Maintaining teacher accreditation

Teacher accreditation is a structure through which teachers meet the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the Standards). Teacher accreditation ensures the integrity and accountability of the teaching profession in NSW.

Merise Bickley
NESA - Head, Early Childhood Teaching Standards and Accreditation, Accredited Teacher, Proficient

Teachers maintain their accreditation by continually developing their knowledge and practice against the Standards. Reflecting critically on teaching practice informs ongoing professional development that supports teachers’ practice.

In July 2021 many NSW early childhood teachers are due to finalise their first maintenance of accreditation period. This article looks at how they can ensure they are ready to finalise their maintenance by their due date.

Professional development

Professional development (PD) helps teachers enhance their practice to improve the learning outcomes of children. It provides opportunities to extend teachers’ learning and supports professional growth in line with the Standards.

Accredited teachers must complete 100 hours of professional development (PD) to meet requirements in each maintenance period.

As part of their PD requirements, most early childhood teachers accredited at Proficient Teacher, who are due to finalise in July 2021, need to complete 20 hours of NESA Registered PD in their first maintenance period. (Note: Teachers accredited at Proficient Teacher after July 2018 are required to complete 50 hours of NESA Registered PD as part of their 100 hours of PD.)

There are several types of PD:

NESA Registered PD is designed and delivered by an endorsed provider.

Teacher Identified PD is any professional learning activity that enhances and strengthens a teacher’s practice and aligns to the Standards. This includes courses, networking, workshops, professional reflections on teaching practice and attending conferences.

Further Study as PD must be at diploma level or above.

Teachers manage PD in their NESA online account by:

  • checking their PD Progress Report to track their PD hours
  • evaluating NESA Registered PD
  • logging Teacher Identified PD
  • applying for any Further Study as PD.

Keeping details updated

Changes to teachers’ circumstances may have a bearing on accreditation timeframes. Teachers can update their details (address, employment and contact details), add their Working With Children Check clearance and pay their annual fee in their NESA online account (eTAMS).

They can also apply for any future leave (for 6 months or longer) in their NESA online account or apply for past leave by completing the form on the NESA website. A Leave of Absence puts a teacher’s accreditation on hold for periods they are not teaching.

If you have worked part-time or casual at any time during your maintenance period, you can request to change your maintenance period to seven years by sending evidence of your employment status to NESA. Evidence can include an employment contract, pay slip or letter from your employer.

Finalising maintenance

Teachers can finalise in the final three months of their maintenance period. Once they have completed all requirements, including their PD, they:

  • log in to their NESA online account
  • ensure their employment details are correct
  • declare they have met their maintenance requirements and submit.

Once submitted, a nominated person will attest whether the teacher has continued to maintain their practice against the Standards. Their Teacher Accreditation Authority will then make the accreditation decision.

eTAMS Help has useful resources on completing online accreditation tasks. This includes instructions on evaluating and logging PD, updating employment details and submitting maintenance of accreditation.

Visit educationstandards.nsw.gov.au for more information on teacher accreditation.

Get in touch with NESA on 1300 739 338 or email ptenquiry@nesa.nsw.edu.au

Working towards Proficient Teacher accreditation?

Provisionally accredited teachers achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation with the support of a supervisor. The Proficient Teacher Accreditation Policy and NESA’s Proficient Teacher web pages explain the processes for achieving accreditation.

Visit educationstandards.nsw.gov.au for more information.

Merise Bickley
NESA - Head, Early Childhood Teaching Standards and Accreditation, Accredited Teacher, Proficient