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A certified teacher is a teacher who has earned credentials from an authoritative source, such as the government, a higher education institution or a private source. These certifications allow teachers to teach in schools which require authorization in general, as well as allowing educators to teach in particular content areas and across the curriculum. While many authorizing entities require student teaching before earning teacher certification, routes vary from country to country.


The Australian education system is regulated on a State by State basis with each state having its own requirements for teacher registration (with the exception of the Australian Capital Territorymarker where no such registration system currently exists). Publicly funded schools are primarily funded from the State level whereas private schools (including religious schools) are funded with Federal per student grants as well as smaller grants from State Governments and private fees. Private schools are free to hire teachers regardless of their level of qualification although in practice most teachers in Australia have a relevant tertiary qualification such as a graduate diploma, Bachelor's Degree or Masters Degree.

Currently there are moves on both sides of politics in Australia towards a National Curriculum which may or may not involve a national system of teacher registration.


In Canada provinces have jurisdiction over education. In some provinces certification is handled through a provincial government department while in others a provincial College of Teachers has responsibility. Generally the requirements are for an undergraduate university degree plus a one or two year Bachelor's of Education or equivalent. For general overviews, the governing departments or Colleges usually have dedicated websites, accessible here:

In Manitoba, for example, the responsibility for teacher certification lies with the Department of Education, Citizenship, and Youth - Professional Certification and Records Branch. Teachers need a Bachelor's degree in Education (B.Ed.), often on top of another recognized Bachelor's degree. This adds one or two more years to a university education.

To earn a degree in secondary education, teachers must have a certain number of university credits in their subject field. This number varies from province to province, and in some provinces it varies from school to school. Most employers of teachers require that successful applicants complete criminal record checks, as well as verification that an employee is not listed in the Child Abuse Registry. These same requirements are, in addition to being a sound part of the hiring practice, a requirement of most provincial education legislation. Other requirements such as a tuberculosis test, and level of experience criteria may also be required. Many provinces require prospective teachers to obtain a criminal record check prior to hire.

In extreme circumstances, such as a lack of any suitable certifiable candidates for a specific teaching position, an employer may apply for temporary certification of a non-certified person. This temporary certification is usually valid for one calendar year after ministry approval, but must be requested by the school, not by a non-certified applicant for a teaching position.

England and Wales

In England and Wales teachers in the maintained sector must have gained Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There are many paths in which a person can work towards gaining their QTS, the most popular of which is to have completed a first degree (such as a BA or BSc) and then a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). Other methods include a specific teaching degree or on-the-job training at a school. All qualified teachers in Englandmarker must serve, after training, a statutory one year induction period that must be passed in order to remain a registered teacher. In Walesmarker this period lasts for two years. During this period a teacher is known as an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher). Schools are obliged to provide guidance, support and training to facilitate the NQT's success during this year. Local education authorities are also obliged to provide professional development opportunities.

Teachers in independent schools are not statutorily required to hold QTS, although independent schools increasingly prefer teachers to hold this qualification unless they have already gained significant teaching experience. The post-experience PGCE at the University of Buckinghammarker is designed for independent school teachers. Some specialist independent schools, such as those following Montessori principles, require teachers trained in that specific educational philosophy.

The Teach First scheme, aimed at recent graduates, was introduced in 2003 in London and more recently in Manchester and it allows trainees to teach in schools without the Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). After an intense period of training in the summer following graduation, trainees are placed in secondary schools. Following the successful completion of the first year, trainee teachers gain QTS status and may then continue teaching for a minimum of one year.


In France, teachers (professeurs) are mainly civil servants, recruited by competitive examination. They must have previously gained college education and receive professional education in IUFMs (University Institutes for Teachers Training). Starting in 2010, IUFM studies will be replaced by a new Master of Education. There are six corps of teachers in France's public service :
  • five corps require at least a licentiate (bachelor's degree equivalent) and hold the same pay :
    • Professeurs des écoles : Primary education teachers. They pass the CRPE competitive exam.
    • Professeurs certifiés : high school, mainly junior high, teachers. They hold the CAPES (certificate for teaching in secondary education) or the CAPET (certificate for teaching in technological education).
    • Professeurs de l'enseignement privé : private schools teachers. They hold the CAFEP (certificate for teaching in private education).
    • Professeurs de lycées professionnels : vocational high schools teachers. They hold the CAPLP (certificate for teaching in vocational high schools).
    • Professeurs de l'enseignement physique et sportif : sport teachers. They hold the CAPEPS (certificate for teaching sport education).
  • One corps require at least a master's degree and hold a higher pay :
    • Professeurs agrégés : high school teachers. They pass the Agrégation competitive exam. A very prestigious title, often required for applying at academic positions. They represent a minority in high schools.

