Canada is a multicultural society having English and French as the official languages. Fluency and competency in English or French are required for working in public institutions such as schools.
Burrard Street Bridge at dusk. Photo by Gord McKenna
New Canadians who have had formal university and professional qualifications and were licenced to teach in their countries of origin are encouraged to obtain certification to teach in British Columbia.
The information provided here is general. You are strongly advised to obtain more specific information from the university you plan to attend and the Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB), after reading the following explanation of how to become a certified teacher.
Teachers in our public school system must have both general and specific academic studies and teacher education before they are hired to teach. These two components of their formal education take place at university, after at least 12 years of schooling. Generally, teachers have four to six years of university preparation.
Teachers can be educated within British Columbia, in another province, or outside of Canada. The Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) has the legislative responsibility to evaluate the credentials of all qualified teachers before certifying them to teach in BC. The TRB is equipped to evaluate all local, national and international degrees and teacher's certificates.
1. Applicants with Certification in Countries-of-Origin
Qualifications obtained in any country, from an accredited post–secondary institution, such as a college or university, after a minimum of 12–years of elementary and secondary schooling, are eligible to apply for evaluation by the Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB).
Generally, your academic studies and teacher education are compared to the standard requirements set out in their bylaws.
The results of the TRB evaluation may be one of the following:
This means that qualifications and experience match the requirements set out in their bylaws. An interim certificate permits you to teach in the province for a set number of years; in the first instance, before you are able to apply for a permanent certificate.
Additional coursework may be required of those whose qualifications and experience do not match in all respects. This requirement is referred to as upgrading. For example, specific academic and or professional coursework may be required in order to bring the qualifications on par with the requirements as set out in the College of Teachers bylaws.
Datedness is another consideration. Further details of this may be obtained from the College; but generally, an absence of ten or more years of formal public school teaching will require updating of curriculum and instruction courses and a practicum.
If your certificate has expired, or you have not taught in 20-years, you will be required to complete the full Teacher Education Program.
2. Applicants with Degrees But No Teacher Education Program
If you have had 12 years of elementary and secondary schooling, and a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree, and you are interested in a teaching career, then review the admission requirements to our post-baccalaureate Bachelor of Education. Your research is a joint effort between you and the Faculty's admissions officers.
There are three steps to follow:
Begin with a self-assessment of your academic credentials. Self-assessment worksheets are provided under Academic Requirements.
Review the Admission Requirements for the Bachelor of Education option of interest.
Arrange to drop off the following original documents, along with your completed self-assessment form for the option of your choice.
These documents will be verified, photocopied and returned to you as soon as possible:
There are various fees charged during the process of certification:
evaluation fees, translation fees and certification fees. Please inquire.
The admissions officer will evaluate all your post-secondary transcripts and advise you on academic requirements. You will be informed of the assessment in writing. This service is free of charge. The results will vary; but you might be expected to take courses to fulfill any academic deficiencies or to upgrade marks.
When you have met all the admission requirements for the Teacher Education program of your choice, you are ready to apply. It is useful to browse through the UBC calendar to familiarize yourself with The University of British Columbia's range of programs, faculties, schools, fees etc.
You may consult an admissions officer after you have done your self-assessment and received the faculty's assessment in writing. Please call 604.822.5242 to request individual advising.
3. Applicants with High School Graduation
If you have completed 12-years of elementary and secondary schooling and wish to become a teacher, then you may begin a bachelors degree at a community college or at one of the universities. It is useful to research the advantages and disadvantages of attending a college versus a university.
Generally, you may complete 60-credits of university transfer credits at a community college before transferring to a university to complete senior-level coursework. You must arrange to see an advisor in the community college, well in advance of the time you intend to enroll.
Salary Category Information:
Teacher Qualification Service
#106–1525 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1T5
Supply and Demand Information:
BC Teachers' Federation
#100–550 West 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2
Professional Development Fax: 604.871.2291
Executive Offices Fax: 604.871.2290