Overview of the Eligibility Requirements 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, or completed
your education program in BC over one year ago.
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 see 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
Please note that academic studies alone are not enough to qualify you for a BC teaching
certificate that enables you to teach in the public school system. You must also
have completed a teacher training program that qualifies you to teach in the kindergarten
to grade 12 public school system in the jurisdiction where you completed the program.
If you have not completed a teacher training program, you will need to do so before
applying to us for a certificate. 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.
If you have not completed 12 years of elementary and secondary schooling, we may
use your years of post-secondary study to meet the grade 12 requirement. For example,
if you have a grade 10 education and a four-year undergraduate degree, we may consider
this equivalent to a BC grade 12 diploma and two years of post-secondary study.
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.
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:
First Nations Studies
Elementary school teachers must have completed 30 credits of general coursework
in areas related to the BC elementary curriculum. These 30 credits must include
- 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
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 teacher education program must qualify you to teach in the elementary and/or
secondary public school system in the jurisdiction where you completed your program.
Whenever possible, you must also have registered with the education authority in
the jurisdiction where you completed your program, even if you have never taught
in that jurisdiction.
You will likely qualify for a Basic Certificate
even if you have not met all of these requirements.
Read more about the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) and how it
affects Canadian-certified teachers. You may choose to upgrade to a Professional
Certificate by completing recommended coursework, but upgrading is optional. We
will send you a letter describing the courses you need to complete once we have
finished evaluating your application.
Recent teaching experience
To be eligible for a Professional Certificate, you must have taught within the last
10 years. We require a minimum of either 75 days of teaching experience in one academic
year, or 100 days of teaching experience over two consecutive academic years, or
completion of a practicum teaching at a Canadian university. If you do not meet
this requirement, you may still qualify for a Basic Certificate under AIT.
If you do not meet the minimum teaching experience requirements, we will ask you
to meet this requirement or complete some teacher education courses related to your
subject area(s) and a practicum before we will grant you a certificate. If you have
not had acceptable teaching experience within the last 20 years, we will ask you
to complete an acceptable teacher education program.
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.
If you have completed any part of your education in a country where the only official
language is not English or French, you will may need to submit results from an acceptable
Language Proficiency test before we issue you a certificate. See
language proficiency for more information.
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
- assessment forms and teacher evaluation 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
What if you cannot submit required documents?
You may find it impossible to obtain some of the documents or alternate forms of
the documents that are required to qualify for a BC teaching certificate, despite
your efforts and any assistance that we may be able to provide.
If this is the case, we may still be able to assess your application based on additional
information that you provide. This includes the reason(s) for why you are unable
to obtain the necessary application documents or alternate forms of the required
documents. Your reasons may include circumstances that are outside your control,
- An institution (such as a school or governmental organization) is unable to provide
the required document(s) because it no longer exists, is not operational or has
lost records due to war, upheaval, natural disaster or other crisis;
- An institution refuses to provide the required document(s); or
- You fear that you will be discriminated against or persecuted if you contact an
institution to request the document(s).
We will collect from you any information and/or materials about your particular
circumstances and present them to the Director of Certification. The Director of
Certification will also determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether additional testing
or assessment is required once the application has been reviewed. The Director of
Certification will then decide whether a teaching certificate can be issued based
on the submitted documentation and, if applicable, the results from the test or
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.