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The certification process

There are three categories of practising certificate in New Zealand – provisional, subject to confirmation, and full.

Provisional and subject to confirmation practising certificates

Provisionally certificated teachers are usually newly qualified teachers who don’t yet have enough teaching experience to meet all of the Standards for the Teaching Profession. They need to complete a broad-based programme of induction and mentoring over two years to gain full certification.

Teachers who are certificated subject to confirmation are experienced teachers who have previously met all of the Standards for the Teaching Profession, but have not been able to be assessed as meeting them recently. This is because they haven’t had enough recent teaching experience in an approved setting, or their teaching has been too part-time or casual for a meaningful assessment to have been made by their professional leader.  Some teachers who apply for registration and a practising certificate for the first time may be able to be certificated subject to confirmation.  

If you wish to have your application considered for a subject to confirmation practising certificate, you will need to provide evidence of:

  • holding a senior teaching position (at the level of Head of Department or higher), and
  • more than five years of teaching experience, and
  • evidence of recent professional development, and
  • evidence of professional support and guidance or appraisal involving a mentor/supervisor teacher provided for a period of at least two years

Applying for the first time

If you completed your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme in New Zealand, check out the step by step guide to applying for registration and your first practising certificate - or  download the PDF.


Renewing a provisional or subject to confirmation practising certificate

Check out the step by step guide for renewing a practising certificate - or download the PDF.


Full practising certificate

Fully certificated teachers are experienced teachers who have completed satisfactory recent teaching experience, and have recently been assessed as meeting all of the Standards for the Teaching Profession. To move to full certificate from provisional certification you need to:

If you have STC certification, you will need to complete at least a year’s teaching before being recommended for full certification, so that meaningful appraisal against the Standards for the Teaching Profession can be completed.

Check out the step by step guide to applying for full certification - or download the PDF.


Renewing a full practising certificate

Once you have full certification you need to renew your practising certificate to maintain it. 

Check out the step by step guide to renewing your practising certificate and maintaining full certification - or download the PDF.


Overseas teachers

If you completed your teacher education programme in a country other than New Zealand and are thinking of moving here to teach, you need to apply for teacher registration and a practising certificate. Read more about requirements for overseas teachers.

Check out the step by step guide to applying for registration in New Zealand – or download the PDF.


Certification application forms

Access forms