There is currently no system for automatic mutual recognition across the states and territories for teachers in Australia.
Members may be aware that the Australian Government is implementing a scheme to cut red tape for skilled workers, with the aim of increasing occupational mobility across the country.
The teaching workforce is currently exempt from the provisions of this scheme due to the disparities that exist between the states and territories on matters such as teacher accreditation and child protection provisions.
Work is currently underway between the various jurisdictions to achieve a closer alignment on these and other issues, but teachers living in border regions who may want to work in both states, or teachers moving from one state to another, will need to comply with the requirements set by the applicable regulatory authority, such as the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) or the Teacher Quality Institute (TQI) in the ACT.
Teaching in another state
Each state or territory has its own regulatory body for teachers. In NSW, that body is NESA. Although there may be slight differences in the application process, there are some commonalities at the time of writing.
It is important that you have not allowed your registration (more usually called accreditation in NSW) to lapse. Other jurisdictions are partly relying on NESA’s oversight as part of their decision to grant mutual recognition. Maintaining your accreditation in NSW until you have been recognised in another state includes paying your yearly fee to NESA and making sure your Working With Children Check remains current.
Proof of identity must be supplied, including former names, and eligibility to work (citizenship or residency status).
Evidence of qualifications is required. You must apply for the background check that applies in the state or territory where you wish to work. As an example, the ACT requires teachers to apply for the Working With Vulnerable People card as part of the submission process.
- Australian Capital Territory: ACT Teacher Quality Institute
- Victoria: Victorian Institute of Teaching
- Queensland: Queensland College of Teachers
- Northern Territory: Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory
- South Australia: Teachers Registration Board of South Australia
- Western Australia: Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia
- Tasmania: Teachers Registration Board of Tasmania
In the ACT and want to work in NSW?
Teachers in the ACT who are moving to NSW, or who live close enough to the border to work in both jurisdictions, need to apply for initial accreditation with NESA as a first step.
To complete the initial accreditation process you will need to supply:
- Certified copies of university transcripts and awards for completed qualifications
- 100 points of identification
- A current NSW Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance for paid employment issued by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
- Completion of an approved English language proficiency test if your qualifications are from a country where English is not the main language.
Once you have completed these steps you will be able access your online NESA account and finalise the Teacher Registration task.
If you do not live in NSW and do not teach exclusively in NSW, you may be exempt from the annual NESA accreditation fee.
To claim the exemption you will need to provide the following evidence:
- current full registration in another state or territory
- a statement of service or other proof that you work as a teacher in a jurisdiction outside NSW
- proof of interstate address
There may well be some changes as the states and territories work towards automatic mutual recognition, so members should check directly with the regulatory authority in the jurisdiction where they are seeking employment for the most current information at the time of application.