Teacher registration transition

Enablers and barriers in the development of a professional portfolio for Tasmanian teachers transitioning from provisional to full registration in the teaching profession

Degree type


Closing date

25 September 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The objectives of this project are to provide insights into why low numbers of Tasmanian teachers are progressing their careers from Tasmanian Teacher Registration provisional status to full. By understanding the barriers and facilitators to full registration, transition-focused practice supports for teachers can be developed to promote the successful transition of teachers to full teacher registration via their portfolio of practices. Collaboration between the University of Tasmania's (UTAS) School of Education (SoE), graduate teachers, and the Tasmanian Teachers Registration Board (TRB) is crucial for advancing the career progression of provisionally registered teachers to full registration and supporting the teaching profession retain qualified educators. The School of Education can play a significant role not only in supporting graduate teachers but also in working with undergraduate teachers before they register with the Board. By offering comprehensive teacher education programs designed with key industry and graduate input, the School of Education can equip Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students (undergraduate teachers) with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies required for a successful teaching career and how graduates can demonstrate their teaching competencies via their graduate teaching portfolios that are aligned with national Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership's (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards. This includes providing practical teaching experiences, mentorship opportunities, and specialised ITE coursework aligned with the Registration Board and AITSL Standards for Teachers. Through collaboration, the School of Education can ensure a seamless transition for undergraduate teachers into the provisionally registered phase, preparing them for the challenges ahead and setting a strong foundation for their professional growth. By working together with key stakeholders, the School of Education can foster professional growth, remove barriers, and cultivate a strong and competent teaching workforce that is underpinned by evidence based Initial Teacher Education degrees that are aligned to workforce and graduate needs.

Progressing to full registration is a significant milestone in a teacher's professional growth from the graduate (provisional registration) to proficient (full registration) career stage of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Teacher Standards). The process, or transition, is designed to enhance teacher professional practice and benefit the learning, engagement, and wellbeing of Tasmanian students. In Tasmania the Teachers Registration Act 2000 anticipates that all Tasmanian teachers will progress to full registration within five years of achieving initial provisional registration. However, this is not occurring, and the exact reasons why are not understood.

Moving from provisional registration to full registration is a continuum of teachers' professional growth as they transition from the graduate career stage of the Teacher Standards to the proficient stage. The process teachers undertake to gather a portfolio of evidence against the proficient career stage descriptors aims to support critical inquiry into teachers' professional knowledge and practice, and the impact on student outcomes. As such the Teaching Portfolio is the key document to demonstrate career progression and professional development. The Teaching Portfolio is an organised record of teaching experiences, achievements, and professional development. It consists of a collection of documents which illustrate the variety and quality of work that a teacher does, along with their reflections on these documents and on their personal and professional development over time. The development of a professional career-based Teaching Portfolio is used to transition from TRB provisional registration to full registration. As such the Teaching Portfolio demonstrates competence of teaching standards, including meeting the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership's Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

This research project seeks to understand what Tasmanian provisionally registered teachers know about professional portfolios and what they see as enablers and barriers for their development as teachers as evidenced by their Teaching Portfolios, to enable them to successfully apply for full teacher registration. Outcomes from this project will enable key stakeholders, such as the School of Education, the TRB, schools and the teachers themselves to better understand what support and mentoring structures can be put into place to better support teachers transitioning from provisional registration to full registration. In addition project insights would also provide evidence-based professional understandings that can be incorporated into ITE and post-graduate SoE courses.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Darren Pullen


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applications are open to Domestic/ Onshore applicants
  • Applications are open to applications from education (teaching) discipline background only
  • Applicants need to be eligible for full registration with an Australian Teacher Registration Board

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Undergraduate degree with honours OR a Research Masters degree
  • Registered as a teacher within Australia
  • Knowledge of and experience in the Australian school system and Teacher Standards (AITSL)

Additional desirable selection criteria specific to this project:

  • 10 years or more of school based teaching experience

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Dr Darren Pullen to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 25 September 2023.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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