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Career Map: Teacher

This document was updated in October 2014 in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. Requirements may have changed by the time you apply. Please contact the Ontario College of Teachers before completing your application.

Copyright in this career map is held jointly by the Queen’s Printer for Ontario and the Ontario College of Teachers, © 2014. This career map may be used or reproduced by any third party for non-commercial, not-for-profit purposes, provided that no fee, payment or royalty of any kind shall be charged by the third party for any further use or reproduction of the career map by any person. Any proposed commercial or for-profit use or reproduction of this career map requires a written licence from the Queen’s Printer for Ontario and the Ontario College of Teachers.

The Ontario College of Teachers

The Ontario College of Teachers regulates the teaching profession in Ontario and governs its members. Among other areas, the College is responsible for:

  • setting requirements for teaching certificates and maintaining a provincial register of teachers
  • setting standards for teacher education programs at Ontario universities, and monitoring the training programs to ensure they meet the standards
  • developing codes of conduct for teachers, and investigating complaints against teachers, and making decisions about teacher discipline, and fitness to practise

Ontario College of Teachers
101 Bloor Street West, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M5S 0A1
CANADA
Telephone: 416-961-8800 (In Toronto)
Toll free: 1-888-534-2222 (In Ontario)
Fax: 416-961-8822
Email: info@oct.ca
Website: www.oct.ca

If you have submitted an application to the College, you may ask to speak with someone in Client Services.

Legislation

The teaching profession and the education system in Ontario are regulated by:

  • The Education Act
  • The Ontario Schools Code of Conduct
  • The Ontario College of Teachers Act and Regulations

If you would like to know more about these pieces of legislation, visit the following two websites:

Teaching in Ontario

There are over 230,000 certified teachers in Ontario. The Ontario College of Teachers certifies approximately 11,000 teachers each year; approximately 1,000 of these are internationally educated teachers who have completed a teacher education program outside Ontario.

Being certified as a teacher by the Ontario College of Teachers opens up professional opportunities for teachers of children and adolescents, as it allows you to teach in Ontario’s public and Catholic schools. Over two million students attend Ontario’s 4,800 publicly funded schools in Ontario. About one-third of these are Catholic schools.

Background Information

There are over 230,000 certified teachers in Ontario. As a certified teacher, you will have many professional opportunities to teach children within Ontario’s public and Catholic schools. Over two million students attend Ontario’s 4,800 publicly funded schools in Ontario. About one- third of these are Catholic schools.

Teachers play an essential role in the education system of Ontario. As a teacher, your responsibilities include:

  • preparing lesson plans and teaching classes
  • encouraging students in their studies and evaluating student work and progress
  • supervising students’ behaviour and maintaining classroom discipline
  • demonstrating good citizenship and respect for all groups of people, and
  • acting as teacher-advisers for students in Grades 7 to 11; teacher-advisers help students complete their annual education plans and monitor students’ school performance and progress toward their career goals.

Enhanced Teacher Education Program

Beginning on September 1, 2015, the initial teacher education program at Ontario’s faculties of education will expand to four-semesters and include twice the amount of practice teaching time (80 days, up from 40) and greater attention to students’ mental health and well-being, how to teach with technology, and diversity among other core elements. Accordingly, certification requirements will also change on September 1, 2015 to ensure that only those applicants who meet the standards of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program become certified.

As of September 1, 2015, internationally educated teachers must have graduated from a teacher education program that is not substantially different from the Enhanced Teacher Education Program in order to be certified. An internationally educated teacher must therefore have completed at least two years of a teacher education program, completed at least 80 days of practice teaching (or have taught for one year in the jurisdiction in which they were certified) and the program must contain core program components that are present in the Enhanced Teacher Education Program. If an applicant does not meet certification requirements they may be denied or certified with conditions to make up the gap with the Enhanced Teacher Education Program.

Please contact the College for further information on how the introduction of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program will affect you.

Requirements and Fees for Qualifying as a Teacher

If you are interested in becoming certified as a teacher in Ontario by the Ontario College of Teachers, you need to determine what kind of teacher you are. The College certifies teachers based on the age of children taught and the subjects the teacher was trained to teach, either in General Education or Technological Education. When you submit your application for certification to the College, you will need to specify whether you are a teacher of General Education or Technological Education, as defined below.

The requirements to become certified as a teacher of General Education and Technological Education are different, so it is essential you follow the appropriate path toward certification.

General Education – a teacher of General Education teaches subjects in either elementary school or high school other than those considered as Technological Education. General Education subjects include math, science, English, history, etc. (see below).

Technological Education – a teacher of Technological Education teaches secondary school subjects, including construction, manufacturing, and transportation, etc. (see below).

About Teachers of General Education

Grade ranges in Ontario schools are divided into divisions:

  • Primary Division –Junior kindergarten to Grade 3 (ages 4 to 8)
  • Junior Division – Grade 4 to Grade 6
  • Intermediate Division – Grade 7 to Grade 10
  • Senior Division – Grade 11 and Grade 12

To be certified to teach General Education in Ontario, you need to be qualified in two consecutive teaching divisions. The three options you have are:

  • primary/junior, or
  • junior/intermediate, or
  • intermediate/senior

The division in which you teach is based on the evaluation of your teacher education program by the College.

Primary division teachers teach children from kindergarten to Grade 3. They teach basic learning skills, reading and writing, and basic mathematics. The early years are extremely important for a student’s development.

Junior division teachers generally teach all subjects to their students, including language skills (reading, writing, grammar), mathematics, science, geography, and history. French and music may also be taught. These are not optional courses; they are taught in the junior division.

Intermediate division teachers for Grades 7 and 8 normally teach all subjects to one class of students. Depending on the school, a teacher may teach only one subject or teach several subjects. If you are teaching in an elementary school (grade 7 and 8), you will be teaching most subjects. If you teach in a high school (Grade 9 and 10) you will be teaching two or three subjects.

Senior division teachers teach students in Grades 11 and 12 and may teach only one or two subjects, often to different groups of students. For example, an English teacher may teach two groups of Grade 11 students at different times of the day, as well as a Grade 12 English class. If a teacher has the necessary course prerequisites, he or she can take upgrading courses to be able to teach different grades and/or subjects.

Secondary-level teachers also prepare students to apply to college or university. Students who complete the Ontario secondary school diploma (OSSD) can apply to university or college or go directly into the world of work.

Below is a list of the General Education subjects that can be taught by intermediate- and senior-level teachers:

  • Anglais (English in French schools)
  • Business Studies – Accounting
  • Business Studies – Entrepreneurship
  • Business Studies – General
  • Business Studies – Information and Communication Technology
  • Classical Studies – Greek
  • Classical Studies – Latin
  • Computer Studies
  • Dance
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Science/Environmental Studies
  • Family Studies
  • Français
  • French as a Second Language
  • Geography
  • Health and Physical Education
  • History
  • International Languages
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Music – Instrumental
  • Music – Vocal
  • Native Languages
  • Native Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Religious Education
  • Science – General
  • Science – Biology
  • Science – Chemistry
  • Science – Physics
  • Social Sciences – General
  • Visual Arts

Teachers in the elementary division are required to teach all subjects. The methodology component of their teacher education program must show preparation for teaching students of this age as well as teaching a range of subjects, for example, learning skills, reading, writing, and basic mathematics.

