Teachers Registration Board of the Northern Territory

Teacher registration

Teachers may apply for registration to teach in the NT in two ways: under the provisions of the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act or under the Mutual Recognition Principle.


1. What is the Mutual Recognition (MR) Principle?

The Mutual Recognition (MR) Principle is that a person who is registered for an occupation in the first State is entitled to registration in the second State for the equivalent occupation.

Under the terms of the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (Cth) and the Trans Tasman Mutual recognition Act 1997 (Cth), the Board is required to register a person who is currently registered to practice as a teacher in any other participating Australian State/Territory or in New Zealand. All jurisdictions, except for New South Wales, have teaching regulatory authorities. The mutual recognition arrangements apply to all jurisdictions except New South Wales.

2. How does a teacher apply for registration under MR?

Please see Form B - Application for NT teacher registration under mutual recognition

3. What is the objective of the Teacher Registration (NT) Act?

The objective of the Teacher Registration (NT) Act, is to ensure that only persons who are fit and proper and who are appropriately qualified, are employed as teachers in the NT. The Teacher Registration Board was established to register persons as teachers and to facilitate the continuing competence of teachers in the NT.

4. Who is entitled to registration as a teacher in the NT?

A person is entitled to registration as a teacher in the NT if the Board is satisfied the applicant is a fit and proper person. A person is 'fit and proper' if he or she:
  • meets the prescribed educational qualifications;
  • is competent to teach (including having a good command of the English language);
  • is of good character; and
  • is not disqualified in the Territory or elsewhere from registration as a teacher.

With regard to the issue of 'competence to teach', the Board may take into account evidence of an applicant's recent practice or continued experience in teaching in addition to anything else the Board sees fit.

5. What qualifications does the Board recognise for registration in the NT?

The required educational qualifications are prescribed by the Teacher Registration (NT) Regulations. The Board may grant registration to an applicant who possesses:
  • A four year degree in education, diploma of education and degree from Charles Darwin University (or its predecessor institutions) or the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education; or
  • A four year degree of education obtained in a state or another territory that is accepted by an accreditation body in that state or territory or accepted for teacher registration by the registration authority in the state or territory; or
  • A four year degree of education obtained in a country outside Australia and New Zealand, that includes a minimum of 45 days of supervised practice teaching and is accepted for registration as a teacher by the registration authority of a state or another territory or is assessed by the Board as appropriate for registration in the Northern Territory.

Teachers who have a three year teacher education qualification are not entitled to apply for registration in the Northern Territory under the provisions of the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act.

6. Why does the Board require a criminal history record check?

The Board must be satisfied of the good character of an applicant for teacher registration. In determining whether an applicant is of good character the Board must obtain a criminal history check in relation to the person and take into account any finding of guilt or charge made against him or her. The Board must take into account any behaviour of the person that:
  • does not satisfy a standard of behaviour generally expected of a teacher;
  • is improper or otherwise not in accordance with a code of ethics developed and promulgated by the Board; or
  • shows that the person is unfit to be a teacher.

The Board may take into account any other matters that it considers relevant.

7. Why does the Board ask some applicants to submit additional information or documents?

To be considered 'complete' an application for registration must, in the first instance, be accompanied by the information and evidence that the Board requires of all applicants as set down in Form A and the registration information.

Sometimes the Board may require an applicant to provide further information or evidence as it considers necessary in order to consider the application. The further information or documents may include:
  • evidence that a teaching qualification included a minimum of 45 supervised practice teaching days (e.g. official letter from teaching institution);
  • evidence that a person is competent to teach (e.g. employment reference);
  • evidence that a person is of good character (e.g. character reference);
  • evidence that a person has not been disqualified as a teacher in another jurisdiction (e.g. letter of Professional Standing or Certificate of Qualified Teacher Status).

8. How do I check if a teacher is registered?

Since January 2008, the register of teachers in the Northern Territory has been available online via the TRB website. An online search will call up the name of the teacher, the teacher's unique registration certificate number and the registration expiry date. When teachers apply to the Board for registration under the Mutual Recognition Principle, as soon as the application is complete and verification confirmed in the state of origin, the teacher is registered and included on the Online Register of Teachers.

Teachers applying for registration under the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act are not included on the online register of teachers until they have been granted teacher registration by a meeting of the Teacher Registration Board.

9. What is an interim certificate of registration?

An interim certificate of registration permits you to teach at a school in the Northern Territory pending a resolution of the Board to grant you registration. It may be issued between Board meetings to an applicant for registration who the TRB Director is satisfied meets the criteria for registration and is therefore entitled to registration.

An interim certificate of registration may only be issued when a complete application has been received and assessed and the applicant is entitled to be granted registration by resolution of the Board.

Applicants are advised by email that they have an interim certification of registration, usually issued only for the period to the next meeting of the Board. Emails with an interim certificate of registration attached should only be accepted if they are clearly sent from the Board.

10. How does a teacher apply for registration under the Teacher Registration (NT) Act?

Please see Form A - Application for teacher registration in the NT

11. What is the registration process?

Please see the registration process

12. Can a three-year trained teacher be registered in the NT?

A teacher who is three-year trained may apply to be registered in the Northern Territory if the person is applying for registration under the Mutual Recognition Principle.

A teacher who is three-year trained and applies under the provisions of the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act is not entitled to registration.

13. Why are some two- and three-year trained teachers registered?

In the Northern Territory, when the Teacher Registration (NT) Act commenced in 2004, provisions were made under part 9 of the Act for teachers employed in the NT to be registered even if they did not hold the prescribed qualifications as long as they could demonstrate they were competent teachers. Similar provisions applied in all Australian jurisdictions at the commencement of teacher registration.

Of the 5086 teachers registered in the Northern Territory as of 30 June 2008, 650 (or around 12%) are teachers who have three years or less of teacher training and were registered at the time of the commencement of the Act.

In addition, there are teachers registered in the Northern Territory who do not meet the four-year qualification but are registered because their application was made under the Mutual Recognition Principle.