Application Documents

Once you have submitted your application through the Applicants' Area, there are various supporting documents that will need to be submitted to support your application. This page describes the documents that we require and tells you how to complete and submit them.

You will notice that some of the documents need to be notarized. A verified copy is a photocopy of a document on which a notary public or lawyer states in writing that it is "a true copy of the original,” signs the copy, and includes an official stamp or seal. Anyone who holds current, valid certification with the BC Ministry of Education can also notarize your documents. On the photocopy, he or she must include his or her full name, certificate number and signature.

Application for an Independent School Teaching Certificate (ISTC)

You must complete all sections of the ISTC application form, available in the Applicants' Area. Please pay particular attention to the Academic Qualifications section by making sure you list all of your post-secondary institutions and awards. We will only accept your application if you answer all of the Personal Information questions and if you sign and date the Declaration of Professional Commitment.

Consent to a Criminal Record Check

Consent to a Criminal Record Check is included in the application form. We will forward your information to the Criminal Records Review Program of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and, in turn, they will return the results directly to us. Once you become certified, you will need to undergo a criminal record check every five years.

Having a criminal record does not automatically make you ineligible for a certificate. However, you may be ineligible for a certificate if you make false statements or if you do not tell us about a criminal record. If necessary, we may ask you to complete an additional criminal record check so we can review all the details related to your offence.

Criminal record check results are confidential. We cannot accept previous criminal record checks you have completed, and we cannot provide you with a copy of the results of this criminal record check.

Statement(s) of Professional Standing

A Statement of Professional Standing is a letter that states you are a teacher in good standing and that your teaching licence has never been revoked, cancelled or suspended for any disciplinary reasons. Statement(s) of Professional Standing must be mailed directly to the Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch from all certification bodies where you hold or have held a teaching certificate. This is required even if you have never taught in the jurisdiction and even if the certificate has expired.

If you have taught in a jurisdiction where you do not hold a teaching certificate, you need to ask the employer to send us a brief letter stating whether or not there were any concerns about your conduct or competence. It must be signed, dated, written on letterhead, and sent directly to us from the employer by mail, fax, or as a scanned email attachment.

Secondary school graduation diploma

If you are applying for an SSR certificate, a verified copy of your secondary school graduation diploma is required. If your diploma is not available, we will accept a letter from the secondary school stating when you completed your studies. O-level and A-level certificates meet this requirement.

Teaching report

If you are currently teaching or have previously taught in a K-12 school, please ask the most recent employer to write a teaching report on your behalf. The report must state the name and address of the employer and indicate the start and end dates of your employment. The content of the report should be comprehensive and address your overall competency as an educator. The areas generally described in a teaching report include planning, organization, lesson delivery, classroom management, assessment, interaction with parents, etc.

Official transcripts of all other post-secondary studies

Please ask each of the post-secondary institutions you have attended to mail an official transcript directly to us. We do not accept transcripts by fax or email. We do not accept transcripts sent by applicants even if the transcripts are sealed or notarized. It is important that we receive a transcript for every college and university you have attended. We do not accept reports completed by ICES in lieu of transcripts. This includes transcripts for:

  • all coursework for your degree(s) including courses transferred from any exchange programs.
  • all transferred courses, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs
  • courses that were required for admission to your teacher education program
  • Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP)
  • all trades training institutions that you have attended (BCIT, VCC, TRU)

Each course is relevant to our evaluation and we will recognize only courses for which we have an official transcript. Transcripts should show:

  • the dates of enrolment
  • the name of each course you took at that institution,
  • the grades you received
  • the number of credits granted or lecture hours completed for each course.

If the transcripts do not include all of the information we require, we may ask for additional details, such as an outline or program syllabus. If transcripts arrive in languages other than English or French, we will send a copy to you for translation.

Distance teacher education program details

If you completed any part of a teacher education program by distance or online education, please ask your Faculty of Education to send details about your program directly to us. The details must state what courses you completed face-to-face and what courses you completed by distance or online. They must also provide the number of lecture hours you attended for each on-campus course and indicate how many days of practicum you completed in a classroom. This information is required only for the studies you completed within your teacher education program. We do not require this information for academic courses you took outside the Faculty of Education.

