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Employment based pathways to teaching

If you trained as a teacher overseas through an employment-based pathway, your training may not meet the requirements for teaching in New Zealand. This applies even if you achieved Qualified Teacher Status in the United Kingdom.

Employment-based pathways which don't lead to a qualification being awarded from an accredited institution (e.g. a University)  cannot be assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for academic rigour and equivalence to New Zealand qualifications.

The Council made their decision about employment based pathways in 2007 and have consistently communicated this since then. New Zealand isn’t the only country where this is the case – employment-based pathways to teaching that don’t lead to an academic award are also not recognised in Australia, Scotland and Canada.

If you completed an employment-based pathway to teaching, you have three options for becoming a registered and certificated teacher in New Zealand:

  1. Apply through the Discretionary Pathway
  2. Complete an approved initial teacher education programme that is recognised by the Education Council, such as the Graduate Diploma of Teaching
  3. Complete an overseas teaching qualification that results in the award of a qualification from an accredited institution. The study must be assessed as comparable to an approved New Zealand initial teacher education qualification.  


What is Qualified Teacher Status?

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is a standard most teachers must meet to teach in the United Kingdom. It is similar to provisional certification in New Zealand. Holding QTS alone does not qualify you to teach in New Zealand, you must also have completed a recognised academic teaching qualification from an approved provider.

The table below shows the NZ status of UK teaching programmes. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

Programme NZ status
Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Recognised academic qualification
Bachelor of Education (BEd) Recognised academic qualification
Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) Employment-based pathway
Registered Teacher Programmes (RTP) Employment-based pathway
School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) Employment-based pathway


If your programme isn't covered here or you want to know more about eligibility to work as a teacher in New Zealand, please email