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Policy for Ceasing the Provisional and Conditional Accreditation of Teachers and Conditions for a Re-accreditation Period

1 Background

The first step in the accreditation process is applying for provisional or conditional accreditation with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (the BOSTES). Teachers are provided with provisional or conditional accreditation for a maximum period of between three and six years. In that time they are required to achieve full accreditation at Proficient Teacher against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Teachers who do not achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation by the end of the maximum period will cease to have provisional or conditional accreditation. 

Section 33 (1) (b) of the Teacher Accreditation Act, 2004 allows for the provisional re-accreditation of a person:

‘whose provisional accreditation under section 30 has ceased because the person has failed to be accredited at proficient teacher level by a teacher accreditation authority within the relevant period under that section’

(2) The Board [the BOSTES] may, on application by a person to whom this section applies:

(a)provisionally re-accredit the person, or

(b) refuse to provisionally re-accredit the person.

(3)The Board may determine the criteria for provisional re-accreditation and the conditions to which a person’s provisional re-accreditation is subject.

(4)The provisional re-accreditation of a person ceases (unless sooner revoked):

(a) at the end of the period determined by the board as the person’s provisional re-accreditation period, or

(b) if the person is accredited at proficient teacher level by a teacher accreditation authority before the end of that period

This document outlines the re-accreditation process.

1.1 Purpose of Policy

This policy describes the circumstances and related processes for

(i)            ceasing the provisional or conditional accreditation of a teacher when the relevant period has ended

(ii)           making an application for re-accreditation

(iii)          the conditions that apply to the re-accreditation process

This policy applies to teachers who have been teaching during the relevant period of their provisional or conditional accreditation but reached the end of the period without achieving Proficient Teacher accreditation.

When the provisional or conditional period ends, the teacher’s accreditation ceases and the teacher cannot be employed to teach in a NSW school. 

A successful re-accreditation application provides a further period for a teacher to demonstrate and achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation using the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

The ceasing and conditions for re-accreditation do not apply to teachers returning to teaching after a period of five years or more of not teaching in a NSW school [see Section 6.1 in the Policy for Accreditation at Proficient Teacher]. These teachers are provisionally or conditionally accredited when they return.  

The policy also does not apply to teachers who were provisionally or conditionally accredited but did not take up teaching in a NSW school. These teachers are normally considered to be on a leave of absence from accreditation.

1.2 Length of the relevant accreditation period

The relevant accreditation period is as follows:

  • Provisionally accredited teachers are allocated three years if employed full-time, or five years if employment is casual or part-time.
  • Conditionally accredited teachers are allocated four years if employed full-time, or six years if employment is casual or part-time.

The BOSTES has provisions to extend the end of the relevant period of provisional or conditional accreditation of a teacher if the circumstances described by the Policy for Leave of Absence from Accreditation and Section 7.4 of the Policy for the Accreditation at Proficient Teacher are met.

The relevant period end date for a provisionally or conditionally accredited teacher is listed on the teacher’s record on THE BOSTES’s database of accredited teachers. Teachers and employers must ensure that they consult this central record throughout the period.

2 Notification of Timeframes and Ceased Accreditation

All provisionally and conditionally accredited teachers are informed of accreditation requirements, including timeframes, when first accredited. 

  • The BOSTES has a responsibility to provide information to teachers when they are first accredited and to maintain online resources to support teacher accreditation. Information is provided to teachers throughout the period of their accreditation, using the contact information given to the BOSTES.
  • Teachers have a responsibility to ensure they are aware of their own accreditation timeframe. This information is provided on the BOSTES Teacher Accreditation website and through teachers’ online account. The primary means of contact is by post and by email and the Teacher Accreditation Act, 2004 requires teachers to provide a current and active postal and email address to the BOSTES for this purpose.
  • Teacher accreditation authorities (TAAs) and employers have a responsibility to inform employees of their specific requirements for accreditation.

2.1 Notification of timeframe for accreditation requirements

A teacher’s accreditation period is listed on the teacher’s record on the BOSTES’ database. Teachers can access the critical dates of their accreditation period by logging on to the BOSTES’ database. Employers, TAAs and principals can also access critical accreditation timeframes of teachers by logging on to the accreditation database.

The BOSTES will remind teachers of the end-date for their provisional or conditional accreditation twice during the last two years of their relevant period.

TAAs will be notified by the BOSTES of the end-date of teachers’ accreditation within the final twelve months. To provide sufficient time for action, the record provided to TAAs will be inclusive of teachers whose provisional or conditional accreditation is due to expire within a minimum of two school terms.

Notifications from the BOSTES to provisionally and conditionally accredited teachers and TAAs will include reminders of policy provisions for leave of absence and extension of time.  

2.2 Notification of ceasing of accreditation

Provisionally and conditionally accredited teachers will be notified by the BOSTES of the impending cessation of their accreditation. Teachers who cannot achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation or provide evidence for extending the timeframe will be advised that their accreditation and eligibility to teach in NSW has ceased. The teacher’s record will be updated to document the date of cessation and they will not be able to teach in NSW schools. Notifications to these teachers will include information about applying for re-accreditation.

A list of all teachers whose accreditation will cease will be provided to each employer six weeks prior to the action.

3 Procedures for a re-accreditation period

3.1 Re-accreditation period of two years

A single re-accreditation period of two years to complete the process of accreditation at Proficient Teacher may be granted to teachers upon application to the BOSTES.

It is teachers’ responsibility to make an application for employment separately, once re-accreditation has been granted.

3.2 Application process

An application for a re-accreditation period must be made in writing to the BOSTES using the appropriate template. The application for re-accreditation form is available on the BOSTES’s website: http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/.

