Application Documents

Once you have submitted your application through the Applicants' Area, there are various supporting documents that will need to be submitted to support your application. This page describes the documents that we require and tells you how to complete and submit them.

You will notice that some of the documents need to be notarized. A notarized copy is a photocopy of a document on which a notary public or lawyer states in writing that it is "a true copy of the original" and signs the copy. Anyone who holds current, valid certification with the BC Ministry of Education can also notarize your documents. On the photocopy, he or she must include his or her full name, certificate number and signature.

Application for Teacher's Certificate of Qualification (COQ)

You must complete all sections of the COQ application form, available in the Applicants' Area. Please pay particular attention to the Academic Qualifications section by making sure you list all of your post-secondary institutions and awards. We will only accept the application if you answer all of the Personal Information questions and if you name and date the Declaration of Professional Commitment.

Consent to a Criminal Record Check

Consent to a Criminal Record Check is included in the application form and submitted to us with your application. We will forward your information to the Criminal Records Review Program of the Ministry of Justice and, in turn, they will return the results directly to us. Once you become certified, you will need to undergo a criminal record check every five years.

Having a criminal record does not automatically make you ineligible for a certificate. However, you may be ineligible for a certificate if you make false statements or if you do not tell us about a criminal record. If necessary, we may ask you to complete an additional criminal record check so we can review all the details related to your offence.

Criminal record check results are confidential. We cannot accept previous criminal record checks you have completed, and we cannot provide you with a copy of the results of this criminal record check.

Statement(s) of Professional Standing

A Statement of Professional Standing is a document that states you are a teacher in good standing and that your teaching certificate has never been revoked, cancelled or suspended for any disciplinary reasons. This document usually comes from the government authority that certifies teachers in a specific jurisdiction. All Statements of Professional Standing must be sent directly* to us. We must receive Statement(s) of Professional Standing from:

  • The education authority in the province where you completed your teacher education program.
    This is necessary whether or not you have taught in that province as it confirms that the program you completed qualified you to teach in the public school system.
  • The education authorities in all jurisdictions where you have held or currently hold a teaching certificate.
    This is necessary even if you have never used your certificate to teach in that jurisdiction and even if the certificate has expired.
  • The education authorities in all jurisdictions where you have taught.
    You must also request a Statement of Professional Standing from all jurisdictions where you have taught. This includes jurisdictions where you taught without registering with the government education authority. In this case, you need to ask the employing school(s) or school district(s) to write a letter of standing for you. The letter needs to state the basis upon which you were hired (i.e. your degree or your certification elsewhere). It must also state that you maintained good standing throughout your employment.

* If you hold a teaching certificate from Ontario (Canada), we will obtain the information we require regarding your certificate directly from the website of the Ontario College of Teachers.

Verification of Employment

We require verification of your teaching experience for each year of the last 10 years. If you have not taught within the last 10 years, please provide verification of your teaching experience for the last 20 years.

You can provide us with verification of your experience in one of the following ways:

  • Download the Verification of Employment form from our website, complete the "information for certified teacher" section and ask your employer(s) to complete the rest of the form
  • Ask your employer(s) to send us a letter that clearly states the period(s) of your employment and the position(s) you held.
  • Provide us with letters that you already have. They need to confirm when you were employed and what you were teaching.

The verification must indicate whether you worked full-time, part-time, and/or as a teacher-on-call. If you have taught part-time and/or as a teacher-on-call, we need the percentage of full-time or number of days you taught each year.

If you only have student teaching experience, you do not need to submit a verification of employment document unless we specifically request it.

If you have not held a teaching position within the last five years, please provide a brief description of your work history since you last taught.

We can accept these documents by mail or fax or email (trb.certification@gov.bc.ca).

Assessment Form

Please ask the principal, vice-principal or supervisor of your most recent teaching experience to complete the Assessment Form. It may be easiest for your supervisor to print the form directly from the forms and publications section of our website. He or she can then complete the form and mail or fax it to us or scan and email it to trb.certification@gov.bc.ca. A faxed or emailed Assessment Form must include the school stamp or seal on the last page.

If you only have student teaching experience, please send us a copy of all your final practicum reports (from the faculty and school associates) instead of the Assessment Form. If you have not taught in the last 10 years, please send us a copy of your last teaching report.

If you are unable to provide an Assessment Form, please send us a written explanation and we will tell you of an acceptable alternative.

Official transcripts of all other post-secondary studies

We must receive official transcripts from all of the post-secondary institutions that you have attended. You need to ask each of the other post-secondary institutions, including trades training institutions, that you have attended to mail your official transcripts directly to us. We do not accept transcripts by fax or email. We do not accept transcripts submitted by applicants even if they are in sealed envelopes or notarized. This includes transcripts for:

  • all coursework for your degree(s) including courses transferred from any exchange programs.
  • all transferred courses, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs
  • courses that were required for admission to your teacher education program
  • Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP)
  • all trades training institutions that you have attended (BCIT, VCC, TRU)

Transcripts should list each course you took at that institution, along with:

  • the dates of enrolment
  • the grades you received
  • the credit granted (or number of lecture hours completed) for each course.

