The European Directive 2005/36/EC relates to the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications between EU Member States and provides for the freedom of movement and recognition of fully qualified professionals within EU Member States.
Under the terms of the Directive, a teacher is not deemed to be fully qualified (in compliance with the Directive) until he/she has completed his/her programme of Initial Teacher Education and any period of post-qualification professional practice required in the State where he/she qualified. This is normally known as the induction/probation year or in the Irish Post-primary sector PQE (Post Qualification Employment). Therefore, a teacher who has not completed an approved induction/probation year is not deemed fully qualified and is not entitled to the benefits of the Directive.
Mutual recognition of teachers who qualified in Ireland
The benefits of mutual recognition provided for within the Directive apply to teachers who qualified in Ireland in that they will be recognised (and registered) by the respective Teaching Councils in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales and other EU Member States as long as they are fully registered (i.e. without conditions) in Ireland. Conversely, a teacher who is registered with conditions (e.g. with PQE or Probation) cannot benefit from the provisions of the Directive and cannot be registered in another EU Member State.
Teaching Council aligns its registration policy in full compliance with the Directive
In the past, the Council granted the benefits of this Directive to Irish persons who travelled to another Member State, completed a teacher education qualification and who returned immediately to Ireland without being deemed to be recognised under the Directive in that Member State. In doing this the Council was granting the benefits of the Directive to those who were not entitled to such benefits (as they were not deemed fully qualified in the Member State of origin). This practice was is not in compliance with the EU Directive. The revised practice is now compliant with the Directive and is consistent with the policy in other EU Member States.
In May 2010, The Council published a notice on its website and also on the GTTR (Graduate Teacher Training Registry) login page about the change in policy with regard to applications under the Directive. All teachers applying for entry to teacher education programmes in the UK do so via the GTTR. The policy applies to all persons commencing a teacher education qualification in another EU Member State after January 01, 2011. Please click here to view the notice.
Mutual recognition of teachers who qualify in other EU Member States
If a person travels to another Member State to complete a teacher education qualification (with a commencement date after January 01, 2011) and returns to Ireland without completing the induction year (i.e. without being deemed fully qualified in that Member State), the Council cannot register this person under the terms of the EU Directive as a primary or post-primary teacher as he/she is not deemed fully qualified in the Member State in which the qualification was awarded.
The Council would therefore advise such persons to complete the induction year in the country where the teaching qualification was awarded prior to applying for registration with the Teaching Council in Ireland. Such persons will then benefit from the provisions of the Directive and will be registered within the timeframes as set out within the Directive.
Until April 2013 whilst the requirements for registration in Further Education (Regulation 5) do not include a teacher education qualification, and whilst a teaching qualification is not a mandatory requirement for registration in the VEC sector in certain subjects, any applicant with a level 7 or 8 degree or equivalent qualification is entitled to be registered under Regulation 5, Further Education.