Overview

To teach in Alberta, you are required to hold a valid Alberta teaching certificate. Your first step is to apply for Interim Professional Certification (IPC) so that Alberta Education can assess your educational and professional qualifications. If you meet the requirements, the IPC allows you to teach anywhere within the province's K to 12 system and is valid for 3 years. When you meet all the requirements for Permanent Professional Certification (PPC), your school authority must recommend you for a permanent certificate.

A PPC does not expire, even if you leave the profession.

Fees

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

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

Fees can be paid online through the Teacher Workforce Information System (TWINS) using VISA, VISA Debit, 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. We will process your application for a pre-certification letter in approximately 20 business days.
  3. Request an offer letter from your prospective employing school authority.
  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.

Cross-Canada Labour Mobility

Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), teachers who hold a valid teaching certificate from another Canadian jurisdiction are eligible for certification in Alberta without requiring additional training or examination, with the exception of evidence of language proficiency, which still may be required.

Individuals must still apply for Alberta teacher certification and will be eligible for either an Interim Professional Certificate or a Letter of Authority (LA) with the same scope of practice as authorized by your valid certificate from the other Canadian jurisdiction.

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 at minimum, 16 years of formal education, which includes a 4 year university degree with 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 courses within a structured teacher preparation program
  • 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

All applicants for certification must meet the above criteria and academic credentials 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 to qualify for an IPC.

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

Programs not recognized

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

  • School-centered Initial Teacher Training
  • School Direct, or Graduate Teacher Programs
  • Teach America
  • TEACH-NOW
  • Teacher Ready

Other programs and courses 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. It may take up to several minutes to generate. 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.

If you find an error or omission in your application after it is submitted, please email teacher.certification@gov.ab.ca. You will be contacted with further instructions if necessary.

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, after which time your application will be closed.

Please review your application checklist on TWINS to identify what documents are required. It may take at least 20 business days for documents to be processed and status updates to be posted to your account. Application status is not available by phone, email or walk-in - you must log into your TWINS account to check the status of your application. You will be notified in writing when your file is complete and in the queue for assessment.

Processing time for applications is 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-Country applicants: at least 120 business days

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. Among other documents, 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)

Teachers cannot apply to receive a Permanent Professional Certificate (PPC) – they must be recommended by their employing school authority. A school authority is required to recommend a teacher for a PPC if a teacher working for them has successfully met requirements in the Certification of Teachers Regulation.

To be eligible for a PPC, you must:

  • have 2 years of full time teaching (approximately 400 days equivalent) in an Alberta accredited school while holding a valid IPC
  • received 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. Original, 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 from 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 May be required if it has been 10 or more years since a teacher last taught May be required if it has been 10 or more years since a teacher last taught May be 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
  • government issued marriage certificate (marriage registration document is not acceptable)

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. If you completed your teacher education program outside of Canada, you may be required to provide evidence of language proficiency by successfully completing an accepted test. Scores older than one year are not accepted.

English

French

To prove French language proficiency, you need a recorded interview of at least 20 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

You will need to provide a Statement of Standing from every jurisdiction where you have held teacher certification, including the jurisdiction where you completed your teacher preparation program. Statements of Standing must be sent directly to the Registrar from each jurisdiction.

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.

Alberta Education requires official transcripts from all post-secondary and transfer institutions you attended. These documents must be mailed directly from the post-secondary institution to the Registrar at Alberta Education in sealed envelopes.

You may 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

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)
    • short form (which includes only name, location of marriage and date of marriage)
  • 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

We are a scent aware office. Please refrain from wearing scented products.