(Advanced Studies in Professional Education)

             Additional Qualification Courses

Additional Qualifications At Western

We offer Additional Qualification (AQ) courses that are specifically designed for certified teachers. Taking AQ courses can help you upgrade your skills, expand your knowledge and advance your career.

Additionally, ASPirE offers certificates that leverage expertise in a variety of fields. These professional development courses can be taken individually or combined to form certificates.

All AQ courses are fully online unless otherwise indicated. To view session dates and course offerings please select the Courses & Certificates tab.


Expectations: I have never taken an online course - What should I expect?

    1. Most Western AQ courses are offered in a combined format, where candidates across Schedule A (Divisional Qualifications-ABQ), Schedule D (3-part AQ), or Schedule E (Honour Specialist AQ), may be combined. As candidates participate in course discussions and collaborative inquiries they work towards achievement of their course-specific expectations. 
    2. Prior to the start date of your course, you need to ensure to have activated your Western Identity through Western's Identity Manager (see After Registration tab for instructions) as you will need a Western user ID and password to log into your course. Instructions were sent to you in a confirmation email when you registered for the course. If you did not recieve this email, please email us at 
    3. All Western AQ courses are offered in the Western Learning Management System – OWL BrightspaceClick here to log into OWL Brightspace.
    4. Ensure that you are using an UP TO DATE browser (Chrome is recommended).  Western AQ are not designed to be completed on your phone. You must have regular access to a desktop, laptop, or tablet.
      1. Log into OWL Brightspace on the course start date.  Your course(s) will be listed on your homepage under “My Courses”.  Select your course to begin navigating the course content. Click on the links at the top to explore and become familiar with the course set-up. Here are examples of these links:
        • COURSE HOME: Access the Overview tab and Course Syllabus which provides a course overview and outlines readings, course expectations, and evaluation rubrics, as well as University and Course policies.
        • COURSE CONTENT:  Access and read your course content to become familiar with the learning that will be covered in the assignments, readings and course expectations.
        • CALENDAR: View important dates / events for the course.
        • COMMUNICATIONS: In addition to viewing announcements, here you will participate in discussions and interact with your Collaborative Inquiry group. This is where you will be interacting with your instructor and your classmates in the online discussion forums, responding to the Instructor's questions and commenting on your colleagues’ responses.
        • ASSESSMENTS: Under this tab, you will submit your assignments for assessment and feedback. Note: Some instructors may combine their discussions and assignments through artifacts and as a result, you would submit your assignments in the Discussion area.
        • GRADES: View your assignment grades.
    5. CONTACTING YOUR INSTRUCTOR: If you have any problems, questions or concerns, email your instructor using your Western Email account. Their email should be posted on the Overview.  Please ensure that you are regularly checking your Western email for incoming messages.  Instructors will contact you with feedback, concerns, or information specific to each course candidate.  


TIME COMMITMENT: Each course consists of 125 hours, as required by the Ontario College of Teachers. This time allotment includes ongoing and active participation in the online discussion area, participation in Collaborative Inquiry, and the completion of readings and assignments.

      • The expectation is that you are online participating in the course regularly and consistently. For a 10 week online course in the Fall or Winter, this translates to approximately 12.5-15 hours per week for Collaborative Inquiry, discussion, readings and assignments. During the more condensed Intersession expect to spend approximately 21-25 hours per week on your course. During the 4 week Summer session the time commitment is approximately 40 hours per week (This may include weekends for the summer session).
      • While one of the benefits of online learning is the flexibility it provides for you as a participant, the time commitment remains. Discussion is a key aspect of all our online courses. As such, your hours of online access should be spread out evenly throughout each module and throughout the duration of the course. Absence from the online discussions cannot be "made up"; therefore, consistent and regular participation is required. The discussion is not "live", you can be online at any time of the day or night.

If you have questions or concerns, email or use the Messages tab within your course to ask the instructor.

Final Grades and OCT Reporting

Final grades will be available approximately four weeks after the course once the official adjudication process is complete, and can be viewed by logging into the Student Centre with your Western user ID and password. Around that time, the ASPirE office will send your course report to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) for certification. Once processed by the OCT, the qualification will be added to your Ontario Certificate of Qualification and Registration (CQR) teaching certificate. 

