Independent School Teaching Certificate requirements to apply

Last updated: June 18, 2021

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Post-secondary studies for each ISTC category


System Restricted Certificate to Montessori or Waldorf (SYR)

  • 120 or more semester hour credits of relevant post-secondary education from a recognized institution
  • A teaching credential from a recognized institution that provides teacher training solely within the Montessori or Waldorf philosophical, educational or pedagogical perspective

Only teacher education programs that contain significant on-campus education and a practicum that is supervised and evaluated will be recognized. Programs completed entirely by distance/online education are unlikely to be recognized. Programs completed internationally will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Montessori education programs must be accredited through:

  • Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
  • American Montessori Society (AMS)
  • Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)

Waldorf education programs must be completed in North America accredited through:

  • Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America (WECAN)
  • Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
  • Any of the following certificates demonstrating successful completion of a competitive examination, which qualify the holder to teach in the French public school system: CRPE, CAPE, CAPES, CAPET, CAFEP, CAPLP, CAPEPS, or the Agrégation
  • 120 or more semester hour credits of relevant post-secondary education
  • A degree and 120 or more semester hour credits of relevant post-secondary education from a recognized institution
  • 18 credits of upper level (third and fourth year) academic course work or 30 credits of any level academic course work in at least one valid teachable area with the applicable subject category. Certificates can be issued to an applicant under multiple subject categories if the applicant demonstrates academic qualifications under each category
  • For the subject category of additional languages, in the absence of 30 credits (18 upper level credits) of course work in a teaching area, applicants who have a first language other than English will be given 30 credits of academic course work in that language if they have both of the following:
    • High school completion and a post-secondary degree in a country where that language is the primary language of instruction
    • Six credits of literature and composition at the post-secondary level in the language to be taught

A letter from the institution may be required confirming the language of instruction for the program attended.

Note: The Director of Certification may add a teachable area or academic qualification to one of the established subject categories. Only the ISTCSC may add additional Subject Categories to the list.

  • An SSR-1 designation requires post-secondary training in a teachable subject area, and is typically limited to grades K-9
  • An SSR-2 designation requires post-secondary training and credential completion (certificate, diploma, etc.) and is typically needed for instruction of electives at the Graduation Program level


 Proficiency in English or French

You must be able to read, write and speak at an advanced level in English or French.

Proof of language proficiency may be required if your first language is not English or French. You will be notified by the Ministry if language proficiency is required


Use one of the following tests:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) – use the TOEFL Institution Code 8693
  • International English Language Testing System Academic (IELTS Academic)

System Restricted and Subject Restricted Independent School Teaching Certificates

  • TOEFL iBT: a total score of 98 with a minimum of 23 on reading, 23 on listening, 27 on speaking and 25 on writing
  • IELTS Academic: overall band score of 6.5 with no band below 6 and with a minimum of 7 on the speaking and writing bands

School and Subject Restricted Independent School Teaching Certificate

  • TOEFL iBT: a total score of 85 with a minimum of 20 on reading, 20 on listening, 25 on speaking and 20 on writing
  • IELTS Academic: overall band and speaking score of 6 with no band below 5

Use the following test:

  • A minimum score of B1 on the Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) 


The Ministry of Education and Child Care will consider scores in each band over the past three tests from the same testing instrument to meet the language proficiency requirement. 

Fitness to teach

You must be a person of a good and moral character and fit and proper to teach. This is determined based on the following documents you submit when you apply for a certificate:

  • Application form (personal information questions)
  • Confidential character references (if requested)
  • Assessment forms and teacher evaluation reports (if requested)
  • Criminal record check results
  • Academic records
  • Statements of standing (if you are certified in another jurisdiction or have taught in a jurisdiction without holding certification in that jurisdiction)

Certification standards

The Independent School Teaching Certificate Standards Committee for the regulation and certification of educators in B.C. independent schools.

Apply for certification

Start your career as a certified independent school teacher in British Columbia.