The demand for teachers on call has never been higher, and it’s a great way to supplement your retirement income. But keeping up your certification is important. PostScript asked the Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) to answer some common questions.
Who is required to have a teaching certificate issued by the TRB?
Anyone who teaches in BC’s K-12 education system must have and maintain a teaching certificate from the Ministry of Education issued by the TRB. This include the public, independent and offshore school systems where the BC curriculum is taught. A teaching certificate is required not only for classroom teachers but also for school administrators (such as superintendents, principals and vice principals). It is suggested that those planning to teach in the system also have and maintain a teaching certificate.
How do I maintain my teaching certificate?
Under the Teachers Act, you are required to pay an annual practice fee of $80 to maintain your teaching certificate. Ensure your payment is made through the TRB by May 31 each year to avoid a late fee. If your annual practice fee and late fee are not received by June 30, your certificate will be suspended, and an additional late fee will be applied. If your fee and late fees are not received by October 31, your certificate will be cancelled. Note that if you are employed by a public school board or an independent school authority, the annual practice fee will be deducted from your pay cheque and remitted by your employer on your behalf.
Under the Criminal Records Review Act, you must also authorize a criminal record check every five years to maintain your certificate. The TRB facilitates the requirement by collecting your authorization for a check and submitting it to the Criminal Records Review Program of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General who will perform the check.
I didn’t maintain my teaching certificate. How do I re-certify?
If you relinquished your certificate or your certificate was cancelled or has expired, you will need to apply for a new certificate. To qualify for a new certificate, you must meet the certification requirements in place at the time you apply. However, because you previously held a certificate, you may not be required to re-submit all of the required documents. The TRB will bring forward as many records as possible from your previous certification file.
How will I know when to pay my annual practice fee or authorize a criminal record check?
Keep your contact information (telephone number, email address and mailing address) updated with the TRB so that you will receive important notices about these requirements in a timely manner. In addition, at any time, you can log into Your Account online to change your contact information and to view up to date information regarding your payment and criminal record check status and history.
What if I have more questions about these requirements?
You can find additional information regarding the certification requirements and the application process online under the Certificate Services tab at https://www.bcteacherregulation.ca.
Alternatively, you can phone the TRB and speak to a Certification Representative at (604) 660‑6060.
Shawn McMullin is Director of Professional Excellence and Outreach, Teacher Regulation Branch, BC Ministry of Education