Teachers in the junior/intermediate division must show that their teacher education program prepared them to teach one subject specialization in the intermediate division (see the list above). They must also show that their teacher education program prepared them teach students in the junior division a broad range of subjects, for example, reading, writing, grammar, math, science, geography, and history. French as a second language and music are also taught in these grades. These subjects must be taught by teachers who hold the required qualification.

Teachers in the intermediate/senior division must have expertise in two subjects from the list of subjects above. Preparation to teach one of the subjects in the intermediate or senior division may be sufficient to gain entry to the profession; however, in this case, a condition will be attached to your licence requiring you to complete coursework to obtain qualification in a second subject.

Requirements for Teachers of General Education

To become a certified teacher of General Education in Ontario, you need to fulfil the following requirements:

1. Academic Qualifications

To teach General Education, you must have successfully completed elementary and secondary education and have a post-secondary degree or its equivalent as determined by the College of Teachers. To be considered acceptable, your degree (for example, a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science) must include the equivalent of at least three years of post-secondary full-time study (90 credits or the equivalent) and must be completed an accredited post-secondary institution acceptable to the College. Your academic qualifications representing three years of post-secondary study must be in addition to the required teacher education program.

2. Teacher Education Program

To be considered acceptable, your teacher education program must equal one year of full-time post-secondary study in education in the country where it was undertaken, and must lead to certification to teach in the jurisdiction where it was undertaken. In addition, your teacher education program must meet the following criteria:

  • 40 per cent of the program must focus on teaching methods, including preparation in how to teach students in particular grades or subject areas; generally, the instruction you receive must prepare you to teach in at least one of the divisions in Ontario schools.
  • 20 per cent of the program must focus on education foundations, including the history, philosophy, and psychology of education.
  • 20 per cent of the program can focus on any other area of education.
  • The program must include a minimum of 40 days of practice teaching supervised by the program provider. If your program does not meet this practice requirement, the College will accept evidence that you have at least one year of teaching experience as a certified teacher.

Concurrent programs that combine academic and teacher education courses and that equal four years of full-time study beyond the equivalent of the Ontario secondary school diploma (Grade 12) are also considered. The term "concurrent" means that during your four-year bachelor’s degree program you are also taking teacher education courses throughout. If you completed a four-year degree that included a teacher education program, at least one-quarter of the course work must have focussed on teacher education.

The College will recognize a teacher education program that was successfully completed entirely by distance education. The teacher education program must be equivalent to a minimum of one year of study in the jurisdiction where the applicant completed the program. As of September 1, 2015, the enhancements to Ontario teacher education programs will require that the teacher education program be equivalent to a minimum of two years (or four academic semesters) of study in the jurisdiction where the applicant completed the program. The program must have included the successful completion of a face-to-face practicum or a minimum of one year of successful teaching experience in a jurisdiction(s) where an applicant was certified. As of September 1, 2015, practicum requirements will increase from a minimum of 40 days to a minimum of 80 days due to Ontario program enhancements.

Employment-based programs are not considered acceptable for the purposes of registration with the Ontario College of Teachers.

As of September 1, 2015, certification requirements will change due to the introduction of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program. Please see page 2 for further information.

3. Teacher Education Program Must Lead to Certification in the Jurisdiction Where it Was Undertaken

As noted above, you must provide evidence that you satisfied requirements for a basic teaching certificate in the jurisdiction where your teacher education was completed. You must have been certified/authorized to teach in the jurisdiction where you completed your teacher education program, even if you have never taught there. If your country does not provide teaching certificates, the College will discuss other options with you after you have completed and submitted your application for registration.

4. Proficiency in English or French

To be certified as a teacher, you must demonstrate proficiency in one of Ontario’s official languages, English or French. If you completed an acceptable teacher education program in English or French in any of the countries listed below, you meet the language proficiency requirement and do not need to provide further proof of language proficiency.

Countries whose teacher education programs satisfy the language requirements:

English French
Canada Benin
Anguilla Canada
Antigua and Barbuda Cameroon
Australia Congo – Democratic Republic
Bahamas France
Barbados French Guyana
Belize Guadeloupe
Benin Guinea
Bermuda Haiti
Botswana Ivory Coast
British Virgin Islands Luxembourg
Cayman Islands Mali
Cameroon Monaco
Dominica Seychelles
Ghana Senegal
Grenada  
Guyana  
Jamaica  
Montserrat  
Nigeria  
New Zealand  
Republic of Ireland  
Saint Kitts-Nevis  
St. Lucia  
St. Vincent  
Seychelles  
Sierra Leone  
Trinidad and Tobago  
Turks and Caicos Islands  
United Kingdom  
United States  
Uganda  
US Virgin Islands  
Zambia  
Zimbabwe  

If your teacher education program was completed in a country other than the ones listed above, you must provide proof of your proficiency in English or French in one of the following ways:

  • If your teacher education program was taught entirely in English or French, you can ask the head of the educational institution to send a letter directly to the College. The letter must indicate when you attended the program and confirm that at the time you attended the program, the language of instruction for the whole program was either English or French. In addition, the College must determine that your program is otherwise acceptable under the criteria listed above.
  • If your primary or secondary and post-secondary education were in French or English, but your teacher education program was in another language, you can arrange to have letters sent to the College from your primary or secondary school, and your post-secondary institution. The letters should confirm that the language of instruction for the entire program was either English or French.
  • You can complete a language proficiency test. The results of the test must be sent from the testing agency directly to the College. You must do the test within two years before the date the College receives your application. The Ontario College of Teachers accepts proof of proficiency from the following tests:
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) [academic test only]
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT)
    • Test pour étudiants et stagiaires au Canada (TEStCan)

You are responsible for the cost of the language proficiency test. Prices may vary. For more information on language proficiency and classes, see the Language Classes and Testing section.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) [academic test only]

You need to provide proof of achievement of an overall score of at least 7, with scores of at least 6.5 in reading and listening and scores of at least 7 in writing and speaking.

Computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT)

You need to provide proof of achievement of an overall score of 103, with scores of at least 23 in listening, 24 in reading, 28 in writing, and 28 in speaking.

Test pour étudiants et stagiaires au Canada (TEStCan)

You need to provide proof of achievement of achieve of scores of 5 in writing, reading, and listening and a score of at least 4.5 in speaking.

About Teachers of Technological Education

Teachers of Technological Education are intermediate and senior division teachers who are qualified to teach one or more Technological Education subjects in the Ontario curriculum. These are offered at high schools that teach students about skilled trades while also teaching academic subjects. Students who graduate from a Technological Education program can study at a college or university, or they can pursue an apprenticeship in a skilled trade.

To find out more about trades in Ontario, see the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities website.

