The right to use the professional title of ‘teacher’ and to exercise that profession in Iceland is regulated by the Act on the education, competency and recruitment of teachers and administrators of preschools, compulsory schools and upper secondary schools, No 95/2019, which also lays down the licensing requirements.
Act No 95/2019 entered into force on 1 January 2020. On the same date, the previous Act on the education and recruitment of teachers and administrators, No 87/2008, was repealed.
Act No 95/2019 provides for the issuing of a single type of teaching licence, replacing the system applying under the repealed Act whereby separate licences were issued for each school level. Previously issued teaching licences for the preschool, compulsory school or upper secondary school levels continue to meet licensing requirements with a specialisation for the level for which the earlier licence was issued.
No new licences will be issued to those who were already in possession of a teaching licence for the preschool, compulsory school or upper secondary school levels on the date of entry into force of Act No 95/2019. Teachers in possession of previously issued licences are therefore licensed to teach at the preschool, compulsory school and upper secondary school levels with a specialisation for the level for which the earlier licence was issued.
Licence to practise
Pursuant to Act No 95/2019, a teaching licence is to be issued to:
- An applicant who has completed a Master’s degree accredited by the Minister for the purposes of teaching at the preschool, compulsory school or upper secondary school levels. In addition, the applicant must possess general competency, within the meaning of Article 4 of the Act, have completed at least 60 credits in education and teaching studies at Master’s level and acquired a specialisation within the meaning of Article 5 of the Act.
Applicants must submit scanned copies in PDF format of their university diplomas (undergraduate and Master’s studies) showing their name, their Icelandic ID number (kennitala) and the name of the degree obtained, as well as an overview of their academic history.
Mutual recognition in accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC – Applicants with teaching qualifications issued by an EEA member state or an EFTA member state
- A citizen of a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA) or of the Faroe Islands, provided that the applicant submit a certificate of recognised teaching qualifications issued by an EEA member state, or by the Faroe Islands, in accordance with the conditions laid down in Directive 2005/36/EB on the recognition of professional qualifications, as amended.
- A citizen of a state party to the convention establishing the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), provided that the applicant submit a certificate of recognised teaching qualifications issued by an EFTA member state, in accordance with the conditions laid down in Directive 2005/36/EB on the recognition of professional qualifications, as amended.
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS in relation to mutual recognition of teaching qualifications:
In addition to certified copies in PDF format of their diplomas and an overview of their academic history, applicants must submit:
- A certificate of recognised teaching qualifications issued by a competent authority in a member state of the EEA, or in the Faroe Islands, in accordance with the conditions laid down in Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, as amended, cf. Article 11 of Act No 95/2019.
- A certified photocopy of the teaching licence issued by that state (where such a licence exists).
- A photocopy of the applicant’s passport as proof of citizenship.
- Information regarding the loss, restriction or withdrawal of the right to practise a profession, or other similar sanctions for serious professional misconduct or mistakes (Letter of Good Standing). Act No 26/2010 stipulates that no such document may be older than three months when submitted.
- Original documents issued in a foreign language, other than English, must be accompanied by an English or Icelandic translation done by a state-certified translator.
Persons applying for mutual recognition of their qualifications should indicate in the comments field on the application form that the application is being submitted on that basis.
Applications for teaching licences and supporting documents will only be accepted when submitted to the Directorate of Education electronically through this website. Accordingly, applicants must be in possession of an electronic ID issued in Iceland or of an IceKey (Íslykill).
Electronic IDs can be obtained here
IceKeys can be obtained here
Applications and supporting documents submitted by email will be rejected.
Please send any questions regarding teaching licences to the Directorate of Education at the following email address: [email protected]
Licences for educational and vocational guidance practitioners
Send your questions to [email protected]. The number for telephone enquiries is 514-7500.
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