Degree verification

Some transcripts from post-secondary institutions outside of Canada do not indicate the awarding of a degree or qualification. If this is the case with any of your transcripts, you must send us a verified copy of your degree or diploma. You can also ask the post-secondary institution to send us a letter stating the qualification they have awarded you.

Confidential Character Reference for Authorization to Teach in British Columbia forms

Your application must include two character reference forms. You will need to complete and submit page 1 of the form. You will also need to ask two people acting as your references (your referees) who have known you for at least two years to complete page 2 and submit the forms directly to us. Your referees do not need to have observed you in any teaching capacity. However, we will not accept forms completed by referees that are too closely related to you, such as relatives, partners, spouses or equivalents. We do not accept letters of recommendation as a substitute for the character reference form.

Identification documents

We require legal identification for all names appearing on the documents you submit as part of your application. We will only use your legal name on your certificate. We will not issue you a certificate that includes names for which official documentation does not exist. We require one of the following as a primary identification document:

Birth certificate: We require a notarized copy of your birth certificate. If you do not have your birth certificate, please obtain a replacement certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics in the province or territory where you were born. To obtain a notarized copy, you will need to contact a notary public or lawyer to have a true copy made from your original document. We will also accept photocopies that have been confirmed as true copies by any holder of a current, valid BC Ministry of Education teaching certificate. To do this, they must include their full name, certificate number and signature on the photocopy.

Statutory declaration: If you were born outside of Canada and you do not have a birth certificate, you must have a notary public or lawyer prepare a statutory declaration in which you swear to the following:

  • your date of birth
  • your full name at birth
  • your birthplace
  • that you do not have a birth certificate.

You must attach a notarized copy of your passport, permanent residents card, or a Canadian citizenship card to the statutory declaration.

We also require the following, if they apply to you:

  • Marriage certificate: If you changed your surname as a result of marriage, you must include a notarized copy of your marriage certificate. We will also accept photocopies that have been confirmed as true copies by any holder of a current, valid BC Ministry of Education teaching certificate. To do this, they must include their full name, certificate number and signature on the photocopy.
  • Divorce certificate: If you are divorced and cannot provide a marriage certificate as proof of a current or previous surname, you must send us a notarized copy of the divorce certificate. We will also accept photocopies that have been confirmed as true copies by any holder of a current, valid BC Ministry of Education teaching certificate. To do this, they must include their full name, certificate number and signature on the photocopy.
  • Change of name certificate: If you changed your name for reasons other than marriage or divorce, you must send us a notarized copy of an official change of name certificate, permanent residents or Canadian citizenship card. We will also accept photocopies that have been confirmed as true copies by any holder of a current, valid BC Ministry of Education teaching certificate. To do this, they must include their full name, certificate number and signature on the photocopy.

Proficiency in English or French

To qualify for an ISTC you must meet the English or French language proficiency requirements. You must be able to read, write and speak at an advanced level in either language. Proof of language proficiency is required where the first language is not English or French. Please refer to Language Proficiency for information on the acceptable tests and required scores for each Independent School Teacher Certificate.

We need language proficiency results before we can evaluate your application or tell you of any coursework you may need to complete. It is highly recommended that applicants meet the language proficiency requirements before submitting an application to the Teacher Regulation Branch. Applicants who do not meet our minimum language proficiency requirements will not be issued any certificate until this requirement has been met.

Additional Items required for School and Subject Restricted (SSR) Applications

School Authority Form

Please ask the school authority that is endorsing your application for a School and Subject Restricted Certificate to complete an Independent School Teaching Certificate – School Authority Form. Your prospective employer should complete the form and submit it directly to the Teacher Regulation Branch.

Verified copies of post-secondary certificates earned in your area of expertise

Please send us verified copies of any post-secondary certificates you have earned in your area of expertise. These may include participation certificates or certificates that confirm completion of a course or program. If your area is Physical Education, you need to include evidence of a 16-hour First Aid training course.

Four letters of recommendation

We require four detailed sealed letters of recommendation verifying your expertise in your subject area and suitability to teach children. These letters must be from the following individuals, affiliated with the school to which the certificate will be restricted:

  • Authority (chair or member of the board)
  • Principal of the school
  • A member of the immediate school community (exclusive of the authority and principal)
  • Member of the community at large

Application fee

You must include a non-refundable application fee with your application. We will not evaluate your application or assign you a file number until you have paid the application fee.