Portfolio FAQs

Teacher frequently asked questions - General
Portfolio process
Principal certification and recommendation
Principal frequently asked questions - General

Teacher frequently asked questions - General

How many allowances are available at any one time?
There are 800 allowances. 

What if I accept a position at a different school during the ACET recognition process?
As long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria, you can continue to compile your portfolio. It is important that you discuss the ACET recognition process with your new principal as they will need to certify that your portfolio accurately represents your classroom and professional practice and make a recommendation based on your portfolio. You will also need to notify TeachNZ of the change by emailing ACET.Recognition@education.govt.nz.

I can’t find my TeachNZ ID, where can I go to get it?
You can contact TeachNZ on 0800 165 225 or send us an email to ACET.Recognition@education.govt.nz.

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If I take a period of approved leave, for example, maternity leave during the ACET recognition process, how is my eligibility affected?
Any approved leave, such as maternity leave, interrupts but does not break continuous service for the purposes of ACET eligibility. You remain eligible to continue in the ACET recognition process as long as you submit a portfolio, with the required certification and recommendation from your principal, by the closing date.

What will happen if I receive more than one permanent unit during the ACET recognition process?
You will no longer be eligible if you receive more than one permanent unit at any time. 

In what circumstances will I become ineligible to continue with the process to become recognised as an ACET?

  • the Portfolio Forms are incomplete
  • your circumstances change making you ineligible for ACET recognition, i.e. you are no longer a permanent employee in a state or state-integrated primary school.
  • your principal does not certify your portfolio as an accurate representation of your professional and classroom practice
  • your principal does not make any recommendation on your portfolio.

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Portfolio Process

How will I find out the outcome of ACET?
You will be notified of the outcome by email.

Can I withdraw from the ACET recognition process?
Yes, you can withdraw from the ACET recognition process by emailing a written notification to ACET.Recognition@education.govt.nz.

Once I am ACET recognised, can I postpone my allowance?
No, you cannot postpone this allowance. However, you are able to voluntarily withdraw from the process or relinquish the allowance. Where there is a temporary change in your circumstances, you may also be able to suspend the ACET allowance.

Am I still able to submit my portfolio if my principal does not recommend that I be ACET recognised?
Yes, your portfolio can still be submitted. If your principal is not recommending that you be ACET recognised, they must provide justification for this decision on the Portfolio Form.

Who makes the final decision about whether I should be ACET recognised?
A panel of independent experts will confirm or otherwise the recommendation that your principal has made on the basis of your portfolio. The panellists will make their final evaluations based on the portfolio you submit, which comprises the Portfolio Form and the supporting body of evidence.

Who will be on the panel of independent experts?
The panellists will be both practitioners and academics, will be of high-standing in the education community and will have experience making evidence-based critical evaluations.

What if a member of the independent expert panel knows me?
The panel of independent experts will be asked to declare any conflicts of interest as part of their formal agreement. If a panel member has or perceives a potential conflict of interest, they will inform TeachNZ who will ensure the portfolio is reassigned to other panel members for evaluation.

Why am I limited to only submit the digital formats outlined in the guide?
The digital formats listed are all those formats which are compatible with the Ministry of Education’s software. Given that the panel of independent experts will be viewing and making evaluations on a large number of portfolios, it is critical that any electronic evidence you submit is in a format that is easily accessible and is able to be opened.

Are there any other limits regarding what I can submit in my supporting body of evidence?
To ensure that the panel of independent experts meets the deadlines for making final evaluations on a large number of portfolios, you will need to be conscious of the length of the evidence you submit, particularly any video evidence.
N.B. The commentary and the supporting body of evidence must be read and/or viewed in 60 minutes.

What should I consider to protect my students’ privacy?
You should omit information which will enable students to be individually identified. Images (still photographs and video) and first names are generally acceptable. However surnames, addresses and other unique information should not be used.

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Principal Certification and Recommendation

Who can sign off the principal’s recommendation if my principal is away?
The acting principal is the only person who, on behalf of your principal, can certify your portfolio and make a recommendation in the ACET recognition process.

What if I get a new principal?
The new principal is required to certify your portfolio and make a recommendation on whether you should be ACET recognised based on your portfolio. It is strongly suggested that the new principal should work with the previous principal where practical.

What happens with a portfolio which does not have the required signatures?
The Portfolio Form requires two signatures; you must sign the Portfolio Form and your principal must sign the same form to:

  • certify (or not) that the submitted portfolio accurately represents your classroom and professional practice; 


  • make a recommendation as to whether you should be ACET recognised.

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Principal frequently asked questions - General 

What do I do if a teacher met the eligibility criteria but I do not think their portfolio demonstrates that their practice meets the professional criteria?
You must complete the Portfolio Form, tick the box “I do not recommend”, and provide a brief explanation on the form to justify this decision.

What do I do if a teacher’s portfolio fails to effectively demonstrate that their practice meets the criteria, but I am confident that this is due to a poorly executed portfolio which does not reflect the teacher’s exemplary classroom teaching practice?
It is recommended that you have on-going discussions with the teacher and review work on the portfolio well in advance of the submission deadline. This will allow you to provide guidance and advice to assist the teacher in preparing a portfolio which reflects their exemplary practice. Ultimately, you must make a recommendation based on the content of the teacher’s portfolio and not personal knowledge of the teacher’s practice. If the final portfolio does not meet the ACET professional criteria, you must tick “I do not recommend” and provide a brief explanation.

I am a new principal at the school and have no knowledge of the teacher’s work. How can I make the required professional judgments on the teacher’s portfolio?
In order to (i) certify whether or not the portfolio accurately represents the teacher’s classroom and professional practice and (ii) make a recommendation, on the basis of the portfolio, as to whether the teacher should be ACET recognised, you should consult the school personnel files to find information about previous years’ performance assessments (appraisals).
It is also strongly suggested that you have a conversation with the school’s previous principal, where practicable, to help with the certification decision. Once you are in a position to certify the teacher’s portfolio, you can then make a professional judgment based entirely on the portfolio presented by the teacher. The portfolio must demonstrate that the teacher’s practice meets or exceeds the ACET professional criteria.

What if the principal is away and as the acting principal, I am concerned I lack the ability to make the professional judgments required?
To certify that the portfolio represents the teacher’s classroom and professional practice, you should consult the school personnel files and, where practical, have a conversation with the principal. If you are able to certify the teacher’s portfolio as being an accurate representation of their classroom and professional practice, then you should be able to make a recommendation based entirely on the portfolio presented by the teacher. Again, it is strongly recommended that you discuss this with the principal where practicable.

What should I do if the teacher submitting a portfolio for ACET recognition is normally appraised by a senior leader other than the principal?
Where responsibility for teacher appraisal is normally delegated to another member of the senior management team the principal should consult with that leader in order to arrive at a judgment.

Should teachers be expected to take on more responsibility around the school if they gain ACET recognition?
In keeping with the alternative career pathway purpose of the ACET allowance teachers are not expected to undertake additional tasks. Where they are already receiving a permanent or fixed term unit for wider school responsibilities this should continue in recognition of that wider contribution.

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