Overseas teachers

Information for teachers outside of New Zealand who want to teach in New Zealand, including English language requirements, registration, police checks and how to find a job.

Overseas Teachers

If you’re a teacher who completed your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) qualification outside New Zealand and want to teach here, you need to:


Assessing your qualifications and experience

You’ll need to have your overseas qualifications assessed by NZQA to determine their comparability to a New Zealand teaching qualification. The NZQA report provides the Teachers Council with key information, including accreditation status of the training provider, authentication of your qualification and levelling against the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

The Teachers Council will then use NZQA’s International Qualifications Assessment report when considering whether you meet the registration standard 'satisfactorily trained to teach'.

Apply for an international qualifications assessment on the NZQA website.

Pathways into registration

If your international qualifications assessment report shows that your qualifications are assessed by NZQA as comparable to an approved New Zealand ITE qualification, the Council considers this as evidence that you are satisfactorily trained to teach.

Discretionary pathway for some overseas teachers

If your qualification/s are not comparable, your application will be considered under the discretionary pathway. This means we will assess, as a package, information including your qualifications, teaching experience, appraisal material and professional development to determine whether you meet the registration requirement of being ‘satisfactorily trained to teach'. Teaching experience on its own will not be sufficient for becoming registered in New Zealand.  To be registered as a teacher a person needs to have a tertiary level qualification that includes sufficient elements of teacher education and pedagogical study.  Find out more

Some teachers choose an employment based pathway (such as the Graduate Teacher Programme) that does not result in the award of a qualification from an accredited institution, in order to be employed as a teacher overseas. Find out more

Language requirements

For an overseas teacher to be registered or granted a Limited Authority to Teach (LAT) you need to provide evidence that you meet the Teachers Council's language policy.

Police clearance

If you have lived for 12 months or more in any country other than New Zealand within the last 10 years, you will need a national police clearance certificate from that country that covers the entire period of time you lived there. How to apply for a police clearance

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement

Teachers who hold current registration with the following registration bodies are eligible to be considered for registration under the provisions of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act.

  • Queensland College of Teachers
  • Teachers Registration Board of South Australia
  • Victoria Institute of Teaching
  • Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania
  • Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia
  • Teachers Registration Board of the Northern Territory
  • ACT Teacher Quality Institute.

You will need to complete a TC0 application form and forward it to the Teachers Council along with the registration fee, a certified copy of your current registration in Australia, and an Australian national police certificate.

Finding a teaching job in New Zealand

Schools and early childhood services are responsible for employing their own staff. There is no central staffing agency and no government department responsible for staff placement.

You can apply directly to schools or centres.

All applications should be made to the employing school. In early childhood services, teachers are employed by the licensee or owner of the service and you should apply to the employing centre.

You can also find work through the Ministry of Education’s preferred teacher recruitment agencies, which offer a free recruitment service to teachers.

Teaching positions are advertised in a range of ways including: