Schools are encouraged to review their teachers’ accreditation timeframes in eTAMS to determine if they have any teachers whose timeframes are past their due date.
Whilst NESA has advised that they will delay suspension and ceasing action for as long as possible, overdue teachers need to finalise their accreditation or maintenance as soon as possible, apart from pre-2004 teachers.
During the COVID period, NESA granted multiple automatic extensions for submission of accreditation to any teacher whose accreditation timeframe was overdue or nearing the due date. These extensions were an extension to the submission date and not teachers’ accreditation timeframe. A large number of teachers were the beneficiaries of these extensions, although the implication of taking up these extensions is in effect a shortening of the real time available in their next maintenance period.
NESA also introduced a one-off expanded timeframe for pre-2004 teachers to submit their first maintenance of accreditation and reset their next maintenance date.
While pre-2004 teachers still have additional time to submit their maintenance of accreditation, for other teachers, whose accreditation is overdue, finalising their accreditation is becoming urgent as NESA has indicated that they won’t be granting further extensions to those teachers unless exceptional circumstances exist.
It is unknown when NESA will recommence ceasing/suspension action but should a teacher’s accreditation cease or be suspended the teacher will not be able to teach NESA curriculum in any NSW school. NESA will provide ample warning to these teachers before their accreditation ceases or is suspended.
If you do have any teachers whose accreditation timeframe is past their due date, read on for an overview of the provisions and implications for teachers in the following categories:
- Pre-2004 teachers completing their first maintenance period.
- Other teachers maintaining their accreditation.
- Provisional or Conditional teachers working towards Proficient Teacher accreditation.
There are also some transition arrangements relating to NESA’s PD requirements which may make it easier for many teachers to meet the PD requirements for maintenance. See below for further information about these transition arrangements.
In 2022, NESA provided a one-off expanded timeframe for pre-2004 teachers to submit their first maintenance of accreditation and reset the start date for their next maintenance period. This expanded timeframe enabled teachers to submit their maintenance early, or up to 12 months later than their original due date.
The expanded accreditation timeframes for pre-2004 teacher are outlined below:
|Pre-2004 teacher due dates falling between||Period to submit maintenance|
|31 December 2022 and 31 December 2023||Any time up until 31 December 2023|
|31 December 2024 and 31 December 2025||Any time between the start of Term 2, 2024 and 31 December 2025|
For those pre-2004 teachers who have not yet submitted their maintenance of accreditation, the lengthened timeframe provides additional time to meet their professional development requirements (see below for further information about transitional arrangements for PD requirements).
Pre-2004 teachers who are yet to submit their maintenance of accreditation will continue to appear to be overdue in eTAMS. Schools do not need to be concerned about this as these teachers have the extended timeframe in which to submit.
Once a pre-2004 teacher submits their maintenance of accreditation, NESA will make an accreditation decision based on their principal’s attestation with their next maintenance period commencing the day after the accreditation decision is made. This means any future PD they undertake can count towards their next maintenance period.
If a pre-2004 teacher has taken a Leave of Absence from their accreditation through NESA during their current maintenance period, the extended timeframe does not apply. The teacher will need to submit their maintenance of accreditation by the due date listed in their eTAMS account.
Any other teachers with accreditation overdue including Provisional/Conditional teachers working towards Proficient Teacher accreditation and teachers maintaining accreditation
During the COVID period, NESA granted automatic extensions for the submission of accreditation for teachers whose timeframes were either overdue or nearing the due date, including for:
- Provisional and Conditional teachers working towards Proficient Teacher accreditation
- teachers maintaining their accreditation
These automatic extensions ceased on 23 September 2022 with any teachers whose accreditation is overdue after this date being required to finalise their accreditation as soon as possible. Any teacher (except pre-2004 teachers) whose accreditation due date falls after 23 September 2023 is expected to meet the requirements for accreditation/maintenance by their due date.
NESA has indicated that no further extensions will be given to teachers who received an automatic extension.
Currently, these teachers can continue to teach despite their accreditation being overview, however, schools are advised to strongly encourage teachers whose accreditation is overdue to finalise their Proficient Teacher accreditation or maintenance of accreditation as soon as possible with an aim to submitting it by the end of Term 1, 2023.
Whilst NESA has not yet advised when they will recommence ceasing or suspension action, once they do any teacher whose accreditation ceases or is suspended will not be able to teach in any school in NSW. When NESA does recommence ceasing/suspension action they will directly contact overdue teachers to warn them prior to taking any action.
The automatic extensions that were granted were an extension for the submission of accreditation and not an extension of teachers’ accreditation timeframe. This means that each teacher’s original accreditation due date continues to stand. When they finally submit their accreditation and NESA makes the accreditation decision, their new maintenance period will commence on the day after their original due date, which will be a date in the past. For teachers who are overdue, any delay to their submission is in effect reducing the real timeframe for their next maintenance period.
Only professional development completed after their submission and NESA’s decision will count towards their next maintenance period. For example, if a teacher’s accreditation expired on 1 July 2022 but the teacher doesn’t submit their accreditation until 1 March 2023, the teacher’s next maintenance period will still be from 2 July 2022 – 2 July 2027, and not from March 2023, leaving the teacher only 4 years and 4 months from the time they submitted to meet the requirements for their next maintenance period.
This does not apply to pre-2004 teachers, as they have an opportunity to reset their maintenance date as detailed in the section above.
The sooner an overdue teacher submits their maintenance of accreditation, the sooner they can count any future professional development towards their next maintenance period.
Professional Development transition arrangements
Teachers maintaining their accreditation continue to be required to complete 100 hours of professional development. Teachers must complete a minimum of 50 hours of NESA accredited professional development across all priority areas and can make up the balance with a mixture of NESA accredited or elective professional development.
There are PD transition arrangements in place for any teachers whose current maintenance period started on or before 29 November 2020 (including pre-2004 teachers).
For teachers whose current maintenance period started on or before 29 November 2020, they must:
- complete a minimum of one NESA accredited professional development course in any priority area, and
- make up the balance with accredited and/or elective professional development.
NESA granted every active teacher in NSW 5 hours of accredited PD in both 2021 and 2022 to recognise the continued growth that teachers had undertaken in response to the pandemic. As a result, every teacher whose current maintenance period started on or before 29 November 2020, who received these hours in their PD Progress Report, meets the transition requirement to have at least one accredited PD course in their maintenance of accreditation and just needs to make up the remainder of their 100 hours with any type of recognised PD.
For example, if a teacher’s current maintenance period commenced on 29 November 2020 and they have been granted 10 hours of accredited PD by NESA, they just need to complete another 90 hours of PD that is either accredited or elective to meet the requirements for their next maintenance period.
Once a teacher commences a new maintenance period from 30 November 2020 onwards, they are required to meet the full PD requirements in accordance with NESA’s policies, including 50 hours of accredited PD that includes at least one course from each of NESA’s mandatory priority areas for school teachers maintaining Proficient Teacher accreditation.