If you are applying to the Ontario College of Teachers to be a Technological Education teacher, you will have to fulfil special requirements that combine work experience and teaching experience.

Teachers of Technological Education obtain certification to teach in one or more of the following areas of Technological Education. These subjects are described in the curriculum of Ontario’s public secondary schools:

  • Communications Technology
  • Computer Technology
  • Construction Technology
  • Green Industries
  • Hairstyling and Aesthetics
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Technological Design
  • Transportation Technology

Requirements for Teachers of Technological Education

To become a certified Teacher of Technological Education in Ontario, you need to fulfil the following requirements:

1. Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Equivalent

You must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or have completed courses that are considered by the College to be equivalent to this diploma.

2. Teacher Education Program

See page 5, section 2 "Teacher Education Program"

3. Teacher Education Program Must Lead to Certification in the Jurisdiction Where it Was Undertaken

See page 6, "Teacher Education Program Must Lead to Certification in the Jurisdiction Where it was Undertaken"

4. Proof of Competence in Your Technological Field

Your competence in a selected area of technological education is determined based on your academic records, your certification in the related trade, if applicable, proof of work experience, and any other training you may have completed.

5. Work Experience

You need to show that you have worked for wages, other than in teaching, in your technological field.

To do this, you need one of the following:

  • five years of work (for wages) experience in the relevant business or industrial sector where you used your skills and knowledge in the relevant technological field
    or
     
  • a combination of post-secondary education and work in business or industry, all in the relevant technological fields, for a total of five years, including either
    • a. at least two years of relevant work experience in the technological field, of which at least four months must be continuous employment, or
    • b. two years of work experience in the field in combination with completion of a post-secondary education program in the field acceptable to the College, which included at least six semesters of academic study.

Please see the Path to Becoming a Certified Teacher section for details and explanations of the various documents you will have to send in when you apply to show evidence of your work experience.

6. Proficiency in English or French

See page 6, "Proficiency in English or French"

Your Path to Becoming a Certified Teacher in Ontario

This section of the Career Map will help you understand the steps required to become certified as either a teacher of General Education or a teacher of Technological Education in Ontario.

The Ontario College of Teachers encourages all those interested in becoming certified in Ontario to begin the certification process by submitting an application. It is impossible for the College to determine if you meet the qualification for certification before it receives your application and documents. Once it has your application and documents, your case will be assessed on an individual basis. If you are not able to supply the College with all the required documents in addition to your application, let us know, in writing, of your situation. If you are in the application process, the College will assess your case and let you know how to proceed.

The College can only begin to evaluate your application when it has all your documents and the translations for any that are in a language other than English or French.

Before you start your path to certification please review the following:

Documents and Fees all Applicants (General Education and Technological) Must Submit:

Please Note: You must submit the application, payment and required documents to the College within a reasonable amount of time. Your file will remain open while the College waits for other documents to arrive directly from your educational and other institutions. If you submit your application without the fee or one of the documents you need to submit, your file may not be processed and the College will contact you.

Registration Guide for Teachers Trained Outside Ontario

The Registration Guides are changed every year. You can find the online application on the Ontario College of Teachers website. Please be sure to complete all required fields in the application.

If you have answered “yes” to any of the questions in the Applicant Declaration, be sure to provide detailed explanation of the events.

Proof of Identity

To prove your identity, submit a photocopy of one of these documents:

  • birth certificate
  • Canadian passport
  • certificate of baptism if born in Quebec or Newfoundland and Labrador (prior to January 1994)
  • Canadian Immigration Record and Visa or Record of Landing (both sides)
  • Permanent Resident Card (both sides)
  • Record of Landing (front and back)

Proof of Name Change

If you earned any of your qualifications under another name, or your current name is different from the one you used to prove your identity, you need to show proof of your name change to the Ontario College of Teachers. Some people change their name when they marry. Others change their name to one that is easier to pronounce, sometimes called an "English" or "French" name.

If you changed your name, you need to send the College a copy of:

  • your marriage certificate
  • your change of name certificate or
  • the court order that changed your name

Teaching Certificates

You need to send a photocopy of your teaching certificate from all jurisdictions where you are or have been authorized to teach. This applies even if you have never taught in those jurisdictions. Many countries do not provide teaching certificates. If you do not have a teaching certificate, you can discuss other options with the staff at the College.

For information about obtaining documents from a specific country, visit the College’s website. If specific information about your home country is not listed and you have already begun the application process with the College, contact the College to find out how to proceed.

Canadian Criminal Record Check Report

To protect students and help ensure that teachers are worthy of the trust placed in them, the College requires that you provide a Canadian criminal record check report. The report must indicate that a search was done on all names you are currently using or have used in the past.

This includes all of the following:

  • your name as it appears on your Ontario College of Teachers application
  • your name at birth as listed on your proof of identity document
  • your maiden name
  • your former names

You must submit the original copy of the Canadian criminal record check report.

You can obtain a criminal record check report from a local, regional, or national police service. For the location of police stations in Ontario, visit the Toronto Police website.

The report must clearly indicate a search was done using the CPIC database. The report cannot be older than six months from the date the College receives your application.

A criminal record does not necessarily prevent you from being certified. The College considers each case on its own merits. If your report indicates a criminal record, include a detailed explanation with your application.

Providing false or incomplete information may be considered grounds for rejecting your application.

Fees

The non-refundable fee of $362 required by the College with your application includes your $140 application fee and a $222 fee covering the evaluation of your documents.

Please keep in mind that though these are the only fees required by the College, you may have additional expenses during the certification process, including document translation fees and language testing fees.

If you are eligible for certification with the Ontario College of Teachers, you will be required to pay an annual membership fee at a later date.

Documents that Institutions Must Submit to the Ontario College of Teachers for You

You will have to contact various institutions and ask them to submit certain documents directly to the College on your behalf. All documents must be originals, not copies.

The documents that must be submitted for you are:

  • Academic Qualifications – In Ontario, we would call the academic qualifications your bachelor’s degree and your master’s degree, if you have one. In some countries, your program of teacher education is not separate from your other academic studies.
  • Program of Teacher Education – Teacher education programs usually include courses in foundations and teaching methods, as well as a practise teaching component. However, they are not the same in every country. The Ontario College of Teachers will evaluate each applicant’s teacher education individually.
  • Statement of Professional Standing – This document is provided by a licensing authority and establishes that you were authorized to teach in the jurisdiction where you completed your program of teacher education and that your certificate to teach was never suspended or revoked. You need to arrange to have a statement of professional standing sent directly to the College by each jurisdiction in which you have been certified to teach.
  • Proficiency in English or French – This is your test result from an accepted language test.

Please see the information below for more information about these documents.

For information about obtaining documents from a specific country, visit www.oct.ca/IET/countries.aspx?lang=en-CA. If specific information about your home country is not listed and you have already begun the application process with the College, contact the College to find out how to proceed.

Please note: If any of the above documents is in a language other than English or French, request that the documents be sent directly to the College in their original language. After the College receives the document(s), it will send them on to you. You must then take them to an accredited translator for translation. Once you have the translation, send the translation, a covering letter from the translator with contact information, and the original copy of the document back to the College.