If the official transcripts do not include all of this information, we may ask you to have the post-secondary institution send us an outline or syllabus of the academic program you completed, including lecture hours and courses completed.

We cannot evaluate your credentials if you have not yet completed your teacher education program. Please continue with the application process, but do not arrange to send us official transcripts until:

  • you have completed your program and your transcript shows the award of the degree, diploma or certificate, and
  • you have qualified for certification in the province where you are completing your program.

If transcripts arrive in languages other than English or French, we will send a copy to you for translation. All translations must be made according to our Translation Policy.

Degree verification

Some transcripts from post-secondary institutions outside of Canada do not indicate the awarding of a degree or qualification. If this is the case with any of your transcripts, you must send us a notarized copy of your degree or diploma. You can also ask the post-secondary institution to send us a letter stating the qualification they have awarded you.

Secondary school graduation diploma

If you completed your secondary schooling outside of North America, you need to submit a notarized copy of your final secondary school diploma or certificate. If your diploma or certificate is not available, we will accept a letter from the secondary school you attended stating that you completed your studies. O-level and A-level certificates will meet this requirement. If you completed your secondary schooling within North America, you do not need to provide us with a notarized copy of your diploma or certificate.

Confidential Character Reference for Authorization to Teach in British Columbia forms

Your application must include two character reference forms. You will need to complete and submit page 1 of the form. You will also need to ask two people acting as your references (your referees) who have known you for at least two years to complete page 2 and submit the forms directly to us. Your referees do not need to have observed you in any teaching capacity. However, we will not accept forms completed by referees that are too closely related to you, such as relatives, partners, spouses or equivalents. We do not accept letters of recommendation as a substitute for the character reference form.

Identification documents

We require legal identification for all names appearing on the documents you submit as part of your application. We will only use your legal name on your certificate. We will not issue you a certificate that includes names for which official documentation does not exist. We require one of the following as a primary identification document:

Birth certificate: We require a notarized copy of your birth certificate. If you were born in Canada and you do not have a birth certificate, you must obtain a replacement from the Vital Statistics department in the province where you were born. Send us a notarized copy of the replacement certificate.

Statutory declaration: If you were born outside of Canada and you do not have a birth certificate, you must have a notary public or lawyer prepare a statutory declaration in which you swear to the following:

  • your date of birth
  • your full name at birth
  • your birthplace
  • that you do not have a birth certificate.

You must attach a notarized copy of your passport, permanent residents card, or a Canadian citizenship card to the statutory declaration.

We also require the following, if they apply to you:

  • Marriage certificate: If you changed your surname as a result of marriage, you must include a notarized copy of your marriage certificate.

  • Divorce certificate: If you are divorced and cannot provide a marriage certificate as proof of a current or previous surname, you must send us a notarized copy of the divorce certificate.

  • Change of name certificate: If you changed your name for reasons other than marriage or divorce, you must send us a notarized copy of an official change of name certificate, permanent residents or Canadian citizenship card.

Language proficiency results

Teachers in BC must be able to communicate clearly and proficiently in English and/or French. If you have completed any part of your post-secondary education in a country where the only official language is not English or French, we require results from an acceptable language proficiency test.

Official results of this test must be sent directly to us from the testing agency. Please have the results sent to us as soon as they are available, whether or not you passed the test. Without this item, we cannot proceed with our evaluation or inform you of any other requirements you may need to complete before qualifying for certification.

Additional Documents for Trades Teachers

If you have a recognized trade qualification, 5 or more years of journeyperson, and/or trades teaching experience in the last 10 years, and you completed a teacher education program with a trade as your teachable subject, you may be eligible for the Trades Certificate. You will be required to submit the following documents:

Verification of Journeyperson Experience
We require verification of your journeyperson and/or trades teaching experience since obtaining your trades qualification (Red Seal, Certificate of Qualification, Journeyman Certificate, etc.). Submit a copy of a signed letter on company letterhead indicating:

  • Your years of employment as a journeyperson/trades teacher and whether you were full-time or part-time. If you have taught part-time, we need the percentage of full-time or number of days you were employed each year.
  • The nature of your employment, such as trades teacher, journeyperson, etc.

Trades Qualification Verification
You must send a notarized copy of your trades qualification (Red Seal, Certificate of Qualification, Journeyman Certificate, etc.). You can also ask the awarding institution (BCITA, Ontario College of Trades, etc.) to send us a letter stating the qualification and the date they awarded it to you.

Application fee

You must include a non-refundable application fee with your application. We will not evaluate your application or assign you a file number until you have paid the application fee.

Download the applications and forms for certification: