Renewing Your WA Teaching Certificate


Know what type of certificate you hold. There are four types of certificates in the State of Washington:

  1. Teacher (with endorsement area(s) listed);
  2. Career and Technical Educator (formerly vocational educator);
  3. Administrator;
  4. Educational Staff Associate (counselors, psychologists, physical therapists, school nurse, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists or audiologists).

A temporary permit is equivalent to a certificate in authorizing someone to be assigned in a role but is only good for 180 days. If you hold a permit, be sure to follow through to make sure that your certificate is in process and arrives prior to the expiration of the permit.

A Residency Teacher (Provisional Status) Certificate is issued if you are a first time Washington teacher. This is valid only until you have completed your first two consecutive years with a Washington School District. After provisional status is complete, a new Residency Teacher certificate – this time without the “Provisional Status” label, will be issued. A Residency Teacher (Provisional Status) certificate holder must reapply for reissuance of the Residency Teacher certificate as soon after completing provisional status as possible.

The new Residency Teacher Certificate will be issued with a five year expiration date. With this new expiration date and within the new five year window, you will be required to complete a Pro Cert program or enroll in a National Board certification program. The Pro Cert program must start with a Pre-Assessment Seminar (3 quarter hours or 30 clock hours) and then 9 quarter hours (or 90 clock hours) and completed with a Culminating Seminar (3 quarter hours or 30 clock hours). If you have experience from another State, you may qualify for “Fast Track” which gets you through the program with less required credits. Others in the district are working on the same programs and there is information available within our district to help you with this process.

If you do not complete Pro Cert or National Board certification within the five year window, appeal to the Professional Educator Standards Board is required. A renewal may not be granted. Don’t let this happen to you! Be sure you know what the process is and do not delay!

A Professional Teacher Certificate follows the Residency Teacher certificate and is issued after all requirements (ProCert or National Cert) are met with a five year expiration date. Once you hold this type of certificate, you are required to complete one hundred fifty (150) Washington State continuing education credit hours (clock hours) or equivalent in college credit hours (15 quarter college credits) to maintain this certificate prior to it’s expiration and after the issuance of this certificate.

If you hold an Initial Certificate (this type of certificate is no longer available but there are a few who hold this one), there is an expiration date and renewal requires completion of 15 quarter hours of course work since issuance. Note:  This certificate does have an expiration date!

A Continuing Teacher Certificate (not those issued prior to 1987 with no expiration date) is generally valid for five years and requires continuing education for maintenance. Each holder of a Continuing Teacher Certificate is required to complete one hundred fifty (150) Washington State continuing education credit hours (clock hours) or equivalent in college credit hours (15 quarter college credits).

Initial CTE Teacher Certificate renewal requires 3 quarter hours or 30 clock hours of CTE training in the CTE subject matter certified to teach, completed since the initial CTE certificate.

Continuing CTE Teacher Certificate renewal requires continuing education or a combination of education and occupational experience. Specific renewal requirements are on the OSPI website.

There are many variations of these same types of certificates. These are the most common. Again, be sure you know what type of certificate you hold and keep on top of the expiration of your certificate and what the requirements are to renew and maintain your certificate.

When you need information or are ready to renew, visit the OSPI website (see link below). Renewing your certificate, Name Change on Certificate, Replacement of Certificate, etc. instructions are all readily available on this website.

Another great resource in renewing or attaining specific information to your certificate is our local ESD at (360) 478-6868. Heather Tonder is the current ESD certification specialist.

OSPI Website: