Beginning your teaching career :a basic guide

October 2016 | Download as PDF


Pre-service teachers who have almost completed their qualifications may be offered an unpaid internship at a school in a formal program outlined in agreements that have been reached between the university, the Department of Education, the Queensland College of Teachers and the unions. These internship agreements are available on the QTU website.

Interns are assigned a mentor teacher and the intern may only teach up to 50 per cent of the mentor teacher’s classes. The intern must not be used as a supply or substitute teacher when other teachers in the school are away. This includes playground duty, attendance at staff meetings and other extra-curricular activities. The duties of an intern are listed in the agreement.

Where the department provides employment opportunities (e.g. offers a temporary contract) for pre-service teachers enrolled in undergraduate studies to undertake school-based internships, interns will be appointed to a salary within Band 1 as stated in Part 5, section 5.6 of the Department of Education and Training State School Teachers Certified Agreement 2016.

Teacher registration

Prior to starting to teach in a casual, temporary or permanent capacity at any Queensland school, state or non-state, you will be required to obtain teacher registration from the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT). All the information you need can be found on the QCT website

You will initially be granted provisional teacher registration, and after one year of full-time teaching, you will be able to transition to full registration if you meet the requirements. You must continue to pay the teacher registration fee, otherwise you will be unable to continue teaching. Permission to teach (PTT) may be granted by the QCT when schools are having difficulty finding teachers to teach specific subject areas or in remote and difficult to staff regions. The PTT is only granted in exceptional circumstances.

It is not possible to predict whether a PTT would be approved for a vacancy that could not be filled in a school, as it would depend on a lot of factors, such as whether the PTT applicant had the knowledge, qualifications, skills or training in a particular subject or discipline that may be required for the teaching position. The PTT policy lists the criteria on which approval of a PTT is based.

Whether an applicant is enrolled in a course of pre-service teacher education or not is not at all relevant to QCT approval processes. Applicants must also meet other eligibility requirements, including, suitability to teach. 

Applying to become a teacher

Your teaching appointment is conditional upon the successful completion of course requirements by your appointment date. Your final semester results must be forwarded to your Regional Office.

The Department of Education has a comprehensive Guide to Teaching in State Schools, which includes information on how to get employment in state schools across Queensland and the suitability ranking that you will need to obtain in order to be considered for employment. 

Your teaching appointment is conditional upon the successful completion of course requirements by your appointment date. Your final semester results must be forwarded to your regional office. The Department of Education has a comprehensive 


All new permanent employees of DET (as well as those converted to permanency after a period on contract) are required to undergo  probation, which is usually eight months but may be shortened to six. You must be confirmed in your position or have your engagement terminated before the end of the eighth month of employment. For teachers appointed at the beginning of a school year, this will be immediately prior to the September school holidays.

At the end of your first three months, you will be provided with a performance review by your principal, which must be recorded on the applicable form. Any areas of concern must be identified and an agreed action plan developed.

A formal appraisal will be conducted by the end of six months of service (usually July), resulting in a recommendation of either confirmation or termination of appointment.

More information for QTU members

Mandatory induction

All new employees are required to participate in a mandatory beginning teacher induction program provided by the staff at your school or accessible online. This training should be completed during student free days, but may also be completed during twilight sessions.

More information for QTU members

Beginning teacher mentoring

If you are appointed as a beginning teacher at a school for at least twelve months, either on contract or permanently, a mentor teacher will be assigned to you. Funds will be provided to schools, up until the end of 2017, to allow you and your mentor to be released from face to face teaching for up to 18 hours per term, to work through the teacher development and induction program.

More information for QTU members

ACTION: Five easy steps to assert your professional rights.

If you are experiencing problems with the probation process, or having difficulty accessing mentoring or induction programs, you should follow these steps.

  • Step one: Research your entitlements under the relevant department policy, DET State School Teachers Certified Agreement or Teaching in State Education Award - State 2016.
  • Step two: Discuss the situation with your fellow teachers, if appropriate.
  • Step three: Seek further advice and assistance from your Union Rep or call QTAD on 1300 11 7823.
  • Step four: Organise a meeting with your supervisor, e.g. the principal, to discuss.
  • Step five: Contact the QTU for further advice if the matter remains unresolved to your satisfaction.


Basic Guides provide QTU members with information on their entitlements and can be used by school administration to help in timetabling

Basic Guides are issued for general guidance only and do not constitute professional advice. The issues with which they deal are complex and the Basic Guide necessarily deals only with general principles. No reader should rely on the Basic Guides for the purpose of making a decision as to action but should seek the appropriate advice from the Union on the particular circumstances of that reader. The Union accepts no responsibility for the consequences should any person act in reliance on these Basic Guides without obtaining the appropriate advice from the Union.

More information

The QTU produces a number of documents to help members understand their working conditions and entitlements

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