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Fitness and Propriety

To be registered as a teacher, the applicant must have recognised  qualifications and experience, have completed a mandatory notification training course relating to child abuse and neglect, consent to a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, undertaken by the Board,  and be a fit and proper person to be a teacher.

The Board imposes conditions on a teacher’s registration. Section 24 of the Act describes the conditions applicable to all teachers. These conditions are detailed below and on this website under the heading Obligation to Report and are included on the 'Certificate of Teacher Registration' which is issued to each registered teacher:

  • if charged or convicted of a specified offence e.g.
  • Any offence for which imprisonment may be a penalty (whether or not a penalty of imprisonment was imposed)
  • Illicit drugs
  • Sexual or indecent behaviour
  • Dishonesty
  • Cruelty to animals
  • if dismissed or resigns from employment as a practising teacher in response to allegations of unprofessional conduct
  • if dismissed or resigns from employment in response to allegations of improper conduct relating to a child

The Board must decide if a person is “fit and proper” to be registered as a teacher. Fit and proper is a legal term which has been used for over 100 years. The Board must be satisfied that a teacher is honest, competent, knowledgeable, skilful, and is of good character. 

Police History Checks

Pursuant to Section 22(2)(a) of the Act an applicant for registration must consent to the conduct of a criminal record check undertaken by the Teachers Registration Board. A criminal record check is one criterion used by the Board to assess fitness and propriety.

The Board has been granted accredited third party status with Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), established by the Australasian Police Ministers Council as a major national law enforcement support initiative. ACIC provides a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check service to accredited third party agencies primarily for the purpose of ensuring persons in positions of trust are adequately screened for criminal records.

All matters arising from a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check are considered on an individual basis and are assessed taking into account all relevant circumstances. If further information or clarification is required a teacher will be contacted and either requested to provide a written statement or explanation, or invited to attend an interview to discuss the matter. Procedural fairness and the principles of natural justice are adhered to at all times. 

General Guidelines

All offences are assessed using the following general guidelines:

  • Child protection implications, age and vulnerability
  • Relevance in a school teaching environment
  • The gravity and nature of convictions
  • Circumstances surrounding the offence(s), whether alcohol, drugs or a weapon was involved
  • The harm to any victim including injury or loss
  • Adverse impact on the teaching profession
  • Total criminal history
  • Severity of sentence imposed
  • Length of time since offence, any rehabilitation
  • Age at time of offence(s) e.g. adult or juvenile
  • Evidence of the applicant's good character since offence committed
  • Whether offence has been decriminalised
  • Whether found guilty 'without conviction'
  • Whether penalty restricted only to a fine
  • Personal circumstances at the time of offending

The timeframe to complete a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check is up to 20 working days.

Contact the staff of the Board by phone on +61 8 8253 9700 for further information. 

Proof of Identity for New Applicants

Applicants must provide certified copies of documentary evidence to prove their identity sufficient to satisfy the minimum requirements for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check as required by the Board's arrangement with Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). This must include:

  • one Commencement document to confirm your birth in Australia or arrival in Australia
  • one Primary document and two Secondary documents to show the use of your identity in the community

All documents must be verified by the same Justice of the Peace who has certified all of your identity documents. All photographs contained within your identity documents must be verified by the same Justice of the Peace as being a photograph of you.

Refer to : Information Sheet - Proof of Identity Documents

Documentation provided for a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check will be treated in a confidential manner. Refer to Privacy Statement

Identification Disputes

Where an applicant disputes the accuracy of the information provided from police records, either in part or in full, the applicant will be provided with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check Dispute Form for completion of the details as requested. All relevant information will then be provided to Client Services ACIC in the first instance for follow up. Please note that even after this information has been provided, it may still be necessary to obtain fingerprints for comparative purposes (where appropriate).

Teachers who require further information about procedures or other matters related to criminal record checks should contact the Board on +61 8 8253 9700.

Overseas Criminal History Record Checks

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Request an Overseas Criminal History Record Check Supporting Letter

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