Getting Started – Registration

Teacher registration ensures a minimum quality standard is applied to all teachers entering or currently teaching in New Zealand’s general education system.

registering as a teacher

Teacher registration signals your official membership of the teaching profession. Registration is one of the main ways that employers, colleagues, learners and the wider community can be assured that a teacher is qualified, safe and competent.

There are different categories of registration to show how recently a teacher has met the Registered Teacher Criteria, or whether they are yet to meet them. When you achieve registration it assures future employers, parents and the public that you are satisfactorily trained, of good character and fit to be a teacher.

Practising certificates

When your application for registration is approved you will get a practising certificate that is current for three years. With it you are legally able to be employed in a teaching position in New Zealand. A current practising certificate is mandatory for teachers in primary schools, secondary schools, free kindergartens and in many positions in early childhood education services.

Teachers need to meet specific requirements in the Education Act 1989 to be issued with registration and a practising certificate. Employers should have procedures in place to regularly check the validity of employees’ certificates.

The Teachers Council notifies teachers three months prior to their practising certificate expiring. You can keep your contact details up to date via our online contact details form. To see when your certificate expires, check the online register.

The registration process

If you’re in New Zealand and want to teach, the journey towards becoming a registered teacher begins with completing an initial teacher education (ITE) qualification, and progresses to provisional registration and a two-year induction and mentoring period.

When you have completed the induction period, have enough recent teaching experience and meet the Registered Teacher Criteria you can be recommended for full registration. Overseas teachers who want to teach in New Zealand have specific criteria they need to meet. Read more.

Registered Teacher Criteria

The Registered Teacher Criteria describe the criteria for quality teaching in New Zealand. All teachers seeking to gain and maintain full registration must meet the Registered Teacher Criteria. Read more.

Registration application forms

Access all teacher registration forms online.

Contact the team

Email the registration team