When to apply

If you have recently graduated (or are eligible to graduate) from an Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programme or are an overseas-trained teacher, you will need registration and a current practising certificate to begin your teaching career in New Zealand.

A Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate is the first practising certificate you will hold. It means you have not yet had the opportunity to demonstrate you can independently use and meet the Standards | Ngā Paerewa because you are new to the teaching profession in New Zealand.

NZ-trained teachers: A Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate is issued or renewed for three years. The total fee and levy for both registration and a Tōmua is $464.37. 

Overseas-trained teachers: A Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate is issued or renewed for three years. The total fee and levy for both registration and a Tōmua is $564.37.

See all  fee and levy information here.

This practising certificate is designed to be held for a maximum of five years. You are expected to complete induction and mentoring and gain Tūturu | Full (Category One) within this timeframe.

What comes after a Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate?

Newly graduated NZ-trained teachers are required to complete a two-year programme of induction and mentoring provided by your employer. You will have a fully certificated (Tūturu) mentor guiding you through this.

Overseas-trained teachers who have already completed induction and mentoring or teaching overseas may only need to complete one year of formal induction and mentoring in New Zealand - if approved by the Council.

You may renew your Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate again if you have not completed your induction and mentoring. Check out our page on 'Renewing a practising certificate'.

Once you have completed these requirements you could be ready to move to a Tūturu | Full (Category One) Practising Certificate; talk to your mentor about when you might be ready. 

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Requirements for Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate

When applying for registration and a practising certificate for the first time you will be required to fill out a Proof of Identity form - this is a required for people working with children as part of the Children's Act.



You are a New Zealand registered teacher

Teacher registration number - your registration number is provided when your registration is approved. If you are making an application for your first Tōmua |Provisional Practising Certificate at the same time as your registration, we will auto-populate your application with your registration number. 


You have completed an approved New Zealand ITE programme in the last five years 




You have completed a TER (Teacher Education Refresh) programme in the five years before your application 

Certified copy of your approved New Zealand ITE qualification;  


A link you provide for the Council to access your ITE qualification details on eQuals. 




Your TER completion certificate;   


Council letter of TER exemption. 


You hold an equivalent or comparable overseas teacher education qualification completed in the last five years 

If the overseas teacher education qualification is older than five years, the Council is able to consider overseas teaching experience completed in settings equivalent to New Zealand educational institutions.

A certified copy of your overseas teaching qualification or qualifications that appear on the pre-approved list of qualifications;  


A certified copy of your New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) International Qualifications Assessment that shows your qualification is meeting the core knowledge requirements of a New Zealand ITE qualification.  

We will use information in the system that you have already provided with your application for registration.  


You are committed to the expectations in the Code | Ngā Tikanga Matatika 

A declaration that you are committed to the values and expectations in the Code | Ngā Tikanga Matatika 


A declaration about any matters for which you are under investigation, that might impact your teaching or ability to meet the requirements of the Code | Ngā Tikanga Matatika. 

You have a satisfactory New Zealand Police vet

Your consent for the Council to apply to New Zealand Police for your police vet; 


Confirmation of the types of verified identity documents that you provided to your identity referee. 

Where applicable, you have satisfactory overseas police vets 

A certified copy of police vets that you have obtained from the national police service of the issuing country, for any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the 10 years before you made your application to the Council;  


A statutory declaration if you are unable to obtain a police vet. 

You are physically and mentally able to carry out a teaching role safely and satisfactorily   

A declaration that you do not have a condition that would affect your ability to teach safely and satisfactorily.  

If required:  

Any additional evidence, such as a medical certificate, to support your ability to teach. 

You are committed to develop and practise te reo me ngā tikanga Māori (Māori language and protocols)  A declaration that you are committed to develop and practise te reo me ngā tikanga Māori throughout your teaching career. 


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Tips for applying

  • NZ trained teachers need to gather all documents before you submit your application.
  • Overseas trained teachers please make sure you have all the required documents before applying.
  • Teaching service overseas- we recognise and value your teaching service overseas and acknowledge your experience in senior teaching roles. Once an overseas-trained teacher has successfully registered, the first practising certificate type they are issued with will be a Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate. It means the kaiako | teacher has not yet had the opportunity to demonstrate they can independently use and meet the Standards for the Teaching Profession | Ngā Paerewa mō te Umanga Whakaakoranga because they are new to the teaching profession in New Zealand | Aotearoa. This practising certificate type also requires the kaiako | teacher to complete a period of induction and mentoring. If you are an experienced teacher with overseas teaching service who has already completed the equivalent of induction and mentoring, this timeframe is reduced to one year (providing you are working in a position of at least 0.5 FTE (Full Time Equivalent)). This one-year period is designed to provide support to you as you become familiar with the unique cultural diversity of New Zealand | Aotearoa society and our education system.
  • Keep all communications in the same email thread when emailing us. It makes it easier and quicker for us to action. (Registration officers deal with thousands of emails each month, so everything in the one same email thread makes our job easier and means we can action things for you much faster).
  • The more information the better. It's better to write additional notes or provide extra information in your application. It saves time, it means less emails from us seeking clarification on things, and means we can finalise your application much quicker.
  • Answer everything! Even if you think the information isn't applicable to you, if we've asked a question in the application form it's because we need that information. Anything missing in your application means we have to come back to you for that information and this extends the processing time and slows the approval down.
  • Proof of Identity (POI) requires specific things. The POI section is very particular and specific. We can only accept identity documents that we've specifically listed in each specific identity document category (Category A, Category B, and Category C). It's expected that you will read the POI section thoroughly to ensure you're using approved identity documents, and to ensure the POI is completed correctly and in full.
  • What is a certified copy? The document(s) you provided must be certified by an official such as a School Principal, a Teaching Council approved identity referee, a Centre Manager, a Justice of the Peace, a Solicitor, a Notary Public, a Registrar, or the authority who originally issued the document.