Recruitment / Teacher certification

Applying for a letter of permission

Last updated: November 30, 2018

image of letters in a mailbox

Applying for a letter of permission

For difficult-to-fill positions, it’s sometimes challenging to find qualified candidates who are eligible for or already hold a BC teaching certificate. What happens if you’ve found an individual with the right subject-matter knowledge and teaching experience, but they are not eligible for a BC teaching certificate? You might be able to hire them under a letter of permission.

What is a letter of permission?

A letter of permission allows educators who do not hold a teaching certificate to teach in BC’s schools for up to one school year if the school district is unable to find a qualified and certified educator for the position. The person holding the letter of permission is restricted to teaching the specific subject areas and grade levels indicated in the letter of permission.

Your candidate will need to apply for a letter of permission from the Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch. The application process also requires that the school district provide evidence that it advertised for the position and was unable to find a qualified and certified teacher for the job.

Letters of permission expire after one school year. You will need to advertise the position again, and if you can’t find a qualified individual, you’ll need to go through the process the next year.

Remember, uncertified teachers are only permitted to be employed for up to 20 consecutive days teaching. If you know you’ll need a letter of permission and you meet the requirements, get the application started as soon as you are able to.

What’s required to obtain a letter of permission

Both the candidate and the district need to apply for a letter of permission. As an employer, you must initiate the application and the candidate must be recommended by your Superintendent of Schools for a specific position in the district.

The candidate will need to complete an application form, provide transcripts, give consent to a criminal record check and submit a fee to the Teacher Regulation Branch.

As an employer, you must submit the Application for Letter of Permission Employer Form directly to the Teacher Regulation Branch. This form must:

  • be completed by the Superintendent of Schools,
  • affirm that the position was extensively advertised, that you were unable to recruit a certificate holder for the position and that you will provide supervision and support to the candidate,
  • include copies of all internal and public job postings for the position to demonstrate that there has been an extensive search for qualified and certified individuals (postings must be advertised for a minimum of two weeks),
  • state how many people replied to each job posting,
  • affirm that no qualified certified candidate could be found to fill the position, and
  • if a certified teacher had applied for the position and was not hired, provide a detailed rationale to explaining why that person was not hired.

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