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Durham District School Board
Ignite Learning
Q. What education/qualifications are required to teach in Ontario? 
QuestionMark.jpgThe minimum requirement is registration in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers. This is the regulatory body which assesses the qualifications of all persons wishing to teach in publicly funded schools in the province. Generally speaking, applicants will have completed a program of study at a recognized Faculty of Education following (or concurrently with) an undergraduate university degree.

Q. May I apply for a teaching position before I have received my Certification of Registration from the Ontario College of Teachers?
Yes. Simply indicate in the covering letter accompanying your resume that your application to the College is in progress. A Principal may interview you and offer a position, but such an offer would be conditional upon provision of the necessary certification documents.

I do not have formal teaching qualifications.  Are there any circumstances where I might be able to teach?
The requirements to be a teacher are as outlined above. However, there is a provision in the Education Act which allows Boards of Education to utilize persons who are not certified as teachers in emergency situations for temporary assignments. From time to time such persons are hired as uncertified supply teachers. Persons hired on this basis usually have at least an undergraduate degree, specialization in a subject area that is in demand , and demonstrated experience working with young people. Uncertified supply teachers cannot be guaranteed a given amount of work and can only be used AFTER all certified supply teachers have been deployed.

I have heard that non-teachers can obtain something called a Letter of Permission which allows them to teach. Is this correct?
Not exactly. A Letter of Permission is a document obtained by a Board of Education (not by an individual) from the Ministry of Education granting it permission to use an uncertified person in a specific teaching position after all reasonable efforts (including national advertising ) have failed to produce an acceptable certified candidate for that position . A Letter of Permission expires no later than the end of the school year during which it was issued, is not transferable to another person or position, and is not renewable.

Q. I have been trained as a teacher in another province/country. What must I do to be able to work as a teacher with Durham?
You must be registered in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers.
121 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3M5
Tel: 416-961-8800 or 1-888-534-2222
web site :

I am a certified teacher. May I teach a subject (or a grade) for which I do not have formal qualifications?
Yes. However, the Board will be required to obtain a Letter of Approval from the College of Teachers and you would be required to undertake to obtain the necessary qualifications at the first opportunity.

Why must I provide a Criminal Reference Check when I have submitted one already to the College of Teachers?
Board policy requires that a criminal reference check satisfactory to the Board, and current within six months, be provided by all new employees as a condition of employment. A copy that is less than six months old is acceptable. If the document is older than six months, a new one will be required. This is because a criminal reference check is very simply a snapshot in time and would include only charges or convictions up to the point of issuance. Note: Criminal Reference Checks must include the Vulnerable Sector component.

What are the formal requirements or qualifications for non-teaching positions?
Specific requirements and qualifications will vary depending on the nature of the position and would be shown in any posting or advertisement. Please note that proof of education and other required qualifications must be provided at the time an application is submitted.
Q. Must I be on the supply list before I may apply for other positions?
Regulation 274 now requires Boards to give preferential treatment when hiring to persons who are already on that Board’s supply list. You can review the Regulation in detail by clicking on the following link. Regulation 274