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How it works

The Highly Accomplished teacher accreditation level is voluntary and recognises highly skilled teachers who are advocates for the profession, contribute to the professional learning of peers, mentor new teachers, and are strongly engaged with the school and community.

Applying for higher level teacher accreditation is a significant career decision. Before starting on the process you are advised to methodically

NSW teachers who apply for accreditation at the Highly Accomplished Teacher level are invited to do an online preliminary assessment prior to developing a robust evidence-based application that referee reports and external observation of your practice. 

Reflect on your role, purpose and practice

Determining readiness for Highly Accomplished Teacher level accreditation involves reflecting on your current practice against the Standard Descriptors at this level. 

Before considering applying for Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation, review the characteristics that identify Highly Accomplished Teachers and refer to the insights from the Moderating and Consistency Committee (MCC) advice, to reflect on your next steps.

Steps toward Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation

Know and understand the Standards

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (PDF 300 KB) describe the seven Standards outlining what teachers should know, and be able to do, to teach effectively. 

To achieve Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation you meet all the Standard Descriptors for Highly Accomplished Teacher as described in The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Detailed explanation of the purpose, processes and roles of those involved in accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher levels, can be found in the Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (PDF 92 KB) 

Speak to your principal or service director 

You should discuss your intention to proceed with Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation with your principal/service director. The role of your school principal/service director in the accreditation process is detailed in the Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Accreditation – The Role of the Principal (PDF 449 KB).  This may vary across early childhood services. If you are an early childhood teacher and have questions on this, email us or call 1300739338. 

Start by completing an online preliminary assessment

Before you begin your formal application process, you are invited to use the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards’ (BOSTES) online preliminary assessment tool. The tool assesses your practice and determines if you are operating at the Highly Accomplished Teacher level before you continue to the application phase. Doing this assessment is strongly recommended but not compulsory. A fee applies.

More about doing an online preliminary assessment

Collect evidence and submit your application

The accreditation process for Highly Accomplished Teacher is based on the use of different types of evidence and external professional judgements.  

As a candidate for Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation, you need to be able to demonstrate that your practice is already in line with all the Standard Descriptors at that level.  The evidence you collect has to demonstrate this through: 

  • documentary evidence 
  • reports from referees and 
  • a report from the external observer. 

More about developing your application

There’s more information in the Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (PDF 92 KB) and the Evidence Guide for the Highly Accomplished Teacher Standards (PDF 947 KB)

Your application review process 

Once you have submitted your application into the online system, your Teacher Accreditation Authority (Highly Accomplished/Lead) or TAA (A/L) undertakes an assessment of your application. Your TAA (A/L) has four options:

  1. Make a recommendation to accredit and send to the MCC for moderation.
  2. Make a recommendation not to accredit and send to the MCC for moderation.
  3. Provide the candidate with some feedback and an opportunity to refine application and resubmit to the TAA (A/L) usually within 3 months.
  4. Make a decision not to accredit and not send the submission to the MCC for moderation.

The decision to accredit at Highly Accomplished level is the sole responsibility of the TAA (A/L) who may opt to adopt or set aside the MCCs advice in their final determination before advising you of the result. 

Video: Gaining Higher Level Accreditation

Instructional leader Dimitra talks about her journey to gain higher level teacher accreditation (duration: 3:16 minutes)

Maintain your accreditation 

Once you have been accredited, you maintain your accreditation by consistently demonstrating your practice against the Australian Professional Standards at the level of Highly Accomplished Teacher. Your maintenance period commences from the day you are accredited at Highly Accomplished Teacher. 

Maintaining your accreditation at Highly Accomplished Teacher level involves:

  • consistently demonstrating practice at the level of Highly Accomplished Teacher
  • participating in high-quality professional development (PD), that helps you continuously improve your teaching practice
  • preparing a written report, that describes your practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the level of Highly Accomplished Teacher.

Read more about maintaining Highly Accomplished Teacher Accreditation

More information

Please email or call us on 1300 739 338 (within Australia), if you have any questions.