Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Discretionary pathway for overseas teachers

Your NZQA report may state that your qualifications are not comparable to a recognised New Zealand teaching qualification. The discretionary application pathway allows your qualifications, teaching experience, appraisal material and professional development to be taken into consideration.

The Education Council will use the information you provide with your application to determine whether or not you are satisfactorily trained to teach.

Please note, if your application to register as a teacher and be granted a practising certificate is approved under the discretionary pathway you would be unlikely to be considered ECE qualified under the Ministry of Education handbook for funding and licensing in ECE. If that is the case, you would also be unlikely to be considered qualified as “person responsible” for opening and closing an ECE centre.  If you are going to teach in ECE you should complete an ECE specific Initial Teacher Education programme.

When to apply

The Council considers discretionary applications at a monthly meeting. Once we have received your application we may request further information. This must be provided by the deadline given to ensure there is enough time for consideration and processing.

The Council requires some teachers to complete a Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme. If you completed your teaching qualification six or more years ago and have not completed teaching acceptable to the Council since then, it is likely that you will be required to complete a TER programme before you apply for registration and a practising certificate.

How to apply through the discretionary pathway

You must complete the EC15 application form and provide the documents listed below.

Please provide certified copies of originals and don’t send information in sleeved folders or bound booklets, as this makes your application harder to photocopy.

1. NZQA assessment report of your qualifications - The Council will look for evidence that you have appropriate tertiary qualifications for teaching in the New Zealand education system, and appropriate qualifications for teaching in the public education system in your previous country.

2. Certified copies of each of your qualifications - Please provide an explanation of the practicum component of your teaching qualification including the length, age of learners taught and the type of institution where you completed your practicum.

3. Teaching service - Please provide evidence of all teaching service. If you have any significant gaps in teaching service, please explain them. Include details of any senior teaching positions that you have held and of the types of institutions where you have taught. Statements of service from employers are preferred.

4. Language proficiency - Evidence that you meet the Education Council's current language proficiency requirements.

5. Appraisal and induction - Evidence of a supervised programme of induction or mentored teaching. Please provide evidence of appraisal documentation, lesson observations and performance documentation relating to your teaching experience within the last five years.

6. Professional development - Evidence of continuing education or professional development. List workshops, seminars, in-house training and courses that you have undertaken since gaining your initial teacher education qualification.

7. Support from professional leaders - Testimonials or references (on official letterhead, signed and dated) that relate to the Graduating Teacher Standards, and Fit to be a Teacher requirements. These testimonials should be written by a Principal or Centre Manager. Testimonials from other senior teachers can be considered. They should be recent -- within the last 10 years.

8. A current copy of your curriculum vitae

The decision making process

The Council considers discretionary applications on the basis of all the material you provide. The following factors are taken into account:

  • Your qualifications, including the content and level at which they have been placed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework by the NZQA.
  • How much teaching experience you have and whether it was recent.
  • Appraisal documentation and comments by your professional leader/s attesting to your ability to meet the standards for certification in New Zealand.
  • Evidence of professional development. It is important that you provide as much relevant information as possible. Each application is considered as an individual case and all material is reviewed thoroughly by a Committee. There can be no prior assurances about the final outcome until the Council has made its decision.

More about teacher certification.