A course completion email will be sent after the grades have been posted by the Office of the Registrar, approximately four weeks after the course end date. 

French Proficiency test information and dates

Admission to the French as a Second Language Part 1 course requires completion of 5.0 full-year university degree-credit courses in French OR 1 year of university completed with French as the language of instruction OR proof of successful completion, within 3 years, of the DELF/DALF testing at a B2 level or higher OR successful completion of Western’s French Proficiency Test.  The test may also be required for admission to Intermediate Division or Senior Division French as a Second Language.  Please ensure to review the admission prerequisites for these qualifications prior to registration.

Next Test Date

  • Fall - September 7, 2024. 
  • Winter - January 11, 2025. 
  • Spring 2025 - TBD.
  • Summer 2025 - TBD.

*Western French Proficiency Test results are valid for one (1) year from the date of the test for Additional Qualifications enrollment purposes.  The candidate must enroll in the French AQ/ABQ course  within the 1-year time period.  If enrolling in the Additional Qualification after 1 year from the test date, the candidate must retake the French proficiency test.

Testing Arrangements: Email the ASPirE Office ( to determine if you require the proficiency test.  Our office will provide you with additional information regarding eligibility for admission.  Should you register for a French AQ prior to the release of your French test results, and are unsuccessful in the test, a refund of the AQ course fee less the non-refundable deposit will be issued.

Test  Fee: $100.00 non-refundable (payable online by credit card). You must register and pay online a minimum of ten days prior to the test date.

Proctored Testing: All components of the test are proctored online by Western University and will be administered via Zoom. You must have access to a microphone and camera on the day of the test.

How do I access my UWO email?

A Western email is assigned to you when you activate your Western Identity.  Guides on how to use your Western email can be found HERE.

Log in HERE to access your Western email.  *You will be logging into the Outlook Web App via Microsoft Office 365.  Your userID is your full Western email address (including the  Then click on Outlook and complete the MFA (multi-factor authentication) using your preferred method. 

NOTE:  For your AQ course, ASPirE will correspond with you using the primary email address you designated in your AQ Registration Profile.  You will also be able to message your course instructor directly by using the Messages tab in your course. Your Western email is important:

  1. If your instructor is unable to reach you through the messages tab
  2. If ASPirE is unable to reach you via the email you provided on our registration portal
  3. For official notification of information regarding tax receipts, transcripts, and final grades.

How do I change my name and contact information?

Keeping your contact details up to date ensures that you receive important correspondence regarding your course, registration, and admission.  To update your information such as name, address, email and phone number in your registration profile, log into the AQ Registration Portal.  

IMPORTANT: Updating your registration profile does not change the contact information on your official Western Account which also requires updating.  Your Western Account is your official record and the basis of all official correspondence from Western including final grades, transcripts, and tax receipts.  Certain updates such as name changes may require official documentation to be submitted to the University.  Please visit this webpage for instructions:

Updating your official Western Account [in addition to your AQ Registration Portal profile] ensures that your courses, transcripts, and AQ recommendations to the Ontario College of Teachers reflect your current information.

How do I get a pre-assessment for admission to an AQ course?

Courses in Business Studies, French as a Second Language, Honour Specialist, Intermediate and Senior Division (ABQ) require prior university courses in the subject area for admission.

If you are unsure of your eligibility for an AQ course, we strongly recommend that you have your qualifications assessed prior to registering for a course with Western. Candidates who are required to withdraw from a course due to ineligibility receive a refund as per the university refund schedule and are subject to a $100 non-refundable fee. Please email a copy of your transcripts to and include a note indicating the course(s) you are interested in, your OCT membership number, and a return email address. We will respond by email with the evaluation results.

Pre-assessment requests for AQ courses are processed in the order they are received.  Priority is given to assessments for the current session.  Requests must be received by the ASPirE Program office no later than 10 days prior to the registration deadline for the session.  Please allow 5-7 business days for processing.  We cannot guarantee a response for requests received within 10 days of the registration deadline.  Note that registration acceptance is also contingent on space availability in the course.

