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Requirements for a Certificate 5:

If you are a teacher who graduated a number of years ago from a four-year B.Ed. program or if you were educated out of province and were granted a Cert 4 when you came to New Brunswick, you may want to consider upgrading to a Cert 5.

Here is a summary of what you need to move from a Cert 4 to a Cert 5:

  • 36 credit hours (12 courses) of approved coursework (approved means that the Office of Teacher Certification at the Department of Education has given you written approval before you take the course)
  • 18 of these credit hours (6 courses) must be university courses at the 3000 level or higher
  • the other 18 credit hours (6 courses) may be a combination of 1000 level university courses, AICE courses, NBTA courses or District courses that have been approved by the Minister's Advisory Committee on Teacher Certification (of course you may choose to do more 3000+ level university courses if you wish).
  • Of these lower level 18 credit hours, you may have no more than 4 of any of the listed types. For example, you may have 3 AICE courses and 3 NBTA, or perhaps 2 AICE, 3 NBTA and 1 1000-level university course. You could not have a combination of 1 AICE course and 5 NBTA courses because this exceeds the limit of 4 of any one category.
  • Courses you acquired in an earlier program that were not credited toward your B.Ed. may be applied, even if you took them a number of years ago (for example, you began a forestry degree then switched to Education. If there are Science or Math courses, that were not counted toward your B.Ed, they may be considered for your Cert 5). The Office of Teacher Certification will determine this.
  • You may take as long as you need to complete the Cert 5 and you may choose your university courses from any universities. Your courses must be either Education courses or 'teachables', i.e., Mathematics, History, etc. Click here for a list of "Teachables" as determined by the NB Department of Education.
  • Adult Ed courses are not accepted.

How do I get started?:

  • Contact the Office of Teacher Certification (teachercertification@gnb.ca) and tell them you want to begin the work on your Cert 5. They will open your file.
  • Ask if you have any credits already accrued toward the certificate and, if so, to determine how many credits you need. If you know you have not taken any courses since your undergrad degree, you probably need all 12 courses.
  • Each time you choose a course, you MUST get approval in writing for the Office of Teacher Certification using the appropriate course approval form. Click here for the Course Approval for certificate 5.
  • Each time you get approval for a course, this is entered into your file. Once you have all 12 courses, you must apply for the certificate upgrade and arrange for transcripts to be sent to verify your completion of the courses.
  • Note: Transcripts for NBTA courses are automatically forwarded to the OTC upon completion. Transcripts from universities must be requested. (see links under Who Can Help You section.)
  • The application form for Upgrading to Certificate 5 for is available on this website. (click here).

Examples of teacher situations:

Teacher A:
graduated from UNB in 1993 with a 4 year BEd. Took two introductory French summer courses at McGill in 1995 but has taken no courses since then.

Teacher A's Requirements to Complete a Cert 5: This teacher needs an additional 10 courses to finish Cert 5. Because the two courses at McGill were low level (1000 and 2000 level), she can only take 4 more courses that are under the 3000 level or are AICE or NBTA courses. Let's assume she picks up 2 NBTA courses and 2 AICE courses.

She now has her 6 low level courses.

She needs 6 more courses, 3000 level or higher to finish her cert 5. She can access these through any universities, on-line or face to face, as long as they are education courses (Example: Educ 4152) or courses in a teachable subject discipline ( Example: History 3604)

Teacher B:
moved to NB in 2005 from Ontario and was awarded a cert 4 (despite having 2 degrees from that province). Teacher was informed that he was two credits short of the requirements for NB and would need to take them before being given a cert 5. (the number of missing credits will vary.)

Teacher B's Requirements to Complete Cert 5: In most cases, Teacher B can pick up any 2 courses (or the required number) to fulfill the requirements, but this will need to be specified by the Office of Teacher Certification. ASK!

If a specific requirement such as a music course is missing, this will be indicated. Otherwise, any 2 university courses, NBTA courses or AICE courses will complete the certificate upgrade.

Teacher C:
has taken 4 NBTA courses, 3 university courses (Educ 2003, Educ 3500, Educ 5100) and 2 AICE courses since completing her BEd.

Teacher C's Requirements to Complete Cert 5: Even though teacher C has a total of 9 courses, and appears to need only 3 more to complete the required 12, there is a problem here. The 4 NBTA courses and 2 AICE courses are the maximum 6 'lower level' courses she may take for credit. The EDUC 2003 course is also a course below the 3000 level, and is one more than can be credited toward the certificate.

Thus, this teacher has 8 credited courses and must do 4 more courses, all university courses at the 3000 level or higher in order to qualify for the cert 5. While the additional course was undoubtedly of value, it is important to keep track of the requirements if you wish to avoid additional costs or 'extra' courses.

What are NBTA and AICE courses?

These are courses that are offered by two non university institutions that have been approved in accordance with Department of Education Policy 611 for credit toward a certificate 5. Each course is considered the equivalent of 3 credit hours.

The New Brunswick Teachers Association (NBTA) offers an array of 6 different courses in locations throughout the province. The emphasis is on current theory and practical classroom applications, as well as reflection, professional dialogue and action research. The courses are instructed by qualified experienced classroom teachers who have been prepared to instruct a specific course.

Each course is 36 hours of face to face instruction with assignments and practice in your classroom. The NBTA has the status of an Educational Institution for income tax purposes. Receipts and transcripts are provided upon successful completion of each course requirements.

AICE is the American Institute of Creative Education, an organization which offers practical content based courses throughout the province and the state of Maine. Instructors are also qualified experienced teachers and the courses are considered relevant and practical. Full tax receipts and transcripts are provided.

For information on AICE courses and availability go to

Note: Occasionally a School District may offer a course that has been approved for credit toward Certificate 5. The District must follow certain protocols to have said course approved by the Ministers Advisory Committee on Teacher Certification prior to the course being offered.

What do I do When I have Completed the Requirements for a Certificate Upgrade?

As you complete each course, make sure that the Office of Teacher Certification has a copy of the mark or transcript. Once you have all the requirements, complete the Application for Upgrading Certification Level form. Send it with the appropriate fee to the Office of Teacher Certification.

Deadlines for Application for Certificate Upgrades:

You application to upgrade a certificate has two deadlines. If the coursework has been completed by the end of August, you may apply any time up to October 31 for retroactivity to July 2 (with real pay increase showing only in September since summer cheques are not subject to raises). If the course work is completed before December 31, you have until March 31 for retroactivity to January 2.

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