Office of Teacher Certification

Basic Requirements & Process - Q&A

1. What are the academic and professional teacher education requirements for a Nova Scotia Teacher's Certificate? (Regulation 37)

Regulation 37

The requirements that must be satisfied in order to obtain a Nova Scotia Teacher's Certificate are determined in the following manner:


  1. A person who, before August 1, 2000, held a teacher's certificate granted by the teacher certification authorities in a jurisdiction outside of Nova Scotia, may be assessed and granted teacher certification in accordance with the regulations and standards in effect in Nova Scotia, as of July 31, 2000;
  2. Pursuant to the above, the common entry level certificate is a Teacher's Certificate Class 5 (TC5) (see Section 28). In that regard, an approved Bachelor's degree must be from a recognized university and one-half of the credit hours completed for the degree must be in a subject(s) taught in the Nova Scotia public schools. An approved program of teacher education must include a minimum of 30 credit hours of professional study including practicum from a recognized university and result in teacher certification in the jurisdiction where it was completed.
  3. In general, a person who, after August 1, 2000, held a valid teacher's certificate granted by the teacher certification authorities in a jurisdiction outside of Nova Scotia or completed their training in Nova Scotia after August 1, 2000, must satisfy the requirements for an Initial Teacher's Certificate (ITC) (Section 37) which requires a minimum of 5 years of undergraduate education including:
  4. a minimum of 90 credit hours of approved undergraduate studies;
  5. a minimum of 60 credit hours of approved professional studies including a practicum of at least 15 weeks.
  6. Under transition provisions contained within the regulations [Section 50], students commencing university between September 1, 1993 and August 31, 2000 have 7 years from the date of commencement of university study within which to complete all requirements for certification under the former standards.

Applicants whose training was completed outside of Nova Scotia & whose qualifications do not meet the requirements for a Teacher's Certificate Class 5 or an Initial Teacher's Certificate, may qualify for a Bridging Teacher's Certificate (Reg. 30S).


Regulation 36

In general, the Minister may grant a Bridging Teacher's Certificate to a person who

  1. has not previously been granted a teacher's certificate by the Minister;
  2. does not satisfy the requirements for an Initial Teacher's Certificate;
  3. holds a valid teacher's certificate granted by an authority in another jurisdiction on the condition that the person has satisfied the academic and professional studies requirements prescribed by that jurisdiction, and
  4. has completed a minimum of 4 years of undergraduate education including
    1. an approved Bachelor's degree from a recognized university, and
    2. an approved program of professional studies, completed in another jurisdiction, consisting of a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work and in addition, a practicum.

The salary for a teacher holding a Bridging Teacher's Certificate shall be one salary level lower than the salary level applicable to the class of certificate that shall be granted to the teacher upon completion of the pre-service content and professional requirements for an Initial Teacher's Certificate, identified by the Employer pursuant to the Governor in Council Education Act Regulations at the time the Employer grants the Bridging Teacher's Certificate to the teacher.

For greater clarity, the salary referred to would be reflected in the following salary grid.

Teachers' Certificate Held, Certificate to be awarded upon completion of identified Pre-service Content and Professional Requirements and Appropriate Salary Scale for BTC

(Certificate Held, Certificate Awarded, Salary Scale)

Bridging Teacher's Certificate (BTC), Initial Teacher's Certificate, TC4

Bridging Teacher's Certificate (BTC), Advanced Teacher's Certificate 1, TC5 / ITC

Bridging Teacher's Certificate (BTC), Advanced Teacher's Certificate 2, TC6 / ATC1

Bridging Teacher's Certificate (BTC), Advanced Teacher's Certificate 3, TC7 / ATC2


2. In general, what documentation must I submit to obtain a teacher's certificate? (Regulation 8)

Regulation 8


In general, the documents you will be required to submit include:


  1. A completed Application Form (see Application Packages on our website under Forms & Fees)
  2. An official Criminal Record Check (must include Vulnerable Sector Check)
    • Photocopies are not acceptable unless bearing an official seal,
    • Your Criminal Record Check must be current to within twelve (12) months of the submission of your application.
    • Must include a vulnerable sector check
  3. Proof of age
    • photocopy of birth/baptismal certificate, valid driver’s licence, passport, or Access Nova Scotia government ID card
  4. Fee
  5. Official transcripts of all completed and in-progress post-secondary undergraduate and graduate studies (in sealed envelope).
    • Include official transcripts from each college or university you have attended, including transcripts from the source institution for transfer of credit bearing the university official seal and/or signature.
  6. Proof of Teacher Certification Standing
    • If you have been granted a teacher’s certificate in another province, state, or country, an official Statement of Professional Standing (to be provided to our office in sealed envelope(s)) is required from the teacher certification authorities in all jurisdictions where you held a teacher’s certificate.
    • The statement(s) confirm(s) your teacher certification standing in the jurisdiction(s), and must not be more than twelve months old.
    • Please note that the statement is not a copy of your teacher’s certificate nor is it an attestation regarding your teaching.
  7. Proof of Teaching Service
    • If applicable, include verification of teaching service, from the appropriate authority confirming years taught and number of days taught in each school year.
    • This service may be eligible for salary increment purposes.


  • All of these documents must be submitted in one package unless a jurisdiction has a policy of sending the document directly to our office (for example: Statement of Professional Standing).


3. How long does it take to receive my Teacher's Certification?

As a general rule, you should allow approximately six weeks for the processing of your application once all the required documents have been received in the Certification office. However, it is possible that your application may be processed in a shorter time period.

The Teacher Certification office provides a variety of services in addition to the actual issuance of a Teacher's Certificate.

These additional services - approval of courses and programs for purposes of changes in classification, recognition of completed teaching service for salary purposes including appropriate notification to teachers and regional centres for education/CSAP - all consume significant amounts of time and directly impact processing time.