Applying for a First Nations Language Teaching Certificate

If you speak a First Nations language proficiently, you may be able to apply for a First Nations Language Teacher Certificate and teach your language and culture within BC’s schools.

A First Nations Language Teacher Certificate may be issued to proficient First Nations language speakers. Your proficiency is determined by your language authority. To be eligible for a First Nations Language Teacher Certificate, you must be recommended by the First Nations Language Authority for your language and culture. Refer to the List of First Nations Language Authorities to find all of the recognized language authorities in BC.

If your First Nations language is not included on the list, you cannot apply for a First Nations Language Teacher's Certificate. For information about how language authorities are established, see Information on Establishing a First Nations Language Authority.

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.

Did you previously hold a non-expiring British Columbia Certificate of Qualification (First Nations Language Teacher Certificate)?

If you previously held a non-expiring British Columbia First Nations Language Teacher Certificate that was cancelled for non-payment of fees or that you relinquished, you may qualify for a reinstatement of your certificate of qualification. Find out more on the Previously Certified Teachers page.

How to apply for a First Nations Language Teacher Certificate

  1. Create your online account. If you don’t have a BCeID, you will need to register for one. Log in to Your Account with your BCeID.
  2. After you have entered Your Account, click on Your Application in the menu.
  3. Complete the First Nations Language Teacher Certificate of Qualification (FNLC) 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.
  4. Submit your completed FNLC application form. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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 Your Account which documents are outstanding.

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.

How long will the application process take?

Once we have received all of the necessary documents for your application, your application will be added to a queue to be reviewed by an evaluator. The wait time for an evaluation may be three months or more.

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 Your Account 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.
  • Please be patient and prepared for the unexpected. Sometimes documents fail to arrive or more information is needed.

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.

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.