How to apply for registration/certification for the first time [Video]

What’s the difference between registration and a practising certificate? 

Registration shows you are qualified, competent and fit for teaching.  Registration alone doesn’t allow you to lawfully work as a teacher. You also need a current practising certificate. 

A practising certificate shows you have recent teaching experience or equivalent, professional development and that you are of good character and fit to be a teacher (including a Police vet).  

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How long does registration last? 

Once granted, registration does not expire, but it can be cancelled (for example, on grounds of serious misconduct).   

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How long does a practising certificate last? 

Practising certificates are issued for three years and must be up to date (i.e. renewed) to lawfully be employed in kura, schools, and early childhood centres. 

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What do the different categories of practising certificate mean? 

There are three main practising certificates depending on where you are in your teaching career: 

Certificate name 

What it means 

Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate 


  • You are a recently qualified teacher, or are new to the New Zealand teaching profession 
  • You need to complete an induction and mentoring programme, supported by a fully certificated mentor teacher, before they can be assessed using the Standards | Ngā Paerewa to be issued with a Tūturu | Full (Category One) Practising Certificate 

Tūturu | Full (Category One)  Practising Certificate 

  • You are an experienced teacher 
  • You have recent teaching experience 
  • You have recently been endorsed as meeting all the Standards | Ngā Paerewa  

Pūmau | Full (Category Two) Practising Certificate 

*Previously Subject to Confirmation 

  • You are an experienced teacher 
  • You are not currently able to be endorsed as meeting all the Standards | Ngā Paerewa because of your teaching role type 

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How long can I stay on a Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate? 

It is important to become fully certificated by gaining Tūturu | Full (Category One)This means you have undertaken induction and mentoring for at least two years and have been supported over that time to make the transition from being a student teacher with limited experience to being a confident and effective teacher.  

Tūturu also means you meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa. All teachers holding a Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate should be working to meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa and be issued with a Tūturu | Full Practising Certificate (Category One) as soon as possible, with the appropriate support. 

If you haven't been able to complete these requirements within five years of becoming registered, and you want to renew your Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate, you'll need to complete the Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme first. 

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What if I’ve been on a Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate for five years?  

You will not need to repeat your Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme but you will need to complete a Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme if you need to apply for a mua | Provisional Practising Certificate five years or more after you registered or graduated

Teachers who are not able to gain a Tūturu | Full (Category One) Practising Certificate  after five years of being registered may apply for another Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate after completing the TER programme. 

The TER programme is designed to update your professional knowledge and practice. 

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Why do I have to supply “certified” copies of my documents for my application? 

A certified copy is a photocopy that has been stamped or endorsed by a person who confirms that the copy is a true copy of the original document.  

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How do I get my documents certified? 

A certified document is a copy of your original document, which must be current, that has been verified by an official using an official stamp or seal. Officials include:  

  • School principal or centre manager 
  • Solicitor, Justice of the Peace or notary public 
  • Court registrar 
  • The authority who originally issued the document 

The person certifying your documents must note on every page the following: “certified true copy of the original”, and clearly identify and include on the document: 

  • Full name of official 
  • Signature, title, address and contact number of the official 
  • Official stamp or seal 
  • Date the documents were certified

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How do I access my practising certificate once it has been approved?

We have moved to an online digital format, so you can now view, download or print your current or newly approved practising certificate. This can be accessed from any device under ‘My Details’ in your profile. You can select from the A4 certificate or wallet sized options. 

Watch our video how to guide here.

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I was registered prior to 2015 with the Teachers Council but haven’t held a practising certificate since then. What do I need to do? 

Registration under the Teachers Council expired after a certain time depending on your category of registration. If you were unregistered on July 1, 2015 you will need to apply to be registered under the new organisation, which is now the Teaching Council. 

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How can I update my contact details? 

Please update your contact details when you log into your Hapori Matatū account under 'My Details'.  

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