An accredited translator is one that the College finds acceptable according to the Translation Policy described below.

Academic Qualifications

Ask the institution where you obtained your degree to forward directly to the College your official post-secondary degree transcripts. If your degree includes credits transferred from another institution, you must arrange to have a transcript for these credits also sent directly to the College from the institution where you completed those courses. The transcripts must include the name of the institution with the institution’s seal and signature of the registrar and must include:

  • your name as it appears on your Ontario College of Teachers application
  • the hours of study for each course according to each term or year of study
  • the name of your degree and the date on which it was granted

If your transcripts do not contain the title of the credential you were awarded and/or the date you received it, you may be asked to provide a photocopy of the degree/diploma scroll or certificate you received when you successfully completed your degree.

In addition to the official transcript(s), ask the educational institution to send a letter directly to the College with the institution’s seal and the signature of the registrar verifying:

  • your name as it appears on your Ontario College of Teachers registration form
  • the hours of study for each course according to each term or year of study
  • the name of the degree and the date on which it was granted

The College recognizes that some jurisdictions issue academic records once only. If this is your case, bring your original academic record to the College in person or send it by mail for verification. The College will return your original academic record to you.

However, you must still arrange for a letter to be sent to the College that verifies the granting of the degree or diploma, the course content and hours of study for each course and the year you received the degree.

Some examples of the names of educational records from other countries include:

  • Poland – indeks
  • India – mark sheets (for each year)
  • Germany – scheine
  • France – relevé de notes
  • North America – transcripts

Program of Teacher Education

Ask the institution where you received your teacher education to send your official academic record or transcripts directly to the College. These must have the institution’s seal and signature of the registrar. Transcripts should include the hours completed in each course.

In addition to the academic record, ask the institution to send to the College directly an official letter with the seal and signature of the registrar verifying:

  • the dates you attended and completed the program and confirmation that degrees, diplomas, or certificates were granted
  • your name as it appears on your Ontario College of Teachers’ application
  • the number of hours, days or weeks, grade levels, and subjects you taught in your supervised practicum
  • the number of hours of study you completed for each course according to each term or year of study including the number of days completed in the practicum component of your teacher education program
  • course descriptions for each course within your teacher education program
  • if your program focused on the secondary school level, the specific subjects for which you completed teaching methodology course work
  • the language of instruction of your teacher education program
  • the method of program delivery (for example, did you study face-to-face in a classroom or did you complete your certificate through distance education such as Internet or correspondence)

If your transcripts do not contain the title of the credential you were awarded and/or the date you received it, you may be asked to provide a photocopy of the degree/diploma scroll or certificate you received when you successfully completed your degree.

The College recognizes that some jurisdictions issue academic records once only. If this is your case, bring your original academic record and your diploma/degree document to the College in person or send it by mail for verification. The College will return your original academic record to you.

However, you must still arrange for a letter to be sent to the College from the educational institution that verifies the granting of the degree or diploma, the course content and hours of study for each course, and the year you received the degree.

The letter from the institution must be current and provide details about the subjects covered in the teacher education program and ages of students you are eligible to teach.

If you did not complete any practice teaching as part of your teacher education program, please arrange to have official confirmation of at least one year of successful paid teaching at the elementary or secondary level, acquired after you were certified in the jurisdiction where you taught, sent directly to the College.

Statement of Professional Standing

A statement of professional standing is a letter from a licensing institution, such as an education ministry, that says you were authorized to teach and that your certificate of authorization has never been suspended, cancelled, or revoked.

You need to arrange to have this statement sent directly to the College by each jurisdiction in which you have been certified to teach. The statement cannot be older than one year from the date the College receives it. This requirement applies even if you never actually taught in those jurisdictions.

Alternatives to Documentary Requirements in Exceptional Circumstances Beyond the Applicant’s Control.

If you have difficulty obtaining any of your required documents, you may be able to obtain assistance by contacting the College directly. It is also possible to submit alternative documents to complete your application in exceptional cases where documents cannot be obtained for reasons beyond your control. For more details, please visit the College’s website.

Proficiency in English or French

You must be able to teach effectively in one of Ontario’s official languages, English or French. If your teacher education program was taught entirely in English or French in any of the countries listed below, you have satisfied the language requirement and do not need to provide proof of language proficiency.

See page 6, section 4 "Proficiency in English or French".

Your Path

Step 1) What Type of Teacher are You?

Before beginning the application process you must determine if you are a teacher of General Education or teacher of Technological Education.

Answer the following question:

Are you a Teacher of General Education?
(examples: General English, History, Drama and Science)

OR

Are You a Teacher of Technological Education?
(examples: skilled trades, specific technologies)

Step 2) Gather Documents You Must Submit

Teachers of General Education

This page outlines documents that you must submit directly to the College as part of your application. Other required documents will be sent directly to the College by institutions/employers on your behalf (see Step 3).

You must submit the following items to the College:

    a. Registration form (contained in the Registration Guide)
    b. Proof of identity or name change
    c. Teaching certificate(s)
    d. Canadian criminal record check report
    e. Fees

For full details review the Documents and Fees all Applicants (General Education and Technological) Must Submit section.

Teachers of Technological Education

This section outlines documents that you must submit directly to the College as part of your application. Other required documents will be sent directly to the College by institutions/employers on your behalf (see Step 3).

You must submit the following items to the College:

    a. Application form, completed online
    b. Proof of identity or name change
    c. Teaching certificate(s)
    d. Canadian criminal record check report
    e. Fees

For full details review the Documents and Fees all Applicants (General Education and Technological) Must Submit section.

Teachers of Technological Education must also submit the following:

  • Photocopy of your secondary school diploma
  • Evidence of work experience, provided by your previous employers
  • Proof of competence in your technical field

Secondary School Diploma

Send a photocopy of your secondary school diploma (Grade 12) or equivalent to the College.

Evidence of Work Experience

If you worked for an employer, send the College a copy of a letter on the company letterhead, written and signed by a supervisor familiar with your work. The letter must include the length of employment, with start and end dates, and your job description, with a list of skills you used. The work must be related to the technological subjects you want to be certified to teach. Teaching experience cannot be used to satisfy the work experience requirement.

