Becoming accredited as a casual or part-time teacher
Many teachers in NSW work on a casual or part time basis, contributing to education and learning outcomes and providing support to schools across the State. As teachers employed in this capacity, you have the same accreditation requirements as fully employed teachers. You need to consistently demonstrate your teaching practice at the Proficient Teacher level and collect documentary evidence that will eventually support your accreditation at this level.
As a casual or part time teacher, you are responsible for managing your accreditation process. Forming strong professional relationships and committing to periods of continuous employment, are important factors in gaining opportunities for teaching practice that allow you to demonstrate the Standard Descriptors at Proficient Teacher.
How do I become accredited?
Accreditation is the process of recognising a teacher’s achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
The Proficient Teacher accreditation process involves a shared professional relationship with you and the school or service supporting you through it. The school principal/service director, delegated supervisor(s) and Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) are key participants.
Accreditation involves you:
- consistently demonstrating the Standard Descriptors at Proficient Teacher in your teaching practice
- receiving support, feedback and guidance (including observations of teaching practice) from a supervisor nominated by your principal/service director
- collecting a range of documentary evidence of your teaching practice at Proficient Teacher across the seven Standards
Your focus on accreditation has to commence from the time you are ready to teach. This means being proactive and:
- accepting periods of continuous employment
- approaching the principal/service director of the school or service where you are employed regularly to make arrangements for the progress of your accreditation
- cultivating professional relationships across all the schools or services in which you work
Collecting evidence to support your accreditation is an ongoing process. During your work as a casual or part-time teacher, you should:
- collect evidence against the Proficient Teacher Standard Descriptors
- use your evidence to illustrate a range of Standard Descriptors
- ensure that evidence collected is signed and dated by your supervisor; this is particularly important if you intend to use evidence gathered from a range of schools or services
- ensure your supervisor observes your teaching practice and writes a report
Evidence Guide for casual teachers
To assist casual and part time teachers working towards Proficient Teacher accreditation, BOSTES has created an Evidence Guide designed specifically to help when collecting evidence of teaching practice against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
The Proficient Teacher Evidence Guide – Casual Teachers (PDF 14 MB) describes a range of evidence that you could collect depending on your employment situation. It is recommended that you use Adobe Acrobat to view this PDF. You can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader from https://get.adobe.com/reader.
Using evidence collected across many schools
Casual and part time teachers may use evidence collected across a number of schools to finalise their accreditation at one school. During this time, schools have the responsibility to assist you verify evidence of your work.
Across all employment situations, it’s the TAA’s responsibility, in consultation with the casual or part time teacher and an experienced supervising teacher, to determine when an accreditation decision can be reliably made about your practice as a teacher. The school, where you are being supported through your accreditation, may need to consult with other NSW schools where you have collected evidence of your teaching practice.
How long will it take to demonstrate the Standards?
Teachers develop their skills and refine their teaching practice over time. How long a teacher takes to collect evidence that demonstrates the Standard Descriptors at Proficient Teacher depends on how quickly their teaching practice develops.
As a casual or part time teacher BOSTES recommends that you:
- actively seek periods of continuous employment to fully demonstrate the Standards
- complete at least 160-180 days of teaching employment to develop the skills and teaching practice to meet the Standard Descriptors at Proficient Teacher
- complete at least 6-10 weeks of continuous employment
It is also important you check with your current employer in regard to their specific requirements.
For casual and part time teachers, developing skills and teaching practice may not always occur through full time or continuous employment. Initially, it may be through very short employment at a number of different schools.
Whilst short periods of teaching will help build on your experience, periods of continuous employment are still necessary to demonstrate the full range of Standard Descriptors at Proficient Teacher level.
Maximum timeframe for completion of mandatory accreditation
The amount of time that you have to achieve accreditation will depend on your initial accreditation status.
If you are accredited as:
- provisional you have a maximum of five years to complete your accreditation
- conditional you have a maximum of six years to complete your accreditation
The time it takes you to gain accreditation will depend on your capacity to demonstrate all of the Proficient Teacher Standard Descriptors and to collect evidence of this achievement.
Finalising your Proficient Teacher accreditation
The steps to finalise your accreditation involve:
- working with your supervisor(s) to select representative samples of evidence to annotate against the Standard Descriptors across the seven Standards
- your supervisor preparing an Accreditation Report that describes your demonstration of each of the Standards at the Proficient Teacher level
- the Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) reviewing the Accreditation Report and your annotated evidence before making their decision
Teacher Accreditation Authorities are legally authorised to determine if a teacher meets the accreditation requirements at the Proficient Teacher level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. In general, school principals have delegated authority to be the TAA, but this may vary according to the sector in which you are employed.
- In government schools Proficient Teacher accreditation decisions are made by the principal.
- In Catholic systemic schools, your school principal reviews your Accreditation Report and annotated evidence and sends it on to the TAA at your Catholic Education Office who will make the Proficient Teacher accreditation decision.
- In Independent schools, Proficient Teacher decisions are usually made by the principal of the school.
- In Early Childhood Centres, the TAA is BOSTES
What happens after the Accreditation Report is finalised?
The Accreditation Report is written by your supervisor. It’s signed by you, your supervisor and principal/service director before it’s submitted with your annotated evidence to your TAA.
The TAA then:
- considers the report and supporting evidence to make the accreditation decision
- signs the Accreditation Report signifying you are accredited
- uploads the completed Report and supporting evidence to BOSTES
Following receipt of your signed Accreditation Report and annotated evidence, BOSTES despatches a signed Certificate of Accreditation to your TAA recognising your accreditation at Proficient Teacher.
You need to keep BOSTES informed of any change of address.
More information on Proficient Teacher accreditation for casual and part time teachers can be found in Module 5 - Advice for Casual or Short Term Temporary Teachers presentation (PPT 943)
BOSTES delivers online and face-to-face information sessions for casual and part-time teachers working towards Proficient Teacher Accreditation. Find out more and register now for upcoming sessions.