In addition, every holder of a licentitate may teach on a non-permanent basis.


In India across various states there are different qualifications required to be a teacher. The government school generally recruit the teachers through competitive examination. There are degrees like BEd, DEd, TTC to professionally train the teachers. However, one may be appointed as teacher in a non government funded school even if one does not have these degrees. Apart from the state schools there are also schools run under the Central government. These schools strictly recruit based on the qualification alone. In situations where the government recruits people without qualifications, there are in service training done by DIETS. In the colleges, that is the post school education, however the qualification does not a teacher training degree, but remains to be national / state level examinations and qualifications decided by UGC.


Since 2007, millions of in-service school teachers in Indonesian public and private formal schools have participated in the national teacher certification program. This is part of a nation-wide educator certification system that aims to improve teachers' and lecturers' professionalism and welfare. It was established as the implementation of the Teacher and Lecturer Act of 2005, one of the ground-breaking pieces of legislation and government regulations in the education sector deliberated during the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration. To qualify for the program, a school teacher must first of all have a four-year diploma or an undergraduate degree from a recognized tertiary institution. Junior teachers with achievements are encouraged to take part in a teacher certification program through teacher training that lasts two semesters; senior teachers are required to take part in teacher certification through portfolio assessment. These two types of teacher certification are conducted in more than 35 in-service teacher certification centers throughout Indonesia. The majority of these centers are located in state and private universities that were once teachers' colleges and are still running teacher training programs. Successful participants will receive an "Educator Certificate" entitling the holders to, among others, financial incentives and chances for career promotion.


Teachers in Scotland must attain a teaching qualification, which is similar to Qualified Teacher Status in England and Wales, where they can then apply for registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. All qualified teachers in Scotlandmarker must serve, after training, a statutory two year probationary period. Schools are again obliged to provide guidance, support and training to facilitate the NQT's success during this year. However this does not always happen as it should.


Teachers in Singapore teaching at government primary and secondary schools (including Junior Colleges) must attain a Diploma in Education (Dip.Ed) or a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE). Both qualifications can be obtained only at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Information can be found here: Diploma programmes, PGDE, Information about Teacher Recruitment

United States

Normally, a bachelor's degree with a major in a certifiable area (English/language arts, fine arts, science, math, etc.) is a minimum requirement, along with rigorous coursework in pedagogical methods and practical field experiences as "student teachers." Many states also require that teachers pass standardized exams at the national and/or state levels in the subjects they teach and/or the methods of teaching those subjects, and that they undergo evaluation by local, state, and sometimes even private organizations during their first years of teaching. Most states use graduated licensing programs (i.e., initial, Stage II, Rank I, professional, provisional, etc.). A license to teach in one state can facilitate the obtainment of a license in another state, however state licensure requirements are determined by each State.

Until the 1960s, a person could not teach unless he or she had completed a year or more of specific teaching training at a normal school. In the past two decades, normal school courses have been made optional through the promotion of Alternate Route teacher certification. New Jerseymarker was the first state to establish an Alternate Route program, doing so in 1984. Since then, most states have established their own programs.

Teachers in almost all states must have a Bachelor's degree with the appropriate teacher preparation course and complete either a content-based or teaching-based Master's degree within a stated number of years. Additionally, to be permanently certified, many states require that teachers pass exams on pedagogy, general knowledge and knowledge of a content area. Some states require teacher candidates to be fingerprinted prior to certification.

The two companies responsible for developing and administering the majority of teacher certification tests in the United States are Educational Testing Service(ETS) and the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson Education (formerly National Evaluation Systems, Inc.). ETS offers the Praxis tests, which are standardized across the nation ("off-the-shelf tests"), while Pearson customizes each testing program for the individual state in which it is offered. In general, it is easier to transfer certification between two states that both use the Praxis test, as the retaking of tests is usually not required in those instances. Contracts to manage state testing procedures are usually put out for bidding from different testing companies every 4-6 years.

The annual rankings of U.S. News and World Report placed the following schools of education in the top ten of all graduate colleges of education in the United States. They follow in order of one through ten: Teachers College at Columbia University; Stanford Universitymarker; Harvard Universitymarker; Vanderbilt Universitymarker; University of California at Los Angelesmarker; University of Michigan at Ann Arbormarker; Northwestern Universitymarker; University of California at Berkeleymarker; University of Washingtonmarker; and University of Wisconsin–Madisonmarker.

Teach for America, The New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey Program and the Mississippi Teacher Corps are three highly competitive, alternate-route teaching programs, for college graduates who are not education majors.

See also


  1. (2008) "America's Best Education Graduate Schools 2008", US News and World Report. Retrieved 8/5/07.

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