Official transcripts: If you are approved to take the course, we will require an official transcript sent directly from the issuing institution. Most institutions are able to send official transcripts by email, or you may use an official transcript service such as MyCreds at  It is strongly recommended that your university use email or other digital means to send it to our office at to ensure its timely receipt and avoid loss/delays by regular mail.  If they are unable to email it, a sealed copy may be mailed by the institution to the ASPirE Office address found in the Contact Us menu in the top right hand side of this web site.

How do I get a payment or tax receipt for my online course?

An official Enrollment Confirmation and payment receipt is emailed to course candidates upon registration for the AQ course.

If you need to request another copy of the receipt, please email and include your Western student number and current AQ or Braille course. 

You can also print both a Statement of Account and a Web Academic Report from the Registrar's website: Log into Student Center and under Finances click on 'Detailed Statement of Account'.

-The detailed statement of account will provide you with your account information including tuition due dates, charges, payments, awards and current balance. In the upper right hand corner you can also click on the printer friendly link to generate a HTML printout of your tuition statement should you require a paper copy.

-To access the Web Academic Report which will list the course name(s), go to the Student Centre and under Academics > Documentation, select 'Web Academic Report'. Then select it as the 'Report Type' (it will be the only option) and click 'View Report'. It takes approximately one minute for the report to run.

If you have questions or require assistance, please email or call the Helpline at 519-661-2100.

Tax receipts will be available in February of the year following completion of your AQ, on the last business day of the month. Log into the Student Centre at that time to access and print the official T2202A receipt.

Please Note: Our Certificate courses are considered non-degree credit and therefore do not qualify as an education tax credit by Revenue Canada and a T2202A (Tuition and Education Amounts Certificate) will not be issued. You may be able to claim course fees on your federal income tax, line 320 on schedule 11 (see line 323 of the guide) using your registration receipt. For more information, please visit  Canada Revenue Agency or consult a tax professional.

How do I get a transcript for my course?

Western transcripts are ordered through the Registrar's Office. Under Student Records, select Transcripts. They can be ordered by fax or online. To order it online, you will need your Western Identity user ID and password. ENSURE to check that your grade is available first as the Transcripts office will not hold for grades. It is up to the candidate to report course completion to QECO, OSSTF or institutions other than the OCT.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Student Central.

How do I withdraw from an online AQ or Certificate course?

Withdrawal from an ASPirE course has a corresponding financial implication. If you wish to withdraw from a course, submit your request online:  Log in to the AQ Registration Portal and select "My Courses".  For the course you wish to drop, click on its CC-xxx link under Course Connection ID.  Under Course Actions, select Request to Drop the Course and follow the steps. 

Note that non-participation in the course does not presume formal withdrawal.

For AQ Withdrawals prior to the course start date, including those for medical reasons or ineligibility, result in a refund of the course fee less the $100 non-refundable processing fee.  They are processed in approximately 10 business days.  After the start date, refunds are issued in accordance with the university refund schedule.  The $100 non-refundable processing fee applies to all refund amounts.  Note: The university refund schedules for AQ courses are occasionally updated.  Please ensure to check the schedules when considering a withdrawal.

Certificate withdrawals and refunds: - If the drop request is received prior to the course start date and all supplementary materials are returned to ASPirE, a full refund will be given minus the $75 non-refundable fee.  If materials are not returned a full refund minus $105 will be given.  - If the drop request is received after the course start date and before the 6th day of the scheduled online course, a refund of 70% will be given minus the $75 non-refundable fee. - No refunds are given after the 6th day of scheduled online course.

Full refunds are issued if a course is cancelled by the University.

Refunds are only issued in the same tender used for payment. No interest is paid on refunded tuition. Refunds are processed in approximately 10 business days.

Withdrawal requests received after the last refund date stated on the university refund schedule will result in a failing grade and no refund of tuition.

Multi-Factor Authentication (DUO) and why do I need it?

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method in which a user is granted access only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to prove their identity. 

As part of the wider measures that help protect University services, Western uses DUO multi-factor authenticator.  DUO is a feature-rich and industry standard technology used across North American Higher Education and private sectors.  Users who log into Western services that have Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) will be prompted by DUO to complete a second step, that of acknowledging your login access via your mobile device.  

