Washington State Certification - Frequently Asked Questions
LanguagesA-Z IndexPrinter Friendly Image
Search
 

For questions:
   (360) 725-6400
   (9:00 am-12:00 pm,
   1:00 pm-4:30 pm)
   cert@k12.wa.us

Open to the public
Monday-Friday
8:00 am-5:00 pm

Office closed daily from
12:00 pm-1:00 pm

ESD Certificate Offices

Helpful Tips

  Certification
Teachers Administrators ESA CTE

Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

  1. I've lost my certificate. How can I obtain a replacement?
  2. How can I obtain a fingerprint card?
  3. I have questions about my certificate, but I don't know my certificate number. How can I find out information about my certificate?
  4. What does 'regionally accredited' mean?
  5. My continuing certificate will expire this June. How do I renew it?
  6. My continuing certificate has expired. How can I reinstate it?
  7. What is the fee required for my application?

TEACHER

  1. I have a bachelor's degree in another area, but I'm really interested in teaching. What would I have to do to obtain a teaching certificate in Washington State?
  2. I'm a certified teacher in California. How can I obtain a Washington certificate?
  3. Where can I find information about the West-B and West-E tests?
  4. Do you accept any tests other than the West-B or West-E?
  5. I had an initial certificate that expired in 1995. What do I need to do to update my certification?
  6. I'm applying for my first Washington certificate. Should I apply for the residency or professional certificate?
  7. My residency certificate says 'Residency PS' and has no expiration date. What do I need to do to keep my certificate current?
  8. I have a renewed initial teaching certificate that will expire in June and want to apply for the continuing certificate. What do I need to do?
  9. Can you tell me if I am 'highly qualified?'
  10. I'm going to retire after many years of teaching in Washington, but I would still like to substitute teach. Where would I find an application for a substitute certificate?
  11. I have a residency certificate due to expire in June. I didn't teach for the first few years I had it. How can I renew it?
  12. I have a residency certificate due to expire in June. I haven't taught at all since I received my certificate. How can I renew it?
  13. I've already had my residency certificate reissued. Do I need to enroll in a ProCert program?
  14. How can I find out information about CTE (vocational) certification?
  15. How can I add an endorsement to my certificate?
  16. I'm interested in substitute teaching, but I don't have an education background. Is there any way I can substitute teach?

ADMINISTRATOR

  1. I'm a certified administrator in California. How can I obtain a Washington certificate?
  2. Is testing required for the administrative certificate?
  3. I had an initial principal's certificate that expired in 1995. What do I need to do to update my certification?
  4. My residency principal's certificate says "Residency FI" and has no expiration date. What do I need to do to keep my certificate current?

ESA

  1. I'm a certified school counselor in California. How can I obtain a Washington certificate?
  2. I’m a nurse who wants to work in the schools. How do I get certified?
  3. I’m a nurse who has a valid license but I do not have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. How do I get certified?
  4. I’m a nurse, occupational therapist, or physical therapist with a Limited Permit from the Washington State Department of Health. Must I wait for my actual license before I can apply for certification?
  5. I applied for an Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate as a school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school social worker, or school speech language pathologist or audiologist and have been issued a temporary permit pending completion of the required ESA course. My permit will expire before I can complete the course. What should I do?
  6. How do I know if my program is state approved for Washington Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification?
  7. I’m applying for a certificate as a school speech language pathologist or audiologist. Is a valid license from the Department of Health required for Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification?
  8. I hold a Residency Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker certificate that does not show an expiration date. What should I do?
  9. I hold a Residency Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school counselor or school psychologist certificate and am wondering if I should apply for reissuance. Do the two consecutive years in the role need to be full-time employment?
  10. I already hold or have held an Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate as a school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school social worker, or school speech language pathologist or audiologist. How do I renew my certificate?
  11. I’m applying for another Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school social worker, or school speech language pathologist or audiologist certificate. Do I need to complete the ESA course or submit transcripts again?
  12. My Residency Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school counselor or school psychologist certificate has already been reissued. What is my next step?
  13. I’m a school counselor and earned my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards school counselor certificate. How do I obtain the Professional Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate?
  14. I’m a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. How do I obtain the Professional Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school psychologist certificate?

PRO TEACH PORTFOLIO

  1. Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

 

 

GENERAL

QuestionI've lost my certificate. How can I obtain a replacement?

AnswerTo obtain a replacement certificate, you need to complete this form:
http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4080.pdf

There is a $48.00 fee, and the form needs to be notarized.

top of page

 

 

QuestionHow can I obtain a fingerprint card?

AnswerYou can e-mail us at cert@k12.wa.us with your mailing address and we will be happy to send you the fingerprint card package.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI have questions about my certificate, but I don't know my certificate number. How can I find out information about my certificate?

AnswerAll you need to do is e-mail the certification office (cert@k12.wa.us) with your complete legal name and date of birth (and any other names under which you may have been certified), and we will be able to provide you with information on your certificate.

top of page

 

 

QuestionWhat does 'regionally accredited' mean?

