Overview of the Application Process for an Independent School Teaching Certificate

The information in this section applies to you if you are applying for an Independent School Teaching Certificate

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 teaching certificate through the Teacher Regulation Branch

  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 Independent School Teaching Certificate (ISTC) 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 ISTC 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.

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.

What are the possible outcomes of our evaluation?

Your application may result in qualifying you for an Independent School Teaching Certificate. If you are eligible for a certificate, we will email you and direct you to Your Account to pay the annual practice fee.

Alternatively, the evaluation may determine that you are ineligible for certification. This means that you currently do not qualify for an Independent School Teaching Certificate. Our evaluation letter will tell you the specific requirements you must meet to qualify for a certificate. If you are found to be ineligible for certification, you have the right to request a reconsideration. Under Section 32 of the Teachers Act, you have the ability to request that the Director of Certification reconsider the decision to deny certification or to issue a certificate other than the type for which you applied. If after reconsideration you are still dissatisfied, you may appeal the reconsideration to the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation. The reconsideration and appeal process and fees will be explained in your evaluation result letter(s).

How to find out the status of your application

Once your file has been evaluated, we will send you an email with further information. We cannot tell you what documents are missing from your application until you receive this email. 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.
  • Contact the institutions and individuals that need to send documents directly to us as soon as possible. This is the most time-consuming part of the application process.
  • 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.
  • Ensure that your transcripts are up to date and show that credit has been granted for all completed coursework
  • 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, your certificate will be cancelled for non-payment of fees 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.

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