If your current certificate is within 5 years of expiration, you may apply for renewal of your certificate. 100 clock hours or equivalents must be completed from the date of issuance through the expiration date of the current certificate.
There are multiple options to meet the clock hour requirements to maintain a teaching certificate:
Clock hours are units of credit assigned to educators at a professional development/training event. All Washington public school districts and compact schools are approved providers. Additional clock hour providers can be found on the OSPI Approved Provider page.
Continuing education units (CEUs) from accredited colleges or universities are accepted as clock hours, whether in-state or out-of-state. Credit courses must be 100-level or above. When claiming clock hours from CEUs, the following clock hour equivalents apply:
- 1 quarter credit = 10 clock hours;
- 1 semester credit = 15 clock hours
Professional Development Units (PDUs), STARS hours (issued by Washington State DCYF), and hours used to renew Department of Health (DOH) licenses are also accepted as clock hours (all educators, not just educational staff associates (ESAs), can use hours that satisfy the DOH licensure requirements as clock hours for continuing education).
Professional Growth Plans
Professional growth plans (PGPs) are job-embedded, self-directed professional development.
Each completed annual PGP shall receive the equivalent of 25 continuing education credit hours.
With a PGP, teachers, administrators, paraeducators, and ESAs set their own goals, align them to certification standards, design an action plan, and collect evidence documenting growth toward achieving their goals. Educators then reflect on the process.
There is no cost to an educator for a PGP. Only one PGP may be completed each year. PGPs are completed between July 1 of one year and June 30 of the next. Additional information regarding PGPs can be found on the PESB Website.
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
In lieu of clock hours, achieving National Board Certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) entitles you to apply for a Washington state Professional Teacher or Educational Staff Associate (ESA) Certificate and maintain your certificate for 5 years. However, it is necessary to complete the appropriate OSPI certification application to maintain your teaching certificate. Applications for state certification and renewal are completed through E-Certification. More information about National Board Certification can be found on the OSPI Website or the NBPTS Website.