Requirements for Certification

As we are approaching mid-year and some of the PRTs are wanting to apply for full certification at the end of the year it seems timely to look at the Education Council Requirements and ensure that everybody is up to speed.
I have also included a note around pay increments as people are mixing this up with registration which is quite separate and linked to appraisal and Professional Standards. (We are paid by the Ministry of Education).
As a provisionally certificated teacher you will have the guidance of a mentor teacher who is an experienced fully certificated colleague, trained to guide and support you and give constructive feedback.
The most important features of induction and mentoring include:
·       an emphasis on practice-focused professional learning for the provisionally certificated teachers (PCT)
·       a range of professional development opportunities
·       evaluations of professional practice based on the Practising Teacher Criteria
·       active support and commitment from professional leaders.

The Guidelines for Induction and Mentoring and Mentor Teachers were developed to help teachers, mentors and professional leaders work together to design and implement high quality induction and mentoring programmes.  Read more
The main purpose of an induction and mentoring programme is to help a newly qualified teacher develop effective teaching practices for the diverse learners they will be responsible for throughout their career.
Through this programme of support, the PCT, mentor and the professional leader will gather evidence of the progress being made by the teacher towards meeting the standard for full certification.
At the end of the induction period, the professional leader is required to use this evidence to determine whether all the Practising Teacher Criteria have been met by the teacher.
The PCT also needs to retain evidence of their induction and mentoring programme and to submit this to the Education Council if requested to do so.

Many people in and beyond the school, kura or ECE service may be involved in the programme of support for a PRT. Key people and groups are:
·       the professional leader
·       the fully certificated mentor teacher
·       the provisionally certificated teacher
·       heads of department, team leaders, external support
·       universities and others who provide professional support or qualifications.

An induction and mentoring programme may look different from one setting to another. This will depend on what sort of institution it is (school, early childhood or kura) and whether it is urban, rural, large, small, isolated, part of a cluster and so on. But there are some essential features that should be included when developing effective induction programmes for PCTs.
Induction and mentoring programmes should:
  • ·       be tailored to individual needs and agreed with the PCT, mentor teacher and professional leader
  • ·       include regular observations of teaching practice and opportunities for the PCT to observe their colleagues, including the mentor teacher
  • ·       have time for ‘learning conversations' where the mentor provides feedback and facilitates critical reflection by the teacher on their practice
  • ·       be part of wider professional development and learning available to all staff
  • ·       include access to external networks and professional development opportunities
  • ·       provide opportunities to collect evidence of progress towards meeting the registration standards in the Practising Teacher Criteria
  • ·       be resourced appropriately and meet the contractual obligations of the employer
  • ·       have formal written records documenting professional discussions, observations and feedback, critical reflections on data by the PCT and any other professional development.

EVALUATIVE An induction and mentoring programme provides opportunity for formative and progressive feedback to the PCT on their professional learning as well as leading to a final assessment of whether the PCT is ready to hold a full practising certificate.

This means records must be kept of:
• activities that occur as part of the induction programme, the feedback and support provided to the PCT, and the PCT’s own reflection and learning
• evidence of the PCT’s progress towards meeting the Practising Teacher Criteria.

When an application for full certification is received, the Council will be seeking evidence the PCT has undertaken an appropriate induction programme, and been assessed as having met all the Practising Teacher Criteria.
 “An induction and mentoring programme provides opportunity for formative and progressive feedback to the PCT on their professional learning.”

·      Mentoring is an essential component of induction. High-quality mentoring is educative in focus as well as based on a relationship of trust and collegiality. It is important mentor teachers are well resourced – with dedicated time to fulfil the role – and that they receive career recognition for the role.
·      A high-quality mentoring programme is relationship-based, focused on educative mentoring, recognised and resourced.
·      RELATIONSHIP-BASED A mentor should be able to work comfortably and supportively in a co-constructive relationship with the PCT. Mentor teachers require professional development and support to advance their relational skills.
·      FOCUSED ON EDUCATIVE MENTORING High-quality mentoring happens when an experienced colleague provides dedicated time to a PCT. They will guide, support, give feedback and facilitate evidence-informed, reflective learning conversations. An ‘educative mentor’ is not merely a ‘buddy’ providing emotional support and handy ‘just in time’ tips to the PCT. Educative mentoring is a highly skilled and highly valued role in the profession, and mentors need appropriate professional development to learn and practise these skills. RECOGNISED AND RESOURCED Mentor teachers should be supported by the school, kura or ECE service leadership to have dedicated time and professional development to fulfil their roles adequately. Ideally, mentor teachers should receive career recognition for the important professional leadership and support they provide.

Note that you are assessed against the Professional Standards (appraisal) for pay increments not the Practising Teacher Criteria


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