Alberta has 2 types of certification for school leaders – leadership certification and superintendent leadership certification.
- Teachers designated in principal or acting principal roles must hold leadership certification.
- Teachers appointed as superintendent or acting superintendent of schools must hold both leadership certification and superintendent leadership certification.
The following positions do not require leadership certification:
- assistant or vice principals
- assistant or deputy superintendents
- other school jurisdiction leaders
Professional practice standards
Leadership certifications align with the Leadership Quality Standard and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard.
Principals, assistant principals and school jurisdiction leaders must meet the Leadership Quality Standard.
Superintendents of school and deputy superintendents must meet the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard.
Learn more about professional practice standards.
Permanent leadership certifications
Eligible applicants must:
- complete approved coursework
- complete an online application through the Teacher Workforce Information System (TWINS)
- declare their ability to meet the Leadership Quality Standard, Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard, or both
- hold an Alberta permanent professional teaching certificate (PPC)
Any teacher can complete the required coursework and apply for leadership certification prior to taking up a leadership role.
Approved coursework or programs
Teachers must complete approved coursework or programs specifically aligned to the Leadership Quality Standard or Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard to get leadership certification.
The following Alberta post-secondary institutions offer coursework or programs aligned to the standards.
- Ambrose University
- Concordia University
- The King’s University
- St. Mary’s University
- University of Alberta
- University of Alberta Faculté Saint-Jean
- University of Calgary Werklund School of Education
- University of Calgary Continuing Education
- University of Lethbridge
- non-credit programming
- graduate coursework or graduate certificates
- Master’s programs
Options begin at 2 courses or equivalent for leadership certification and one course for superintendent leadership certification. Coursework is provided in face to face, online and blended formats.
For more information about approved leadership coursework and approved university providers, download the University Courses and Programs Guide (PDF, 150 KB) and contact university providers directly.
Additional requirements for superintendent leadership certification
Teachers applying for superintendent leadership certification must complete superintendent leadership coursework and meet the following requirements identified in the Superintendent of Schools Regulation:
- Hold Alberta leadership certification
- Hold a Master’s degree acceptable to the Minister of Education
- Have 3 years of experience in a school system
How to apply
- Complete approved leadership coursework.
- Sign in to TWINS using your Google, Microsoft or Education account (If you don’t have a TWINS account, visit TWINS Teacher Self-Service to set one up).
- Under the Home tab – click on Request Leadership Certificate or Request Superintendent Leadership Certificate, or both.
- Complete the application by:
- verifying your contact information
- providing program details
- completing the declaration
- submitting the form
You do not need to provide a transcript to verify completion, the university will send course completion information directly to us.
Please note that you must hold an Alberta PPC in order to submit an application for leadership certification. If you hold an interim professional certificate (IPC), an application for leadership certification will only be available to you in TWINS once you obtain a PPC.
Verifying education credentials
Leadership certification applicants do not need to request official transcripts or verify Bachelor of Education degrees.
Superintendent leadership certification applicants must have verified graduate education credentials in their TWINS account.
If we do not have a record of your Master’s degree, you can submit an Education Credential Change through TWINS. To complete the request, you must either:
- ask your educational institution to send transcripts to Alberta Education, or
- contact the Teacher Qualifications Service at 1-800-232-7208 and ask them to send a certified true copy of your transcripts to Teacher Certification at Alberta Education
Transcripts must indicate that the credential has been awarded.
We encourage you to keep your education credentials up to date in your TWINS account.
After you apply
Applicants can track the status of their application online through TWINS.
We process most applications within 20 business days.
After your application is processed, we will issue a certificate by mail to the address on file in your TWINS account. Teaching certificates will be updated with the leadership certification.
You can use TWINS to see if there are any application items we have not received or processed:
- Sign in to your TWINS account.
- Click on “View Applications and Request” under the Home tab.
- Click on “View Checklist” on the right-hand side of the Leadership Certification Application.
Effective September 1, 2022, the College of Alberta School Superintendents Act makes the College of Alberta School Superintendents a legislated organization responsible for upholding the superintendent profession. This includes superintendents and chief deputy superintendents employed in public separate or francophone or regional school authorities.
- establish categories of non-regulated, or optional, membership
- allow the minister to appoint public members to the College’s board of directors
- ensure regulated members are skilled and competent in their professional practice
- set learning requirements and offer professional development to all regulated members
- oversee the professional discipline of its regulated members
- table an annual report in the legislature
- hold annual general meetings
The College is not be responsible for assuming union functions, engaging in collective bargaining on behalf of its members or assisting in negotiating employment contracts.
Temporary leadership certifications allow teachers to work in a principal or superintendent of schools position before they meet the full requirements of certification.
Temporary certification is valid from the issue date until August 31 of the third year, during which time principals and superintendents must complete any outstanding requirements for permanent leadership certification.
Temporary leadership certification
A teacher may temporarily work as a principal without holding leadership certification if the superintendent of schools, or their designate, submits a request through TWINS.
Temporary superintendent leadership certification
Government provides temporary superintendent leadership certification as part of the superintendent of schools appointment process.
Recognition under labour mobility
If you currently hold certification for principal or superintendent roles in another Canadian jurisdiction, please contact us about your eligibility for leadership certification or superintendent leadership certification under labour mobility legislation.
Connect with Teacher and Leadership Certification:
2nd Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5E6
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