BC Certificate for Academic teachers

Teachers at Maple Leaf international high schools are required to apply for the British Columbia certificate of qualification. Holding a teaching license from a government does not automatically qualify teachers to work with us. Teachers must apply for an additional license in order to teach at Maple Leaf high schools.

Not all certified (licensed) teachers meet the requirements below as standards vary worldwide. Please review to ensure MLES can offer you a position. Most teachers holding a teaching certificate from a Canadian province or the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand meet these requirements.

Teachers from South Africa and the United States who do not have a degree in Education need to review carefully to determine if their academic work meets these requirements for September 2020 term. MLES is moving away from these requirements for 2021-22.

Maple Leaf schools which are accredited by the Ministry of Education of British Columbia require all ‘BC’ role teachers to meet the following requirements:

Review the official requirements and apply at the Teacher Certification Bureau Website

TCB Requirements with Checklist

Professional Certificate of Qualification Requirements

  1. A B.C. Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma) or one of the following is required:
  • Quebec: A DEC after two years of CEGEP, plus one year of post-secondary education
  • United Kingdom: Completion of two or more “A” levels. “A” level coursework with an A or B grade is considered equivalent to six credits of first-year university course work 
  • A combination of secondary school and post-secondary studies: For example, Grade 10 plus a four-year undergraduate degree could be considered equivalent to Grade 12 graduation and two years of post-secondary study (i.e. Philippines)
  • Pedagogical Training – in K-12 system in candidates’ country or state. Educational systems must be “similar” to BC educational system. This is the “familiarization” requirement. Applicants also need 48 credits (about 1.5 to 2 years of full-time study) from an approved teacher education program that includes classroom teaching experience. For example:
  • A degree or diploma in education
  • Teacher training courses completed as part of an academic degree
  • Human development and learning
  • Educational foundations (history, philosophy, sociology)
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Diagnosing and providing for students with special needs
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • For secondary must have secondary methods course in teachable subject
  • For elementary must have elementary methods courses
  • If applicant has only 30 credits then may get a conditional certificate but need to do 18 more credits with recommendation for assessment courses and special ed.

Post-secondary education outside of Canada: Not all teacher education programs are recognized in B.C. Some examples of programs that do not qualify a person for teaching in B.C. include:

  • Very short programs
  • On-the-job or employment-based programs
  • Programs completed entirely online or by distance education
  • Programs that do not include training or education related to teaching in the K-12 school system

Candidate can still apply for certification if you have completed a teacher education program that is not recognized in B.C. Once the application and supporting documents are assessed, a letter that explains what is needed to qualify will be issued to the candidate.

       3.   Recent Experience – within the last 10 years:  75 days in one year or 100 days over two consecutive years or 10 weeks of practice teaching

       4.   Post secondary – 120 credits – 4-year program plus degree. Teacher education portion must be completed in full time attendance with peers.

    Studies must include course work in:

 English Lit and Composition

1.         Need 3 credits of English Lit and 3 of Composition

2.         English Lit must be “standard” Lit like Shakespeare, etc.

   3.         Creative Writing does not qualify for the Composition requirement

  4.         6 credits of English Lit is OK but not 6 credits of Composition

Credits and Semester Hours

          1.         For most universities and colleges 1 Semester hour = 1 credit

          2.         1 Quarter hour = 0.666 BC credit

       5.   Secondary Teacher:  Academic course work – 24 credits in secondary teachable subject

             Art                                         General Science          PE
Biology                                  Geography                  Physics
Business Education               German                       Punjabi
Chemistry                              History                        Russian
Computer Science                 Home Economics       Social Studies
Dance                                    Italian                          Spanish
Drama                                    Japanese                      Special Education
Earth Science                        Korean                        Technology Education
English                                  Mandarin
First Nations Studies             Mathematrics
French                                    Music

       6.   Elementary Teacher – 30 credits in areas related to BC elementary curriculum – must include 3 credits of Canadian studies, 3 credits of Math and 3 credits of Science

       7.  English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement – If first language is not English.

Use one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL iBT: a 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

If the candidate has completed their elementary/secondary/post-secondary education in a English language instructional environment they can request an exemption from writing a test to demonstrate ELP.

8.  Unpaid Practicum 10 weeks = 50 days in any combination (unpaid)

9. Fitness To Teach: Candidate must be a person of a good and moral character and fit and proper to teach. This is determined based on the following documents submitted when you apply for a certificate:

  • Application form (personal information questions)
  • Confidential character references (if requested)
  • Assessment forms and teacher evaluation reports
  • Criminal record check results
  • Academic records
  • Statements of standing (if you are certified in another jurisdiction)

Independent Schools Teaching Certificate Requirements

BC ISTC-SR (Teachable Subject Category)


The certificate is initially valid for up to 60 months and can be upgraded to a non-expiring certificate if a teacher demonstrates successful teaching experience for at least 1.5 years full time (or equivalent part time). Teacher-on-call experience (substitute teaching) is not accepted.

These certificates are not issued to elementary generalists.

Subject Restricted Certificate – SR

  • 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 as follows –

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