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Entering the profession

Recruiting and Appointing RTLB

  • The lead school/kura principal/tumuaki, in collaboration with the cluster manager, is responsible for the recruitment and appointment of RTLB practitioners.  
  • The cluster manager is a member of the appointments panel which may include practice leaders. 
  • Māori/Pacific RTLB/stakeholders should be included on the appointments panel when possible.
  • Other key stakeholders may be co-opted to the appointments panel.

There is a national job description for the RTLB role. Specialist skills may be added according to the needs and strategic goals of the cluster. 

The appointee

The appointee must have attained the Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching endorsed in Learning and Behaviour from either Massey University or University of Canterbury.

Alternately the appointee can have attained the previous RTLB qualification prior to 2012. This includes:

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Special Needs Resource Teaching (PG Dip SNRT)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education Studies. 

The Auckland/Victoria/Waikato consortium of universities issues both of these qualifications.

Another option is the appointee has attained the necessary university pre-requisites to enrol in the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching: Learning and Behaviour and is capable of attaining the qualification within 48 months of initial appointment as an RTLB. 

Other requirements are that the appointee:

  • is an experienced, fully registered teacher/kaiako (not provisionally registered)
  • holds a current practising certificate
  • can meet the Standards for the Teaching Profession including the competencies in Tātaiako
  • indicates acceptance by signing the letter of offer which includes the job description.


To enrol in the PG Dip in Specialist Teaching, an RTLB needs to be a university graduate, this is, must hold a university degree.

Appointees who hold an historic Ministry exemption from study and who may have worked in another RTLB cluster are required to attain the Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching endorsed in Learning and Behaviour.


The employment process, requisite steps and resources can be found on the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) website.

NZSTA Employment
Has information about recruitment and induction, pay equity, performance management, and day-to-day staff management

Job sharing

The teachers' collective agreements allow for job-sharing of permanent RTLB positions.

A permanent full-time RTLB position can be shared by two RTLB in a job-share arrangement.

RTLB in a job share arrangement cannot individually be employed for less than a 0.4 FTTE position. 

Reference checking

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 was part of a series of comprehensive measures brought in to protect and improve the wellbeing of vulnerable children.

If the preferred applicant comes from another RTLB cluster, lead schools are strongly advised to obtain reference checks from the previous lead school.

Children’s Act 2014 requirements for schools and kura
Information and resources for employers, organisations, and individuals relating to the act

Employment agreements 

Collective agreements

  • current collective agreements for teachers, principals, and other staff
  • has key dates and links to downloadable PDFs for your relevant collective agreement

Under the collective agreements terms, RTLB may be employed by kura, primary school, area school, secondary school, and boards of trustees of their employing school.

Alternatively, the terms can based on an individual employment agreement. The individual agreement must adhere to the relevant collective agreement. 

Appointees who comes from another school or RTLB cluster where they were employed under another collective agreement must move to the collective agreement of the new employing lead school; the transition arrangements for the RTLB transformation no longer apply.