• FAQ's

    Do I have to be fingerprinted?

    • Washington State law requires that any applicant who does not hold a valid Washington certificate must be fingerprinted for a state and national background check. Do not delay fingerprinting until you are ready to submit your application for certification. It is not necessary to wait to receive fingerprint results before submitting your application.

    My friend told me that I need to fill out a form, is that right?

    • Avoid getting second-hand advice. Big mistakes are made by listening to well-meaning friends and fellow educators because there are many types of certificates. Wrong information can be costly.

    When will my Residency Teaching Certificate expire?

    • Residency Certificates are initially issued with no expiration date. Once the individual has been reported as having been employed with 1.5 FTE (years of experience), they are required to apply for a resissuance of their certificate. OSPI will issue a five-year expiration date on the certificate. Residency certificates can then be renewed in five-year intervals 100 clock hours, or equivilant credits or professional growth plans.
      • The first five-year renewal requires verification that the individual has completed a course on Issues of Child Abuse.

    I hold a Continuing Teacher Certificate, what do I need to do to renew it?

    • If you hold a Continuing Certificate, the continuing education requirement is that persons must complete 100 clock hours of study every five years. Any regionally accredited two- or four-year college credit at the 100 (freshman) level or above may also be used toward maintenance. One quarter hour of college credit is the equivalent of 10 clock hours, and one semester hour of college credit is equivalent to 15 clock hours. Before your certificate expires, submit your clock hours and renewal application using E-Ceritification.
    • An individual can not use clock hours or credit taken before issuance of the current Continuing Certificate toward maintenance. Excess hours from one five-year period can not be applied to the next.

    Have other questions? Contact:
    Certification Officer

    It is ultimately the certificate holder’s responsibility to keep certificates current.Human Resources, ESD and OSPI staff may try to assist, but the onus is on the educator to know the expiration dates and to complete next steps in certification.

    You may not perform in your role without valid certification (WAC 181.86.011).