AnswerFor your degree and/or coursework to be accepted for certification requirements, it must be taken from a regionally accredited college or university. The six regional accrediting bodies are:

  • Middle States, Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Association of School and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

top of page

 

 

QuestionMy continuing certificate will expire this June. How do I renew it?

AnswerPrior to the lapse date of your certificate, you need to submit the clock hour form listing the 150 clock hours (or credit equivalent) you have completed to extend the validity of your certificate for an additional five years. You may download the form here http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/1211.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionMy continuing certificate has expired. How can I reinstate it?

AnswerYou need 150 clock hours (or credit equivalent) in the five years preceding your application for reinstatement. http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4022.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

TEACHER

 

QuestionI have a bachelor's degree in another area, but I'm really interested in teaching. What would I have to do to obtain a teaching certificate?

AnswerWashington requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a state approved teacher preparation program. Since you already have a bachelor's degree, you could enroll in a 'cert only' or master's program. Information on programs located in Washington may be found here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/profed/approvedprograms.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionI'm a certified teacher in California. How can I obtain a Washington certificate?

AnswerYou may download the application directly from here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4031.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionWhere can I find information about the West-B and West-E tests?

AnswerWest-B http://www.west.nesinc.com/
West-E http://www.west.nesinc.com/index.asp

top of page

 

 

QuestionDo you accept any tests other than the West-B or West-E?

AnswerIndividuals from out of state applying for a residency teaching certificate, in lieu of passing the WEST-B, may provide original documentation of passing scores on the CBEST or minimum scores on the Praxis I of 177 for the reading subtest, 176 for the mathematics subtest and 174 for the writing subtest.

There is no substitute for the West-E.
top of page

 

 

QuestionI had an initial certificate that expired in 1995. What do I need to do to update my certification?

AnswerSince your initial certificate expired prior to 9-1-00, you will need to convert to the residency certificate. That certificate will carry the same endorsements as your initial certificate. You may download the application from here http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4032.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionI'm applying for my first Washington certificate. Should I apply for the residency or professional certificate?

AnswerYou should apply for the residency certificate. The professional certificate requires completion of a Washington professional certificate program, national board certification (issued by NBPTS), or an Oregon CTL (continuing teaching license) issued after January, 1999.

top of page

 

 

QuestionMy residency certificate says 'Residency FI' or 'Residency PS' and has no expiration date. What do I need to do to keep my certificate current?

Answer

  • Individuals will not have a defined expiration date until they have employment. Individuals employed in a Washington school district will have the validity calculated based on the experience information submitted by the school district on their annual personnel report (S275 report) to OSPI. Individuals employed in a Washington public school will receive notification from their employer when they must submit a reissuance application.
  • Individuals employed by a Washington school district must have their residency certificate reissued with a defined expiration date once they are eligible for enrollment in ProTeach.
  • Individuals employed in nonpublic school settings may participate in completing professional teacher certificate requirements and have their certificate reissued with a defined expiration date. It is up to the individual or their employer to determine if they wish to have their certificate reissued with a defined expiration date.
  • When a certificate is reissued, it will be valid for three years.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI have a renewed initial teaching certificate that will expire in June and want to apply for the continuing certificate. What do I need to do?

AnswerYou will need to meet requirements for the continuing certificate and make application prior to the expiration of your renewed initial certificate. Further information and an application available for download may be found here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4021.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionCan you tell me if I am 'highly qualified?'

AnswerNo, your employing school district in Washington will determine if you are highly qualified. If you are not employed with a Washington school district, you may find this information helpful: http://www.k12.wa.us/TitleIIA/HighlyQualifiedTeachers.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionI'm going to retire after many years of teaching in Washington, but I would still like to substitute teach. Where would I find an application for a substitute certificate?

AnswerThis is the application for the lifetime substitute certificate: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4044.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionI have a residency certificate due to expire in June. I didn't teach for the first few years I had it. How can I renew it?

AnswerYou need to have your residency certificate reissued using this form: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4031R.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx More information on residency teacher reissuance can be found here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/teacher/Residency3.aspx#Reissuance

top of page

 

 

QuestionI have a residency certificate due to expire in June. I haven't taught at all since I received my certificate. How can I renew it?

AnswerYou need to have your residency certificate reissued using this form: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4031R.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx You will complete the form and mail it to our office.  We will remove the expiration date entirely from your certificate.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI've already had my residency certificate reissued. Do I need to enroll in a ProTeach program?

AnswerYes. You can renew your certificate for an additional two years just by enrolling. Further information about the ProTeach programs can be found here: http://www.waproteach.org

top of page

 

 

QuestionHow can I find out information about CTE (vocational) certification?

AnswerPlease visit the CTE section of our web page: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/CTE/

top of page

 

 

QuestionHow can I add an endorsement to my certificate?

AnswerThere are several ways to add an endorsement. However, it might be best to contact our office, either by e-mail at cert@k12.wa.us or by telephone at (360) 725-6396 so we can provide you with information appropriate for your situation.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI'm interested in substitute teaching, but I don't have an education background. Is there any way I can substitute teach?

