Te aromihi pouako e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Legal requirements for appraising certified teachers

The mandatory requirements for appraisal consist of the legislated requirements for the appraisal of primary and secondary certified teachers and the Practising Teacher Criteria.

Guidelines for performance appraisal systems


On 12 December 1996, the Secretary-General of Education issued guidelines for schools to use for assessing the performance of teachers. The guidelines are summarised below.

The guidelines set minimum standards of accountability and quality assurance while being flexible enough for boards of trustees to establish appraisal systems appropriate to their school and community.

 Schools are required to integrate appraisal into their planning and organisation for professional development. This includes ensuring that school-wide goals and objectives are linked to the professional goals of individual members of staff.

The primary purpose of these requirements is to provide a positive framework for improving the quality of teaching (and therefore learning) in New Zealand schools.

Ministry of Education, 1996


Appraisal principles

The mandated requirements are underpinned by the set of principles listed below.

Boards of trustees should ensure that policies and procedures for the appraisal of teacher performance:

  • are part of an integrated performance management system operating within the school;
  • are appropriate to individual teachers, the school, and the wider community;
  • are developed in a consultative manner with teachers;
  • are open and transparent;
  • have a professional development orientation;
  • are timely and helpful to the individual teacher; and
  • give consideration to matters of confidentiality, including the provisions of the Privacy Act and the Official Information Act.
Ministry of Education, 1996


Appraisal processes

Each board of trustees is expected to ensure that their school’s policy is in line with the principles. This includes formally delegating responsibility for implementing the policy and process of teacher appraisal to a professionally competent person or persons (usually the principal and other school leaders).

Other requirements include ensuring that:

  • the appraisal of each teacher is carried out in line with the policy
  • each teacher participates in appraisal at least once every 12 months
  • appraisal includes agreement on written performance objectives
  • teachers are observed as part of appraisal
  • teachers conduct self-appraisal
  • appraisal includes discussion between teachers and their appraisers
  • appraisal reports are prepared in consultation with the teacher.


Aspects for appraisal

Boards of trustees are also expected to ensure that the appraisal process incorporates agreed sets of expectations understood by both the appraiser and the appraisee. These expectations should be specific to each teacher, taking into account differences in people’s responsibilities, areas of performance, and levels of experience.

The requirements outline, in general terms, the aspects of teachers’ performance that should be appraised:

Key professional responsibilities/performance areas are:

  • teaching responsibilities – such as planning and preparation, teaching techniques, classroom management, classroom environment, curriculum knowledge, and student assessment
  • school-wide responsibilities  – such as contribution to curriculum leadership, school-wide planning, school goals, the effective operation of the school as a whole, pastoral activities and student counselling, and community relationships
  • management responsibilities  – such as planning, decision-making, reporting, professional leadership, and resource management.
Ministry of Education, 1996


Professional standards

The Professional Standards for teachers and principals expand on each the key performance areas. They are set out in the collective employment agreements. 

The Professional Standards describe different levels of expectation for beginning teachers, fully certified teachers, and experienced teachers. They include indicators to help assess the extent to which the expectations have been met.

A teacher’s progression on the salary scale is linked to their achievement of the standards. 

Return to top