Overview

To teach in Alberta, you are required to hold a valid Alberta teaching certificate. To become a certificated teacher in Alberta you need to meet all educational and professional requirements and then apply for an Interim Professional Certification (IPC). The IPC allows you to teach anywhere within the K-12 system and is valid for 3 years. During that time, your school authority may recommend you for a Permanent Professional Certification (PPC).

A PPC does not expire, even if you leave the profession. Once you meet the requirements, your school authority is required under the Certification of Teachers Regulation to make a recommendation on issuing a permanent certificate.

All information on your application becomes part of your permanent record with Alberta Education. For security purposes, you will not be able to return to the application form once it is submitted. If you find an error or omission in your application after it is submitted, please email the teacher certification team immediately at teacher.certification@gov.ab.ca. You will be contacted with further instructions if necessary.

Fees

Fees must be paid at the time you submit your application. Application fees depend on where you completed your teacher education program:

  • Alberta: $200.00
  • United States and Canada: $225.00
  • Other Countries: $250.00

Fees can be paid online through the Teacher Workforce Information System (TWINS) using VISA, MasterCard, or American Express, or by mail.

To pay by mail, send a Canadian cheque or money order payable to “Government of Alberta” with your certificate or reference number to the Office of the Registrar:

The Registrar at Alberta Education
2nd floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6

Cash, international cheques, and international money orders are not accepted.

Temporary teaching authority

Graduates from an Alberta Bachelor of Education program with an employment offer are eligible for a 90-day temporary teaching authority.

  1. Submit your Interim Professional Certificate (IPC) application, including all required documentation, and submit your fee at least 8 weeks before the end of your degree program.
  2. In approximately 20 business days you will get a pre-certification letter.
  3. Request an offer letter from your employer.
  4. Take the pre-certification letter and the offer letter from your employer to the Dean of your Education faculty and request a letter stating you have successfully completed your program.

With these 3 letters, you are authorized to teach for 90 days.

When the Dean’s list arrives at Alberta Education’s Teacher Certification Branch, an IPC will be issued and mailed to you.

Apply for initial certification

Step 1: Check your credentials

As part of your Interim Professional Certification (IPC) application, Alberta Education will assess your credentials. It is important to note that Alberta Education is the only body that can assess credentials for teaching authority in Alberta.

All teachers in Alberta require a recognized university degree that includes, or is supplemented by, a pre-service teacher preparation program from an approved institution. The teacher preparation program must include:

  • 48 semester hour credits of coursework in professional teacher education
  • 10 weeks of supervised student teaching (practicum) at the elementary or secondary level

Elementary

Elementary teachers must complete a minimum of 24 semester hour credits that include:

  • 3 semester hour credits in Canadian Studies
  • 3 semester hour credits in Mathematics
  • 3 semester hour credits in Science
  • 6 semester hour credits in Literature and Composition (English or French)

Secondary

Secondary teachers must complete:

  • 24 semester hour credits in a teachable subject area
  • 6 semester hour credits in Literature and Composition (English or French)

International applicants

If you received your degree outside of Canada or the United States, it must meet the above criteria and will be assessed on a course-by-course basis. If your program is not acceptable to the Minister of Education, you may need to take additional courses before qualifying for an IPC.

When your assessment is complete, you will receive a letter with your credential assessment result. This result is valid for 5 years after the date indicated on the letter.

Programs not recognized

Vocational or employment-based teacher training programs are not recognized. These include, but are not limited to:

  • School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
  • School Direct, or Graduate Teacher Programs (GTP)
  • Teach America
  • Teach-NOW
  • Teacher Ready

Other programs that may not be recognized include:

  • denominational or doctrinal courses
  • audit courses
  • self-directed teacher education programs
  • distance delivered education programs
  • alternative certification programs

Step 2: Create a Teacher Workforce Information System (TWINS) account

You must complete an online application through the Teacher Workforce Information System (TWINS).

  1. Click “Sign up for an Alberta Education Account”. The Alberta Education Account “Sign In” page will display.
  2. Sign up for an Alberta Education account using your personal email account. An email will be sent to the email address you used to create the account to confirm your enrolment.
  3. Go to the TWINS Teacher Self-Service website and click the “Apply for Alberta Teacher Certification” button from the left-hand menu.

Step 3: Complete the application through TWINS

  1. Complete all sections of the application.
  2. Review your application carefully and “Submit Application” on the last page.
  3. Once completed, you will be automatically directed to the “Application Submission Success” screen. Do not navigate away from the page until the PDF copy of your application is displayed.
  4. Print the PDF copy for your records. Do not mail a copy of your application unless requested.
  5. Submit all supporting documents and fees.
  6. Track the status of your application online.

Alberta Education will accept consent in electronic form for the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

After you apply

Applications will not be processed until all documents and fees are received. You have one year to complete your application. It may take at least 20 business days for updates to be posted to your account. Application status is not available by phone, email or walk-in.

Processing time for applications or service requests varies depending on where applicants are applying from based on the date the application was considered complete:

  • Alberta graduates: at least 14 business days
  • North American (Canada and the United States) applicants: at least 60 business days
  • Out-of-County applicants: at least 120 business days

Once complete, you can check the status of your application online through your TWINS Teacher Self-Service account. You will be notified when your file is complete and in queue for assessment.

IPC extensions or re-issuance

If your IPC has expired or will expire soon and you haven’t met the requirements for a PPC, your school authority may recommend you for an extension or re-issuance. You may be required to submit a new criminal record check.

A self-disclosure form must be completed online through TWINS. There is a $25.00 fee.

