Applications are submitted online via the OSPI E-Certification system
Washington State has several different applications, dependent on the role. Applications are available for Teachers, Substitutes, Limited Certificates, Educational Staff Associates (School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, School Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists & School Speech and Language Pathologists), Administrators (Principals, Program Administrators & Superintendents) and Career and Technical Educators.
Paper applications are no longer available for most roles. Online applications are available at http://www.k12.wa.us/Certification/e-Cert/default.aspx. Many applications require forms to be completed by your university or other organization. Those forms will be available when you choose the appropriate application.
All applicants who do not hold a current Washington certificate must be fingerprinted for a background check. If you are in Washington, contact the nearest ESD for a fingerprint appointment. If you are not currently in Washington but want to start the fingerprint process, contact an ESD and request that a fingerprint card and instructions be mailed to you.Applications most commonly used:
- If you have a teaching certificate in another state, but are new to Washington State and need either a Washington State Teaching Certificate or Substitute Teaching Certificate, use the Residency/Substitute Teacher Certification Application.
- If you are applying for a new Educational Staff Associate certificate: school counselor or school psychologist – use the Residency ESA application; school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school speech language pathologist or Audiologist, or school social worker – use the Initial ESA application.
- If you are applying for a new administrator certificate, use the Residency Administrator application (principal or program administrator) or Initial Administrator application (Superintendent).
- If you are not eligible for a regular teacher certificate (you have never completed a teacher preparation program in college and have never held a regular teacher certificate in another state), you can apply for an Emergency Substitute certificate. A school district must be ready to hire you as an Emergency Substitute before you can apply. The application process is a little complicated. First, you must create an account in the E-Cert system at http://www.k12.wa.us/Certification/e-Cert/default.aspx. Be sure to include your social security number. Next, the school district(s) wanting to hire you must look up your record, using your social security number, and complete a District Request for Emergency Substitute form. After the district has done so, you can log back in and at the Welcome screen click on Apply for a Washington Credential Here. The Emergency Substitute application should be in the list of available applications.
- If you are renewing your Continuing, Professional, or residency certificate, you need enter into E-Cert all of your continuing education (clock hours or credits), or your Professional Growth Plans.To do so, log into your account and at the Welcome screen click on View Your Credentials Here. Hover over the Educator tab at the top, and choose Professional Development from the drop down list. Then click on the bottom line that says Click Here to Add Professional Development Hours. Note that you cannot enter National Board Certificate information. That information is uploaded automatically to OSPI’s database. (If you completed your National Boards while not in Washington, you will need to provide a copy of your certificate to OSPI – you should be able to upload a .pdf copy to your account.)
- If your Continuing Teacher certificate has lapsed, you can reinstate it using the Continuing Certificate Reinstatement application. You must have 100 clock hours and/or the equivalent in credits, all earned within the five year period going back from the date your reinstatement application is received. You must provide proof of the 100 hours by providing transcripts. Finally, if you do not hold another valid certificate, such as a Substitute certificate, you must be fingerprinted for a background check.