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Northern Ireland Substitute Teacher Register
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The new online booking system for schools developed jointly by employers and the teachers' unions, is supported by the Department of Education and endorsed by the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland. More information
The Department of Education in Circular 2006/07 issued in March 2006 advised schools that only teachers registered on the Northern Ireland Substitute Teacher Register (NISTR) should be employed as substitute teachers from 1 September 2006. In accordance with the Education (NI) Order 1998 persons employed as teachers in grant-aided schools and peripatetic teachers are required to register with the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI). The GTCNI is a self-regulatory professional body for teachers which has a statutory duty to determine who should be a member of the teaching profession in Northern Ireland. As part of its registration process, the GTCNI will approve qualifications for the purpose of registration and eligibility to teach.

NISTR will carry out a check that teachers are registered with GTCNI, (and periodic checks that they continue to be registered), in order to maintain their details on the ‘live register’ which is made available to schools seeking substitute teachers. Although teachers must be registered with GTCNI in order to join NISTR, since other checks are also required applicants are advised not to delay completing the NISTR application until after they are registered with GTCNI.

Teachers seeking to register with GTCNI can obtain application forms directly from the Council’s website, or by contacting the registration team at or by telephone: (028) 90333390 or in writing to GTCNI, 4th Floor, Albany House, 73-75 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7AF.

From 1 April 2011 the Department of Education ceased funding for enhanced disclosure checks in respect of criminal background carried out by the NISTR Administrators in respect of substitute teachers. Applicants wishing to join NISTR are therefore strongly advised to read the following guidance to determine if they will be required to apply to have an enhanced disclosure check carried out through AccessNI before being released to the active pool of the NISTR register. In all cases where an enhanced disclosure check is required substitute teachers are responsible for payment of the full cost involved.

Guidance on Enhanced Disclosure Checks for Substitute Teachers

If required, the Enhanced Disclosure Application Form (& Identity Verification Form) to request an enhanced disclosure check to be completed by the NISTR Administrators are available to download by clicking on the following links. A 'quick guide' for completion of the Enhanced Disclosure Application Form is also available to download and should be read carefully (forms completed incorrectly may delay processing).

Enhanced Disclosure Form - NISTR - May 2013
Quick Guide - Enhanced Disclosure Form - NISTR - May 2013
Identity Verification Form - NISTR - May 2013

Following identity verification, both the completed Enhanced Disclosure Application and the Identity Verification Form forms must be returned to the NISTR Administrators. NB Forms should NOT be returned directly to AccessNI - the Enhanced Disclosure Form will not be processed unless signed by a registered person in NISTR Administrators. (Processing the forms and obtaining the required clearance can take between 4-6 weeks during peak periods.)

If you want to work as a substitute teacher in Northern Ireland and would like to find out more about registering with NISTR please contact the administrators on 02890 564000 or email:
register online click here.

In accordance with the Department of Education Circular 2006/07, schools are advised that as from 1 September 2006 only substitute teachers who are on NISTR should be employed to work in schools. To find out more about the Substitute Teacher Register for schools, click here. If your school is already using the service, log in now. If you experience any problems logging in, call 0845 226 1906 or email

Working with:
Dept of EducationBelfast ELBWestern ELBSouthern ELB
General Teaching Council for Northern IrelandCouncil for Catholic Maintained SchoolsNorth Eastern ELBSouthern Eastern ELB
Comhairle Na Gaelscolaiochta
Governing Body Association
NI Council for Integrated Education

Northern Ireland Teachers' CouncilUlster Teachers' UnionIrish National Teachers' OrganisationAssociation of Teachers and LecturersThe National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women TeachersNational Association of Head Teachers

This site is operated on behalf of the employing authorities by the Belfast Education Library Board. If you need any help in using this site please contact BELB on 02890 564000 or email at

Related Links and Documents
Access NI
General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland
Identity Verification Form
Substitute Teacher Leaflet December 2013
The Management of Substitution Cover of Teachers

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