All teachers working in NSW need to hold NESA Accreditation. How do I achieve it? What is the cost? How do I maintain it?
Introduction to NESA Accreditation
NESA stands for the NSW Education Standards Authority. NESA was previously known as BOSTES. As a teacher or principal in NSW, it is your responsibility to ensure you remain accredited as a proficient teacher so that you can continue being employed as a teacher.
How do I achieve NESA Accreditation?
NESA Accreditation is achieved when teachers document how they are meeting the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. There are 7 Standards which are as follows;
- Know students and how they learn
- Know the content and how to teach it
- Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
- Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
- Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
- Engage in professional learning
- Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community.
For any NESA registered training you have completed, you will provide your NESA member number to the RTO (Registered Training Organisation) or course provider and usually they will log the training on your behalf. After they have logged the training, it will be visible to you on your portal. Teachers are usually required to complete a simple, multiple choice evaluation of the training and how it met the teaching standards before this training is logged as part of your accumulated training hours.
For teacher identified training, you will need to go to your Dashboard on the portal, click on the ‘Maintenance of Accreditation’ until you see the drop down box, select Teacher Identified PD, as seen in my photo below, and then Add New Teacher Identified Activity. When documenting how you have worked towards or met these standards, there is a process of clicking on the standards you believe you have met, the date you completed the professional development and the duration of the training in hours and minutes.
As a general guide, which NESA described to me on the phone recently, when choosing the number of standards to add to a particular teacher identified training, NESA only expect around 1 standard to be selected per 1 hour of training. If you did a 1 hour course, 1 teaching standard is sufficient with a quick description of how you believe the course met that particular standard. If it was a 2 hour course or 2 hours of research, 2 or 3 standards is more appropriate.
NESA does not expect you to complete training covering all the descriptors or even all of the standards. As long as you have covered a few of the standards and met the number of required hours with a description of how the training met the descriptors, that should be sufficient.
Full time teachers have 5 years to achieve 100 hours of professional learning to maintain NESA Accreditation whereas Part time teachers have 7 years to maintain their NESA Accreditation. If you change your employment from full time to part time, you can change your maintenance period from 7 years to 5 years. More information can be found on the NESA website regarding providing evidence of this.
You will also require a current Working with Children Check (WWCC) to gain NESA Accreditation. This is a compulsory requirement. You can apply for a WWCC through the Office of the Children’s Guardian.
What Professional Development can I complete?
Teachers need to complete a total of 100 hours professional development which includes a minimum of 50 hours of NESA Registered training to maintain NESA Accreditation and the remaining 50 hours can be made up of NESA Registered training or Teacher Identified training which are things like professional reading, collegial conversations, courses, reflection activities and research. Depending on your initial accreditation date, you may have to complete only 20 hours of NESA registered training which is the case for myself. It is probably best to call NESA on +61 2 9367 8111 to find out what the circumstances are for you individually. Personally I have completed more than the 20 hours as there are many courses which I have enjoyed doing and there are so many more RTO’s offering courses that are NESA Registered now, compared with only a couple of years ago. Your dashboard will give you a breakdown of how many registered hours and how many teacher identified hours you have completed, as you can see below on my dashboard.
There are many more courses available now which are NESA registered and therefore allow you to much easier reach those required hours to maintain your NESA Accreditation.
In addition to professional development courses, teachers can complete their own research, attend forums, conduct training, observe a teaching colleague’s practice, do professional reading, complete a reflection activity such as reflecting on own practice and teaching strategies, or prepare professional development material. Hell, I think I can even log the writing of this article as part of my teacher identified hours! ; )
Can I apply for an Extension?
Currently you can apply for a 6 month extension on your NESA Accreditation expiry date, due to Covid-19. You can apply for this extension quite easily through NESA. Here is a copy of the required application form to complete and submit:
How much does it cost to maintain NESA Accreditation?
The fee to maintain NESA Accreditation is $100 annually. This is GST free and you can claim the fee back on tax. It is charged each calendar year. If you fail to pay the fee, your NESA accreditation can unfortunately be suspended or revoked. Once you have paid your fee, NESA will post to you your updated card with your name, NESA number, QR code, expiry of NESA Accreditation and space for a signature. This can easily be kept in your wallet to show future employers or to gain teacher benefits where relevant.
Summary – What is NESA Accreditation?
NESA Accreditation can be achieved once you have a current Working with Children Check, when you have paid the annual $100 fee to NESA and provided evidence of your teaching qualification. To maintain this accreditation as a proficient teacher, you must complete 100 hours of training which will be made up of NESA registered training as well as teacher identified training. The make up of whether that is a 20/80 ratio or 50/50 differs depending on when you were initially accredited.
Further information can be found on the NESA website or by calling NESA on 9367 8111.