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Do an English test

Effectively communicating with your students, colleagues and the wider school community is one of the most important professional standards for teachers.

If you have completed tertiary studies that make you eligible for accreditation as a teacher in NSW from a country other than the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the United States of America, New Zealand or Canada, you will be required to successfully complete an approved English language proficiency test before you can be provisionally or conditionally accredited by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

  • For exemption from the English proficiency test requirements, all four years of your overseas teaching qualification must have been completed in English in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, United States, New Zealand or Canada.
  • If you have previously completed an approved English test the results should be no more than 2 years old when you apply for accreditation.
  • All Australian states and territories have the same English test requirement for teachers, which also reflects the requirements for migration to Australia under a Skilled Migrants Visa.

Approved English tests and results needed

  • Professional English Assessment for Teachers (PEAT): If you are seeking employment with the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) you must undertake the PEAT. To complete the PEAT, you must be referred by DEC.

    Results needed: A in each of the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

    Taking the PEAT preparation course at TAFE

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test: This test is accepted by NESA as an approved English language proficiency test.

    Results needed for accreditation: an average band score of 7.5 across all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, with no score below 7.0 in any of the four skill areas and a score of no less than 8.0 in speaking and listening.

    More information on the IELTS

  • International Second Language Proficiency Rating (ISLPR): This test was originally developed as the ASLPR (Australian Second Language Proficiency Rating). It was developed at Griffith University and is available in a form specifically designed to test language proficiency in the teaching context.

    Results needed: A score of Level 4 in all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, undertaken at approved testing sites where the assessment is teacher focused.

More information

Download the Policy on the English Language Proficiency of Teachers at Provisional or Conditional Accreditation (PDF 80 KB).

Taking the PEAT preparation course at TAFE

This is a full time course offered under the Certificate IV in Skills for Career Pathways (PEAT): Course No. 10698 and National code: 10092 NAT.

This is a nationally accredited course on the NSW 2015 Skills List and is one of the Smart & Skilled targeted priority courses subsidised by the government for eligible students.

Course delivery

At Blacktown TAFE (part time) students attend face to face 10 hours per week and do a further 10 hours per week of guided independent study.

At Randwick TAFE (full time) students attend face to face 17 hours per week and do a further 3 hours per week of independent study. Randwick has a Moodle and online resources for offsite access.

PEAT preparation course content

The course content includes:

  • Prepare for PEAT speaking
  • Prepare for PEAT listening
  • Prepare for PEAT reading
  • Prepare for PEAT writing
  • Career development
  • Sustainability practices
  • Emerging technology
  • Communication and team work.

Course features

The course features:

  • strategies taught for exam preparation and understanding exam content
  • advanced grammar, vocabulary development and writing skills
  • additional online practice materials
  • timed exam practice in the four skill areas
  • experienced PEAT teachers
  • delivery catering to individual needs.

Randwick TAFE PEAT Preparation Course schedule for 2017

Information days: Tuesday 29 November, 2016 at 1pm or 5pm OR Tuesday 17 January, 2017

Full time PEAT Preparation Course - 31 January to 16 June, 2017

For further information contact Jane Lock Head Teacher of Languages on (02) 9469 8574 or email

Enrolling at TAFE

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) wants to be assured that applicants seeking to be accredited to teach in NSW schools have the required English language proficiency and can refer any applicant to take one of the accepted English language tests.

One of the tests is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

All major universities in NSW offer the IELTS.

Test format

The total duration for the IELTS is 2 hours and 45 minutes. There are four sections to the test:

  • Listening
  • Reading - 3 sections
  • Writing - two tasks 150 words and 250 words
  • Speaking - 11 to 14 minutes.

The Listening, Reading and Writing tests are usually taken in one sitting and the Speaking test at a separate time on the same day.


Most universities offer the tests fortnightly.


Applicants can generally make a reservation to take the test online or in person at their university.


In most cases the results are available 13 calendar days after completion of the test and can be accessed online or in person.


Universities offer a range of full-time and part-time courses to assist students to thoroughly prepare for the test.

They include:

  • The IELTS Master - an in-depth course offering more extensive preparation and practive for the test.
  • The IELTS Express - best suited to people who want to quickly preare for the IELTS test.

There are also a range of materials to help prepare for the test on the IELTS Australia website.

Practice materials are also available for purchase at universities and other outlets.

Helpful links

The following are links to information on the IELTS at universities:

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