In exceptional cases, where it is impossible to provide original documents (an employer’s bankruptcy, death, or retirement), you can send the following three documents, which the College will consider:

  • an original sworn statement (a document showing you have certified the truth), signed by a commissioner of oaths, that lists why the information is not available
  • an original sworn statement, signed by a commissioner of oaths, that states the workplace, length of employment, with start and end dates, and your job description, with a list of skills you used
  • if you have worked in Ontario in your technical field, copies of T4 tax forms that support the duration and place of employment, or a statement from an accountant that confirms your income

If you were self-employed, send the Ontario College of Teachers the following four documents:

  • an original sworn statement, signed by a commissioner of oaths, that says you were self-employed and includes details about length of employment, with start and end dates, and your job description, with a list of skills you used
  • a copy of the business licence or registration that supports the sworn statement
  • copies of income tax assessments, a statement from an accountant, or an annual report that support the sworn statement
  • a copy of at least one letter from a major supplier attesting to materials you bought during the period or a letter from a client attesting to the work you did

Proof of Technological Competence

You must submit proof that you are competent in your technological field. Please submit the following documents to help the College evaluate your competence:

  • a copy of your certificate from the jurisdiction where you were originally certified to teach technological education
  • your academic record – In some countries, this is the same as your secondary school diploma, because you may have attended a technical school. If you received your technical education from a post-secondary technical institution, your educational records or official transcript(s) must be sent directly from the institution to the College. Please note that the institution must be formally recognized
  • proof of work experience – If you submitted proof of work experience (mentioned above), this same document may be used toward establishing technological competence

If you do not have a post-secondary degree in your area of technological education, you must include:

  • photocopies of references from your employers confirming your successful work and listing the technological skills that you used on the job
  • a photocopy of your trade certificate. If your trade is not regulated, you need to provide copies of documents that verify your training and supervised experience in your area of technological education

Step 3) Gather Documents to be Submitted for You

You must contact the institutions where you completed your education and took your language tests (if any). Ask them to send the following documents directly to the College:

    a. Academic qualifications
    b. Program of teacher education
    c. Statement of professional standing
    d. Proof of proficiency in English or French, if required

If you cannot get your institution to send these documents, inform the College, in writing. It will assess your situation on an individual basis and inform you how to proceed.

For full details review Documents that Institutions Must Submit to the Ontario College of Teachers for You section.

Step 4) Submit Your Application and Wait for the College’s Decision

When all of your documents are received, the College will evaluate your qualifications and decide if you meet the requirements for certification. The College uses its best efforts to provide its decision about your application within 120 days after receiving all the required documentation and information.

Review the Questions and Answers section for details about the application and assessment process.

Step 5) Next Steps

The next step you take will be based on the College’s response to your application.

You Meet the College’s Requirements

If you meet the requirements for certification, the College will grant you a Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

There are also cases where a Temporary Letter of Approval has been granted to a school board. A Temporary Letter of Approval may sometimes be granted to certified teachers to enable them to teach a subject area for which they do not hold formal teaching qualifications. This experience must have been gained after the issue date of your original Provisional Certificate and certified as successful by an appropriate supervisory officer.

See the Labour Market Information section for information on finding a job in teaching

If You Do Not Meet the Requirements

If you do not meet the requirements for certification to teach in Ontario, the College will tell you what you are missing and how you can gain the qualifications you need. This is called "upgrading," and it can usually be done at a faculty of education at an Ontario university.

Some of the reasons you may not meet the requirements are:

  • Your bachelor’s degree is not the equivalent of an Ontario degree
  • your teacher education program was not of at least one year duration
  • You were not certified to teach in the jurisdiction you received your teacher education
  • Your English/French proficiency does not meet the requirements of the College

Do not be discouraged if you do not receive immediate certification from the Ontario College of Teachers. Numerous upgrading opportunities are available across the province of Ontario to help you reach your goal of teacher certification.

If you need to re-qualify as a teacher in Ontario, keep in mind that a Teacher education program is a one-year program. It provides all the fundamentals you need to be a successful teacher in Ontario. As well, if you need to improve your language skills and you do not feel ready to teach in front of a class of students, then there are significant benefits to attending an Ontario university to study a teacher education program.

While most programs are full-time, there are some part-time programs as well. You can visit the Ontario Ministry of Education’s website for a list of universities and teacher education programs in Ontario.

Related Occupations

You may decide to explore alternative teaching possibilities outside of Ontario’s publicly funded school system, especially if you are not yet certified. Some internationally educated teachers choose to explore these opportunities while they fulfill the requirements for teacher certification.

Finding a Job as a Teacher

Your opportunities to get a job as a teacher depend on a number of factors:

  • Location – large cities have more schools, and certain areas of a city may have more children, so there will be more schools in that specific area.
  • Population – The number of families living in an area affect the number of teachers that are required. For example, changes in the birth rate and in immigration patterns can impact how many teachers are required in a community. A “baby boom”(a period of time when a lot of babies are born) will result in a higher number of students of a certain age and thus a requirement for more teachers for that age group.
  • Supply of teachers – if a lot of teachers are nearing retirement, there will be more openings for new teachers in the school system.
  • Teaching subjects – There may be a greater demand for teachers of specific subjects depending on social factors and government priorities.

Be Prepared to Compete

The labour market for teachers changes from year to year, so it is important to stay up-to-date on labour market information. Currently, the interest in teaching careers remains high. However, the demand for English-language elementary and secondary teachers is in decline. Some specialty areas such as French as a Second Language and technological education offer greater prospects for regular, full-time work. However, you need to be prepared to start your career in occasional (supply) roles. School systems across Canada and around the world also hire certified Ontario teachers. For more information, read the Ontario College of Teachers’website section on Transition to Teaching reports.

Where Teachers Work

Most certified teachers find work in either the public or Catholic school system. They teach students from ranging in age from four years old in kindergarten up to teenagers 18 years of age in Grade 12. A teacher in a secondary school specializes in one or two subjects such as math or English. Teachers in elementary schools teach all curriculum subjects to the same group of students in their class, including math, English, science, history, and geography. Teachers can also teach in technological secondary schools. Teachers who prefer supervisory roles can move into principal or vice-principal positions by taking appropriate courses, if eligible.

Some teachers use their teaching background in different job-related or career areas. Please see the Related Occupations section for a list of other jobs.

Where to Find Teaching Jobs

Teachers are generally hired by boards of education in different cities and districts. Since no central teacher placement agency currently exists in Ontario, teachers who are looking for work will need to consult different job search resources. If you’re looking for a teaching job on the Internet, the three websites listed below are good places to start. Teachers may post their resumes on these websites for free. Various school boards across the province use these sites to help fill vacancies:

Inquiries regarding possible vacancies in Ontario may also be made directly to the school boards. Board websites provide up-to-date job postings, so it is always a good idea to check these. For a list of Ontario’s 72 publicly funded school boards, please consult the Ministry of Education website.

Another useful source for job postings is local and national newspapers. Most teaching positions are advertised in newspapers between January and June.

Also, please refer to the Labour Market Information section of this document for further contacts.

To be considered as a supply teacher, you need to be registered with a school board. You will be contacted directly by the board when an opportunity comes up at a school.

Salary Expectations and Benefits

Teacher salaries in Ontario, as elsewhere in Canada, are based on a combination of years of post-secondary education and years of work experience. Additional allowances are paid to teachers with administrative responsibilities. These may include supervisory roles or management roles in elementary and secondary schools.

In Ontario, each publicly funded school board, through negotiation with the local teachers’ union, determines teachers’ salaries. The salaries range from approximately $38,000 to $80,000 annually. The increase occurs over a 10- to 13-year period as you add qualifications and gain experience.

