The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is the professional body for teachers. 

We work with and for around 150,000 registered and certificated teachers in New Zealand, in early childhood, primary and secondary schooling and in English and Māori medium settings. 

The Teaching Council’s purpose is to ensure safe and high-quality leadership, teaching and learning for children and young people. We do this by ensuring teachers are competent, fit to practice and accountable for the way in which they teach. 

The fee and levy teachers pay to be registered and certificated fund us. 

Many professional bodies in New Zealand play a solely regulatory function for their members but the Teaching Council is more than just a regulatory body. 

Our functions are expressly set out in the Education and Training Act 2020.  Specifically, our responsibilities are:

  • to provide direction for teachers
  • to enhance the status of teachers
  • to identify and disseminate best practice in teaching and foster the teaching profession’s continued development in light of research and evidence of changes in society and technology
  • to carry out the functions relating to teacher registration
  • to establish and maintain any criteria for teacher registration that the Teaching Council considers necessary or desirable and to review, vary, or delete the criteria for teacher registration
  • to establish and maintain standards for qualifications that lead to teacher registration and to review, vary, or delete the standards for qualifications
  • to conduct, in conjunction with quality assurance agencies, approvals of teacher education programmes
  • to establish and maintain:
    • standards for ongoing practice; and
    • criteria for the issue of practising certificates of different kinds
  • to establish and maintain a code of conduct for teachers
  • to monitor and enforce the requirements relating to mandatory reporting
  • to perform the disciplinary functions relating to teacher misconduct and reports of teacher convictions
  • to set the criteria for reporting serious misconduct and for reporting on competence issues
  • to perform the functions relating to teacher competence
  • to co-ordinate a system providing for the vetting by the Police of all teachers
  • to perform any other functions conferred on it by this Act or any other enactment

With the written approval of the Minister our functions may also include:

  • to provide leadership to the education profession
  • to enhance the status of education leaders
  • to identify and disseminate best practice in education leadership

 The Council is one part of the education system and we work closely with teachers, leaders, education academics, the Ministry of Education, unions, associations and other education organisations. 

Teacher registration and certification

We check teachers’ qualifications, teaching experience, Police vet, and that they are meeting the standards set for the profession. This is a way of ensuring quality of teaching.  Holding registration and a practising certificate shows the public, learners and fellow teachers that they are the best people for educating children and young people. 

Maintaining the Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards for the Teaching Profession

We maintain and support teachers to use the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Standards for the Teaching Profession | Ngā Tikanga Matatika, Ngā Paerewa, review and monitor teacher training programmes, facilitate a vision for leadership through the Leadership Strategy, and more. 

As an independent body we speak up on behalf of the profession on big issues that affect teachers, for example physical restraint in schools. We use teachers’ expert opinion to influence legislation and policy.  

Ensuring high standards of ethical behaviour and high-quality teacher practice

We investigate when a mandatory report or complaint is submitted alleging misconduct or competence issues. This is to ensure all learners, parents, whānau, the public and the entire profession can be sure their children are safe, and the reputation of all teachers is safeguarded. Some teachers we support in a rehabilitative way to get back on track, some receive conditions on their practising certificates, while a few teachers face the Disciplinary Tribunal.  

Our roles and statutory functions - how they are funded

  • Section 479(1) of the Education & Training Act 2019 specifies the mandatory functions that the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is required to undertake.  
  • The Teaching Council sets fees and the levy to be paid by registered teachers to fund the delivery of these mandatory statutory functions.  
  • By law, the Teaching Council is only allowed to recover the actual and reasonable costs of delivering those functions from teachers.  
  • An independent expert assessment of the reasonableness of the Teaching Council’s costs has been undertaken, and Treasury public sector guidelines for setting charges have been applied.  
  • Expected costs of undertaking the mandatory statutory functions for the next three-year operating period have been estimated based on 2020/21 actual costs, less anticipated savings and cost reductions identified by the Teaching Council. 
  • The fee and levy are set at the level that will recover these estimated costs over three-year cost recovery period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025. Fees and the levy will be reviewed at the end of the three-year cost recovery period, with any over or under recoveries taken into account when proposing any future increases
  • Section 479(2) of the Education & Training Act 2019 specifies the optional functions that the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand can only perform with the approval of the Minister of Education.  
  • These optional functions are related to leadership of the profession, enhancing the status of education leaders, and identifying and disseminating best practice in education leadership. 
  • The fees and levy paid by teachers cannot be used to fund the Teaching Councils optional statutory functions under S479(2) – these must be paid for by government. 

The Council has six underlying Pou that relate to the mandatory functions carried out by us. The total cost of the six Pou is $18.122M annually. 

The forecast average annual cost of each Pou for the period July 2022 to June 2025 is as follows: 

  • Pou Matatika (functions related to conduct) is estimated to cost $7.782M. 
  • Pou Mataara (functions related to competence) is estimated to cost $1.535M.
  • Pou Whai Rēhitanga (functions related to registration) is estimated to cost $5.506M.
  • Pou Tikanga Matatika, Ngā Paerewa (functions related to the Code and Standards) is estimated to cost $0.766M.
  • Pou Here Tōmua (functions related to initial teacher education) is estimated to cost $1.780M.
  • Pou Aro Whakamua (functions related to the status and direction of teachers and the dissemination of best practice) is estimated to cost $0.753M.


See a detailed breakdown of costs for each Pou here