If you began teaching before October 2004, you may be aware that on 1 January 2018 you will become accredited at Proficient through NESA – essentially, it’s your licence to teach. So let’s have a look at what you have to do and what you don’t have to do.
• You’ll need to make sure you have a valid Working With Children Check. This process is via the Office of the Children’s Guardian https://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/child-safe-organisations/working-with-children-check/apply. After you’ve made your online application, you’ll need to take photo identification (current driver’s licence or current passport etc) to Service NSW and have the application validated. Ensure that on the WWCC application you use the exact name that is on your form of identification.
• You’ll receive an email from NESA asking you to activate your account and pay your annual fee of $100. Don’t ignore this email from NESA! It will have your user name and password – keep them safe. You activate the process by logging in and NESA will then send you an invoice for the annual fee. Please ensure you respond and pay the fee before 31 December 2017. Your employer will provide (or possibly already has provided) contact details to NESA.
There are a couple of other things to consider as well. If you have an ongoing performance management matter taking place, or you have had more than five years away from teaching, contact your organiser as soon as possible and we’ll look at what options are available to you. Proficient Teacher accreditation is also available to teachers who may be on leave, or who have recently retired and will return to teaching after a break of less than five years any time up until 31 December 2022.
If you’re a casual teacher (or as I prefer ‘visiting’ teacher for the day), NESA has an expectation that you will manage your own accreditation:
“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.
“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, and
• cultivating professional relationships across all the schools or services in which you work.”
NESA online document: http://www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au/current-teachers/casual-and-part-time-teachers/
IEU would encourage those members who work only as visiting teachers (that is you only do day to day casual teaching) to have discussions at the schools in which you teach with the principal or accreditation delegate, to ask if they will be willing to allow you to join them in PD activities and validate the activity as well. Again, contact your organiser or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can have a chat about what options might be available to you.
IEU run various presentations about accreditation: How Accreditation in NSW Works and Maintenance of Accreditation and works with members on an individual basis around accreditation.
What you don’t have to do yet is log PD or write a report. If you’re a pre-October 2004 teacher and you haven’t undertaken voluntary accreditation, you don’t need to log PD for validation yet as you won’t have an account with NESA.
A written report about how you meet the Standards in your day to day teaching won’t be due until towards the maintenance period – five years for full time teachers and seven years for part time and casual teachers.
Finally, I would like to emphasise that accreditation will be your licence to teach from January 2018. It’s important that you follow the rules about maintenance of accreditation from 2018 because if your licence is suspended or revoked, you may not be able to teach. While the IEU will be here to support members who may have some difficulties or challenges with accreditation, you can help yourself by being informed and knowing what needs to be done. Help is as easy as sending an email with questions about accreditation to the IEU: email@example.com
BOSTES became NESA on January 1 2017. NESA stands for NSW Education Standards Authority. Newsmonth Issue 1 contained information about this changeover.