In addition to salary, teachers enjoy a number of work benefits, including:

  • compassionate leave
  • medical insurance
  • sick leave
  • long-term disability insurance
  • maternity leave
  • retirement gratuities
  • sabbatical and study leave
  • life insurance
  • dental insurance
  • summer vacation
  • pension

Related Occupations

Not all teachers choose to teach in publicly funded schools. Some use their teaching background to work for the government in the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Some individuals are more interested in developing curriculum and education policy than in teaching. Others may get certified and continue studying for postgraduate degrees such as a master’s degree or a PhD. Others find work in educational or scholastic institutes, publishing houses, television, or newspapers, where their knowledge of education will be used to create educational products and services. Others find work in private companies providing corporate training services to employees and groups. And some may want to work as consultants, combining education with technology or any other specialized field to offer professional development and training to adults.

Wherever you decide to work, being a certified teacher gives you an advantage over a candidate who is not certified.

You may decide to explore alternative teaching possibilities outside of Ontario’s publicly funded school system, especially if you are not yet certified. Some internationally educated teachers choose to explore these opportunities while they fulfil the requirements for teacher certification.

Jobs that do not Require an Ontario College of Teachers Certificate

International Language Teaching

You don’t need a teaching certificate to teach in a non-credit international language program (often called a "Heritage Language Class") for students in either elementary or secondary school. These classes are usually offered outside of regular school hours, for example, after school or on Saturday. However, you do need a teaching certificate to teach an international language as a credit subject in secondary school.

Adult Continuing Education

It is common for adults in Canada to take courses after they have graduated from secondary school, college or university. This kind of education is often called “life-long learning.” Adult continuing education classes can include a variety of subjects, from a foreign language, to cooking, to computer studies. Adult continuing education courses are offered by local boards of education, community colleges, and universities. You do not usually need to be certified to teach in continuing education programs.

However, you need to be certified if you are teaching Ontario secondary credit courses for adults.

Working as an Education Assistant

An educational assistant works in a classroom with a certified teacher to help with classroom activities, particularly with groups of children. For a list of Ontario’s 72 publicly funded school boards and 37 school authorities where education assistants work, please consult the Ministry of Education website.

Early Childhood Education and Daycare

Teachers who have taught children, particularly of kindergarten age, may find working as an early childhood educator in daycares a rewarding career.

The Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario, has information on how to become an early childhood educator. Their website is www.aeceo.ca

Private Schools

Private schools are licensed by the Ontario government but they are responsible for hiring their own teachers. Some private schools may require that teachers be certified by the Ontario College of Teachers. For a list of private schools in Ontario, see the Ministry of Education website.

Community Colleges

Community colleges (colleges of applied arts and technology) offer a variety of educational upgrading opportunities for adults. Many of these courses are in the field of applied arts and technology, although community colleges also offer academic subjects. To teach at a community college, you do not need to be certified as a teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers. Full-time instructors usually have a master’s degree. To teach part-time, you need to have a level of expertise in the area you wish to teach. You can approach each individual college for employment opportunities.

For a list of the colleges of applied arts and technology in Ontario, see the Ministry of Education website.

Universities

You do not need to be certified as a teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers to teach at a university. You will need to have, at a minimum, a master’s degree, but most jobs require a PhD.

Internationally educated university professors may wish to read the “Information on requirements to practise” article from the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).

For a list of universities, visit the Ministry of Education website.

English/French as a Second Language

If you are fluent in English or French, you can apply to teach in the continuing education department of a local board of education, a college, or a university. Usually, you require a Teaching-English-as-a-Second-Language (TESL) certificate or Teaching-French-as-a-Second-Language (TFSL) certificate.

TESL Ontario has information about becoming a teacher of English-as-a-Second-Language. Their website is www.teslontario.org/.

The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers has information about teaching French as a second language. Their website is www.caslt.org/.

Tutoring

A tutor is a private instructor who teaches students one-on-one. Often, if a child is having problems with a specific subject at school, parents will arrange for a tutor. A tutor meets with a student in a variety of settings: in the student’s home, at the tutor’s home, or at a tutoring agency.

Music Teacher

You can offer private lessons teaching an instrument or singing if you have the appropriate background.

The Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association has information about teaching music. Their website is www.ormta.org/.

Private Language Instructor

If you speak another language fluently, you can offer language classes to students one-on-one or in groups.

Montessori Teacher

There are many schools in Ontario that follow the Montessori method of teaching. Montessori schoolsare not publicly funded in Ontario. If you have a background in Montessori teaching methodologies, you can approach a school to inquire about employment. For more information, visit: www.montessori.edu.

Jobs that Require an Ontario College of Teachers Certificate

Supply Teaching

When a full-time teacher is sick, the school arranges to have a supply or temporary teacher come into the school to teach in place of the usual teacher. You can make arrangements with specific schools to be on their list of supply teachers.

If you are interested in supply teaching, contact the school board you wish to work for. For a list of the boards of education, see the Ministry of Education website.

Distance Teaching

Some secondary school students cannot attend a regular classroom so they may take a distance course. This used to be called a correspondence course.

The Independent Learning Centre offers many secondary school credits to Ontarians. People who take distance courses are not always teenagers. Adults can also take distance education courses.

For more information about distance education, visit the Independent Learning Centre website.

Note: Distance teaching is also offered in several school districts in Ontario through e-learning. Please consult your local school district to find out more about opportunities as a teacher of e-learning.

English/French as a Second Language

You need to be a certified teacher to teach secondary English/French language credit classes in an Ontario secondary school. You also need to be certified to teach French in an elementary school. See above for opportunities to teach English/French that don’t require you to have a teacher’s certificate.

International Language Teaching

You need to be a certified teacher to teach secondary international language credits in an Ontario secondary school.

Ontario College of Teachers Translation Policy

You must arrange with the college or university where you received your post-secondary education to send original transcripts of your educational records directly to the College. Once the College receives these documents, the College will forward them to you to arrange for translation if they are not provided by the institution in English or French.

To make it easier to match your documents to your records and speed up the application process, try to arrange to have an English or French covering letter included with any foreign language document that is sent directly to the College. Ask your educational institution to include a covering letter in English or French. Also, if you have received a registration number from the College, ask the institution to include this number in their covering letter to the College along with your transcripts. This will make it easier for the College to match your documents to your records and will speed up the application process.

Translation

If your educational or other records are in a language other than French or English, the College will mail you copies of your records once the college receives them directly from the institution. It is then your responsibility to have the documents translated by an accredited translator into English or French. You are responsible for all costs for the translation of documents.

When your documents have been translated, you then send the original copy of the translation, the original letter from the translator (see below), and the photocopy of the original document back to the College.

The College will accept original translations only from:

  • A certified member of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO). Be sure to confirm that your translator is certified to translate into English from the language of your document. Translations completed by candidates for certification are not acceptable.
  • A translator who has received accreditation through a federal, provincial, or municipal government in Canada.
  • The consulate, high commission, or embassy (in Canada) of the country that issued the documents.
  • A Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission in the country from which the documents were sent.

The translator must include an original signed letter that says the translation is accurate and that the translator belongs to one of the organizations listed above. The letter must include the translator’s identification number or seal (or both), name, address, and telephone number.

