Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia Annual Report 2019–20

About the Board

About the board

As the teacher regulatory authority in Western Australia, the Board is responsible for registering teachers, including renewing teacher registration, and administering the teacher disciplinary and impairment review processes. The Board is also responsible for accrediting initial teacher education programs delivered by Western Australian higher education providers.

In undertaking these functions, the Board maintains an up-to-date register of teachers, and has developed and published professional standards for teachers, accreditation standards for initial teacher education programs, and a professional learning activities policy.

In performing its role, the Board’s paramount consideration is the best interests of children.

The Board was established in December 2012 under the Teacher Registration Act 2012.

The Board undertakes its duties in accordance with the Teacher Registration Act 2012 and its subsidiary legislation: the Teacher Registration (General) Regulations 2012 and the Teacher Registration (Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programmes) Regulations 2012.

A quality and contemporary regulator of the Western Australian teaching profession that operates in the best interests of children.

Serving the public interest in Western Australia by ensuring that teachers are registered and initial teacher education programs are accredited in accordance with the Teacher Registration Act 2012.

Integrity: We act with integrity, responsibility and transparency.

Excellence: We set standards of excellence and strive to achieve them.

Service: We are responsive, efficient and effective.

Fairness and Respect: We treat everyone fairly, with empathy and respect.

The Board is appointed by the Minister for Education and Training and must include an Australian lawyer and at least three currently registered teachers.

At 30 June 2020, the Board members were:

  • Margaret Collins (Chairperson) – former Regional Executive Director, South Metropolitan Education Region, Department of Education
  • Ron Dullard (Deputy Chairperson) – former Director, Catholic Education Western Australia
  • Nicole Brown – Dean of Students (PK-6), Peter Moyes Anglican Community School
  • Jeremy Bruse – Associate Principal, Harrisdale Senior High School
  • Peter Collins – Principal, Holy Cross College, Ellenbrook
  • Kate Offer – Senior Lecturer, School of Law, The University of Western Australia
  • Julie Woodhouse – Principal, Butler Primary School.

There were no changes to the Board’s membership during the reporting period.

In 2019–20, the Board formally met 11 times and considered 39 items out‑of‑session.

Photograph showing the members of the board.


About the Board - 2

The Teacher Registration Act 2012 requires the Board to establish at least one disciplinary committee and an impairment review committee. The Board may establish other committees to assist it to perform its functions.

The Board is supported by:

  • two disciplinary committees which consider complaints referred by the Board
  • an impairment review committee which considers impairment matters referred by the Board
  • an interim disciplinary order committee which has the authority to make an interim disciplinary order where
    • there is the risk of imminent injury or harm to the physical or mental health of any person, or
    • a registered teacher has been charged with a sexual offence involving a child.

See Disciplinary and impairment matters for further information about the activities of these committees in 2019–20.

The Department of Education’s Teacher Registration Directorate provides secretariat support to the Board which includes:

  • processing teacher registration applications and initial teacher education program accreditation applications for consideration by the Board
  • assisting the Board to administer its disciplinary function
  • supporting the work of the Board on policy matters.

The Board has delegated certain powers such as granting teacher registration to the Director, Teacher Registration, who refers matters that require further examination to the Board.

Financial statements and performance information related to the Teacher Registration Directorate and the Board’s remuneration are provided in the Department of Education’s annual report.

The operations of the Board are funded by fees collected in accordance with the Teacher Registration Act 2012 and Costing and Pricing Government Services: Guidelines for Use by Agencies in the Western Australian Public Sector published by the Department of Treasury. During the reporting period there were no changes to the Board’s fee schedule.

Online digital solutions

The Board has continued to streamline application processes for registered teachers and applicants. During the year, the Board increased the number of applications which can be made online, reducing processing times for applicants. Access to our online management tool for employers, Teacher Register Information (Professional) or TRIP was also improved.


Collaboration on national projects

Following the National Review of Teacher Registration, which was led by an expert panel of state and territory representatives, the Board has continued to collaborate with stakeholders on projects of national significance, including projects on:

  • examining the consistency of decision-making in relation to the progression of teachers from provisional to full registration
  • strengthening child safety
  • early childhood teacher registration
  • English language competency related to initial teacher education programs.


Strengthening child safety

The paramount consideration for the Board is the best interests of children. During the year, the Board continued to work with relevant agencies, national authorities and other regulators to progress recommendations relating to teacher registration arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the National Review of Teacher Registration.


Updates to Professional Boundaries resource

In August 2019, the Board published and communicated an update to the Board’s Teacher-Student Professional Boundaries resource. The resource is designed to inform and guide teachers about professional boundaries they should maintain when dealing with students and prompt reflective behaviour. Updated in consultation with stakeholders, feedback indicated that the resource continues to provide useful professional guidance to teachers and educational leaders.


COVID-19 regulatory relief

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19, registered teachers received a six-month registration extension, to provide more time for registration requirements to be met. Additional time was also provided for payment of the annual registration fee. The Board also provided greater flexibility for the conduct of practicum placements for students completing their initial teacher education courses and extended the expiry dates of all Western Australian accredited programs by 12 months.

Review of the Teacher Registration Act 2012

A review of the Teacher Registration Act 2012 was tabled in Parliament in September 2018. Recommendations from the review have been the subject of consideration by a Strategic Implementation Group. This work will contribute to the development of an amendment Bill at a future time. The Board will work to amend policies and processes in light of amendments to the Act once it is introduced.


Initial teacher education reform

The Board continues to engage with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), state and territory teacher regulatory authorities and other stakeholders about proposed reforms to the initial teacher education accreditation scheme. The Board will continue to ensure that the Western Australian accreditation scheme balances regulatory rigour and reasonableness.

During the year, the Board considered initial teacher education program requirements for phonics teaching methods, provider reporting requirements, and enhancing publication of accreditation decisions. The Board will continue to work with providers to implement these reforms.


Registration renewal application peak

The teacher registration cycle for the renewal of Full Registration has cyclical peaks that arise approximately every three and a half years, for an 18-month period.

In the context of the extension of the registration of all teachers by six months in response to COVID-19, the Board is expecting renewal applications to increase significantly from September 2020 to March 2022. The Board has been undertaking comprehensive preparation to ensure effective registration processes and staffing arrangements are in place.


Teacher registration system development

The Board is committed to the further development of suitable online solutions to optimise the experiences of the teachers and applicants. The Board will continue to work with the Department of Education to achieve this outcome to create services that are efficient, safe and secure.