Here’s what you need to know about proof of identity criteria

We hear from a lot of teachers asking why we’ve changed our criteria for proof of identity. The answer is we haven’t!

What did change is that the Vulnerable Children Act came into effect in its entirety on 1 July 2015, with increased measures to keep children safe. One of these measures was new proof of identity regulations for those who work with children, including teachers.  A good overview of the Act as far as it relates to the education sector can be found on the Ministry’s website.

Following its implementation, we worked with New Zealand Police to agree on how the Education Council would assure proof of identity for teachers on their behalf. The list of approved identity documents, and criteria for those documents comes directly from the Act. This means that documents that you may have previously used to apply for a practising certificate, may no longer be acceptable.

If you’re applying for a practising certificate, here’s what you need to remember about proof of identity requirements:

You need two forms of current (not expired) identification. One of those must be photo identification. Your two pieces of identification should include one from Category A, and one from Category B, below.

Category A: Primary identification

Category B: Secondary identification


New Zealand driver’s license

New Zealand Certificate of Identity

18+ card

New Zealand Refugee travel document

Community Services card

Emergency travel document

Super Gold card

New Zealand firearms license

Veteran Super Gold card

New Zealand Birth Certificate (issued in 1998 or later, you can order a New Zealand Birth Certificate online)

Inland Revenue number

New Zealand Citizenship Certificate

Electoral Roll records


New Zealand utility bill

If you have changed your name since you received your identification, and don’t have the same name as on the document, you will need to provide proof of the name change, such as a marriage certificate.

Once you have the relevant identity documents, you’ll need to have them checked by a referee, which could be a school principal, an early childhood centre education manager, or the head of an initial teacher education programme.

We understand these rules can be confusing, and we’re always happy to help. The good news is, that once the Council has accepted your Proof of Identity, you will not be required to do this again for future applications unless you have changed your name. If you have questions about proof of identity, or other requirements for a practising certificate, please get in touch with our call centre at 04 471 0852 or by email at


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