Regulating the teaching profession during workforce shortages: Information for learners, parents, and community
The Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) is an independent statutory authority whose primary function is to regulate members of the teaching profession to ensure quality teaching, and provide for the safety and wellbeing of children.
All teachers must be registered with VIT in order to undertake the duties of a teacher in a Victorian school or early childhood setting. This includes overseas teachers and initial teacher education students who are assisting during the current teacher workforce shortage, as well as those teaching under supervision.
Many professions, such as doctors, nurses, psychologists and lawyers, have similar registration requirements (such as required qualifications, a period of provisional registration, renewal requirements and adherence to professional standards.)
Monitoring teachers’ suitability
The VIT’s key function is to provide for the safety and wellbeing of children by ensuring only suitable persons are teaching Victorian learners. Suitability to teach means determining whether a person is fit to teach and whether a person is physically or mentally able to teach. All VIT registered teachers are assessed (and continue to be assessed) to ensure their character, reputation and conduct are such that they should be allowed to teach in a school.
Teachers must also adhere to the Victorian Teaching Profession’s Codes of Conduct and Ethics in order to remain registered.
All registered teachers are subject to continuous criminal record checking with Victoria Police. Additionally, VIT receives information pertaining to teacher conduct from employers, Working with Children Check Victoria and the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP).
The VIT has the power to conduct investigations into information that it receives to determine whether the person remains suitable to teach. If the person is deemed unfit to teach, VIT will take appropriate action, which may include suspending or cancelling a teacher’s registration.
Child safety and quality teaching during workforce shortages
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many schools and early childhood services in Victoria are facing critical workforce shortage issues. The VIT has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure minimal disruption in classrooms, including the facilitation of a streamlined application process for international teachers and issuing temporary grants of permission to teach to students in their final year of initial teacher education (ITE) programs.
Teachers from overseas are subject to VIT’s rigorous suitability and qualification requirements. Applicants are required to undergo extensive criminal history checking, and their qualifications must be deemed equivalent to those accredited by VIT.
The VIT has worked with the Victorian government and accredited ITE programs to grant final year students permission to teach in short-term teaching roles caused by COVID-19 absences. These ITE students are required to meet VIT’s rigorous suitability requirements, and can only teach in their qualification method areas.
Schools that employ these students are providing additional mentoring and support to ensure classroom readiness. The temporary permission to teach grants are available in 2023 only, and it is expected that the students continue their final year of study while undertaking any teaching duties. This ensures the students continue to engage with the teaching standards from a theoretical and practical perspective.
How do I check if my children’s teachers are correctly registered?
All teachers who are currently registered with VIT are listed on the Register of Teachers.
A person listed on the register of teachers is registered and permitted to teach, unless their registration status is displayed in red. A teacher whose details are displayed in red are non-practising and unable to undertake the duties of a teacher.
A teacher who shows on the register with an expiry date in the past is registered and permitted to teach. Some teachers who are no longer registered, and have been subject to disciplinary action taken by the VIT, may appear on the Register of Disciplinary Action.
- explore FAQs for parents
- search the Register of Teachers
- find out more about teacher’s professional development requirements
- read about teacher suitability matters.
Liz Aloni (she/her/hers) | Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Manager