Why your registration as a teacher is valuable

Last week we celebrated World Teachers’ Day. The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) was at the forefront, promoting and celebrating Queensland teachers through publishing stories of more than 200 nominees in the 10th year of the Excellence in Teaching Awards. Finalists were celebrated in a ceremony held within view of Brisbane’s Story Bridge, which had been lit up to celebrate the occasion. This is but one example of the QCT’s commitment to providing Queensland teachers with much more than a registration framework. Queensland led the nation in developing a system for the registration of teachers in the early 1970s (the remainder of the country has since followed). While for many teachers, paying an annual registration fee is their only point of connection with the state regulator, the QCT, there is much more to be gained from this relationship.

Registration is one of the key mechanisms which can assure the professional standing and quality of a profession. It is underpinned by clear expectations of what is required to become a teacher, and what standards must be met by all teachers. The registration system ensures that only appropriately qualified and suitable people are employed as teachers, thereby protecting educational standards and student safety, and upholding the reputation of the profession. In addition, all teachers can be confident that their peers are also endorsed by the same high-standard registration processes, providing a high degree of confidence in their profession.

From 2011, the national registration framework embedded the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) within registration requirements. The Teacher Standards guide and strengthen the quality of teaching and provide a framework for career progression and ongoing professional learning. The APST are complementary to registration processes.

In Queensland, the QCT regards registration as the doorway to our profession, the beginning to a teacher’s professional teaching journey. What is vital about the work of your QCT is the commitment to ensuring that the profession remains standards-based, that students are protected, and that the integrity of the teaching profession is maintained. QCT staff work to maintain the highest standards – in initial teacher education program accreditation, in maintenance and support of the teacher standards, and in enabling all education stakeholders to have confidence of the suitability and quality of their teachers.

The College actively engages in a number of activities to promote and showcase excellence in the teaching profession in Queensland (for example, the QCT Excellence in Teaching Awards, and the INSTEAMO photo and video competition). In addition, the QCT operates as a neutral body working in productive and respectful collaboration with all stakeholders – employing bodies, unions, parent and principal partners, and higher education institutions. Its focus in these relationships is on the excellence of the teaching profession and working with all partners to achieve this.

The QCT publishes a regular e-newsletter to keep you informed, and its website provides access to a range of resources to enhance teaching and learning and assist teachers in interpretation of the APST. It also provides links to resources from other stakeholders.

The QCT is acknowledged as a national leader in evidence-based contribution to national policy discussions around child safety, teacher professional boundaries, and promoting the profession. I have cited QCT reports in earlier blogs (see references below again). Expertise of QCT staff is regularly sought by other state (and international) regulatory bodies.

Your QCT ensures that the teaching profession in Queensland is continually held in high esteem. The QCT works to maintain standards through promoting the code of ethics and investigating practice and conduct matters. In each of these roles, it works for you, the teachers of Queensland – to provide ongoing confidence in all facets of the profession.

Emeritus Professor Wendy Patton
Chair of QCT Board

QCT reports and commissioned research

Bahr, N., Graham, A., Ferreira, J., Lloyd, M., & Waters, R. (2018). Promotion of the teaching profession in Queensland. Bilinga: Southern Cross University. Prepared for Queensland College of Teachers.

Queensland College of Teachers. (2013). Attrition of recent Queensland graduate teachers. Author.

Wyatt-Smith, C., Du Plessis, A., Hand, K., Wang, J., Alexander, C., & Colbert, P. (2017). Why choose teaching? A matter of choice: Evidence from the field. A report prepared for the Queensland College of Teachers. Brisbane, Queensland: Learning Sciences Institute Australia.


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10 Responses to Why your registration as a teacher is valuable

  1. Anonymous says:

    Your QCT ensures that the teaching profession in Queensland is continually held in high esteem. The QCT works to maintain standards through promoting the code of ethics and investigating practice and conduct matters. In each of these roles, it works for you, the teachers of Queensland – to provide ongoing confidence in all facets of the profession.

    What a deluded and completely (false) idealistic conclusion. Once again an “academic” who sits in an ivory tower casts her highly researched vision of what administrating the rocky road of the profession should look like, rather than the actual reality of supporting and improving the outlook for the masses of genuine, dedicated and humble practitioners and their aspiring but often poorly understood charges
    The teaching profession has never been more ridiculed, questioned, open to criticism or poorly portrayed in both the commercial and social media spheres and no amount of #teachersaregreat or Instagram posts of those “wacky, fun loving but completely dedicated professionals” is going to change that.
    Teachers need a body of leaders who are leading the debate for child welfare and the values shift that necessitates such reform, not an organisation that collects revenue purely so it can exist to collect more revenue.
    ‘Nuff said’.


