Mutual recognition allows teachers to be registered in more than one state or territory in Australia and New Zealand without needing to complete the registration process from the beginning.
You do not need to be registered in multiple states/territories of Australia, but, if you do plan on moving, it is a really convenient way of being able to maintain your teaching registration.
For example, if you hold full registration with the Queensland College of Teachers, you are eligible to gain full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
Mutual recognition in New South Wales (NSW)
The only exception to the Mutual Recognition Act of 1992 is New South Wales.
Owing to the fact that New South Wales “accredits” teachers rather than registering teachers, there is no provision for mutual recognition with the rest of Australia or New Zealand.
Teachers seeking to work in NSW or who seek to work outside NSW with their accreditation must go through the full registration process from the beginning.
If you hold proficient teacher status from outside New South Wales, you can have this recognised after you’ve completed the full application process with NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority).
Why may you register in more than one state?
Registering in more than one state can come in handy for those working in areas that straddle state borders – Albury-Wodonga on the border of NSW and Victoria, and Coolangatta-Tweed Heads on the Queensland/NSW border spring to mind.
Teachers working in these areas find it useful to hold both states’ teaching licenses, allowing them to work in any school within these areas.
For other teachers, holding multiple teaching registrations – while possible – can be expensive, particularly with multiple annual fees to keep all registrations current and yearly registration fees varying from state to state.
Teachers seeking to hold multiple current registrations will be looking at paying an application fee for each registration as well as the annual fee for each of these, which can run to hundreds of dollars or more.
The exception for this is Victoria and New South Wales - for those who are an accredited teacher in NSW and wish to work in Victoria, the Victorian Institute of Teaching will waive its annual registration fees while the teacher maintains accreditation in NSW. This is a reciprocal agreement that allows teachers who live near the NSW-Victorian border to be able to work in both states and only pay one annual fee.
Mutual recognition state by state
While the states and territories of Australia and New Zealand offer mutual recognition, it is important to consult the governing body of each jurisdiction to find out the exact requirements for mutual recognition.
Below are some places to start gathering information in each jurisdiction. Each governing body has dedicated support staff to help you navigate which application process is correct for your personal circumstances.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
For comprehensive information about all aspects of registering to teach in the ACT, consult the ACT Teacher Quality Institute, where you can gain information on what type of registration is right for you. Don’t forget that teachers in the ACT will also need to hold a Working with Vulnerable People Card in addition to their teaching registration.
New South Wales
The NSW Education Standard Authority (NESA) – Interstate Teachers provides teachers with important information when applying for accreditation. There is particularly useful information for Queensland and WA teachers.
Northern Territory (NT)
Form B – Application for NT Teacher Registration under mutual recognition outlines the process for teachers from all states, territories and New Zealand. Don’t forget that teachers in the NT will also need to hold an Ochre Card before commencing a registration application.
The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) offers an information sheet on mutual recognition as well as online forms and information on applying for mutual recognition. NSW teachers should contact the QCT directly for more information.
The "Application for registration under mutual recognition" page on the Teachers Registration Board (TRB) website covers both information and the application forms required for this type of registration. Teachers from NSW should contact the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia directly.
The Teacher Registration Board (TRB) "applying for teacher registration under mutual recognition form" outlines the process for teachers, as well as information for teachers from NSW. Teachers in Tasmania will also need to hold a registration to work with vulnerable people, in addition to their teaching registration. Applications for registration can be made via TRB Online.
Complete the application to the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) under mutual recognition form (excludes NSW teachers). Teachers who wish to be registered in both NSW and Victoria can apply for a waiver of fees.
Western Australia (WA)
New Zealand (NZ)
Information on mutual recognition in NZ can be found at: NZ Education Council – overseas teachers.