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Contribute to the teacher accreditation process

NSW teachers and education professionals play an important and active role in helping the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) support and promote quality teaching in the state. NESA offers a range of ways teachers can contribute to the teacher accreditation process.

External Assessors (EAs) advise NESA on the quality of accreditation reports and evidence and consistency of Proficient Teacher accreditation decisions by Teacher Accreditation Authorities (TAAs). NSW teachers, who successfully apply to become EAs, receive training and support, and the opportunity to contribute to developing the next generation of teachers.

Become an External Assessor

External Observers (EOs) independently review the classroom practice of other teachers, who are applying for Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher Accreditation. EOs are highly-skilled accredited teachers who receive specialised training and have the opportunity to observe candidates teaching.

Become an External Observer

Accreditation panels review teaching programs submitted for accreditation by universities and other higher education institutes. Becoming involved in an accreditation panel is an excellent way to develop high-level program analysis skills and play a role in preparing future teachers for the classroom. Accredited teachers, teacher educators, school executive staff and principals are encouraged to apply.

Join an accreditation panel

Become an External Assessor

A reliable, high quality teacher accreditation process is a significant factor in improving the status of the teaching profession. External Assessors (EAs) advise NESA on the quality of accreditation reports and evidence and consistency of Proficient Teacher Accreditation decisions made by Teacher Accreditation Authorities (TAAs). NSW teachers, who successfully apply to become EAs, receive training, support and the opportunity to contribute to developing the next generation of teachers.

  • Being an EA gives you a chance to contribute to the profession through monitoring the quality of the teacher accreditation process.
  • By becoming an EA, your work could contribute to evidence of engaging in professional discussions with colleagues for gaining or maintaining your own accreditation.
  • EAs are granted teacher relief/release for training and are paid a fee for each batch of decisions they review.

What does an EA do?

An EA reviews batches of thirty Proficient Teacher Accreditation reports and evidence, against set criteria. The EA reviews do not change the TAA's decision; its purpose is to assist NESA to monitor the appropriateness and consistency of decisions and determine whether any general issues need to be raised with any individual TAA or with TAAs in general.

For each Proficient Teacher Accreditation TAA decision, the EA:

  • Reviews the annotated evidence of how the teacher meets the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Reviews the Accreditation Report written by the teacher’s mentor or supervisor.

Application criteria

  • Recent successful classroom experience
  • In-depth subject knowledge and knowledge of pedagogy
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills
  • Recent experience in supporting and mentoring other teachers particularly with regard to beginning teachers.
  • Willingness to assume the role of an external assessor for a minimum of two years
  • Knowledge of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Current employment as a teacher or principal in a NSW school or schools (desirable)

How to become an EA

We advertise opportunities on this website to become an EA as positions become available or specific expertise is needed. There are no current opportunities to become an EA.

When advertised, teachers can apply in writing by responding to the selection criteria above. If successful, teachers complete specialised training before they start assessing.

More information

Email contactus@nesa.nsw.edu.au or call the Teaching Standards team on 1300 739 338 (within Australia).

Become an External Observer

External Observers (EOs) play a crucial role in the accreditation of Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers by independently reviewing a candidate’s practice. EOs are highly-skilled accredited teachers who receive specialised training and have the opportunity to observe a candidate’s teaching.

  • EOs have a broad understanding, knowledge and experience in pedagogy and classroom practice with a teaching background similar to the candidate’s
  • EOs come from the same school sector, but not the same school, as the candidate
  • EOs are granted teacher relief/release and travel and accommodation costs (if needed) for training and the external observation.

What does an EO do?

An EO spends a school day observing the practice of a teacher seeking Highly Accomplished Teacher Accreditation or Lead Teacher Accreditation. The EO then writes a report which forms part of the applicant’s accreditation submission.

Application criteria

  • Recent, successful experience in supporting and mentoring teachers
  • In-depth understanding and knowledge of own subject/Key Learning Area (KLA) content
  • Excellent communication skills with experience in giving constructive and honest feedback
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Proven record of excellent pedagogy and classroom practice
  • Sound knowledge of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the role they play in the accreditation process
  • Current or very recent teaching experience
  • Accreditation at Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher level (desirable)

How to become an EO

We advertise opportunities to become an EO on this website when specific expertise is needed. There are no current opportunities to become an EO.

When advertised, teachers can apply in writing by responding to the selection criteria above. If successful, teachers complete specialised training before they start observing.

More information

Email contactus@nesa.nsw.edu.au or call the Teaching Standards team on 1300 739 338 (within Australia).

Download Information for External Observers (PDF 259kb).

Join an accreditation panel 

All initial teacher education programs submitted for accreditation by universities and other higher education providers, are assessed by accreditation panels set up by NESA. These panels are made up of teachers, teacher educators, school executive staff and principals.

Why get involved?

Becoming involved in an accreditation panel is an excellent way to develop high-level analytical skills, engage in detailed discussions with teaching colleagues and play a role in preparing future teachers for the classroom.

Through participation in the Accreditation Panel process you will have an opportunity to:

  • Develop a better understanding of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • Learn about professional experience requirements for student teachers
  • Gain a deeper understanding of university and higher education teaching degrees
  • Extend your professional network by working with peers from other schools and higher education providers, including interstate teachers and teacher educators.

How to become a panel member

If you would like to become an accreditation panel member, you need to submit an application form and then undertake a one day national training program held in Sydney. Once you’ve completed your training, you will be placed on a list and may be contacted to sit on an Accreditation Panel.

Your time commitment

NESA coordinates assessment of around 150 initial teacher education programs over a five year cycle. Accreditation panel members would typically sit on only one panel during the five year cycle. Panel meetings are held at NESA in the Sydney CBD.

The amount of reading in preparation for the Accreditation Panel meeting is substantial but you will be given around four to six weeks before the meeting to read the documentation. Travel expenses are covered for regional and inter-state panel members.

Apply for accreditation panel member training

Download, complete and return the appropriate form below.

Form for Teacher Educators who have NOT previously been on an Accreditation Panel (Microsoft word 34kb)

Form for Teachers who have NOT previously been on an Accreditation Panel (Microsoft word 30kb)

More information

Contact the ITE team via email at contactus@nesa.nsw.edu.au or call 1300 739 338 (within Australia).

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