Ten FAQs on how to become a NET in Hong Kong

Ten FAQs on how to become a NET in Hong Kong

I am interested in getting a TEFL/TESOL certification to apply to the NET scheme in Hong Kong.

We receive a lot of emails that start this way. Thankfully, when we do, 9 times out of 10 we can provide the answers candidates ask. 

To be successful in your application to the Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) scheme, you'll need to complete an accredited course that is acceptable to the Hong Kong Education Bureau (HK EDB). At Global English TESOL we have been training people for the NET scheme for over eight years now on our recognised and flexible online training and teaching practice programmes.

So, here is some general advice and guidance for candidates hoping to become a HK NET in the future, divided into three categories:

  • Online TEFL training for prospective NETs
  • Teaching practice
  • General questions about the NET scheme 


Online TEFL training

Q. The HK EDB scheme says a course must consist of a minimum of 100 contact hours for primary and 250 contact hours for secondary. What do contact hours mean?

The contact hours are the number of hours taken in the study on a course of study, either face to face or online. The EDB recognises the ACTDEC accredited courses run by Global English TESOL as meeting this requirement.

Q. Why does your course for primary have 120 contact hours?

We updated our 100-hour Teach Hong Kong course to meet new ACTDEC guidelines from 2022, so the course maintains its Level 3 accreditation. The bonus is that the course now contains elements of class-based and online teaching, which few other online courses or face-to-face courses have.

Q. Does the course provide tutor support?

Yes, a personal tutor will mark your online course work and be available for any questions you have. They will also review your teaching practice lesson plan and self-evaluation of that lesson, to ensure conformance with EDB HK NET scheme guidelines.

Q. I need to meet the EDB deadline. Can I go through the course quickly?

Yes, you can begin as soon as you register and pay for your course. You can proceed at your own pace and have up to 6 months to complete the 120-hr course, or 12 months for the 250-hr course.

Q. Which course should I register on? 

For primary, go here>>

For secondary, go here>>

Remember to add the teaching practice course for HK at the checkout. 

For more info on our online courses, see our general FAQ page.


Teaching Practice

Q. How does the teaching practice work?

You find a school or volunteer organisation where you can teach or observe lessons for a minimum of 10 hours (primary) or 20 hours (secondary). You enrol onto the same programme for both schemes, and if you need 20 hours and just extend the teaching on the teaching timesheet. It's the same price. 

Q. Can my teaching practice be online?

Online teaching still counts towards teaching practice, providing it is observed by a qualified English language teacher. This became the norm in lockdown, and we are not aware (as of October 2022) that the EDB have changed those requirements.

Q. I have been teaching for some time. Can I backdate my teaching practice to include lessons I have previously given?

No, you can’t, sorry. Teaching practice can only be included after you have registered onto a course with us.

Q. I’m already teaching in a school. Can I take my TP where I am teaching currently?

Yes, so long as it is observed by an experienced English teacher and the school is prepared to allow you to do this. For more on this, see below.

Q. Who can observe my teaching?

It should be an experienced English language teacher. Often this is the Director of Studies or Senior English Language Teacher in a language school. However, it could also be a colleague, providing they have English teaching experience and are able to offer you observation and feedback.

Q. Can I take my teaching practice in a primary or secondary school?

Yes, so long as the above criteria are observed.

Q. How do I access the TP paperwork?

All the forms are downloadable from your Global English TESOL student area when you enrol. Get the agreement with the school signed, upload it to us and then you are ready to start.

Q. I've already got a TEFL/TESOL qualification. Can I just do the teaching practice with you?

Sorry, the EDB require the courses to come from the same educational establishment, so you will have to retrain with us on the online course component. However, you can take the teaching practice at the same time, as they can run concurrently.

Q. Where can I enrol?

Just add the 10-hour Hong Kong Teaching Practice course to your shopping cart from here>>


General questions on the NET scheme

Q. How do I demonstrate to the EDB that I have taken the contact hours and teaching practice?

Upon successful completed Global English TESOL will provide a composite certificate showing the number of hours taught, including your teaching practice. If a transcript is required, we can provide this at a small additional cost. We are happy to confirm to EDB by email at any time that you are registered on a course with us.


Q. When did the NET scheme begin?

To enhance the teaching of English Language and increase exposure of students to English, a Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme was started in public-sector secondary schools in 1998/99 and then in primary schools from 2002/03.

Q. When are decisions on NET candidates made?

Most candidates are selected in February/March of each year, so you'll need to have your qualifications ready in advance. 

For more information on the NET scheme, see the EDB website here.


For more information on training for the NET scheme with Global English TESOL, please email us here>>. We'd love to help you get trained and succeed as a NET next year! 


  • Author: William Bradridge
  • Date: 26/10/2022

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Ten FAQs on how to become a NET in Hong Kong