Overview of the Application Process for Graduates of a Canadian Teacher Education Program Outside of BC

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

If you have a valid teaching certificate from another Canadian province or territory and you have worked in the public school system within the last 10 years, you will probably qualify for a BC teaching certificate. However, before you can teach in BC, you must apply for a BC Ministry of Education teaching certificate through the Teacher Regulation Branch and show that you meet the Ministry's standards of fitness and qualification.

Paths to teacher certification are different from one province to another. This means that you may need to complete some courses to meet the same requirements as teachers who completed their education in BC. In most cases, you will still be able to receive a BC teaching certificate. We would give you a conditional certificate allowing you to teach for up to five years. During this five-year period, you would need to complete the required courses. Once you have completed the courses, you can upgrade to a permanent certificate.

How to apply for a Ministry of Education teaching certificate through the Teacher Regulation Branch

  1. Download and review the General Application Package. This package includes:
    • information about the Ministry of Education and the application process
    • the application form (called the Application for Teacher's Certificate of Qualification)
    • the Consent to a Criminal Record Check form
    • two Confidential Character Reference forms
    • a list of all of the documents we need as part of your application (these are described in full in the application package section)
    • a list of the fees you must pay
    • a copy of The Standards for the Education, Competence and Professional Conduct of Educators in British Columbia.

  2. Print and complete the application form and the Consent to a Criminal Record Check form, which are included within the General Application Package. Mail us these two forms and the application fee. Include any other documents you can, except those that must come directly from an institution or individual.

  3. Ask the applicable institutions and individuals to complete and send the relevant documents directly to us. For example, your post-secondary institutions must send us your official university transcripts and your character references must send us the Confidential Character Reference Forms. If these documents arrive at the Branch before your application, we will keep them and add them to your file when we receive your application.

  4. Once we receive your application form and application fee, we will create a file for you and place it in a queue based on the date we received it. If you have included your email address on the application form, we will email you within five to seven business days to confirm that we have received your application and tell you your file number.

  5. Documents will arrive for your file at different times from different sources. We will add each document to your file as it arrives (as long as it is properly identified with your full name).

  6. Please be patient as we review all files according to the date we receive them. Once an evaluator has reviewed your file, we will send you a letter listing any documents we are missing.

  7. Once we receive all of the required documents, we will complete the evaluation.
    • If you are eligible for a certificate, we will send you a Letter of Eligibility telling you the amount that you need to pay for your pro-rated annual fee. We will mail you your certificate once we receive your payment.
    • If you are not eligible for a certificate, we will send you an evaluation letter explaining why you are not eligible and what you need to do to qualify.

  8. If you are eligible for a certificate, you will also need to apply to the Teacher Qualification Service (TQS) for your TQS category. Public school boards use this category as one element in determining your salary level. When we send you your Ministry of Education teaching certificate, we will also send a copy of your certificate to the TQS. Please see the TQS website for more information.

How long will the evaluation process take?

Once we have received all of the necessary documents for your application, it generally takes us five to seven weeks to review your application and mail you the results. For this reason, we recommend that you start the application process before you arrive in BC.

Remember that not all applicants qualify for certification. If you are moving to BC because you intend to teach here, you will want to receive the results of our evaluation as soon as possible. If you must meet some additional requirements to be eligible for a certificate, you will then be able to start on these requirements without delay.

How to find out the status of your application

We cannot tell you what documents are missing from your application until you receive a letter that will list these items for you. You may contact us to ask whether or not we have received specific documents. We will respond to you within one to two business days.

  • Email us at trb.certification@gov.bc.ca. Please quote your file number in the subject line.
  • Phone us at 604 660-6060 or toll-free within Canada and the United States at 1 800 555-3684.

What are the possible outcomes of our evaluation?

There are three possible outcomes of our evaluation. You may be:

  • Eligible for certification. This means that you meet all our requirements and that you qualify for a permanent professional certificate.
  • Eligible for certification with requirements. This means that you meet enough of our requirements to qualify for a temporary conditional certificate. You will have to complete some additional academic courses to upgrade your temporary conditional certificate to a permanent professional certificate.
  • Ineligible for certification. This means that you currently do not qualify for a certificate. Our evaluation letter will tell you the specific requirements you must meet to qualify for a certificate.

Our policy regarding your documents

All documents you send us as part of your application become the property of the Teacher Regulation Branch. We will not return any documents to you and we will not send any of your documents to other individuals or organizations.

Your non-refundable evaluation fee is valid for a two-year period. However, some documents expire after a certain amount of time, and we may ask you to send us updated documents (such as a new Application for Teacher's Certificate of Qualification) if we have not received any documentation or communication from you in over one year.