To find an accredited translator, contact the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO).

Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1202
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
CANADA
Telephone: 613-241-2846 or 1-800-234-5030
Fax: 613-241-4098
Email:info@atio.on.ca
Website: www.atio.on.ca

If there is no accredited translator for the language you need, the College will accept translations, with the translator’s letter as above, from:

  • a consulate, high commission or embassy to Canada of the country that issued the documents
  • a Canadian embassy, consulate, or high commission in the country from which you emigrated
  • a translator who works for a federal, provincial, or municipal government in Canada

Questions and Answers

Below you will find answers to some commonly asked questions about becoming a certified teacher in Ontario. You will also find questions and answers about general issues related to the field of teaching.

Who will evaluate my qualifications?

Based on your documents, the Ontario College of Teachers will evaluate your language proficiency, and academic and professional teaching credentials. Then the College will let you know either that you either meet the requirements of certification to teach in Ontario or that you do not meet the requirements. If you don’t meet the requirements, the College will let you know how you can update your qualifications to become eligible for licensing.

Do I have to send in all of my documents and fees at the same time?

You must submit the application, payment and any additional documents within a reasonable period of time. Your file will remain open while the College waits for other documents to arrive from your educational and other institutions.

If you submit your application without the fee or if it is missing one of the documents you need to submit, your file may not be processed, and the College will contact you.

In my home country they do not issue the same type of documents as in North America. How will I know what documents to ask for and whom to contact?

Please refer to the College’s website for information outlining the type of documents that are acceptable from various countries, and for a link to addresses of institutions in those countries issuing statements of professional standing. If your country is not included in the list, contact the College for details on how to proceed.

What are the College’s requirements for language proficiency?

You must be able to provide evidence of your proficiency in one of Ontario’s official languages: English or French. For information on how to meet language proficiency requirements, visit the Language Proficiency section on page 7 of this document. If you do not meet the requirements, or need to have your language skills tested, visit the Language Classes and Testing section for a list of English language classes and testing organizations.

If some of my documents are not in English or French do I need to have them translated?

Yes. The College requires an original translation of any documents that are not in English or French. Keep in mind that you have to pay for any translation costs.

Please refer to the Translation Policy for more information.

What can I do if I cannot obtain my academic records or other documents from my home country?

If you have submitted your application to the College and have written proof that you have contacted your institutions to send your document but have had no success, do the following:

Keep a copy of your written attempt to obtain the documents and forward it to the College. If the College has not received a response from the institution you contacted for your document within a reasonable period of time (four to six weeks), you may then write a letter to the Director of the College’s Membership Services Department and ask that the College write to the institution on your behalf. To do this, you must:

  • have already applied to the College
  • make your request in writing, specifying the name of the institution and the document you need
  • attach to your written request a copy of your written attempt to obtain the document

The College will try to contact the institution for you. If the College determines that the post-secondary institution cannot provide the documents, you might be able to submit alternative forms of evidence of your qualifications. The College will contact you to let you know what documents it may accept.

How can I tell if the teacher education program from my country is acceptable to the Ontario College of Teachers?

When you apply for teacher certification with the College, your program of teacher education will be evaluated to determine if you meet the requirements.

As the College is not able to provide a pre-evaluation of your program in advance of receiving an application from you, you are encouraged to submit an application to the College as well as the required documents. The College will then review your transcripts and other documents to decide if you meet the requirements. If you do not, the College will explain to you how you can upgrade your qualifications to meet the requirements.

Does the College accept teacher education programs completed by distance education or correspondence?

The College will recognize a teacher education program that was successfully completed entirely by distance education. The teacher education program must be equivalent to a minimum of one year of study in the jurisdiction where the applicant completed the program. As of September 1, 2015, the enhancements to Ontario teacher education programs will require that the teacher education program be equivalent to a minimum of two years (or four academic semesters) of study in the jurisdiction where the applicant completed the program. The program must have included the successful completion of a face-to-face practicum or a minimum of one year of successful teaching experience in a jurisdiction(s) where an applicant was certified. As of September 1, 2015, practicum requirements will increase from a minimum of 40 days to a minimum of 80 days due to Ontario program enhancements (see page 2 for further information).

Though I have been a teacher for 10 years in my country of origin, my teacher education program did not include any practice teaching. Are there other documents that the College will consider as proof of teaching experience?

Yes. In lieu of a practicum, the College will consider evidence of at least one year of teaching experience from the jurisdiction where you were trained to teach. Acceptable teaching experience must include the following:

  • be at an institution where either elementary or secondary curriculum is taught
  • have occurred after you were certified/authorized to teach in the respective jurisdiction
  • written proof of your experience must be on official school letterhead, signed by the principal, and mailed directly to the College

When the College receives record of your experience, it will evaluate your program and let you know if it requires additional evidence to satisfy the requirement of practice teaching.

Teaching certificates are not issued in my country. What will you accept instead?

In most cases, if your country or jurisdiction does not license or register teachers, the College will accept a photocopy of your diploma for your teacher education program.

For information about obtaining documents from a specific country, visit the College’s website. If specific information about your home country is not listed, and you have already begun the application process, contact the College to find out how to proceed.

How much will the certification process cost?

The College’s 2014 application and evaluation fee is $362.00, and is required as part of your application package.

As these costs may change, please refer to the College’s website for up-to-date fee information.

In addition to these costs, you may incur additional expenses during the certification process, including costs for the translation of your official documents, costs for a language proficiency test, if required, and costs for language upgrading, if required.

How long is my application valid for?

The Ontario College of Teachers will keep your application open for two years.

How long does the certification process take?

The College makes its best effort to provide a decision within 120 days of receiving all the required information and documentation.

My post-secondary institution sent the official academic records to my home in error. I have not opened the envelope. Since it is still sealed, can I bring the records in or mail them to you?

Unfortunately, no. You will have to contact the post-secondary institution again and ask it to send another set of transcripts directly to the College.

Because of political unrest, I cannot get transcripts from my post-secondary institution. Is there an acceptable substitute?

The College does require an official transcript to be sent directly from the post-secondary institution. However, it recognizes that it is sometimes difficult to have official documentation sent directly from countries where there is political unrest. If you have already submitted an application to the College, contact Client Services to discuss this with a staff member.

Do I have to pass an English language test?

If you completed your teacher education program in French or English in a country on the list provided on pages 7-8, and your teacher education program otherwise meets registration criteria, you don’t need to pass a language test. If your teacher education program was in English or French, but was not completed in a country on the list, you can request your institution to send a letter directly to the College indicating the dates you attended the program and confirming that during this time, the language of instruction for the program was entirely in English or French.

If your teacher education program was not in English or French, but your primary or secondary and your post-secondary education were completed entirely in English or French, you can ask your educational institution to send a letter directly to the College confirming that the language of instruction for your entire program was either English or French. In this case, you don’t need to pass a language test. Otherwise, you need to demonstrate proficiency in English or French by achieving the required scores on either the IELTS [academic] test, the TOEFL iBT, or Test pour étudiants et stagiaires au Canada (TESt-Can).

