Stage one: Expression of Interest (EOI)

As a principal for a teacher looking to apply for the ACET recognition you will need to endorse the first stage of the application known as the Expression of Interest (EOI).

In 2018, approximately 250 primary teachers who meet the eligibility criteria and whose classroom practice is demonstrably higher than the Experienced Teachers Professional Standards (see Schedule 3 of the PTCA) assessed against the ACET professional criteria can be recognised as an ACET.

Principal endorsement of expressions of interest
Any teacher seeking ACET recognition will need you as their principal to endorse their expression of interest.
As the principal you must confirm that the teacher meets the all eligibility criteria:

  • to be a fully registered permanent teacher, with a classroom teaching load of at least 0.8 FTTE (Full-time Teaching Equivalent) in a state or state-integrated New Zealand primary school; 
  • hold no more than one permanent unit; 
  • have at least six years classroom teaching experience in a New Zealand state or state-integrated school (as of December 2017); 
  • have been at the maximum step of their qualification group for three consecutive years in a New Zealand state or state-integrated school prior to application, with successful attestation against the Experienced Teachers Professional Standards (Schedule 3 of the PTCA or the applicable IEA) in each of those years.

It is critical that before a teacher submits an expression of interest, significant professional conversations take place between the teacher and you their principal (or acting principal) to consider whether:

  • the teacher meets the eligibility criteria
  • the teacher is professionally ready to apply to undertake the recognition process, considering their last three attestations/appraisals (i.e. 2015, 2016 and 2017) against the Experienced Teachers Professional Standards.

These professional conversations between teacher and yourself the principal should include in-depth discussions regarding:

  • ways in which the teacher’s classroom practice is exemplary in relation to the ACET
  • professional criteria what available evidence might demonstrate that the teacher’s practice meets all of the ACET professional criteria whether the teacher is willing and able to make the significant time commitment (19 weeks)
  • required to compile the evidence into a succinct portfolio
  • how the teacher will keep the principal informed as the portfolio of evidence is prepared (should the teacher be invited to do so). This may include a portfolio project plan with timelines, milestones and scheduled dates for further principal-teacher discussion.

Your principal endorsement of the expression of interest confirms that the teacher meets the required eligibility criteria and that the details provided in the national prioritisation information section are accurate.

If as a principal you have concerns about the teacher’s ability to meet the ACET professional criteria or complete the portfolio within the allotted 19 weeks, then it is strongly suggested that this is discussed in detail with the teacher in a professional conversation.

The portfolio stage involves a substantial time commitment for the teacher. As the principal, and professional leader of the school, you should be upfront before the expression of interest is submitted if you believe the teacher’s portfolio is unlikely to demonstrate the ACET professional criteria for exemplary teaching practice.

Following that professional discussion, if an eligible teacher would still like to submit an expression of interest, then you the principal must endorse the expression of interest. This endorsement does not mean you the principal will necessarily recommend the finished portfolio.

In the first instance, if as a principal should refer to the information on the TeachNZ website and the Expression of Interest Frequently Asked Questions.

Principals and schools can also contact TeachNZ by phoning 0800 165 225, or emailing

TeachNZ’s website will be updated throughout the ACET process,

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand