Each application for certification outlines the documents needed to obtain the specific certificate requested. Applicants can expedite application processing by remembering the following:
- Fingerprinting: Any applicant who does not hold a valid Washington certificate at the time of application must complete the fingerprint background check. We recommend that individuals start with this process and if possible, complete the background check at one of the Washington Education Service District Offices. Since this process occurs separately from the application and it’s processing, individuals should consider initiating the background check process while collecting documents and completing information for the application submission. While individuals can complete this process while living outside the state, you will need to obtain a Washington fingerprint card and instructions to initiate the fingerprint background check. Please email our office if you wish to request the card and instructions.
Washington Educational Service District Offices offer digital fingerprinting. Processing of the digital fingerprint background check request occurs in a timelier manner than the fingerprint card and instructions indicated above. If possible, we recommend individuals contact an Educational Service District Office and make an appointment for the digital fingerprint background check.
- Applications: Applicants are advised to collect and submit, in one package, the application for certification and any additional documents indicated, such as transcripts, copies of certificates, fee payments, etc.
- Temporary permits: A temporary permit is issued as soon as the application, additional documentation requested in the application, the fingerprint background check results are on file, and all items been reviewed to determine it appears applicant will be eligible for certification. Temporary permits may be issued by an Educational Service District Office or by our office and cover an individual’s employment in Washington. Temporary permits are issued while application processing takes place so that individuals can be employed. Temporary permits can also be issued to out of state individuals who need to complete testing requirements in order to obtain the first teaching certificate in Washington. Temporary permits are valid for 180 days (6 months).
- Rushes: Individuals who are employed in Washington who have an application pending can receive priority processing if they have not been issued a temporary permit. The Washington employer can request ‘rush’ processing of an application once it has been received in our office. If you have not been issued a temporary permit and are employed, you will wish to discuss your situation with your employer so they can determine if a rush request is needed.