Certifying internationally trained teachers

Last updated: November 30, 2018

image of a graduate cap and diploma

When you’re reviewing applications for a job opening, you might find that your top choice is a teacher who completed their teacher education program outside of Canada who does not yet hold a valid teaching certificate from the Ministry of Education Teacher Regulation Branch.

All educators teaching within BC’s public education system must hold a valid teaching certificate. To get a certificate, they need to submit an application form, an application fee and a series of documents to the Teacher Regulation Branch. They may also need to apply for a work permit.

Applying for a teaching certificate as an internationally trained teacher can be a lengthy and involved process. You can make it easier for your candidate by sharing what you know about certification requirements and directing them to the BC Teacher Regulation Branch website for the detailed step-by-step instructions they’ll need. Remember – your attitude and approach to helping them meet this requirement will contribute to their impression of your district as an employer and affirm that BC is a province open to educators from around the world.

The application process

Your best bet is to direct candidates to the BC Teacher Regulation Branch’s website where they can review step-by-step instructions on how to apply and the types of documents they will need to submit. These documents vary according to the country where the candidate completed their teacher education program, but they generally include:

  • A completed application form
  • A consent to a criminal record check form
  • A statement of professional standing from the regulatory body in any jurisdiction where they worked
  • A copy of their teaching certificate
  • A copy of their secondary school graduation diploma
  • Official academic transcripts of all post-secondary studies
  • Copies of identification documents
  • An assessment form completed by a principal or supervisor from their most recent teaching experience
  • Two confidential character reference forms
  • Verification of employment
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Proof of citizenship/immigration status

If you want to hire a teacher who does not hold a teaching certificate, you may be able to obtain a letter of permission in special circumstances, but only if you can demonstrate that you completed an extensive – and ultimately unsuccessful – search for a certified candidate.

Where in the world are teachers coming from?

Approximately 15% of BC teaching certificate applications come from individuals trained outside of Canada. Here’s a list of the top four countries where our province’s internationally trained teachers came from.

  1. USA
  2. Australia
  3. UK
  4. New Zealand

If you’re planning to recruit internationally, you may want to target these countries.

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