The BOSTES and recent employers will exchange information regarding accreditation history, previous teaching experience and potential employment when considering the application.

3.3 Conditions for immediate re-accreditation

Provisionally and conditionally accredited teachers may apply for immediate re-accreditation when:

  • the teacher has employment which commenced before the cease date and continues after the date which could enable accreditation at Proficient Teacher.
  • an employer and the teacher agree to a new employment period which could enable accreditation at Proficient Teacher. If this employment has not occurred within three months, conditions for re-accreditation in 3.4 will apply.

3.4 Conditions for re-accreditation application

 i.        A period of at least twelve (12) months has elapsed since a teacher’s provisional or conditional accreditation ceased before re-accreditation may be granted.

ii.        Within this twelve months, a teacher may make an application for re-accreditation to the BOSTES no earlier than six (6) months after their cease date.

iii.        All teachers applying for re-accreditation must establish that their teaching qualifications meet the current minimum requirements for provisional accreditation in NSW. Teachers previously conditionally accredited are required to complete their initial teacher education qualification in full before applying for  re-accreditation.

iv.        Any outstanding accreditation fees must be paid in full prior to the period of re-accreditation. A further administrative fee will be charged by the BOSTES for the application

v.        In applying for re-accreditation, teachers must provide correct address and current contact details to the BOSTES including postal, residential, telephone and email details

vi.        The application for re-accreditation requires teachers to declare a commitment to and demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of accreditation. The teacher will need to give priority to accreditation. This includes actively seeking regular and consistent work in schools for the purposes of accreditation. Availability for work must be demonstrated with a number of schools and for a number of days a week to enable a re-accreditation decision to be made.

3.5 Re-accreditation decisions

Re-accreditation decisions will be made on the basis of the application, information exchanged with employing authorities or further information requested from the applicant.

A committee will over-sight decisions to re-accredit. The committee will comprise relevant stakeholders and will meet twice each year.  

If unsuccessful, teachers may make another application for re-accreditation at a later date.  

4 The Re-accreditation Period

The re-accreditation period provides teachers with a further opportunity to achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation. If a re-accreditation period is granted, teachers should refer to the Policy for the Accreditation at Proficient Teacher. This policy describes the process and responsibilities related to Proficient Teacher accreditation.

4.1 Status of previous experience and evidence

Teachers granted provisional re-accreditation must use the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at the level of Proficient Teacher.

Evidence that the teacher meets the Standards must include significant work from the re-accreditation period. Previous teaching experience and evidence from the initial period of accreditation may also be used towards accreditation, if it is relevant.

In collaboration with the school, the teacher will need to consider the authenticity and quality of the work when selecting evidence to be presented to the TAA with their report for the purposes of accreditation. Work drawn from the initial accreditation period should be signed and dated by a supervising teacher from that period.

4.2 Provision for Leave of Absence and Extension of Time

A Leave of Absence from accreditation may be sought from the BOSTES during the re-accreditation period. Teachers should consult the Policy for Leave of Absence from Accreditation. Leave will not be granted retrospectively.

An Extension of Time may be sought from the BOSTES. The request must be supported by evidence of the grounds for the extension. Under re-accreditation, only circumstances relating to illness or misadventure would be considered. Teachers cannot use other employment or personal circumstances as reasons for not giving priority to accreditation during the re-accreditation period.

In cases where teachers have extenuating personal circumstances or family care responsibilities, THE BOSTES recommends applying for a Leave of Absence until the teacher is able to prioritise their teaching and accreditation.  

5 Review Process

The BOSTES may refuse to grant re-accreditation to a teacher upon application.

Under Section 27 of the Teacher Accreditation Act, 2004 teachers may apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) for a review of accreditation decisions. 

Decisions subject to review must first be considered through an internal review by the BOSTES.

6 Responsibilities

The accreditation of teachers is a shared responsibility. Collaboration between teachers and experienced colleagues is integral to the accreditation process. Responsibility for implementation of the process rests with teachers, employers, TAAs and the BOSTES. This section is a reminder of the obligations that exist in relation to all provisionally and conditionally accredited teachers and is not a set of special conditions for teachers who gain a re-accreditation period.

6.1 The teacher

The teacher who has been granted provisional accreditation for a period of re-accreditation is expected to:

I. undertake a sufficient range of teaching practice that will enable them to complete their demonstration of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in the work they undertake throughout their re-accreditation period    II.     collect evidence of meeting the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in their teaching practice throughout the re-accreditation period

III.    seek the support of a school or schools to finalise their accreditation

IV.   participate in opportunities for professional learning activities and meetings, for instance, those that occur in the school and through professional associations

V.    update employment records with the BOSTES throughout the re-accreditation period to record an accurate work history.

VI.   update contact details to ensure timely advice is received

6.2 The employing school/s

The employing school/s or workplace will provide opportunities for provisionally accredited teachers, including casuals to:

I. participate in activities that could support their demonstration of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, including staff meetings, meetings about accreditation and school-based professional learning

II. understand the processes and context for teaching in the school

III. be given feedback against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at intervals appropriate to the length of employment

6.3 The teacher accreditation authority for Proficient Teacher

The teacher accreditation authority for Proficient Teacher that has agreed to employ the teacher will:

I. undertake to ensure appropriate guidance for teachers employed by a school or other workplace

II. provide appropriate ways of informing casual and temporary teachers about employment and accreditation

III. communicate sector-specific accreditation requirements to the teacher and the school.

6.4 The BOSTES

The BOSTES will:

I. provide clear and accessible documents about accreditation

II. communicate effectively with teachers, employers and stake-holders regarding the requirements of re-accreditation

III. receive applications for re-accreditation

IV. make decisions regarding applications for re-accreditation