    • Carl says:

      A great deal of the ridicule and debasement of teachers is as a result of decisions made by the education authorities, and more specifically political motives. Each education minister tries to vie for the title of best school system based on the PISA results, thus skewing the focus from holistic to NAPLAN driven – despite the warnings 10 years ago by NOVEMBER, JUKES, ROBINSON et al.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Their office is located at 5/601 Coronation Drive, Toowong, one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Queensland. Surely a body that represents Queensland could find a cheaper location. I am sure many rural and remote townships would even offer free rent to the QCT in a bid to create jobs in their areas. Lower rent equals lower annual fees right? Queensland teachers work the length and breadth of this great state, so why doesn’t the QCT move out of their palace that overlooks the Brisbane river?


    • QCT team says:

      Thank you for your comment. Our current workplace was chosen based on suitability (e.g., cost, proximity to stakeholders and industrial relations issues), the availability of business premises at the time and a commitment to suburban areas. A competitive tender process was undertaken after our previous premises were no longer considered suitable for staff. Teachers in Queensland have the lowest teacher registration fees in Australia – this has been the case for the past 12 years – and we work hard to keep it that way. We take the spending of registration fees incredibly seriously and we thank you for sharing your view, because it is important to us. Regards, the QCT team.


  3. Michael Trost says:

    The QCT may well do some valuable work but this blog does not explain this well enough. Perhaps a few stories illustrating what our profession would look like if there was no QCT would be valuable.
    I pay my money and get an e-magazine once in a while. In all my years I’ve read only 3 articles. Other than that, the group sends me a letter saying I’m still allowed to teach. The group is basically invisible to me except once a year they ask for money. I’m old enough to remember paying less than $20 per year and I was still on a register to teach. Does this group just replicate the work others are quite capable of doing?


    • QCT team says:

      Dear Michael, thank you for your comment. We continue to strive to meet teachers’ expectations and to communicate how valuable the QCT is for them and the profession. For instance, can you imagine what it would be like to work in a country where a teacher could have limited or no qualifications and still be allowed to teach? What this would mean for the education of our children and for the future of our state and country? Child safety is central to what we do and we take cases to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal when necessary, to ensure that the safety of children, and the public’s confidence in the profession, is upheld. We accredit initial teacher education (ITE) programs across Queensland to ensure teachers coming into schools are of a high standard and we are constantly working with ITE providers on continuous improvement in this area. We do a lot of public consultation with preservice teachers and we work with early career teachers on moving from provisional to full registration. We maintain a register of more than 100,000 teachers. We provide customer support around registration for not just Queensland teachers, but the many who want to work in Queensland. We hold awards for teachers and over the past four years have published more than 400 stories about individual teachers on our Teacher Stories website, and work with media to see teachers acknowledged there. We liaise with stakeholders and other government departments and provide advice on all of the above. We mine data to help forecast information about future trends in the profession. We do all this with about 70 FT staff, who are all passionate about what they do, about the profession and providing the best service for teachers and the public that they can. As for the registration fee, if it means anything it is the lowest teacher registration fee for teachers anywhere in Australia and it has been for 12 years. Ensuring the profession benefits from teachers’ registration fees is really important to us and will always be so. Thanks again for your feedback and engaging with us, we really appreciate it. Regards, the QCT team.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I think bleating that you claim the lowest registration fee in Australia is a little short sighted. It can easily be argued that you get what you pay for, thus Qld teachers can expect the lowest level of service and support in the country. It can also be argued that if there is no value for money, which is my gripe, it doesn’t matter how little (comparatively) you are paying, it is still too much.
    Can I also ask whether the 70 full time passionate staff are paid for 5 hours a day, even though they might be required to arrive at work at or prior to 8, not entitled to leave before 3, regularly required to use their non-paid break times to fulfill professional duties and obligations and take extensive amounts of work home daily/on weekends or on holidays?
    I realise setting or questioning the specific t&c of employment is not specifically the role of the QCT however maybe an organisation that promotes itself as an essential component of the educational framework might be a little more visible in the industrial relations space. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dodo says:

    It surprised me to know that QCT members actually do not get annual Police Check (even though we get exempted from ‘blue card’ when doing other activities at schools) – is this true? Was this not included in our annual QCT fee? How does $89.75/yr come up, (just very briefly if you don’t mind) as I don’t have a clue after 10 years as QCT member.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Disillusioned says:

    I rarely open QCT emails, but this one took my interest, “Where do your registration fees go?”. I did wonder, but this blog does not answer the question. I was expecting a breakdown, perhaps a few charts or graphs or more specific details. The title was quite misleading. Perhaps a more appropriate title would be better and less time wasting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Annon says:

    The whole teacher registration thing is a con. It has nothing to do with the advancement of the teaching profession. It is all about the policing of teachers. The government simply came up with this as a way of forcing us to pay to be policed. While I have no problem with the idea that children need to be protected this should be a community expense – not just levied upon us. When I started teaching in Victoria in the 80’s teacher registration was free. It was a formality you went through st the start of your career. It does not cost much to maintain a database.

    Liked by 1 person

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