Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia Annual Report 2019–20

Activities of the Board

Activities of the board

Teacher registration

All teachers teaching in schools and other educational venues in Western Australia, such as a centre based education and care service (long day care) and the juvenile detention centre, must be registered with the Board.

To meet registration requirements, applicants must be appropriately qualified, have the necessary English language skills, meet the required professional standards for the relevant registration category, and be a fit and proper person.

To renew registration, the Board must be satisfied that the teacher continues to meet the requirements for their category of registration. Provisional Registration may only be renewed where there are exceptional circumstances.

At 30 June 2020, 55,143 teachers were registered with the Board (see Table 1).

Table 1: Teachers registered at June 30 by category 2016 to 2020
Category 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Full Registration 41,076 41,721 42,994 44,083 44,970
Provisional Registration 5,701 5,710 5,913 5,721 5,201
Non-Practising Registration 3,802 4,469 4,490 4,289 4,271
Limited Registration 691 684 648 643 701
Total 51,270 52,764 54,045 54,736 55,143


During 2019–20, the Board received 8,454 teacher registration applications and approved 8,680 applications (see Table 2).

Based on the Mutual Recognition Principle, the Board registered 422 teachers who were registered in another Australian state or territory or in New Zealand.

Table 2: Applications received and approved by type 2018–19 and 2019–20(a)
  2018–19 2019–20
Type of application Received Approved Received Approved
New registration 3,310 3,292 2,677 2,635
Renewal of registration 3,218 3,587 3,242 3,464
Move registration category 2,524 2,533 2,402 2,448
Extension of non-practising registration(b) 192 189 133 133
Total 9,244 9,601 8,454 8,680
(a) Number of applications received in one year may not be the same as number approved that same year as applications may be processed in subsequent years.
(b) The extension of non-practising registration may only be approved when there are extenuating circumstances.


Applicants can progress to Full Registration from either Provisional Registration (including early career teachers) or Non-Practising Registration (see Table 3). Applicants must provide evidence that they meet the proficient level of the Professional Standards for Teachers in Western Australia, as well as meeting the other requirements.

Table 3: Summary of approved applications to transition to Full Registration 2018–19 and 2019–20
  2018–19 2019–20
Provisional to Full Registration 1,653 1,693
Non-Practising to Full Registration 525 411
Board determinations

The Board has delegated the granting of teacher registration to the Director, Teacher Registration. Applications considered by the Director to require further examination are referred to the Board.

During 2019–20, 19 of the 32 applications referred to the Board for further examination were refused as they did not meet one or more of the requirements for registration or the renewal of registration (see Table 4).

Table 4: Applications considered and refused by the Board by registration requirements 2018–19 and 2019–20
  2018–19 2019–20
  Considered Refused Considered Refused
One requirement considered:
Qualifications 22 11 14 6
English Language 12 10 15 13
Professional Standards 1 0 1 0
Fit and Proper 3 2 2 0
More than one requirement considered:
Qualifications and English Language 1 1 0 0
Qualifications and Professional Standards 0 0 0 0
Professional Standards and Professional Engagement 0 0 0 0
Total 39 24 32 19


The Board also considered two other applications where further information was requested from the applicant under section 13(1) of the Teacher Registration Act 2012. Neither applicant complied with the request, and the Board refused their applications under section 13(3).


Providing advice to prospective applicants

Prospective applicants can seek written advice from the Board on whether their qualification would meet the qualification requirements for registration, or if they would meet the fit and proper requirements for registration.

Of the requests for qualifications advice finalised, 76 were determined by the Director, Teacher Registration as meeting requirements. The remaining 28 were considered by the Board, with 22 determined as not meeting requirements.

No requests for fit and proper advice were received from prospective applicants.


Annual teacher registration fee

Registered teachers must pay an annual fee by 31 March to maintain registration. In late March 2020, to mitigate the impact of COVID‑19 on teachers, the due date for this fee was extended to 31 May and the late payment processing fee was not applied.

In January 2020, the Board raised 53,290 invoices. The registrations of 1,439 teachers who did not pay the annual fee by 4 June were cancelled. As at 30 June, 118 registrations were reinstated for teachers whose non-payment was due to extenuating circumstances.


Unregistered teaching

When a concern about unregistered teaching is identified, the case is managed to ensure the obligations of the teacher and the employer are met. No unregistered teaching matters were referred for prosecution in 2019–20 (one matter in 2018–19).


Review by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)

Teachers dissatisfied with a Board decision related to registration can appeal to the SAT. In 2019–20, no decisions of the Board were appealed to the SAT.


The Board’s paramount consideration in dealing with disciplinary and impairment matters is the best interests of children. The Teacher Registration Act 2012 requires that only fit and proper people are registered as teachers, and places obligations on teachers, employers and certain other parties.


Notifications required by the Teacher Registration Act 2012 and complaints about teachers

Notifications are received about registered teachers from employers, teachers, the Commissioner of Police and Director of Public Prosecutions. More than one notification can be received per matter.

Complaints may also be made to the Board about registered teachers or a person who was a registered teacher at the time the alleged conduct occurred. More than one complaint can be received per matter.

In 2019–20, the Board received 46 notifications and 34 complaints (see Table 5) relating to 68 matters.

Table 5: Notifications and complaints received by the Board 2018–19 and 2019–20(a)
  2018–19 2019–20
Notifications from Teachers  
    Legal actions (section 38)   5 3
    Loss of qualifications (section 39)   0 0
    Issued Working With Children Negative Notice (section 40)   0 0
Notifications from Director of Public Prosecutions or Commissioner of Police (section 41)  5 6
Notifications from Employers  
    Serious incompetence (section 42)   6 5
    Serious misconduct (section 42) 32 32
Complaints from the public/other (section 51)   9 34
Total 57 80
(a) As per the specified section in the Teacher Registration Act 2012.


