Entering the profession—registration

To enter the teaching profession in New Zealand you need to become registered. Registration does not expire unless you choose to de-register or your registration is cancelled.

Registration shows you are qualified, competent, and fit for teaching—among other requirements. Registration alone doesn't allow you to practice lawfully as a teacher; you also need a current practising certificate.

All registered teachers and the status of their practising certificate will appear publicly on the online Register of New Zealand Registered Teachers.   

Practising as a teacher

Registered teachers must hold a current practising certificate to be employed in a teaching position in New Zealand. 

A practising certificate shows you have satisfactory recent teaching experience, have undertaken professional development, and are fit to be a teacher—among other requirements. Practising certificates expire and must be renewed every three years. They are not sector-specific.

If you don’t intend to start teaching immediately, you can apply for registration only or choose to delay and apply for both registration and a Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate at the same time when you are ready to begin teaching.   

Types of practising certificate

There are four practising certificate types, depending on where you are at in your teaching career. 

Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate: for all new and beginning teachers from New Zealand and all overseas trained teachers seeking to register to teach in New Zealand.

Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Tūturu Full Practising Certificate (Category One): for experienced teachers; those who have been, and continue to be, endorsed as meeting the Standards for the Teaching Profession | Ngā Paerewa.

Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Pūmau | Full Practising Certificate (Category Two): for experienced teachers who, because of their role type, are not currently able to be endorsed as meeting all the Standards | Ngā Paerewa but are considered likely to meet them.

Returning to Teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand Practising Certificate: for experienced New Zealand registered teachers who have not completed any teaching in the five years prior to their application to renew their practising certificate.

Tūranga Whakaako Whai-herenga | Limited Authority to Teach (LAT): not a practising certificate and is not intended for registered teachers. However, it enables people without a teaching qualification to teach in positions where there is need for specialist skills or skills are in short supply, but which are not permanent roles, for example teachers of musical instruments or languages.

Below is a detailed table showing the old practising certificate and authority to teach names and the new names, which changed in 2019. 

Old name 

New name 

Teacher Registration 

Kaiako Whai Rēhitanga | Teacher Registration 

Provisional Practising Certificate 

Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Tōmua | Provisional Practising Certificate 

Full Practising Certificate 

Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Tūturu | Full Practising Certificate (Category One) 

Subject to Confirmation Practising Certificate 

Tiwhikete Whakaakoranga Pūmau | Full Practising Certificate (Category Two) 


Returning to Teaching in Aotearoa New Zealand Practising Certificate 

Limited Authority to Teach 

Tūranga Whakaako Whai-herenga | Limited Authority to Teach 

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