Please visit the Western Technology Services website for additional information and guidelines to set up your MFA for Western. Visit this LINK to set up MFA on your devices.  You will be able to add, change, and remove devices as needed. 

Switching my course to another session?

Requests to defer a course to the following session must be received prior to the commencement date of the session, and is contingent on space availability in the other session.  Students may defer only from Spring to Summer, OR from Fall to Winter sessions; however, not from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter.  

If you wish to defer to another session or transfer to another course in the same session, submit your request online:  Log into the AQ Registration Portal, and select "My Courses".  For the course you wish to drop, click on its CC-xxx link under Course Connection ID.  Under Course Actions, select Request Transfer and follow the steps.  Your eligibility for the requested course must be verified prior to the transfer request being approved. 

Temporary versus Transitional Teaching Certificate

Temporary Certificate

The Temporary Certificate program ended on December 31, 2023 in accordance with provincial legislation. 

The “Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration” program was launched in 2021 by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), as a temporary measure to help address severe teacher shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic.  It enabled candidates to begin teaching earlier, while enrolled in an Ontario-accredited teacher education program:  Temporary Certificate holders, in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers, are eligible to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded school system until their certificate’s expiry date.  Upon or before the certificate expiry, the holder must convert it to a general Certificate of Qualification and Registration.  **Temporary Certificate holders are eligible to take AQ courses provided their teacher education program is completed prior to the AQ course start date.  The completed Additional Qualification is added to their teaching certificate when the holder converts it to a general Certificate of Qualification and Registration.

Transitional Certificate

As of August 30, 2023, the OCT launched a NEWTransitional Certificate of Qualification and Registration” (TCQR).  Eligible teacher candidates who planned to apply for a Temporary certificate will instead apply for a Transitional Certificate.  As with the temporary certificate, the Transitional Certificate enables candidates in good standing to teach in Ontario’s publicly funded school system while completing their Teacher Education program.  The transitional certificate is valid for 18 months (which can be extended one-time only by six months).  **Holders of the new Transitional Certificate may take AQ courses only if their teacher education program is completed prior to the AQ course start date.  The completed Additional Qualification is added to their teaching certificate when the holder converts it to a general Certificate of Qualification and Registration.


The launch of the NEW Transitional Certificate above results in a name change for the current Transitional Certificate.  Candidates who apply for the current transitional certificate with its conditions, and who are certified after August 30, 2023, will be granted a “Multi-Session Transitional Certificate of Qualification and Registration” to distinguish it from the new Transitional Certificate.  Further note that holders who were granted the current transitional certificate PRIOR to August 30, 2023, will not have the name change applied and they will continue to hold “Transitional Certificate” until its expiration date.  **Whether certified prior to or after August 30, 2023, holders of the current transitional certificate may not take AQ courses until they have completed the requirements needed to convert it to a General Certificate of Qualification and Registration. 

What if I need accommodations (disabilities or medical) during the course?

The University recognizes that a candidate's ability to meet his or her academic responsibilities may, on occasion, be impaired by medical illness. Illness may be acute (short term), or it may be chronic (long term), or chronic with acute episodes. The University further recognizes that medical situations are deeply personal and respects the need for privacy and confidentiality in these matters. However, to ensure fairness and consistency for all students, academic accommodation for work representing 10% or more of the student's overall grade in the course shall be granted only in those cases where there is documentation indicating that the student was seriously affected by illness and could not reasonably be expected to meet his or her academic responsibilities. Information on submitting documentation is noted below.

Medical Accommodations: If medical accommodations are required, please visit this page: Medical Accommodation to review the policy and procedures. The Student Medical Certificate must be completed by your medical practitioner and sent to the ASPirE Academic Counsellor and Manager Barbara Thomas @ Our office will review the documentation and work with you and the course instructor to facilitate the appropriate accommodations. If medical accommodation is required, at any time, which deals with work that is more than 10% of the total course grade, candidates should submit their request directly to the Accessible Education Office.

Academic Accommodation: If you require accommodation for a disability, you will be required to contact the Accessible Education Office PRIOR to the course start date.  Accommodations should be in place before the course begins. Academic accommodation consists of arrangements that allow a student with a disability a fair opportunity to engage in academic activities and fulfill essential course and program requirements.

