Upgrade Your Teaching Certificate

Depending on the type of certificate you have, you may be able to complete coursework or work experience to upgrade. 


If your certificate expires, you are no longer authorized to teach in B.C. and you will not be able to upgrade or request an extension – you will need to apply for certification.


Upgrade an Interim, Conditional or Trades Teaching Certificate

Upgrade to a professional teaching certificate by completing the coursework outlined in your evaluation letter. Your courses must be completed before your certificate expires.

Get pre-approval for your courses before you register or pay tuition.


Some of your coursework can be excused if you have taught successfully in an acceptable B.C. school for at least 1.5 years full-time (or equivalent part-time). Teacher-on-call or substitute teaching experience is not included.

Requirements

  • Conditional certificate: Up to six credits of education coursework can be excused
  • Interim certificate: Up to 12 credits of academic coursework and 6 credits of education coursework can be excused
  • English and French literature and composition coursework cannot be excused

To request to have your coursework excused, send a written request to the Ministry of Education along with:

Proof of teaching experience. Provide an outline of your full- and part-time teaching experience – be sure not to include teacher-on-call or substitute teaching experience.

An evaluation report from your superintendent, principal or vice principal. This comprehensive report should describe your overall competency as an teacher and include:

  • Topics such as planning, organization, lesson delivery, classroom management, assessment, interaction with parents, etc.
  • Details about your competency in specific areas that relate to courses you would like excused (e.g. if you would like to excuse a special needs course, the report should describe your ability to plan Individualized Education Programs and integrate special needs students into your class)

Send a written request to the Ministry of Education at trb.certification@gov.bc.ca to request your Professional Certificate of Qualification. Include a list of the courses you have completed.

Have the post-secondary institution where you completed your courses mail an official copy of your transcript to the Ministry of Education.

 

Upgrade a Standard Certificate of Qualification

You may qualify for this upgrade if you have completed four years of university study (120 credits) as part of a recognized education program and have received a degree.

Send a written request to the Ministry of Education at trb.certification@gov.bc.ca to request your Professional Certificate of Qualification. Include the name the program and institution where you studied, the type of degree you have and a list of the courses you have completed.

Have the post-secondary institution where you completed your courses mail an official copy of your transcript to the Ministry of Education.

 

Upgrade a Conditional Certificate of Qualification under Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)

Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), you may be able to upgrade to a professional certificate using a teaching certificate from another Canadian province or territory.

Your certificate must be current, unrestricted, and valid for teaching in the public school system. Suspended, cancelled, expired, restricted or invalid certificates are not acceptable.

Send a written request to the Ministry of Education at trb.certification@gov.bc.ca to request your Professional Certificate of Qualification. Every request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis so be sure to describe your personal situation.

If you are certified in several jurisdictions, you will need a statement of standing from at least one province or territory where you hold a valid teaching certificate.

Ask the education authority where you were certified to mail a statement of professional standing to the Ministry of Education (Note: This step is not needed if your certificate was issued by the Ontario College of Teachers).

 

Upgrade an Interim Independent School Teaching Certificate

To upgrade an interim independent school teaching certificate to a non-expiring one, you need to complete 1.5 years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) teaching experience in an acceptable B.C. independent school while holding a valid interim independent school teaching certificate. Teacher-on-call or substitute teaching experience is not accepted.

Provide an outline of your full- and part-time teaching experience – be sure not to include teacher-on-call or substitute teaching experience.

Send a written request to the Ministry of Education at trb.certification@gov.bc.ca to request your non-expiring certificate.

Describe your personal situation and provide proof of your full- and part-time teaching experience. Be sure not to include teacher-on-call or substitute teaching experience. Name the acceptable B.C. schools where you have taught.

Include with your written request an evaluation report from your superintendent, principal or vice principal. This comprehensive report should describe your overall competency as an teacher and include topics such as planning, organization, lesson delivery, classroom management, assessment, interaction with parents, etc.

 

Request an Extension While Upgrading

Usually, certificates are not extended when required courses are not completed. The following are some situations when it's possible to request an extension:

Interim standard or professional certificate: A one-time extension of four years can be requested if you have completed at least half of your required courses by your certificate's expiry date.

Developmental standard term certificate: A one-time extension of four years can be requested if you have made sufficient progress in completing your coursework requirements.

Interim or conditional certificate: A one-year extension can be requested if you have been unable to complete your courses because of circumstances out of your control (e.g. serious illness).

Interim independent school teaching certificate: A four-year extension can be requested if you have not completed the equivalent of 1.5 years full-time teaching.

Send a written request to the Ministry of Education at trb.certification@gov.bc.ca to request a certificate extension. Send your request up to six months before your certificate expires.

Every request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis so be sure to describe your personal situation and include:

  • A list of the courses you have completed and a plan for how/when you will complete the rest of the required coursework

OR

  •  The amount of teaching experience you have (independent school teaching certificate holders

Include the fee with your written request. You can:

  • Send a cheque, money order or bank draft to Ministry of Education – make it payable to the Minister of Finance

OR

Provide any supporting documents that would be relevant to your request, for example:

  • Have the post-secondary institution where you completed your courses mail an official copy of your transcript to the Ministry of Education
  • Ask for a letter from a doctor or another professional that describes an illness or other extenuating circumstance

You may be asked to provide more supporting documents once the Ministry of Education reviews your request.