Before you apply

In Aotearoa New Zealand teachers hold a trusted position in society. Together as a profession they have high standards of integrity, conduct, competence and effective teaching practice. There are several steps involved with joining the 105,000 strong profession. 

Overseas-trained teachers coming to New Zealand to fill a teaching vacancy may be eligible for an Overseas Relocation Grant from the Ministry of Education. This grant can be up to $10,000 (GST inclusive). For more information go to the Education Workforce website.

For information about moving to New Zealand, including immigration and visa information, please see the Education Workforce website.

If you are registered in Australia, you may be eligible for a New Zealand practising certificate under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act (TTMRA). 

Please read Our Code, Our Standards | Ngā Tikanga Matatika, Ngā Paerewa - these documents set out the expectations for teacher behaviour and effective teacher practice. 

What you need to apply

To practice as a teacher in Aotearoa New Zealand you need to be registered and hold a current practising certificate.  

To gain registration and certification as an overseas-trained teacher you will need to fill out an application form and attach certain supporting documents. You must:  

  1. Show you are satisfactorily trained to teach 
  2. Demonstrate English language competency  
  3. Obtain overseas Police clearance  
  4. Verify your identity: Proof of Identity form (there are two forms one for if you are currently residing overseas and one if you are living in New Zealand) 
  5. Gather further supporting information for your application: 
    • Copies of qualifications, transcripts, NZQA assessment (if applicable) 
    • Testimonial letters (from previous employers regarding your teaching 
    • Assessment of your teaching practice (including observation or annual appraisal) 
    • Any evidence of induction and mentoring you have completed during your teaching career 
    • Statements/certificate of professional standing (this includes evidence of Qualified Teacher Status awarded in the United Kingdom 
    • A copy of your CV 
  6. Apply for teacher registration and a practising certificatesubmitting the above information and more. You can apply for these at the same time.

Important Information - Graduate Teacher Programmes (GTP) from the UK are not a recognised pathway for teacher registration in New Zealand. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) certification does not meet the minimum requirements to be deemed a qualification with reference to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) as QTS certification does not lead to a nationally recognised qualification in the UK. The same applies to stand alone Teacher Licensure from American States as well as Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) certificates from the Philippines.

Important! If you have received an employment offer to teach at a New Zealand school, kura or early childhood centre, please let us know. Our priority is to have teachers able to teach when they have a definite job offer. 

In New Zealand teacher registration and certification are not sector specific. The Council does not specifically register teachers as early childhood teachers, primary teachers, or secondary teachers. It is up to an employer to determine whether a certificated teacher has the qualifications, skills, and experience to employ them in a teaching position at their centre/school, and to determine if the person meets additional requirements for funding/licensing, specifically in the ECE sector.

All applicants for teacher registration must be satisfactorily trained to teach. This requires you to have successfully completed an approved New Zealand ITE programme (level 7 or above) or an overseas education qualification that either appears on the NZQA list of pre-approved qualifications or has been assessed by NZQA as comparable to a New Zealand ITE qualification. If your qualification is not on the NZQA list of pre-approved teaching qualifications, you will need to have it assessed by NZQA through an IQA.

The Ministry of Education (MOE)  in New Zealand sets the requirements for funding and licensing in the early childhood sector. This includes what criteria a person has to meet to be considered as ‘qualified’ for the purposes of funding.  Where NZQA assessed an applicant’s qualification for meeting the core knowledge requirements of a NZ ITE programme (Secondary) confirms that the qualification is comparable to a Secondary sector teaching qualification in New Zealand (not in ECE).

If the NZQA teaching qualification is comparable to teaching in the primary or ECE sector then you will not need a sector confirmation letter from the Council to teach in ECE. For more information on ECE endorsement please email

Please keep in mind that it can take between six to 12 weeks to process an application depending on its complexity. 

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