Accommodation does not remove essential requirements of a course or program. It does not fundamentally alter standards for assigning grades, or requirements that students independently demonstrate their knowledge of course material.  Accessible Education Office

What is a "Collaborative Inquiry"?

All courses include a Collaborative Inquiry Component. Participating in Collaborative Inquiry with your colleagues is an opportunity for you to pursue an area of inquiry that meets your own personal interests and professional development needs, as they link to course readings, content and related teaching and learning experiences in the subject area and/or at the grade level of your Additional Qualifications (AQ) course.

Within the course, candidates work together in small groups, with guidance from the instructor, around difficult cases/issues or topics from their classroom practice, and engage in professional dialogue with others in the field in ways that inform and extend the understanding of all involved. Within your CI group, you may;

  • Raise questions that are 'nagging' you;
  • Seek clarification of issues;
  • Debate the advantages or disadvantages of various strategies, approaches, practices;
  • Analyse the degree of success that a particular teaching strategy or approach has had for you;
  • Decide on next steps for instructional strategies to ensure student learning after considering alternative options;
  • Decide on what needs to be done for a student.

What is a Combined Honour Specialist?

A combined Honour Specialist is the completion of TWO Honour Specialist AQ (you must register and pay for both courses) and has different admission prerequisites than a single Honour Specialist. The courses can be taken concurrently or during different sessions, but we cannot send a report to the Ontario College of Teachers for either specialist until both courses have been successfully completed. For admission requirements for a combined Honour Specialist, please locate the course on our Course Search page

What is my Western Identity?

To obtain your secure login for the online course in OWL, you need to activate your Western Identity. Your Western Identity is your key to central services, including courses, at Western and consists of a User ID and Password. Your User ID is a unique name that identifies you as a member of the Western community. The User ID cannot be changed.

Instructions on activating your Western Identity are provided in the "After Registration" tab.  The instructions are also sent to you in a Welcome email approximately one week prior to the course start.  If you do not see the Welcome email in your inbox, check junk/spam folders and add to your email contact list.

IMPORTANT: Your user ID and password are secure and should be kept safe as the ASPirE Office cannot provide them to you should they be misplaced.  You will use the same user ID and password to log into future courses at Western, as well as other secured Western sites to view final grades, order transcripts, and access tax receipts.

Your Western Identity activates for use in 48 hours for new students to Western, and in 1-3 hours if you are a returning student re-setting your Identity. 

Please note that your Western Identity login is different from the login you use for the AQ Registration Portal where you register for AQ courses and view the status of required documentation.   

Who is my supervisory officer and how is teaching experience determined?

For teachers employed by a board of education, a supervisory officer is the superintendent or assistant superintendent of the board. A principal is not deemed to be a supervisory officer. For teachers employed by a private school, the official appointed by the Ministry of Education to provide supervisory services for the school is deemed to be the supervisory officer.

One school year of teaching experience is equivalent to 194 teaching days if you are a supply teacher. The supervisory officer must certify your experience by completing and signing the Teaching Experience Form.  The signing officer must email the signed form directly to, or if they send the form to you, you must forward their email including the form and their contact information to 

For teachers from other jurisdictions, who are not members of the Ontario College of teachers, and are not planning on teaching in Ontario, please contact for information on acceptable signing authorities.

Why are many courses taught in a combined format?

Many of our AQ courses are offered in a combined format, where Part 1, Part 2, Specialist, Intermediate, Senior, and Honour Specialist candidates may be combined together. Within a combined format, participants work towards the achievement of their course-specific expectations. When common "big ideas" or skills are involved, all participants in the courses may work together, such as during the Collaborative Inquiry Project. At other times, discussion may be specific to each individual course. Assessment, evaluation, and reporting are course-specific.

There are benefits for participants, both socially and academically. Reviews of research, conducted in Canada, show that classes of a combined nature can provide participants with increased opportunities for social and emotional growth. Participants have been shown to:

  • develop more positive peer interactions;
  • do more collaborative and independent learning;
  • show higher satisfaction with achievements;
  • have more opportunities for leadership within a community of learners.