A Guide to NSW Teacher Accreditation

Sean Castle, Head Teacher Teaching and Learning, looks at teaching accreditation in NSW.

In my day to day role, I spend lots of time is spent talking and discussing working with staff of all levels on matters pertaining to accreditation with NESA. The areas of focus are:
Stage 1: Conditional or Provisional
Stage 2: Achieving Proficient teacher
Stage 3: Maintaining accreditation
Stage 4: Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers

The NSW Education Standards Authority have produced some very helpful tools and information. Here is a summary of their information below. It is a great place to start:

Stage 1: Conditional or Provisional

Conditional Accreditation is granted if you:

  • are in the final year of an accredited undergraduate or graduate entry teaching degree, or
  • have completed a bachelor degree and have an offer of employment as a teacher in a NSW school.

Conditional Accreditation

Conditional Accreditation allows you to apply for teaching positions, but the decision to employ rests with the employer.

You need to email a Justice of the Peace certified copy of your final transcript to NESA showing you have completed all requirements for award of your degree within one year of gaining Conditional Accreditation to move to Provisional Accreditation.

If you exceed the one year deadline, you skip the stage of Provisional Accreditation and work towards Proficient Teacher Accreditation.

If you gain employment as a teacher and are still completing your teaching degree, your final professional experience placement of your degree will need to be in a different school to the one at which you are employed. This may require you to take leave or not make yourself available for employment during this placement period. Refer to the NSW Professional Experience in Initial Teacher Education policy (PDF, 10 pages, 250KB) or speak to your ITE provider for further information.

Provisional Accreditation

Provisional Accreditation is granted to applicants who have completed an approved teaching degree.

Applying for accreditation with NESA

To apply for accreditation, you need to create an account on eTAMS.

Your application allows us to assess your eligibility to teach in a NSW school or early childhood service.

Before you start your application, it will save time if you have all of the following documents ready to upload:

  • Justice of the Peace certified copies of your university transcripts and awards for completed qualifications (evidence of current enrolment does not need to be certified)
  • Justice of the Peace certified copies of identification to the value of 100 points (eg passport or driver licence) as well as any change of name documents (eg: marriage certificate)
  • A current NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) clearance for paid employment (not voluntary). This is issued by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian
  • If your qualifications are from a country where English is not the main language you will need to provide evidence of successful completion of an English Language Proficiency Test. More information on requirements for overseas teachers is available.

When you log in, you will be prompted to create a profile and then go to your dashboard and complete these tasks:

  1. complete and submit the declaration
  2. enter details of your qualification(s) and upload your university transcript(s). If you have more than one qualification you will need to create a new entry for each qualification
  3. click on the Save and Complete button
  4. click on the application number and complete your Statement of Accreditation by uploading relevant supporting documents:
    • English Language Proficiency results (if applicable)
    • proof of identity (100 points required)
  5. click on Save and Submit when complete.

Download the Applying for Accreditation with NESA PDF (1 page, 90 KB)

How long does it take?

Applications are usually assessed within 10 working days of submission. You will receive an email when your accreditation is confirmed or you may receive advice you need to supply additional documents. This statement can be shown to employers as verification of your accreditation status.

Technical issues with eTAMS

If you are having difficulty creating an account, the application portal will not work on phones or tablets. The best browsers are Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.

Stage 2: Achieving Proficient teacher

The path to Proficient Teacher is a structured induction into teaching that supports teachers’ development in line with quality Standards. Provisional teachers have up to three years (full-time teachers) or five years (casual/part-time teachers) to achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation. Conditional teachers have up to four years as full-time teachers or six years as casual/part-time teachers to complete Proficient Teacher accreditation.

Teachers who have achieved the Proficient Teacher level are experienced teachers who have demonstrated practice that meets the requirements for full accreditation in NSW. All pre-2004 teachers accredited in 2018 begin their accreditation journey as proficient teachers.

Stage 3: Maintaining accreditation

All Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers are required to maintain their accreditation. Accreditation is important because it:

  • builds a collaborative, reflective and evidence-based teaching culture
  • supports teachers’ continuous development
  • contributes to child/student achievement and wellbeing
  • ensures the quality of the teaching profession
  • requires teachers to have a teaching qualification, meet quality standards and keep up-to-date.

The maintenance of accreditation process is a five-year cycle (seven years if casual or part-time).

Stage 4: Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers

Teachers with relevant experience may choose to have their practice recognised at higher levels i.e. as a Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher. Higher levels are voluntary and these teachers are recognised as advocates, mentors and leaders in the teaching profession.


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