How Teachers are Certified
Teacher certification in Ontario is regulated by the Ontario College of Teachers.
Initial Teacher Education
Teachers who wish to teach in Ontario's publicly funded elementary or secondary schools must complete a teacher education program within or outside Ontario.
Once they have successfully completed a teacher education program, teachers apply to the College for certificate, which is their licence to teach in Ontario.
Types of Teaching Certificates
Certificate of Qualification and Registration
The Certificate of Qualification and Registration provides proof of your registration with the College and is your annual licence to teach in Ontario. The College updates and mails it to you each year after receiving your membership fee.
This certificate, which outlines your teaching qualifications, is separated into four sections:
- Program of Teacher Education
- Basic Qualifications
- Additional Qualifications
Basic Qualifications (BQ) identify the school system divisions for which you have successfully completed studies in teaching methodology: Primary (Grades K-3), Junior (Grades 4-6), Intermediate (Grades 7-10) and Senior (Grades 11-12) or Technological Education (Grades 9-10 and Grades 11-12).
Every Ontario teacher must be qualified in at least two consecutive divisions, for example, Primary/Junior.
Junior/Intermediate teachers must also be qualified in at least one teaching subject from the list of academic subjects; teachers in the Intermediate/Senior division must be qualified in two teaching subjects.
Additional Qualifications (AQ) identify courses in education methodology or administration completed after pre-service training.
If you complete an Additional Qualification course during the year, it will be listed on the Certificate of Qualification and Registration you receive the following year.
Transitional Certificate of Qualification and Registration
A Transitional Certificate of Qualification and Registration is for College members who are still completing their professional education.
You are enrolled in a College-accredited, multi-session program or an equivalent in another Canadian province or territory. For example, you have completed only the first session of your multi-session teacher education program.
This certificate is valid for six years. If your professional education program is not completed within six years, you may request a one-year extension.
Your certificate will expire if your program of professional education is not completed in that time. Those with expired certificates must complete their teacher education program before reapplying to the College.
The transitional certificate is provided to an applicant who has successfully completed the first session of an accredited multi-session program of professional education and completes all other applicable certification requirements.
Your transitional certificate is converted to a Certificate of Qualification and Registration when your teacher education program is completed.
Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration
A Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration is for College members who are still completing their professional education. It will be valid during 2021 only. To convert to a General Certificate of Qualification and Registration, holders must:
- Complete their practicum and teacher education program requirements before January 1, 2022
- Fulfill any conditions on the certificate.
This certificate is a limited, one-time, emergency measure designed to address severe teacher shortages in Ontario’s public school system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adding Additional Qualifications
When you complete an Additional Qualification course, the faculty of education or other provider automatically sends electronic confirmation to the College that you have successfully completed the course. If you included your email address when you opened a personal account in the Members’ Area of the College website, we will notify you when the AQ is added to your record.
Your Additional Qualifications appear on your record on Find a Teacher and on your printable teaching certificate in the Members’ Area of the College website.
The Additional Qualification appears on your Certificate of Qualification and Registration the following year. If you prefer, you may request an updated certificate immediately. The fee for this service is $24. It takes about two weeks.