Accreditation for early childhood teachers

If you are an early learning teacher, you must be accredited to work in a NSW school or centre-based early childhood service. There are different levels of accreditation that you will progress through during your career. Think of it as a 3-step journey:

  1. Conditional/Provisional accreditation – you’ve almost finished or have finished your teaching degree and want to start your teaching journey
  2. Proficient Teacher accreditation – you’re teaching in an early childhood service, developing your teaching skills and working towards this mandatory level of accreditation
  3. Maintaining Proficient Teacher accreditation – you’ve achieved your Proficient Teacher accreditation and now need to maintain it through professional development (PD) and continuing to meet the Australian Professional Standards For Teachers
    Read more about professional development standards and what's required of you on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) website.

Accreditation Supervisors and applying for Proficient Teacher accreditation

If you’re working towards Proficient Teacher accreditation, you will need an Accreditation Supervisor.

Accreditation Supervisors support you with your Proficient Teacher application, helping you to develop your teaching so that it aligns with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (the Standards).

NESA trains Accreditation Supervisors to:

  • guide teachers seeking to achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation

  • help teachers to select and annotate documentary evidence to demonstrate how their practice meets Proficient Teacher level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

  • observe a teacher’s practice and write an observation report.

How am I allocated an Accreditation Supervisor?

Allocation of Accreditation Supervisors will depend on your employment circumstances. Keeping details up to date in eTAMS will allow NESA and your employer to provide the best support.

Your employer will allocate an Accreditation Supervisor to you if they have a NESA-trained Accreditation Supervisor working with them.

Early childhood employers’ procedures guide the allocation of their NESA-trained Accreditation Supervisors to teachers.

If your employer cannot allocate you an Accreditation Supervisor, NESA may allocate you to a Community of Practice led by a trained Accreditation Supervisor.

Speak first with your employer to see if they can allocate you an Accreditation Supervisor. If not, contact NESA for further advice.

What is a Community of Practice?

Your participation in a Community of Practice supports you to reflect on your practice against the Standards and finalise your Proficient Teacher application. When allocating teachers to a Community of Practice, NESA will consider when you need to achieve Proficient Teacher accreditation.

Where can I find further support?

NESA has developed the ‘Proficient Teacher Orientation Course’ to support teachers as they work towards achieving Proficient Teacher accreditation. This course can be accessed via NESA Learning.

For further information you can refer to NESA’s interim procedures for early childhood teachers.

Higher levels of accreditation

Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) accreditation is recognition of your excellence as an early childhood teacher. Through HALT accreditation, you will further refine your teaching practice through practice sharing and teaching standards across NSW. Consider HALT as the next step in professional learning and growth of your teaching career.

HALT is a major accomplishment within the teaching profession and a major achievement as a teaching professional. Find out more on the HALT incentive payments webpage.

Ongoing learning

Throughout your career you will need to undertake PD to maintain your accreditation by completing 50 hours of NESA Accredited PD and 50 hours of elective PD. Find a list of accredited courses on the NESA website.

The process for recording elective PD has been simplified through NESA's Teacher Accreditation Reforms. Teachers can now record high-level details of their elective PD activities in a way that suits them, whether that's a simple personal diary or NESA's easy-to-use Elective PD log template.

Explore our professional learning catalogue to boost your skills and knowledge.


  • Early childhood education

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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