Teachers who Qualified Overseas

1. Why does the Teaching Council assess overseas qualifications?

The Teaching Council assesses overseas qualifications in line with the:

In accordance with the EU Directive 2005/36/EC, the qualifications of teachers who qualified outside of the ROI are assessed to ensure they are of a comparable standard to those achieved by graduates of accredited programmes in Ireland. Where significant differences arise, conditions (qualification shortfalls) will be applied to the teacher's registration.

2. What is the EU Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2013/55/EC)?

The EU Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (2013/55/EC) seeks to facilitate the free movement of professionals within the EU. In accordance with the Directive, people who are deemed fully qualified as teachers in one EU member state are entitled to have their qualifications recognised in all other member states. This recognition may be granted subject to conditions to ensure that the qualifications are of a comparable standard to those achieved by graduates of accredited programmes in Ireland.

3. How do I show that I am a fully recognised teacher in the country in which I obtained my teaching qualification?

You must provide evidence to the Teaching Council from the country where you are a recognised teacher.

This evidence must be:

Documents from the relevant competent authority in this country, (their equivalent of the Irish Teaching Council) showing that-

  • You are a fully registered teacher there – (teacher status/license)
  • You have completed any induction required there (post-qualification experience).

4. What is induction/post-qualification experience?

In some countries you will be required to complete a period of induction/post-qualification experience before you can be given full registration status by the competent authority.

This is any workshop or teaching experience that is required after qualification to ensure you are a fully qualified recognised/registered/licensed teacher in that country.

5. What is recognised teacher status?

Recognised teacher status means that you are a fully qualified teacher in the country where you studied to be a teacher. You have met all of the requirements of that country’s relevant competent authority to be a recognised teacher.

6. What is a relevant competent authority?

A relevant competent authority is the authority which grants full registration/recognition/licensing status for teachers.

For example:

 - In Ireland, the relevant competent authority is the Teaching Council.

- In Scotland it is the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Depending on the country in which you qualified, the competent authority may be the Department of Education or Ministry of Education equivalent.

7. How many subjects do I need to be eligible to register for post-primary?

The minimum is one.

For consideration under Route 2 – Post-primary, only one curricular subject is required for registration purposes.

As part of the application you will be required to complete a Subject Declaration Form for the curricular subject(s) you are qualified to teach in their country.

If the Competent Authority in your country does not name the subject(s) you are qualified to teach, the Council will consider your qualifications for recognition in the subject you are closest to meeting the requirements for.

8. When does my assessment start/how long does it take?

Only when you have submitted all requested documentation to the Council.

It does not start from the date which you submit your first application to the Council.

Our staff will contact you if you have failed to submit particular documentation. It is only when all documents have been received that the file is ready to begin assessment. The assessment will take approximately twelve weeks from receipt of all requested documentation.

9. How can I speed up the registration process?

You can speed up registration by submitting all relevant documents, completed correctly, at the start of your application.

You should also apply for Garda vetting and provide any overseas clearances required as soon as you apply for registration. Please make sure you correctly complete both stages of the online vetting process.

10. Do I have to get complete course handbooks translated?

In order to assist applicants and minimise the costs associated with translation, applicants can provide summary information of the modules identified on their transcripts. Please highlight the sections of the course handbook that have been translated and attach the relevant translations.

Please refer to the table below for further information:


What is a module descriptor?

A module descriptor is a succinct description of a module and its key features and should include:


  • a summary of the module content
  • a description of how the module content is delivered
  • a description of how the module content is assessed
  • the learning outcomes associated with the module
  • any periods of supervised school placement/supervised teaching practice
  • for language applicants, the module descriptor must include a list of the literature/texts/authors studied


Please be aware that assessments can only be carried out on the information provided by the applicant; it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide sufficient information in each module descriptor in order to facilitate assessment.


11. What are the fees for the qualification assessment process?

Standard Registration fee:   €90

Fee for assessment of your teacher education qualification:   €200

Fee for assessment of Post-Primary subjects:  €100 per subject

Review of Decision:   €50 (appeal only, refundable if successful)

12. What is involved in a qualifications assessment?

Initially, an application for registration will be assessed by Teaching Council staff. If you meet the requirements, you will be recommended for conditional registration.

If it is unclear whether or not your qualification meets the requirements it will be sent to an advisor for assessment. Advisors are external experts in Education and/or Subject requirements. Advisors may request additional information from you in order to complete their assessment. If you do not supply this information, your application will be delayed.

After the advisor’s assessment, your application and the advisors reports will be brought to the Council’s Qualification Panel for consideration who may decide to grant you registration subject to conditions/shortfalls.

13. What is a qualification shortfall?

A shortfall is an identified gap between what a registered teacher in Ireland is required to know and your qualifications.

14. What shortfalls might be applied to my registration?

Qualification shortfalls may be identified in undergraduate and/or teacher education qualifications.

They may include shortfalls in curricular subject knowledge; foundation studies; professional studies or school placement.

15. How do I fulfil shortfalls?

You can do this by aptitude test or adaptation period.

An aptitude test is the completion of an examination that addresses the shortfalls identified.

An adaptation period is a period of teaching practice in the identified areas of shortfall under the supervision of a registered member of the profession.

If you are granted conditional registration, the Council will write to you to inform you of the qualification shortfalls on your registration.

For the Irish Language Requirement (ILR) you can find more information at http://www.ilrweb.ie

For the History & Structure (H&S) exam. The aptitude test is held twice a year by the Council. Teachers may apply to sit the examination by emailing historyandstructure@teachingcouncil.ie

For other shortfalls, you must approach colleges yourself to find appropriate courses.

16. Where can I find a list of approved HEIs?

17. How long do I have to fulfil shortfalls?

You have three years from the date of your registration to fulfil any shortfalls attached to your registration either via aptitude test or adaptation period.

18. What is the aptitude test?

An aptitude test is the completion of an examination that addresses the shortfalls identified.

19. What is an adaptation period?

An adaptation period is a period of teaching practice, normally three years, which gives you the opportunity to teach in the identified shortfall areas, under the supervision of a registered member of the profession. In some circumstances, the adaptation period can be subject to examination.

20. What is supervised teaching practice?

Supervised teaching practice is teaching in a school under the supervision of a registered member of the profession in the subject area of your shortfalls.

21. Does a teacher need to be with me in the classroom as I undergo my supervised teaching practice?

The Teaching Council does not require a teacher to be with you in the classroom, however the school may require this.

22. Is there a qualifications assessment appeals process?

Where qualification shortfalls are attached to your registration by the Council’s Qualifications Panel, you have the option of applying to the Council’s Registration Committee Review Group for a review of the Panel’s decision.  This does not apply to the mandatory conditions of Irish Language Requirement and History & Structure exam.

You also have the right of appeal to the High Court.

23. I haven’t completed a period of induction in the country in which I obtained my teacher education qualification, can I do this in Ireland?

Since 2014, all applicants under the EU Directive are required to have completed their induction in their country of qualification.

In exceptional circumstances induction may not be a requirement in your country. If so, this condition can be addressed completing induction in Ireland through:


  • Traditional processes of Probation (Primary) or Post-Qualification Employment (PQE) (Post-Primary) and the Induction Workshop Programme.

Further information and support can be found here http://teacherinduction.ie/en/