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 of fitness.

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 Regulation Branch.

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 Branch

  1. Create an account in the Applicants' Area. You will then receive an email with instructions on how to activate your account.
  2. Follow the instructions on how to activate your account, and then log into the Applicants' Area.
  3. After you have entered the Applicants' Area, download the Certificate of Qualification (COQ) application form provided in the menu.
  4. 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 record check.
  5. 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 application fee through the Applicants' Area.
  6. 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 application.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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 without delay.

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 are outstanding.

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 fee.

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 Teachers Act

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 request.

Videos about the Certificate Application Process

The following videos have been prepared to help guide you through the application process.