Qualifying for a Permanent Professional Certificate (PPC)

To be eligible for a PPC, you must:

  • complete 2 years of full time teaching (or equivalent) in an Alberta accredited school while holding a valid IPC
  • have 2 successful, formal evaluations based on the knowledge, skills and attributes for permanent certification outlined in the Teaching Quality Standard
  • pay the $50.00 processing fee through TWINS after your school authority has recommended you for the PPC

Supporting documents

Your application will not be processed until all supporting documents and fees are received. Please review your application’s checklist on TWINS to identify what documents are required.

Where original documents are required, photocopies are not acceptable. Original documents can be submitted in-person or by mail. Irreplaceable documents will be returned by registered mail once assessment is complete.

Any documents in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation completed by an official translator.

Document Alberta graduates North American graduates Out of country graduates How to submit Original required?
Identity documents Required Required Required Online or by mail No
Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check Required Required Required By mail Yes
Evidence of language proficiency Not required Not required Required By mail Yes
Statement of Professional Standing May be required Required Required Mailed directly from all certificating jurisdictions Yes
Official transcripts Required if attended other institutions outside of Alberta Required Required Mailed directly from all post-secondary institutions Yes
Secondary School Leaving Certificate Not required Not required Required By mail Yes
Verification of Currency of Teaching Practice Required if it has been 10 or more years since a teacher last taught Required if it has been 10 or more years since a teacher last taught Required if it has been 10 or more years since a teacher last taught By mail Yes
Evidence of all name changes Required if applicable Required if applicable Required if applicable Online or by mail No

Identity documents

Passports are not accepted as proof of identity or citizenship. Acceptable identity documents include a photocopy of:

  • Canadian Citizenship Card or Certificate (front and back)
  • valid Permanent Resident Card (front and back)
  • government issued Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad (front)
  • valid work permit that permits you to teach
  • government issued Name Change Certificate (if name has changed)
  • government issued marriage certificate (may be required)

Criminal record check

A criminal record check must be obtained through one of the agencies as deemed appropriate by the Registrar. It must:

  • be current (within the last 6 months)
  • be original
  • include a Vulnerable Sector Check
  • include all names you have used for legal purposes

If you have a record of criminal conviction, you will need to provide additional documentation, which will be determined after your file has been reviewed. After evaluating the details, the Registrar may refuse certification.

Evidence of language proficiency

You must be proficient in English or French to teach in Alberta and may be required to provide evidence of language proficiency by successfully completing an accepted test.

English

French

To prove French language proficiency, you need a recorded interview of at least 10 minutes of unrehearsed conversation between you and an appropriate interviewer. The interview should be submitted directly to the Registrar on a CD.

DVDs or memory sticks are not accepted.

The interviewer must:

  • have French as a first language
  • be certificated to teach in Alberta
  • sign a statement which includes their name, address and Alberta Teaching Certificate number confirming:
    • the voice in the recording is the voice of the applicant
    • the date and location of the recording

Interview conversation should include a variety of topics about the applicant including:

  • general interests
  • educational background
  • knowledge of teaching strategies and techniques
  • teaching experience
  • pedagogical beliefs

Statement of Standing

If you are moving to Alberta from another jurisdiction, you will need a Statement of Standing from all jurisdictions where you currently hold or have held a valid teaching certificate. This should be sent directly to the Registrar from the jurisdiction where you completed your teacher education, are currently certificated to teach, or previously held certification.

The Statement of Standing must show:

  • your certificate’s date of issue
  • whether your certificate has been suspended, cancelled or withdrawn
  • the type or level of the certificate
  • the scope of its authority

If a jurisdiction does not issue certification, a letter of reference is accepted in lieu of a Statement of Standing. Letters of reference must:

  • be on official school letterhead
  • be dated and signed by the head of the school
  • be sent directly to the Registrar at Alberta Education by the head of the school
  • detail the duration of employment as well as subjects and grades taught
  • attest that you left the school in good standing

Official transcripts

Transcripts are a detailed record of courses completed and grades received. If your education took place outside of Alberta, you must provide official transcripts from all post-secondary and transfer institutions attended. These documents must be mailed directly from the institution to the Registrar in sealed envelopes.

You may also be asked to provide additional information such as a course syllabus of program(s) of study and practicum reports detailing the hours/days/weeks of supervised student teaching.

Secondary school leaving certificate

International applicants may need to provide an original high school leaving certificate that includes a record of courses completed and grades received. You will be advised if this document is required.

Currency of teaching experience

If you completed your education program more than 10 years ago, you must provide a written verification from all employers detailing your teaching experience within the last 10 years.

The written verification must:

  • be written on official school authority letterhead
  • be dated and signed by the appropriate authority
  • contain the duration of employment (number of days)
  • detail the grade levels taught
  • explain that you were responsible for both planning and delivery as well as evaluation of an instructional program in which the curriculum reflects the educational system of Alberta

Current teaching experience within the past 10 years must include at least one of the following:

  • at least 75 days teaching experience in one academic year
  • at least 100 days teaching over 2 consecutive academic years, or
  • 10 weeks of supervised student teaching within your teacher education program

If you are not current in your teaching practice, you may need to upgrade your qualifications by completing 9 semester hour credits of education coursework and 9 weeks of supervised student teaching.

Evidence of all name changes

If you have changed your name, you must send in one of the following documents detailing all names you have used for legal purposes:

  • a photocopy of your government-issued marriage certificate(s)
  • Vital Statistics name change certificate

Contact

To connect with the Office of the Registrar:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2045
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-4199
Email: teacher.certification@gov.ab.ca

Address:
The Registrar at Alberta Education
2nd floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6