Eligibility criteria for ACET

If you are a primary teacher employed under the PTCA or the applicable Individual Employment Agreement (IEA), you can apply for ACET recognition if you:

  • are 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 your 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.

If you hold fixed term units, you are still entitled to receive ACET, as per the PTCA 3.32.7. Your eligibility is only affected if you hold more than one permanent unit.

Any teacher seeking ACET recognition needs their principal to endorse their expression of interest. Your principal must agree that you are ready to apply for ACET recognition on the basis that you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you are successful in applying to receive ACET recognition, your principal will be asked to confirm that you have a classroom teaching load of at least 0.8 FTTE and have successful attestation against the Experienced Teachers Professional Standards for the current school year.

If your hours drop below 0.8FTTE classroom teaching load for more than one term, the allowance will not be paid. You can suspend the allowance for up to 12 months as long as you meet the requirements for suspension. If your hours increase again from 0.5FTTE to 0.8FTTE or more for your classroom teaching load, the allowance can be restarted.

If your ACET recognition gets removed because you do not meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to reapply for it to be reinstated.

Will moving schools affect my ACET eligibility?

If you move schools please contact us so we can update our records, and monitor your payroll to make sure your ACET recognition moves with you to your new school. ACET only exists under the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement (PTCA), so if you move to a secondary or area school, you will no longer meet the criteria and we will stop paying your ACET allowance.

If you move to a composite school and are teaching years 1 to 8 only, you can still belong to the PTCA and retain your ACET recognition. If you also teach any other year group between 9 and 13, you will belong to the STCA and no longer be eligible to be ACET recognised. Please speak to your school’s payroll if you don’t know which collective agreement you belong to. 

Changing position may affect your eligibility

If you take up a position as a Resource Teacher for Learning Behaviours (RTLB), you will no longer meet the eligibility criteria for ACET payments. Depending on circumstances, there is a possibility you could suspend the payments and keep your ACET recognition.

Your ACET payments will stop if you leave the classroom to take up another position at your school where you do not meet the eligibility criteria. You may be able to suspend your ACET payments for up to 12 months if you meet the suspension requirements.

If you apply for a within school Community of Learning position, this should not affect your ACET payments as long as you continue to meet the ACET eligibility criteria. If you apply for a between schools Community of Learning position you will need to relinquish your ACET recognition as you will not be meeting the ACET eligibility criteria as your hours will drop below 0.8FTTE classroom teaching. In addition, you can only postpone ACET payments for up to 12 months and Community of Learning positions are for a fixed term of 2 years.

Taking leave

If you are currently on or about to go on parental leave, you do not need to suspend your ACET recognition as you will still hold this once you return to work. ACET payments will stop while you are on parental leave, because they are paid out as part of the parental (maternity) grant lump sum. Please advise us when you return to school so we can reinstate your allowance if you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Your ACET allowance will not be paid if you take leave without pay (LWOP). Your or your school only need to load the refreshment leave. As refreshment leave is LWOP, your ACET allowance will cease along with your salary.

Withdrawing from ACET

Please advise us in writing if you wish to relinquish your ACET recognition.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, you can call us during business hours on 0800 165 225 or email us at acet.recognition@education.govt.nz.

You can also write to us at:

ACET Recognition
Ministry of Education
PO Box 1666
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

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