Teaching in Ireland

The following is for general information purposes only. All further queries regarding this information should be directed to the competent authorities listed below.

Competent Authority

The Teaching Council of Ireland – An Chomhairle Mhúinteoireachta is the competent authority for the regulation of the teaching profession in Ireland.

In accordance with its establishing Act – The Teaching Council Act 2001, the Council maintains a register of teachers recognised to practice the profession, determines suitability of qualifications for entry onto the Register, reviews and accredits programmes of initial teacher education, publishes codes of professional conduct for teachers and acts as a designated authority under EC 2005/36 for the recognition of qualifications from outside the State. When the remaining parts of its establishing Act are commenced by the Minister for Education & Skills, it will be responsible for disciplinary matters relating to the conduct of the profession and the development of a framework for continuous professional development.

Admission to the Register of Teachers is determined by reference to the Teaching Council [Registration] Regulation 2009, whereby teachers can register under the following categories/school sectors

  • Regulation Two – Primary (Age range 4-12 years)
  • Regulation Three- Montessori & Other Categories
  • Regulation Four- Post-primary (Age range 12-18 years)
  • Regulation Five – Further Education

The role in regard to an authorisation scheme requires the provision of information concerning registration as a teacher, maintenance of a register of those with approved qualifications, operation of aptitude tests and adaptation periods in accordance with EC 2005/36, and responding to queries on registration. The Council also processes Garda Vetting applications and acts as a first point of contact for new teachers i.e. gathering and forwarding applications to the Garda Central Vetting Unit, and issuing the results to applicants once the GCVU has made a decision. 

Licensing Procedures

For establishment purposes (the provision of a regulated profession on a stable and continuing basis) to work as a teacher in schools funded by the Department of Education & Skills in Ireland, service providers are required to be registered with the Teaching Council and have their qualifications approved by that authority. This is in accordance with the terms of EC 2005/36 and with EU case law on the Directives governing the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. Individuals apply directly to the Teaching Council for authorisation for establishment (to register) to practice a regulated profession on a stable and continuing basis in Ireland.

The requirements for an EU national seeking to practice in Ireland are that they hold a qualification entitling them to practice that same profession in another Member State i.e. is fully recognised under the terms of EU Directive 2005/36/EC. In principle mutual recognition of the qualification must be granted. However where substantial differences/shortfalls are identified between the applicant’s qualifications and experience and those required in the Republic of Ireland, the competent authority may require that these differences /shortfalls be addressed by a compensatory measure – generally a choice between an aptitude test or an adaptation period (of supervised practice during which the applicant may be subject to further training and assessment). There are timeframes for responses set out in the EC Directive 2005/36 and in Statutory Instrument S.I. No 139 of 2008.

The application procedures are set out on the website of the Council. The process requires, completion of an application form, the submission of transcripts, proof of identity, evidence of character, an application fee and where appropriate other documentary evidence to demonstrate eligibility for registration.

Under the EU case law and the terms of the Directive, providers may not practice a regulated profession on a stable and continuing basis without seeking registration with the Competent Authority.

Other formalities and procedures a provider has to comply with include: that new teachers are required to be vetted by the Garda Central Vetting Unit. In cases where applicants have lived outside Ireland for three years or more after the age of 18 years, Overseas Police Clearance will also be required. In the case of teachers this is coordinated centrally, with the Teaching Council of Ireland forwarding the application on behalf of the teacher to the Garda Central Vetting Unit, and in turn notifies the applicant of the result. The Teaching Council of Ireland has no role in the vetting process of the Gardai.

Further information

If you are a teacher who is looking to provide services (register to teach) in Ireland, you may obtain further information in the following links of the Teaching Council of Ireland website below.

Contact details

Please find the contact details for the Teaching Council of Ireland in the link below.

Contact details