The status of ongoing and new matters is reflected in Table 6.

Table 6: Status of ongoing and new matters as at 30 June 2020(a)
Status of matters 2019–20
Matters ongoing at 30 June 2020
Still to be decided (section 51(3)(a)) 2
Investigations continuing (section 53(2)) 21
Completed during the reporting period
Cancellation of registration (section 27(2)(b)) 10
Complaint not required (section 45(e)) 22
Other person or authority (section 57(1)(a)) 0
Not within power (section 57(1)(b)) 30
Without substance (section 57(1)(c)) 6
Referred during the reporting period
Disciplinary Committee (section 53(1)(c)) 1
Impairment Review Committee (section 53(1)(d)) 0
State Administrative Tribunal (section 53(1)(e)) 5
Total 97
(a) As per the specified section in the Teacher Registration Act 2012.



Disciplinary committee

The one matter referred to a disciplinary committee in 2019–20 was dismissed.

Of the two matters referred to a disciplinary committee that remained ongoing at the end of the previous reporting period:

  • one teacher was found to be seriously incompetent and had their full registration cancelled and substituted with provisional registration
  • one teacher was found to have contravened the Teacher Registration Act 2012 and received a reprimand and fine.


Referral to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)

Of the five matters referred in 2019–20, the SAT ordered that:

  • one teacher be disqualified from applying for registration for a period of time
  • the registration of four teachers be cancelled with disqualification from applying for registration for periods of time.

In 2019–20, of the eight matters referred to SAT that remained ongoing at the end of the previous reporting period:

  • the Board withdrew one matter and discontinued two others
  • the SAT ordered that three teachers be disqualified from applying for registration for periods of time
  • two matters remain ongoing.


Interim disciplinary orders

The Board and the interim disciplinary order committee have the authority to make interim disciplinary orders, that include placing conditions on registration or suspending registration.

The outcome of matters referred to the interim disciplinary order committee are reflected in Table 7.

Table 7: Matters referred to the interim disciplinary order committee 2019–20(a)
Interim disciplinary orders Referred Made
An activity that involves a risk of imminent injury or harm (section 59) 5 0
Charged with child sexual offence (section 60) 6 6
Total 11 6
(a) As per the specified section in the Teacher Registration Act 2012.


One other interim disciplinary order was made directly by the Board.

The seven interim orders were revoked as the teachers concerned were no longer entitled to be registered, and their registration was cancelled.

The Board must refer all matters for which an interim disciplinary order has been made to SAT within 14 days, unless the order is revoked. None of the seven orders made were referred to SAT.


The accreditation of initial teacher education (ITE) programs is directly linked to teacher registration. For a person to be eligible for Full, Provisional or Non-Practising Registration under the Teacher Registration Act 2012, they must have a teaching qualification from an accredited program or one that the Board recognises as equivalent to such a qualification.

Applications from ITE providers for program accreditation or re-accreditation are assessed against the Western Australian Standards for the Accreditation of Initial Teacher Education Programs by a panel of education experts appointed by the Board. The standards are based on nationally agreed accreditation standards.

Approved programs are accredited for up to five years and recognised for the purposes of teacher registration by other Australian state and territory teacher regulatory authorities. See Table 8 for the number of accredited ITE programs in Western Australia.

To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 during 2019–20, the Board extended the expiry dates of all Western Australian accredited programs by 12 months and afforded greater flexibility for students completing practicum placements in their initial teacher education courses.

During 2019–20, the Board approved the re‑accreditation of two existing initial teacher education programs and the accreditation of one new program. As at 30 June 2020, the assessment of one application for initial accreditation and four applications for re‑accreditation received during the reporting period remain ongoing.

Table 8: WA accredited initial teacher education programs at 30 June 2018–19 and 2019–20
ITE Programs Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
  2018–19 2019–20 2018–19 2019–20 2018–19 2019–20
Early Childhood 3 3 1 1 4 4
Early Childhood/Primary 1 1 2 2 3 3
Primary 5 5 3 3 8 8
Primary/Secondary 1 1 0 0 1 1
Secondary 6 7 3 3 9 10
Early Childhood/Primary/Secondary 0 0 1 1 1 1
Total 16 17 10 10 26 27


The Board engages with stakeholders to ensure that information about registration requirements and processes is clear, consistent and timely, and to identify opportunities to improve the Board’s regulatory services.

A communication campaign was undertaken to inform all registered teachers of the Board’s new strategic direction for 2019–2022, and the Board’s updated guidance on teacher-student professional boundaries. Both resources were developed in consultation with the Board’s key stakeholders.

Another component to the Board’s communications with the education sector is a communication program undertaken with employers of teachers, on employer obligations under the Teacher Registration Act 2012. The purpose of this communication is to remind employers to provide notifications when required, and to appoint, employ or engage only registered teachers, including in accordance with any conditions on their registration.

The Board’s customer service team is the first point of contact for teachers, applicants and employers. The Board’s Service Charter was revised in line with the Board’s new strategic direction.

Presentations and workshops continued to be delivered to new, early career and returning teachers, and to employers of teachers within schools, and the education and care sectors. Presentations were made available online to final year pre-service teachers during the COVID-19 response to ensure that these students could continue to receive guidance about registration requirements and application processes.

Feedback from applicants and teachers is important to the Board and informs improvements to regulatory services and policies. During the year, this included the further improvement of online services for teachers and employers.

Feedback on our annual report can be sent to feedback@trb.wa.gov.au.