Teacher Registration Board of Western Australia Annual Report 2020–21

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 fit and proper persons.

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 2021, 55,710 teachers were registered with the Board (refer to Table 1).

Table 1: Teachers registered at June 30 by category 2017 to 2021

Category 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Full Registration 41,721 42,994 44,083 44,970 45,019
Provisional Registration 5,710 5,913 5,721 5,201 5,271
Non-Practising Registration 4,649 4,490 4,289 4,271 4,655
Limited Registration 684 648 643 701 765
Total 52,764 54,045 54,736 55,143 55,710


During 2020–21, the Board received 15,592 teacher registration applications and approved 14,714 applications (refer to Table 2).

Based on the mutual recognition principle, the Board registered 505 teachers who were registered in another Australian state or territory or in New Zealand.

Table 2: Applications received and approved by type 2019–20 and 2020–21(a)

  2019–20 2020–21
Type of application Received Approved Received Approved
New registration 2,677 2,635 3,545 3,280
Renewal of registration 3,242 3,464 9,353 8,788
Move registration category 2,402 2,448 2,591 2553
Extension of non-practising registration(b) 133 133 103 93
Total 8,454 8,680 15,592 14,714

(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 (refer to 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 2019–20 and 2020–21

  2019–20 2020–21
Provisional to Full Registration 1,693 1,434
Non-Practising to Full Registration 411 338
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 2020–21, 26 of the 46 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 (refer to Table 4).

Table 4: Applications considered and refused by the Board by registration requirements 2019–20 and 2020–21

  2019–20 2020–21
  Considered Refused Considered Refused
One requirement considered
Qualifications 14 6 10 6
English language 15 13 23 13
Professional standards 1 0 0 0
Qualifications/skills/expertise(a) 0 0 1 0
Fit and proper 2 0 6 1
More than one requirement considered
Qualifications and English language 0 0 4 4
Qualifications and professional standards 0 0 1 1
English language and fit and proper 0 0 1 1
Total 32 19 46 26

(a) Specific to applications for Limited Registration.


Providing advice to prospective applicants

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

Of the 81 requests for qualifications advice finalised in 2020–21, 50 were determined by the Director, Teacher Registration as meeting requirements. The remaining 31 were considered by the Board, with 24 determined as not meeting requirements.

Two requests for fit and proper advice were received from prospective applicants. The Board provided advice for one matter that the applicant would be considered fit and proper, while one matter has not yet been finalised.


Annual teacher registration fee

Registered teachers are required to pay an annual fee by 31 March each year to maintain registration.

In January 2021, the Board raised 56,934 invoices for the annual fee. The registrations of 1,107 teachers who did not pay their annual fee by 6 May 2021 were cancelled.

As at 30 June 2021, the Board had reinstated the registrations of 30 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 2020–21.


Review by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)

Teachers dissatisfied with a Board decision related to registration can appeal to the SAT. In 2020–21, 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 requires that only fit and proper people be registered as teachers, and places obligations on teachers, employers and certain other parties.


Notifications required by the Teacher Registration Act and complaints about teachers

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

In 2020–21, the Board received 51 notifications and 17 complaints (refer to Table 5) relating to 66 matters.

Table 5: Notifications and complaints received by the Board 2019–20 and 2020–21(a)

  2019–20 2020–21
Notifications from Teachers    
    Legal actions (section 38) 3 5
    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) 6 3
Notifications from Employers    
    Serious incompetence (section 42) 5 13
    Serious misconduct (section 42) 32 30
Complaints from the public/other (section 51) 34 17
Total 80 68

(a) As per the specified section in the Teacher Registration Act.


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

Table 6: Status of ongoing and new matters as at 30 June 2021(a)

Status of matters 2020–21
Matters ongoing at 30 June 2021
Still to be decided (section 51(3)(a)) 9
Investigations continuing (section 53(2)) 19
Completed during the reporting period
Cancellation of registration (section 27(2)(b)) 6
Complaint not required (section 45(e)) 16
Other person or authority (section 57(1)(a)) 6
Not within power (section 57(1)(b)) 16
Without substance (section 57(1)(c)) 8
Referred during the reporting period
Disciplinary Committee (section 53(1)(c)) 1
Impairment Review Committee (section 53(1)(d)) 1
State Administrative Tribunal (section 53(1)(e)) 2
Total 84

(a) As per the specified section in the Teacher Registration Act.


Disciplinary committee

One matter was referred to a disciplinary committee in 2020–21. The teacher was found to have contravened the Teacher Registration Act by contravening a condition of their registration. The teacher received a reprimand, a suspension of registration and the placement of a condition on their registration to follow the period of suspension.


Impairment review committee

One matter was referred to the impairment review committee in 2020–21. The teacher did not provide consent for the committee to deal with the matter. The matter ended when the teacher cancelled their registration.


Referral to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT)

Two matters were referred to the SAT in 2020–21 and both are ongoing.

Two matters referred to the SAT were ongoing at the end of the previous reporting period. Of those:

  • the SAT ordered a teacher be disqualified from applying for registration for a period
  • the other was withdrawn by the Board.


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 2020–21(a)

Interim disciplinary orders Referred Made
An activity that involves a risk of imminent injury or harm (section 59) 2 1
Charged with child sexual offence (section 60) 2 2
Total 4 3

(a) As per the specified section in the Teacher Registration Act.


Two other section 60 interim disciplinary orders were made by the Board under authority delegated to the Director.

The four interim orders issued under section 60 were revoked as the teachers concerned were no longer entitled to be registered due to the issuing of a negative notice, and their registrations were cancelled.

The Board must refer all matters for which an interim disciplinary order has been made to the SAT within 14 days unless the order is revoked. The order made under section 59 referred to the SAT is yet to be finalised.


The Board is responsible for accrediting initial teacher education (ITE) programs delivered by Western Australian higher education providers. The accreditation of 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, 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. Refer to Table 8 for the number of accredited ITE programs in Western Australia.

During 2020–21, the Board approved the accreditation of one new teacher education program and the re‑accreditation of four existing programs. As at 30 June 2021, the assessment of one application for initial accreditation and five applications for re‑accreditation received during the reporting period were ongoing.

Table 8: WA accredited initial teacher education programs at 30 June 2019–20 and 2020–21

ITE Programs Undergraduate Postgraduate Total
  2019–20 2020–21 2019–20 2020–21 2019–20 2020–21
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 7 7 3 4 10 11
Early childhood/primary/secondary 0 0 1 1 1 1
Total 17 17 10 11 27 28


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.

As part of the Board’s stakeholder communication plan, employers of teachers are contacted annually regarding their obligations under the Teacher Registration Act.

These communications remind employers:

  • to provide notifications when required
  • to appoint, employ or engage only registered teachers to teach in educational venues, including in accordance with any conditions on their registration
  • of the renewal of registration process
  • of the due date for payment of the annual fee
  • of the benefits of using the Teacher Registration Information (Professional) – TRIP online service.

Teacher Registration directorate staff delivered presentations (face-to-face and online) to final year pre‑service teachers, early career and returning teachers about the requirements and process for registration.

The Board continued to engage with other regulatory authorities, education sector representatives and higher education providers to exchange information, provide advice and guidance on regulatory requirements and seek feedback on the Board’s regulatory services.

Feedback from applicants and teachers is important to the Board and informs improvements to regulatory services, online services and policies. Acting on feedback, the Board changed its annual fee communications to provide clearer information about payment requirements. The website was amended to improve information about the annual fee, the registration renewal process and teacher login.

Feedback on the Board’s annual report can be sent to feedback@trb.wa.gov.au.