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 national criminal history record check (police 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
- 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 police history check undertaken by the Teachers Registration Board. A police history check is one criterion used by the Board to assess fitness and propriety.
The Board has been granted accredited third party status with CrimTrac, established by the Australasian Police Ministers Council as a major national law enforcement support initiative. CrimTrac provides a National Police History Checking (NPHC) 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 police history check are considered on an individual basis and are assessed taking into account all relevant circumstances. From experience, the majority of records are either returned as clear or are cleared by nominated personnel. 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.
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 National Police History Check is up to 20 working days.
Contact the staff of the Investigation Unit by phone on +61 8 8226 5984 for further information.
Proof of Identity for New Applicants
Applicants must provide certified copies of documentary evidence to prove their identity sufficient to satisfy a ‘100 Point Identification Check’ (201) as required by the Board’s arrangement with CrimTrac. This must include one primary document (70 points) such as a Birth Certificate, Citizenship Certificate, or International Travel Document (e.g. passport) and one secondary document (40 points) such as an Australian driver's licence, identification card as a public employee, Centrelink card or tertiary student identification card. Refer to : Information Sheet - Proof of Identity Documents
Documentation provided in 100 Point Identification Checks will be treated in a confidential manner. Refer to Privacy Statement
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 CrimTrac NPHC Dispute Form for completion of the details as requested. All relevant information will then be provided to Client Services CrimTrac 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 police history checks should contact the staff of the Investigation Unit on +61 8 8226 5984.
Overseas Criminal History Record Checks
Applicants who have resided in any country other than Australia for more than 12 continuous months during the past 10 years when over 18 years of age, will need to provide original or certified copies of a national overseas criminal history record checks from those countries issued in the last 12 months.
From the 21 February 2014 this requirement also applies to:-
- Applicants for Special Authorities to Teach who have resided in any country other than Australia for more than 12 continuous months during the past 10 years when over 18 years of age, and
- Applicants for renewal of registration who have resided in any country other than Australia for more than 12 continuous months during the term of their current teacher registration.
Please note these checks must reflect all names by which you have ever been known.
The Board will only accept a national overseas criminal history record check which has been issued as per the following:
- Intending applicants from the United Kingdom must provide an original of the International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) please refer to Obtaining an International Child Protection Certificate from the United Kingdom
- To obtain a national overseas criminal history record check from the United States of America, South Africa or Canada please refer to the following document: Information Sheet - National Overseas Criminal History Record Checks (pdf - 51kb).
- To obtain a national overseas criminal history record check from any other country please refer to the specific directions given in the following document http://www.immi.gov.au/Help/Pages/character-police/requirements.aspx
Some countries require an applicant for a criminal history check to provide a letter of support from a requesting organisation or DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection). In these circumstances applicants may request a letter of support from the Teachers Registration Board in lieu.
Countries which may require a letter of support include Bermuda, Curacao, Cyprus, East Timor, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, United Kingdom, Thailand, Venezuela and Yemen. If you require a letter of support please lodge your request to the Teachers Registration Board by completing the form. A letter of support for a criminal history record check will be prepared and forwarded.
If fingerprints are required applicants should refer to specific instructions provided by the issuing country. In many cases the instructions may advise applicants to contact their local police service.
** Important note **
Some countries may take several weeks or months to process an application for a criminal history record check and/or require applications to be made in person in that country. Intending applicants are therefore advised to apply for such checks well in advance of lodging an application for teacher registration. Applicants are further advised to retain evidence of their application for a criminal history record check (e.g. copy of application, fingerprints, registered post receipts etc.)
To avoid unnecessary personal costs and inconvenience please ensure you meet all requirements for teacher registration before making application for a national criminal history check from overseas
If you have any issues in meeting the above requirements please contact the staff of the Investigations Unit by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on +61 8 8226 5984.