How to gain accreditation

As a standards-based profession, every teacher must gain their proficient teacher accreditation in their first 2-3 years of teaching. There are 2 higher stages of voluntary accreditation - highly accomplished and lead teacher accreditation.

The snapshot table outlines how teachers gain accreditation at proficient, highly accomplished and lead teacher career stages. Find a print-ready version of the snapshot here: Snapshot: requirements for gaining accreditation (PDF 89KB) (opens in a new window).

Snapshot: requirements for gaining accreditation

Proficient Highly accomplished Lead

Timeframe

   

Provisionally accredited teachers have 3 years of full time service, or 5 years of part time or casual service, to gain their accreditation.

Conditionally accredited teachers have 4 years of full time service, or 6 years of part time or casual service, to gain their accreditation.

Teachers are required to know the date that NESA has advised them that their period of accreditation will end.

DoE Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Procedure (2018), Section 6, page 9.

NESA Proficient Teacher Accreditation Policy (2018), Section 5, page 9.

Teachers seeking accreditation at this voluntary stage have a maximum of 3 years to gain their accreditation.

Before commencing accreditation at Highly Accomplished, teachers need to be assessed as satisfactory in their 2 most recent annual performance and development assessments.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher:

Teachers seeking accreditation at this voluntary stage have a maximum of 3 years to gain their accreditation.

Before commencing accreditation at Lead, teachers need to be assessed as satisfactory in their 3 most recent annual performance and development assessments.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher:

Evidence of achievement

   

Teachers achieve accreditation by:

  • demonstrating they meet all Standards for Proficient Teacher (however, collecting/ annotating evidence for all 37 Standard Descriptors is not required)
  • annotating and submitting 5-8 items of documentary evidence that demonstrate they have reflected on their practice against the Standards (each item must address 2-4 Standard Descriptors and not exceed 10MB, with the total not exceeding 35 single-sided pages)
  • submitting an observation report on their practice (by their supervisor)
  • acknowledging they have read the Proficient Teacher Accreditation Report (by their supervisor) in their NESA online account.

Collectively, the above evidence must address at least one Proficient Teacher Standard Descriptor from each of the 7 Standards.

When the school is confident that the teacher has met all Standard Descriptors at the Proficient teacher stage, the school completes the teacher's Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Report. This written report accompanies the teacher's supporting evidence.

NESA Proficient Teacher Accreditation Policy (2018), Sections 4.2.2 - 4.2.4, page 7.

Teachers demonstrate achievement at this stage by collecting documentary evidence against all 37 Standard Descriptors at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage.

There are 3 forms of evidence required:

  • annotated documentary evidence (including 2 observation reports, 1 of which must be by the principal)
  • reports from a minimum of 3 referees and a maximum of 8 (including the principal, a teacher colleague and a teacher who has received professional support)
  • a report based on the external observation (3 sessions of practice will be observed with the candidate teaching students in 2 of the sessions).

The teacher develops their application online through the NESA website and can add to their application over time.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.2, page 9.

Teachers demonstrate their achievement at this stage by collecting documentary evidence against all 37 Standard Descriptors at the Lead teacher stage.

There are 3 forms of evidence required:

  • annotated documentary evidence (including 2 observation reports, 1 of which must be by the principal)
  • reports from a minimum of 3 referees and a maximum of 8 (including the principal, a teacher colleague and a teacher who has received professional support)
  • a report based on the external observation (3 sessions of practice will be observed with the candidate teaching students in 2 of the sessions).

The teacher develops their application online through the NESA website and can add to their application over time.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.2, page 9.

Evidence of achievement - additional requirements

   
   

At the Lead teacher stage, teachers also need to complete a lead initiative. This initiative needs to link to the school plan or department priorities and take place over a period of 6 months or more.

Teachers need to discuss their lead initiative with the principal and seek their support. A statement about the lead initiative is included in the teacher's annotated documentary evidence. One referee needs to refer to this lead initiative and its impact in their report.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.2, page 9.

Submission of evidence

   

When the teacher and supervisor agree that the teacher's practice meets the Standards for Proficient Teacher, the teacher's accreditation can be finalised.

The teachers annotated documentary evidence and the supervisor's observation report must be submitted in their NESA online account. The supervisor then has 21 calendar days to write the teacher's Proficient Teacher Accreditation Report. The teacher must acknowledge in their NESA online account that they have read this report.

NESA Proficient Teacher Accreditation Policy (2018), Section 4.2, page 6.

Teachers are responsible for deciding when to submit their evidence within the maximum timeframe.

Teachers submit their completed application online to the Teacher Accreditation Authority (A/L) through the NESA website.

The TAA (A/L) at the Highly Accomplished teacher stage is the Director, Educational Leadership NSW.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.1, page 8.

Teachers are responsible for deciding when to submit their evidence within the maximum timeframe.

Teachers submit their completed application online to the Teacher Accreditation Authority (A/L) through the NESA website.

The TAA (A/L) at the Lead teacher stage is the Director, Educational Leadership NSW.

NESA Policy for Accreditation at Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher Section 7.1, page 8.

Learn more

Department resources

Other resources

  • NESA - NSW Education Standards Authority (opens in new window)
  • AITSL - Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (opens in new window).
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