How to Apply for a BC Teaching Certificate
You will need a Certificate of Qualification (sometimes called a teaching certificate) to be eligible to work in BC’s public schools, independent schools and First Nations schools.
This certificate is issued by the BC Ministry of Education’s Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) to applicants who meet specific qualifications. Applicants are assessed on their academic record and teacher education training, relevant teaching experience, and suitability for working with children.
Different certificate types are issued to applicants based on their qualifications and teacher education training. For example, the TRB may grant you a Professional Certificate, Basic Certificate or Conditional Certificate. Under unique circumstances, educators may be granted a Letter of Permission that allows them to teach as an uncertified teacher.
Applying for a BC Certificate of Qualification is a straightforward but lengthy process. Here is a quick overview of the process on the Ministry of Education’s website.
How to apply
How you apply for a BC teaching certificate depends on whether you completed your teacher education training program in British Columbia, within Canada or internationally. Use the Teaching Certificate Application Selection Tool to help you determine what type of certificate you qualify for.
You can help ensure that your application is processed as quickly as possible by accurately and promptly submitting all supporting documents. Some of these documents, such as your official academic transcripts and character references, must be sent by third parties. It’s a good idea to contact them as early as possible in the process to ask them to submit the required documentation.
The complete list of required documents can be found on the TRB website. At the minimum, your application must include:
- A completed Certificate of Qualification (COQ) application form
- Official university transcripts from each post-secondary institution you have attended
- Recommendation and an official transcript from the post-secondary institution from which you completed your teacher education program
- Consent to a criminal record check
- Two confidential character references
- Identification documents, such as a birth certificate or other official government identification or legal document proving your identity
- Practicum reports
- Application fee
How long will it take?
The application processing time varies throughout the year depending on the volume of applications received by the TRB. When you submit your application, it is first reviewed by an evaluator to determine if your application is complete with all the necessary documents. This initial screening process can take up to 10 business days depending on volume.
Once your application has been determined to be complete, it may take up to 20 to 60 business for your application to be fully processed. Seasonal volume may affect processing times, especially when BC university students are graduating from their teacher education programs. For international candidates, delays often occur due to incomplete applications and difficulty with obtaining official documents.
Log in to the Applicants’ Area of the TRB website to check on the status of your application and see if any supporting documents are outstanding.
The TRB recommends that you start the certificate application as soon as possible. The sooner an application is submitted, the sooner it will be evaluated. Start your application on the TRB website today.