08 May 2018

A new UAE licensing system for teachers

Authored by: Hadef & Partners, Sector Groups

A new licensing system for teachers (‘Teaching License System’) has been launched by the Ministry of Education (‘MoE’) and in this article we summarise what is known so far about the system.

What is the motivation behind introducing the Teaching Licensing System?

The MoE has stated that ‘the Teacher Licensing System was launched in line with the vision of the UAE in order to develop a Knowledge Economy’ with the ‘aim of setting a higher standard of performance based on international standards for teachers in the education sector.’

To whom does the Teaching Licensing System apply?

It is expected that it applies to all teachers in the public and private sector. However, the website set up by the MoE to deal with some frequently asked questions, states in response to the question ‘What about non-Nationals that have a Teacher License from another country?’ that ‘the Teacher License Permit will be reviewed by a committee to check whether his license meets the requirements for equalization. Equalization requirements will be announced soon.’

Therefore, it is not totally clear whether some teachers who already hold a license from a different country may be able to gain a Teaching License purely through ‘equalization’ and perhaps will not need to undergo the examinations referenced below.  It is hoped that the ‘equalization requirements’ will clarify this.

Is it mandatory to gain a Teaching License?

The Teaching License will become a requirement for all teachers in public and private schools in the UAE by 2021.

How will the license be obtained?

In order to gain a Teaching License, the teacher must pass two tests:

  1. One test on the theory & practice of teaching, including how to influence student learning; and
  1. One test in the teacher’s subject-matter.

If a teacher fails to pass either test, customised training courses are suggested, based on the teacher’s test results. It is then possible to re-take the tests after that training has been completed.

How long is a Teaching License valid for?

The Teaching License is expected to be valid for between one to three years, depending on the teacher’s qualifications, test scores and experience.

How does a teacher apply for a Teaching License?

There has been some confusion regarding registration requirements. The website specifically set up by the MoE to provide further information to teachers and schools currently states that ‘registration will be announced and an electronic email will be sent to a targeted group of teachers based on educational cycles’ and ‘teachers will be invited to register at scheduled stages in coordination with schools, after which teachers exams are booked according to their specialization and geographic location.’

Therefore, it seems that a staged approach to registration is being taken by the MoE.


Although, the Teaching License System has been generally welcomed in the sector, we await further clarification from the MoE on some aspects of the system.

For more information, please contact us on sectors@hadefpartners.com.


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