practising certificates

The Teachers Council has now introduced a late fee of $50.00 (including GST) for teachers employed in teaching positions who fail to renew or apply for their practising certificates by the due date. This is additional to the cost of the practising certificate fee of $220.80. For more information visit their website - www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz

Professional development requirements

  • A key requirement for the renewal of the practising certifi cate is clear evidence of professional development.
  • All teachers should maintain a log of their professional development.
  • All principals and professional leaders should ensure a system to record individual teacher development as part of her/his personal file.
The Teachers Council notes the following in the guide for the Form TC 3 Application to Renew Registered Teacher’s 3 Year Practising Certificate.

Examples of suitable professional development activities

Continuing education in teaching, or in your teaching subject(s), through:
  • Tertiary courses
  • Professional development contracts
  • Workshops, seminars and conferences, or
  • Professional reading.
Relevant research–based activities, such as:
  • Action research
  • Developing a new programme
Writing or producing an educational book, article or resource.

Directly assisting other teachers or student teachers by, for example, being:
  • A supervising or tutor teacher
  • A student teacher mentor or associate teacher
  • A curriculum leader within a learning centre
  • An advisor or resource person.
Professional activities such as:
  • Co–operative planning, review and programme development with colleagues, or
  • Active participation in subject associations or education organisations.

Professional development support for relieving teachers is important. This needs some co-ordination and can be best achieved through school clusters. Individual principals should consider sending a list to all teachers
on its relieving list of staff meetings and staff professional development dates for the term with an invitation to attend A further option is for schools to apply for funding to support professional development for relieversthrough the Ministry of Education’s School Based Relief Teacher Training Initiative. (www.minedu.govt.nz)

NZEI members teaching overseas

It is recommended that members check their individual circumstances with the New Zealand Teachers Council prior to their travel. Members should ensure that the NZTC has an address in New Zealand to which mail can be sent, especially if your practising certifi cate will expire during your overseas trip.

Special Education Field Staff

Does employment as Ministry of Education field staff mean that I can still be a registered teacher?

Yes, you can maintain your teacher registration. Field staff are often experienced teachers who may be entitled to teacher registration in the category of full registration or the category of subject to confirmation.
In either case, you are a registered teacher.

Why am I to be registered subject to confirmation (STC)?

‘Subject to Confirmation’ is a category of teacher registration. The teacher is a registered teacher, and will have a practising certificate (the wallet card) which notes the registration number, expiry date, and the category of the teacher registration. The STC category is intended for experienced teachers who have previously been registered but who for valid reasons do not currently meet the criteria for full registration.

The Council has redefined that registration subject to confirmation “signals the teacher
  • has had at least two years teaching experience; and
  • has been inducted into the teaching profession by successfully completing a two year programme of induction and mentoring (or its equivalent) which is comprehensive, educative and evaluative; but
  • for valid reasons has not been able to be meaningfully assessed against the Registered Teacher Criteria within the last five years.”  (Text downloaded from the Teachers Council’s new microsite
Teachers with registration STC can reapply every three years when their practising certificate expires. The teacher may continue to be granted registration in the category of STC, as they continue to be able to be registered but may not, for valid reasons, be able to meet all the criteria for the category of full registration.

Can full registration be maintained by employees of the Ministry of Education?

The Council has acknowledged that some positions in the Ministry, such as those in special education, may involve the kinds of activities required by its criteria for full registration.  The Council has agreed to consider applications for full registration from field staff on a case by case basis.
The Ministry of Education memo to District Managers and Service Managers dated 2 September 2011 clarifies a number of issues.
Who should endorse applications by field staff seeking to have their teacher’s practising certificate renewed?

The Ministry of Education memo to District Managers and Service Managers dated 2 September 2011 outlines these issues-do read through the memo as there is helpful information at the end of the document.
Call or email the Teachers Council to seek advice on your particular circumstance... call them well before your practising certificate is due to expire -you can apply for renewal up to six months before the date of expiry.
The Council has previously advised that, in the same way as occurs in schools and centres where the principal or the most senior registered teacher in a learning centre, endorsement that field staff are satisfactory teachers should be provided by their employer.  It should be noted that appraisal for registration links to the Council’s Registered Teacher Criteria and not the Ministry appraisal requirements.

For a Ministry of Education manager to provide an endorsement, they must be a fully registered teacher. If they are not, then their endorsement will need to be accompanied by the signature of a fully registered teacher who is in a position to assess whether the Registered Teacher Criteria have been met. This person does not have to be a Ministry employee – they could, for example, be a principal with whom the applicant has been working closely in a school or early childhood centre.
My practising certificate has expired? What should I do?

You are able to renew your practising certificate and remain as a registered teacher even if your employment with the Ministry does not require you to be registered, ie you can make a personal choice to maintain your teacher registration. It will cost you $220.80 for three years.
You can re-apply for registration, using the Council’s Form TC1, and you may be granted registration in the category of full or the category of STC depending on how you meet the criteria. There is not the option of “preferring’ or “choosing” a category - you apply for registration and are placed in a category according to how you do, or do not, meet the criteria.
Where can I access more information?
I am concerned about the categories of registration. How can things be improved?

The Teachers Council continues to work on its policy development, see their microsite for details.

Resource Teachers

Does employment as a resource teacher mean I can still be a registered teacher?

Resource teachers must be registered teachers. Resource teachers are able to renew their registration and practising certificate each three years. They are eligible to maintain a practising certificate in the category of full registration so long as they, as individuals, meet all the requirements for full registration. Can a resource teacher maintain a practising certificate in the category of full registration?
Yes, resource teachers should be able to do so. The Teachers Council Registration Form TC3 outlines the requirements.If a resource teacher cannot meet the requirements for full registration, (for example by not having taught for two out of the last five years or one year in the last three years) then the teacher will still be registered but with a practising certificate in the category of subject to confirmation.

Where can I access more information?
Teachers Council website
NZEI 0800 HELP can assist individual members.
Why are some teachers registered subject to confirmation (STC)?

If a teacher is registered subject to confirmation this signals that:

  • they are an experienced teacher
  • for valid reasons they have not been able to be meaningfully assessed against the Registered Teacher Criteria within the last five years.