What can I do if my educational institution back home no longer exists and I can’t get my records?

Contact Client Services at the College to discuss your situation with a staff member.

The university says it can send my records in English, so I won’t have to translate them. Is this okay?

The College generally prefers to receive records in the official language of the country they are received from. Records provided in languages other than the official language of the institution/country may be subject to the College’s translation policy, which requires that any translation be provided by an accredited translator.

My academic records do not include specific course hours. I cannot get this information. What should I do?

If you have a course syllabus that has course-hour information you can submit a photocopy, or you may arrange to have your university send a letter that describes this. If this is not possible, you will have to get direction from the College once your application has been submitted.

Can I teach in Ontario without being certified by the College?

While there are opportunities in Ontario to teach without being certified by the College, you must hold a valid teaching licence to teach in the publicly funded school system.

While you can teach in a private school without being certified, many of these schools now require you to be a member in good standing of the College.

To learn more about opportunities for teaching in Ontario without being certified, please see the Related Occupations section of this document.

Though I never went through a teacher education program, I have taught for many years and have an excellent reputation as a teacher. Will you consider this experience in your evaluation of my qualifications?

To be certified in Ontario, you must meet the academic, professional, and language requirements under Ontario legislation. Your eligibility to be certified in Ontario is based strictly on your academic background and the documents you provide. Although your teaching experience will be an asset when you seek employment, it is not considered in the evaluation process.

My proficiency in English is very good even though I completed my teacher education in a language other than English. Do I still need to meet the language proficiency requirement?

Everyone who applies to the College must be able to demonstrate proficiency in one of Ontario’s official languages, English or French. Please see the Language Proficiency section of this website to determine how you can meet this requirement.

What subjects does a Technological Education teacher teach?

A teacher of Technological Education obtains qualification to teach in one or more of the following areas, depending on his or her area of technological competence and the focus of the teacher education program he or she completed:

  • Communications Technology
  • Computer Technology
  • Construction Technology
  • Green Industries
  • Hairstyling and Aesthetics
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Technological Design
  • Transportation Technology

Review complete information on the requirements to become certified as a teacher of Technological Education on page 10 of this document.

My credentials have already been evaluated by an organization called World English Service (WES), and are said to meet North American standards. Is this evaluation acceptable to the College?

No. The Ontario College of Teachers does not recognize credential evaluations conducted by other organizations. The College must do its own evaluation from documents sent as part of your application.

I would like to take a teacher education program in Ontario to upgrade my qualifications. How do I apply?

If you would like to take a teacher education program in Ontario, you must apply to an Ontario faculty of education. Please visit the Ontario Application Centre.

The following universities offer a teacher education program in general education.

The following universities offer a teacher education program in technological education.

Can the College help me find employment?

No, the College does not help members find employment. For information on how to find a job as a teacher, visit the Finding a Job as a Teacher section of this document.

Can I teach in other provinces if I’m certified in Ontario?

If your application to the College to be certified as a teacher is denied, you may appeal the decision to the College’s Registration Appeals Committee.

Can I teach in other provinces if I’m certified in Ontario?

Labour mobility legislation is currently being passed across Canada to help facilitate professionals certified in one province or territory to teach in any other Canadian province or territory. Currently, a teacher certified in any other Canadian province or territory will be licensed to teach in Ontario without further assessment, examination or testing. You need to contact the certification bodies in other provinces directly to determine the status of labour mobility legislation within that province. A list of these bodies is available from the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.

Can I start the certification process before I come to Ontario?

If you are in Canada and have a Social Insurance Number, you can start the certification process. The Ontario College of Teachers requires a completed online application form to determine whether or not an applicant meets the requirements for certification in Ontario. As part of that online application form, all teacher certification candidates must provide a social insurance number (SIN).

Can I volunteer in a school before being certified or while I’m waiting for certification?

Yes. Volunteering is a good way of getting Canadian work experience. While not every school accepts volunteers, if you have family or friends with children in a particular school, the principal there might be open to your participation. If you volunteer, ask the teacher if he or she will provide you with a reference letter.

Generally, volunteering means you will help the teacher in the classroom with the daily routine.

Please note: that some schools have strict policies on volunteering. Almost all schools require that you complete a criminal record check to ensure you are suitable to be in the classroom.

During your volunteer time, familiarize yourself with the Canadian educational system and work with children in the age group that you would like to teach. This type of experience can be extremely helpful for new teachers seeking employment as well as helpful if you are trying to get accepted into a bachelor of education training program.

Can the College provide me with help in improving my English-language skills?

The College does not offer upgrading courses in English language communication. Visit www.ontarioimmigration.ca to find English classes in your area.

Contacts and Resources

There are many organizations and resources in Ontario to help internationally educated teachers find work in their field.

English-as-a-Second-Language Classes

The www.ontarioimmigration.ca website can help you find an ESL class in your area. Classes are offered by:

  • Community-based organizations
  • Local boards of education
  • Community colleges
  • Universities

Language Proficiency Testing Agencies

If you need to provide proof of proficiency in English or French, you can take one of the following proficiency tests:

IELTS [academic test only]
IELTS Test Centre Canada
Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology
299 Doon Valley Drive
Kitchener, ON N2G 4M4
CANADA
Telephone: 519-748-3516
Fax: 519-748-6289
Email: ielts@conestogac.on.ca
Website: www.conestogac.on.ca/ielts

IELTS International
For information about testing conducted overseas:
Cambridge International Examinations
1 Hills Road
Cambridge CB1 2EU
United Kingdom
Telephone: 1223 553558
Fax: 1223 553554
Email: international@ucles.org.uk
Website: www.ielts.org

TOEFL iBT
Includes information on testing conducted out of the country:
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541
U.S.A.
Telephone: 609-771-7100 (for general information)
Toll free: 1-800-468-6335 (to schedule a test)
Fax: 609-771-7500; TTY: 609-771-7714
Email: toefl@ets.org
Website: www.toefl.org
The Ontario College of Teachers institution code for TOEFL iBT is 9041.

TEStCan (French)
Second Language Institute/Institut des langues secondes
University of Ottawa
600 King Edward Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
CANADA
Telephone: 613-562-5743
Fax: 613-562-5126
Email: cantest@uottawa.ca
Website: http://ilob.uottawa.ca/fr/testcan.php

Labour Market Information

Understanding the Canadian labour market is important for achieving success with your career. You need information about teaching jobs and salaries; different cities and communities; future trends and conditions; and statistics and other indicators. This information will help you conduct a successful job search.

Labour market information includes information about:

  • what skills employers are looking for
  • who the potential employers are and where they are located
  • employment conditions
  • education and training requirements for jobs
  • barriers to employment
  • occupational forecasts

Understanding labour market information will help you to identify any barriers that might exist as you search for work in Canada. For example, if you have professional qualifications and work experience outside of Canada, knowing how those are valued in Canada is very important. Ontario Job Futures is a good source of labour market information. Here are some more useful links:

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