Certification of teachers and preschool teachers
2 March 2011, The Swedish Parliament decided to introduce certification of teachers and preschool teachers in Sweden. This reform is introduced from 1 July 2011. The purpose of the reform is to raise the level of skills among teachers and preschool teachers so as to improve the quality of educational services. The Swedish National Agency for Education take decisions on certification of teachers and preschool teachers.
Certification requires a degree in education or in preschool education.
To qualify to teach at a school a teacher will need certification with a specialisation in the type of teaching concerned. A teacher's certificate clearly shows in which types of school, which subjects and which years he or she is qualified to teach. The National Agency for Education determine that a teacher is qualified on the basis of the teacher's education. Each application is reviewed and assessed based on the rules that applied when the teacher or preschool teacher took his or her degree, even if other requirements are applicable today. Expanded eligibility will be assessed against the provisions of Regulation on jurisdiction and the registration of teachers and preschool teachers (2011:326).
Only certified teachers will be eligible for permanent employment. Certification as a preschool teacher will be required to take responsibility for teaching activities in a preschool children's group. Exemptions will only be allowed if there is a shortage of qualified teachers or preschool teachers or on exceptional grounds. A decision to allow an exemption is to be taken by the school board and will be valid for at most one year at a time.
If a teacher or preschool teacher seriously neglects their work, their certificate may be withdrawn. Such decisions will be taken by a committee - the Teachers' Disciplinary Board - under the National Agency for Education. The Teachers' Disciplinary Board will be a new institution having the right to withdraw a teacher’s certificate or to issue warnings.
What is required?
In order to apply for a teacher or preschool teacher certificate in Sweden, the applicant must have:
1. A diploma of Education (Lärarexamen) awarded by a university or other institution of higher education in Sweden or
- A Qualified Teacher Status Certificate (Behörighetsbevis) issued by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) or
- A diploma of Education from a country other than Sweden that qualifies the holder to work as a teacher or preschool teacher in the country of education.
2. Adequate proficiency in the Swedish language. The applicants proficiency in Swedish must meet the requirements equivalent of an upper secondary (high school) course in Swedish.
The National Agency for Education may reach the decision that the applicant will need to supplement the foreign education with e.g. an adjustment period or further studies in Sweden before the applicant is eligible for a Teacher’s certificate.
Which documents need to be submitted to an application?
1. Certificate of proficiency in Swedish
If the applicant have a different first language than Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic or Faroese the applicant must submit a certificate showing:
- A passing grade in a course in Swedish For Non-Nordic Students organised by a university or other institution of higher education in Sweden. The course should qualify for taking Swedish university courses in Sweden or
- That the applicant have passed the Test In Swedish for University Studies (TISUS) or
- A passing grade in a course equivalent of Swedish stage 3 or Swedish as a Second Language stage 3 (Swedish B or Swedish as a Second Language B), with the same requirements as in Swedish upper secondary school.
2. Diplomas, transcripts and qualifications
- A Diploma of Education as teacher of preschool teacher or
- A study certificate that shows the same information as the diploma and is issued by the institution
of education or
- A Qualified Teacher Status Certificate issued by the National Agency for Higher Education
3. Official certificate of recognition as teacher
If the diploma does not state which subjects and years (forms) the applicant is qualified to teach in the applicant have to submit a certificate of recognition issued by the relevant authority in the country of education. The certificate shall state the subjects and years that the diploma qualifies the holder to teach in the country where the teacher education has been completed.
4. Birth certificate or similar
- If the applicant is a Swedish citizen or have a residence permit in Sweden the applicant have to submit a birth certificate from the National Tax Board (Skatteverket). If the applicant have made any name changes they should be detailed on the certificate.
- If the applicant is a citizen of another country within the EU/EEA the applicant have to submit testified copies of the passport or birth certificate issued by the relevant authority in the applicants country.
- If the applicant is applying for a residence permit in Sweden a testified copy of the application for residence is needed.
All the documents and certificates have to be testified copies of the original and in their original language. If they are in another language than Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Finnish, Faroese, Meänkieli, Saami or English the applicant also have to submit translations to Swedish or English. The translations should be done by an authorised translator or in a professional way.
- If you have a Qualified Teacher Status Certificate from the National Agency for Higher Education or a Diploma of Education dated before the 1st of July 2011 you do not pay a fee for the application.
- If you do not have a Qualified Teacher Status Certificate and you Diploma of Education is dated after the 1st of July 2011, the fee for the application is 1500 SEK.
- If you have received your teacher’s certificate and have reached new qualifications through further studies, an application for extending your qualifications on the certificate costs 750 SEK