Teacher Education Refresh


Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme for Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary teachers

Open Polytechnic is a provider of the Teacher Education Refresh (TER) programme for early childhood, primary and secondary teachers. Teachers can complete this course online, at their own pace.

The TER is aimed at early childhood, primary and secondary teachers who have graduated from an Initial Teacher Education programme but have not achieved a full practicing certificate within a six-year period; are returning to the workforce after a lengthy period; or have trained overseas.

Completing a TER enables you to be provisionally certified for an additional six years. The Education Council expects that you will satisfactorily meet the Standards for the Teaching Profession in this time.

If you are required to complete the TER programme, in order to renew your practising certificate, you may be able to continue to be employed in a teaching position. If you are employed in the primary or secondary sector your principal can apply for an extension to teach for you provided you have done the following:

  • enrolled in the TER programme, and provided this information to the Council
  • lodged with the Council an EC80 application form and paid $220.80 and the Council has obtained a clear police vet

Please note that the Council is unable to issue an extension to teach for early childhood education teachers.

TER programme cost

The NZ Government announced on December 13, 2017 that the Teacher Education Refresh will be funded, therefore students who have their enrolment approved and begin their TER before 30th of June 2018 may be eligible for fees free. After this time, the fee for the programme is $2200.

Course dates

The TER consists of three online courses and a practicum. Each of the courses will be offered monthly, beginning as follows:

  • Course 1: April 2018
  • Course 2: May 2018
  • Course 3: July 2018
  • Practicum: Any time after the first three courses have been completed.

Once we have received your enrolment form and completed police vetting (see ‘how to enrol’ below), you will be notified regarding when you can begin your course. If your enrolment is confirmed during January, February or March 2018, you will be able to begin in April 2018. 

How to enrol

In order to enrol in the TER, you will need to:

  1. Complete the following forms and return them as follows:

Send these forms to: ter@openpolytechnic.ac.nz


Send these forms to: vetting@openpolytechnic.ac.nz


  1. Once we have received your enrolment, we will send you an email confirming that we have received your information. At this time, we will let you know if we require any additional information. If you are seeking an exemption from the Education Council, this letter will be sufficient evidence to provide the Council.
  2. We will complete police vetting and the enrolment process. If your application is approved, you will receive notification that your enrolment has been accepted. You will then be enrolled in the next available block – usually beginning on the first Monday of the next month.

Before enrolling

Please confirm with the Education Council that you are required to complete a TER Programme. If you are an overseas trained teacher please check the Education Council information for overseas trained teachers.


The fourth course in the TER is a four-week practicum. You must be teaching at least half time during this practicum.

It is your responsibility to identify and negotiate a suitable site for your practicum. This could be your current workplace or a local school or early childhood centre. Once you have confirmed a school or early childhood centre, please return the completed Practicum Information Form from the principal or head teacher of the school or early childhood centre stating that:

  • they are willing to place you on practicum;
  • they will provide the opportunity for you to teach at least half time during this period.

Practicum information form (Opens in new window)

Information on completing the Police Vetting Consent Form

Please ensure you complete Section 2 of the vetting service request and consent form and ensure you have dated and signed it.

When submitting your police vetting consent form please ensure you have included two forms of identification (at least one must have a photograph of you). For example:

  • 1 x primary ID e.g. Current NZ or Overseas passport or full NZ birth certificate issued after 1998.
  • 1 x secondary ID e.g. Current NZ driver's licence, 18+ card, NZ Full Birth Certificate (issued before 1998), Community Services Card, NZ Employee or Student Photo Identification Card, NZ issued utility bill (issued not more than six months earlier), or International Driving Permit.

If the two identity documents have different legal names, evidence of a name change must be provided. This may be a Marriage Certificate, Dissolution of Marriage Certificate, or a change of name by Deed Poll or statutory declaration document.

We suggest you email vetting@openpolytechnic.ac.nz with electronic copies of your verified identification. Alternatively, you can post all the police vetting documents in an envelope marked ‘Private and Confidential’ to - Open Polytechnic Vetting Team, Private Bag 31914, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand.

The link to the online vetting guideline and request and consent form is: Vetting Request and Consent form (Opens in new window)

Proof of English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, then please read the International English Language Test System (IELTS) requirements located in the website address below. This will confirm if you require doing the Academic International English Language Test System.

For more information please click on the IELTS website link: https://www.ielts.org/

If you have any queries regarding the IELTS then please email our early childhood team at ECEdocs@openpolytechnic.ac.nz

Outcomes for participants

The TER is a pass / fail programme.

If successful, participants will be presented with a certificate of completion. Course completion will require the participant to complete all online tasks to the required standard and demonstrate effective teaching practice.

Need help?

If you have any questions about the information provided above, please phone us, 0508 650 200 or email ter@openpolytechnic.ac.nz