Teacher Accreditation Authorities (TAAs)

NESA requires, in Section 3.2.1 of the Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual, September 2019 that for the purpose of registration, a non-government school must document:

the school’s arrangements for having a teacher accreditation authority that has been approved under the Guidelines for the Regulation of Teacher Accreditation Authorities (TAAs) for Non-government Schools and Early Childhood Education Centres “

This requirement can be met by the school operating its own TAA (i.e. a school-based TAA), or it may choose to enter into an arrangement through a written agreement with another approved TAA that acts for one or more schools or early childhood education centres (ECECs).

 Arrangements for having an approved TAA are noted on each school’s application for initial registration or renewal of school registration through RANGS. However, an application for initial approval (or renewal of approval) of a school-based TAA must be submitted through RANGS as a separate process (i.e. in addition to the RANGS school registration application).

Regulations and Programs Team
02 9299 2845

Transitional arrangements for approval of TAAs

The regulatory requirements commenced on 1 January 2016, however transitional arrangements for formal approval of TAAs are in place until 2020, as follows:

  • Schools with existing school-based TAAs: Existing TAAs that were in operation prior to 1 January 2016 will transition to the new regulatory process so as to align with the registration cycle of each TAA’s school, as required by the Education Act.

  • Schools not operating their own school-based TAA need to have a formal written agreement with another approved TAA. This may include:
    • a TAA that is the proprietor of one or more schools and/or ECECs, and/or
    • a TAA which is not the proprietor of a school and/or ECEC
      • e.g. the AIS Independent Schools Teacher Accreditation Authority (ISTAA).

  • Schools wishing to establish a new school-based TAA: Applications for the approval of new TAAs received by NESA will be assessed in accordance with the TAA Guidelines.

Note that while formal regulatory approval under the TAA Guidelines of an existing school-based TAA may not occur until a school’s registration is renewed, it is a requirement that the teacher accreditation processes of all TAAs must comply with the TAA Guidelines from 1 January 2016.

Documenting structure and governance arrangements for TAAs

Establishing clarity around structural and governance arrangements at the outset will assist in the subsequent drafting of the required policies and procedures that describe the detailed operations of the TAA.

Documentation must include (but not necessarily in three separate documents):

  • an overview of the organisational structure of the TAA
  • a description of the responsibilities of all roles within the TAA
  • a delegation schedule only for those roles authorised by the TAA to make accreditation decisions or to represent the TAA.

Requirements for policies and procedures

In addition to documenting governance and organisational arrangements, the NESA Guidelines require each TAA to have and to implement policies and procedures that cover ten main areas. This requirement may be addressed by documentation that covers more than one policy area, but all ten areas must be covered through the totality of the documentation. Each of the ten policy areas also requires documented procedures that describe how each policy is implemented. Procedures will typically provide details of what is done, by whom, how and when.

It is imperative that TAAs draft policies and procedures that reflect the actual circumstances and practices of the TAA and the school and/or ECEC for which they make accreditation decisions.

Alignment with NESA teacher accreditation policies

In drafting the documentation, policies and procedures required for TAA regulatory approval, school-based TAAs should also refer to requirements of NESA in relation to teacher accreditation matters. It is particularly important to check consistency of your TAA policies, as well as school procedures, with requirements set out in the most recent versions of NESA’s Proficient Teacher Accreditation Policy, Maintenance of Accreditation at Proficient Teacher Policy and the Interim Suspension, Revocation and Voluntary Cancellation of Accreditation Policy. These are available through the NESA Teacher Accreditation website and through the NESA Policies and Procedures Index.

Support from AISNSW

AISNSW provides two support documents to assist in the drafting of the documentation, policies and procedures required for TAA approval. Both are available through the “Relevant Documents” section below. The Teacher Accreditation Authorities – AISNSW Guide Part 1 (Information and Advice) provides explanatory information, references and worked examples to support schools in drafting their own documentation. The Teacher Accreditation Authorities – AISNSW Guide Part 2 (Templates and Drafts) includes templates for documenting TAA governance and organisational arrangements, as well as draft policies and procedures.

When contextualised to individual circumstances, Part 2 (Templates and Drafts) may form the basis of a TAA handbook, which can be used as a resource at school level and may be useful for collating the documents required for NESA TAA approval. It is strongly recommended that schools using the Templates and Drafts also refer to requirements outlined in both the NESA TAA Guidelines and the AISNSW TAA Guide (Part 1).

While school-based TAAs may base their documentation on AISNSW templates and drafts, they should ensure that their policies and procedures reflect the real context of the TAA, describing the processes that actually occur, and should ensure consistency, where relevant, with the school’s (and/or ECEC’s) policies and procedures.

TAAs are also strongly advised to seek appropriate legal advice to confirm the suitability of their policies, including those based on drafts provided by AISNSW.

Please contact the AISNSW Education Regulations and Program team on (02) 9299 2845 or email regulations@aisnsw.edu.au for further information about TAA regulatory matters. The AISNSW Teacher Accreditation Division - phone (02) 9299 2845 - is able to assist with enquiries related to ISTAA and general teacher accreditation matters.

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