Overview of the Eligibility Requirements for Graduates of a BC Teacher Education Program

The information in this section applies to you if you are completing or have recently completed a teacher education program at a BC university.

To teach in BC's kindergarten to grade 12 public education sector, you must apply to the Teacher Regulation Branch for a Ministry of Education teaching certificate. We will evaluate your application to determine if you qualify for certification in BC. We will assess your:

  • academic record, including teacher education training and subject area studies
  • teaching experience, and
  • fitness to teach (that is, whether your moral character makes you suitable to work with children).

If you have not completed a teacher training program, you will need to do so before applying to us for a Certificate of Qualification. Please see Teacher Education for a list of BC universities that offer approved programs leading to certification.

The following are some basic requirements for certification through the BC Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch:

BC grade 12 diploma or its equivalent

You must have completed the equivalent of a BC grade 12 diploma. We consider the following to be equivalent to a BC grade 12 diploma:

  • Ontario: Grade 13
  • Quebec: A DEC after two years of CEGEP is considered equivalent to a BC grade 12 diploma and one year of post-secondary education.
  • British education system: Completion of "O" levels and at least two "A" levels. "A" level coursework with a grade of A or B is considered equivalent to six credits of first-year university level coursework

Post-secondary studies

You must have completed four years (120 credits) of post-secondary studies and a degree or its equivalent. Within these studies, we will look for coursework that meets our academic requirements and teacher education requirements.

Academic studies
All public school teachers in BC, regardless of subject area or level, are required to have completed 6 credits of coursework in English literature and composition. If you completed all of your post-secondary studies in French, you must have completed 6 credits of coursework in French literature and composition.

Secondary school teachers must have completed at least 24 credits of coursework in one of the following acceptable subject areas:

Business Education
Computer Science
Earth Science
First Nations Studies
General Science


Home Economics
Physical Education
Social Studies
Special Education
Technology Education

Elementary school teachers must have completed 30 credits of general coursework in areas related to the BC elementary curriculum. These 30 credits must include the following:

  • 3 credits of Canadian studies
  • 3 credits of mathematics and
  • 3 credits of science.

The science course must be in the fields of astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, geology (earth science and/or ocean science), physics or physical geography.

Trades teachers can qualify for a restricted Trades Certificate if they hold a trades qualification issued or recognized by the BC Industry Training Authority in a trade that has a minimum of three levels of technical training and a minimum of 5 years of journeyperson work and/or trades teaching experience. Trades teachers must also meet the English coursework requirement and teacher education coursework requirements below.

Teacher education studies
You must have completed a teacher education program consisting of at least 48 credits of education courses and classroom teaching experience. This is equivalent to approximately 1.5 to 2 years of full-time study. This could include a degree or diploma in education, or teacher training courses that you completed within an academic degree.

The program must include studies in the areas of:

  • human development and learning
  • educational foundations (history, philosophy, sociology)
  • curriculum and instruction
  • diagnosing and providing for students with special needs and
  • evaluation and testing.

The BC teacher education program you completed must have been approved by the British Columbia Teachers' Council to lead to certification to teach in the elementary and/or secondary public school system in BC.

Once we have completed our evaluation, we will send you a letter describing the courses or program you need to complete before you qualify for a certificate. You can appeal our decision if you believe there are additional factors that we should consider that were not described or included in your initial application.

You may still qualify for a teaching certificate, even if you have not completed all of these requirements. In some cases, we will grant you a temporary teaching certificate. You can upgrade the temporary certificate to a permanent certificate by finishing the remaining coursework while you teach. We will send you a letter describing the courses you need to complete once we have finished evaluating your application.

Proficiency in English or French

To teach in BC, you need to be proficient in English. You must be able to read, write and speak English at an advanced level. If you teach in French or are planning to teach with the French education authority of BC (le Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique), you need to be proficient in French.

Fitness to teach

You must be a person of a good and moral character. We evaluate your suitability (or what we call "fitness") to teach based on some of the documents you must submit as part of your application. These include:

  • confidential character reference forms
  • final practicum reports
  • the criminal record check results we receive from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
  • in some cases, the results of a fingerprint search through regional and/or national police records.

Ready to apply?

Please review the Standards for Educators, the application process and the required application documents. Then, create your online account in the Applicants' Area and submit your application.