What are the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence?
The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence have honoured exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines since 1994, with over 1,700 teachers honoured to date.
Recipients are recognized for their leadership and exemplary teaching practices as well as for their commitment to help the next generation of Canadians gain the knowledge and skills they need for future success in a world inspired by ideas and driven by innovation.
The Awards are administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development on behalf of the Prime Minister, in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.
What are the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM?
The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM recognizes inspirational science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) teachers at the elementary or secondary school level who keep students engaged in STEM learning and who help develop the culture of innovation that Canada needs today, and in the future.
Who can be nominated for a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence?
Teachers at an elementary or secondary school in Canada who teach in all disciplines can be nominated.
The awards can honour the overall accomplishments of a single teacher or a team of up to three teachers. At the time of nomination, all nominees must meet the following criteria:
- Nominees must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada;
- Nominees must be certified to teach in a public or private school in a Canadian province or territory;
- Nominees must teach the equivalent of 2.5 days per week in a classroom setting, or as defined by provincial or territorial guidelines; and,
- Nominees must have taught school in Canada for at least three years.
For the complete list of the eligibility criteria, refer to the 2023 Prime Minister's Award Guidelines.
Who can be nominated for Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM?
Teachers at an elementary or secondary school in Canada who teach at least one subject related to STEM can be nominated (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Teachers must also meet the same eligibility criteria as the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Are applicants for the Teaching Excellence in STEM award still eligible for the Teaching Excellence award?
Yes. Because eligible teachers must qualify for the same criteria for both award streams, educators who apply but do not receive a Teaching Excellence in STEM award may still be eligible for the Teaching Excellence award, provided standards of excellence are met. Applicants must not be past Certificate of Excellence recipients for Teaching Excellence or Teaching Excellence in STEM. Certificate of Achievement recipients are not eligible to receive another certificate of Achievement for Teaching Excellence or Teaching Excellence in STEM.
How do I prove that the teacher's certificate is in good standing?
The PMA program will accept an employer letter confirming that the teacher's certification remains in good standing at the time of nomination.
Can school principals, guidance counsellors, or librarians be nominated?
Yes. Principals, guidance counsellors, and librarians are eligible for an award if they hold a valid teaching certificate and teach the equivalent of 2.5 days a week in a classroom setting and meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the 2023 Prime Minister's Award Guidelines.
Can school Educational Assistants (EA) be nominated?
Educational assistants are eligible for an award if they hold a valid teaching certificate and meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the 2023 Prime Minister's Award Guidelines.
Can Kindergarten teachers be nominated?
Yes. Certified Kindergarten teachers can be nominated for a Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence or Teaching Excellence in STEM.
Are teams of teachers eligible?
Yes. Teams of up to three teachers can be nominated for an award. Award funds are shared equally among the team members. Each member of a team must meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the 2023 Prime Minister's Award Guidelines. Letters of support should endorse the accomplishments of all team members.
Who can nominate?
Any person or group with direct knowledge of the nominee's contribution (i.e. parents, colleagues, principals, board members, and students) can make a nomination.
Self-nominations or nominations received from a nominee's immediate family member are not accepted. Posthumous nominations are also not accepted.
How are award recipients selected?
Prime Minister's Award (PMA) recipients are selected via a rigorous two-tier process that involves volunteers from major education stakeholders across Canada, including teachers' federations, parent-teacher associations, post-secondary institutions, and provincial and territorial education ministries.
The program has recruited over 100 volunteer representatives from various education stakeholders, including provincial and territorial officials. This large number is required as each nomination package is reviewed by up to four regional evaluators. After an initial screening for basic eligibility, copies of the nomination text and letters of support are sent to our regional evaluators for review. The regional evaluators look for clear evidence that nominees have excelled in all of the following five areas:
- Digital and Creative Literacy in the Classroom
- Innovative and Exemplary Teaching Practices
- Support Student Success and Skills Development
- Global Citizenship and Community Involvement
- Commitment and Leadership
Applications for the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence and for Teaching Excellence in STEM are judged on the same selection criteria. Nomination packages are evaluated and ranked based on how well each nominee meets the selection criteria for the awards.
The program also has a National Advisory Committee (NAC) comprised of national level education organizations. NAC provides an oversight and advisory function. After being reviewed by the committee, a final list of the top-ranked candidates is recommended to the Minister who informs the Prime Minister. Up to 35 awards (10 Excellence, 25 Achievement) are offered for Teaching Excellence and up to 17 awards (2 Excellence, 15 Achievement) for Teaching Excellence in STEM. Provided standards of excellence are met, the PMA aims to present at least one Certificate of Excellence or Achievement to outstanding Indigenous educators.
Based on the number of nominations received and provided standards of excellence are met, the PMA aims to have an annual cohort of recipients that reflect the diversity of the country with appropriate gender, Indigenous, visible minority, and geographic representation.
Regional evaluators and National Advisory Committee members are all volunteers who give their valuable time and expertise at no cost to the program. The PMA program could not function without the generous support of our volunteer evaluators and committee members.
When is the 2023 nomination deadline?
Nomination packages must be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Awards program office by January 17, 2023 — 11:59 a.m. Pacific Time.
How do I send my nomination package?
Completed nomination packages can submitted on-line, by email or by regular mail:
Before submitting your nomination on-line, please ensure to:
- Download the nomination form and save it to your computer
- Complete all required sections of the nomination form
- Ensure you have included all required attachments by selecting the Add Attachments feature
- Click the Submit button at the bottom on the nomination form
Submitting by email
Email submissions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline date in one of the following file formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx .rtf, .txt, .jpg, .jpeg, .tiff, .tif, .xps. The total file size cannot exceed 10MB.
Submitting by mail
If you chose to submit a nomination by mail, make sure your package is postmarked by the deadline date and sent to the following address:
Prime Minister's Awards
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5
How do I know if my nomination package has been received?
Nominators will receive a notification by email confirming receipt of their nomination packages. If you have not received a confirmation, please contact the PMA program office at email@example.com.
Can I send multimedia files (DVD, CD, USB) with my nomination package?
No. The PMA program office does not currently accept any multimedia materials with nominations. The PMA program is looking at ways to accept multimedia files in the future.
When are the recipients announced?
For the announcement of the 2023 Prime Minister's Award recipients, we recommend signing-up for email updates and checking the website for the most recent information.
Will both successful and unsuccessful applicants be notified of their results?
Yes. All applicants will be notified of their results by telephone or in writing. Notifications will be sent in the days leading up to the announcement of award recipients.
Are all provinces and territories always represented?
The Prime Minister's Awards aim to present at least one Certificate of Excellence or one Certificate of Achievement for each of the following regions, provided standards of excellence are met:
- British Columbia;
- the Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba);
- the North (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut);
- Quebec; and,
- Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador).
While it is not always possible to have award recipients from every province and territory, depending upon the nominations received, there is generally representation from across the country each year.
How are Indigenous recipients selected?
The Prime Minister's Awards aim to present at least one Certificate of Excellence or one Certificate of Achievement to top-ranked Indigenous teachers, provided standards of excellence are met.
Who can I contact for more information?
For more information about the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence or Teaching Excellence in STEM , please contact the PMA program office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-328-6189. To receive the latest news about the Prime Minister's Awards, we encourage you to sign up for email updates.