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 or completed
your education program in BC over one year ago.
If you have a valid teaching certificate from another Canadian province or territory,
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
Paths to teacher certification are different from one province to another. While
you may qualify for a Basic Certificate, you may choose to upgrade to a Professional
Certificate by completing additional coursework.
Learn more about the types of certificates issued by the Teacher
Note: The Teacher Regulation Branch is moving to only accepting applications for
teacher certification through the secure Applicants'
Area of our website. This change will benefit you as an applicant because
you will be able to receive updates about the status of your application and monitor
its progress online. The online application process improves the security of your
information and the service we are able to provide you.
How to apply for a Ministry of Education certificate through the Teacher Regulation
- Create an account in the Applicants' Area.
You will then receive an email with instructions on how to activate your account.
- Follow the instructions on how to activate your account, and then log into the Applicants' Area.
- After you have entered the Applicants' Area,
download the Certificate of Qualification (COQ) application form provided in the
- Complete the COQ application form. Make sure to list all your academic credentials
and all post-secondary institutions you have attended in the Academic Qualifications
section. This will avoid delays later in the process. Be sure to consent to a criminal
- Upload your completed COQ application form in the area provided in the Applicants'
Area. If any information is missing, you will be prompted to complete or correct
the information on the form. When the form is complete, you can submit your application
and pay the non-refundable application fee through the Applicants' Area.
- Review the Application Documents
that will need to be provided as part of your application. Ask the applicable institutions
and individuals to complete and send the relevant documents directly to us. For
example, all 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 Teacher Regulation Branch before
your application, we will keep them and add them to your file when we receive your
- Wait for an email from us, which will arrive within five to seven business days
after we receive your application. We will create a file for you and place it in
a queue based on the date we received it. The email confirms that we have received
your application and will give you a file number.
- Note that 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).
- 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 an email indicating any
missing documents. At this point, you will be able to track in the Applicants' Area
which documents are outstanding.
How long will the application process take?
Once we have received all of the necessary documents for your application, it generally
takes us two to four weeks to review your application. 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
How to find out the status of your application
Once your file has been evaluated, we will send you an email with further information.
You can then enter the Applicants' Area to track your status and check which documents
Tips about the Application Process
- Make sure all of the documents you submit are complete and clear.
- As soon as possible, contact the institutions and individuals that need to send
documents directly to us. This is the most time-consuming part of the application
process. Follow up with the institutions and/or individuals to make sure your documents
have been sent.
- Do not attempt to take courses before you receive your results. We will not know
what courses you may need to take until we have completed the evaluation.
- Apply to us six months to one year before you arrive in BC. If you must meet some
additional requirements, it will be to your advantage to know about these in advance.
- Do not have the transcript for your teacher education program sent to us until it
shows that you have completed your program and received your qualification.
- Please be patient and prepared for the unexpected. Sometimes documents fail to arrive
or more information is needed.
What are the possible outcomes of our evaluation?
Your application may result in qualifying you for a
Professional, Basic, Trades or Conditional Certificate of Qualification.
These are not restricted to any subject area or grade level, and they are valid
for BC's kindergarten to Grade 12 education system. If you are eligible for a certificate,we
will email you and direct you to the Applicants' Area to pay the annual practice
Alternatively, you may be ineligible for certification. This means that you currently
do not qualify for a Certificate of Qualification. Our evaluation letter will tell
you the specific requirements you must meet to qualify for a certificate.
Keep your BC certificate valid
Once you receive your BC teaching certificate, it is important to pay your annual
practice fee and keep your certificate valid, even if you are not teaching in BC.
The annual fee is due by May 31 each year. If you do not pay this fee, we will cancel
your certificate and you will need to reapply. We will complete a new evaluation
based on the requirements at that time.
Teacher Qualification Service (TQS)
You 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 as they will need this as part of
your application to them. Please see the TQS
website for more information.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) and the
The information we collect as part of the application is in compliance with FOIPPA.
The Teachers Act authorizes our collection of the personal information we
request. Please contact our office if you have questions about the information we
Videos about the Certificate Application Process
The following videos have been prepared to help guide you through the application process.