AnswerA regular substitute teaching certificate requires the same preparation as a regular teaching certificate -- a bachelor's degree and a state approved training program. However, we do offer an emergency substitute certificate, which does not require a teacher training program. That certificate must be requested by an employing school district. Further information about the emergency substitute certificate and an application available for download may be found here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4027.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

ADMINISTRATOR

 

 

QuestionI'm a certified administrator in California. How can I obtain a Washington certificate?

AnswerYou may download the application directly from here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4001.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionIs testing required for the administrative certificate?

AnswerNo.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI had an initial principal's certificate that expired in 1995. What do I need to do to update my certification?

AnswerSince your initial principal's certificate has expired, you will need to convert to the residency certificate. You may download the application from here http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/93P.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx

top of page

 

 

QuestionMy residency principal's certificate says 'Residency FI' and has no expiration date. What do I need to do to keep my certificate current?

AnswerYou don't need to do anything with your certificate until after you have been a principal or assistant principal for two consecutive years in Washington with the same employer. Then you will need to apply for reissuance of your certificate. You may download the application from here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4001R.pdf or you may apply through eCert at /Certification/eCertNotice.aspx. Your district will complete the bottom of the form, and we will issue you a new certificate that will expire five years from the end of your second year of service in the principal role.

top of page

 

ESA

 

 

QuestionI'm a certified school counselor in California. How can I obtain a Washington certificate?

AnswerYou may download the application directly from here: http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/certapp/4098.pdf

top of page

 

 

QuestionI’m a nurse who wants to work in the schools. How do I get certified?

AnswerIf you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing and hold a valid registered nurse license from the Washington State Department of Health, you may complete the application for an Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school nurse certificate. There may be additional requirements but a temporary permit may be issued based on appropriate degree and license until additional requirements are met. Requirements and the application are available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Initial.aspx].

top of page

 

 

QuestionI’m a nurse who has a valid license but I do not have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. How do I get certified?

AnswerNurses who hold a valid license issued by the Washington State Department of Health but do not have a bachelor’s degree in nursing may be eligible for a Conditional Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school nurse certificate with a school district request. Candidates must submit a complete Conditional Certificate application, available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Limited.aspx].

top of page

 

 

QuestionI’m a nurse, occupational therapist, or physical therapist with a Limited Permit from the Washington State Department of Health. Must I wait for my actual license before I can apply for certification?

AnswerA valid license is required for issuance of an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate. However, a temporary ESA permit may be issued pending the valid license if appropriate degree requirements are met. Requirements and the application are available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Initial.aspx].

top of page

 

 

QuestionI applied for an Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate as a school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school social worker, or school speech language pathologist or audiologist and have been issued a temporary permit pending completion of the required ESA course. My permit will expire before I can complete the course. What should I do?

AnswerSecond permits are not automatically issued. You must contact the OSPI Certification Office (cert@k12.wa.us) to request a second/final temporary permit. Only two permits may be issued, allowing up to one year to complete the ESA course requirement.

top of page

 

 

QuestionHow do I know if my program is state approved for Washington Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification?

AnswerIf you completed a program through an institution outside of Washington State, you must check with the institution to be sure their program is/was state approved at the time you completed the program. Washington accepts all other states’ approved programs for purposes of serving in the role in K-12 schools.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI’m applying for a certificate as a school speech language pathologist or audiologist. Is a valid license from the Department of Health required for Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification?

AnswerNo, a license is not required for school speech language pathologist or audiologist certification. It may be a requirement for employment, however, so we encourage candidates to check with their employer.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI hold a Residency Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school counselor, school psychologist, or school social worker certificate that does not show an expiration date. What should I do?

AnswerIf you are a school counselor or school psychologist and have completed two consecutive years of service in the role and will sign or have signed a third-year contract with the same employer in Washington, you must submit the Residency ESA Reissuance application to have an expiration date issued to your certificate. The ESA Reissuance application is available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Residency2.aspx#Reissuance]. If you are a school social worker, please contact the OSPI Certification Office.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI hold a Residency Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school counselor or school psychologist certificate and am wondering if I should apply for reissuance. Do the two consecutive years in the role need to be full-time employment?

AnswerNo, to meet residency ESA reissuance criteria, the experience can be full- or part-time employment.

top of page

 

 

QuestionI already hold or have held an Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate as a school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school social worker, or school speech language pathologist or audiologist. How do I renew my certificate?

AnswerThere is no “renewal” of the Initial ESA certificate. You may apply for another Initial ESA or the Continuing ESA certificate. Requirements and the applications are available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/InitialSecondIssue.aspx].

top of page

 

QuestionI’m applying for another Initial Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist, school social worker, or school speech language pathologist or audiologist certificate. Do I need to complete the ESA course or submit transcripts again?

AnswerYou do not need to complete the ESA course or submit transcripts again for an additional Initial ESA certificate. However, school speech language pathologists or audiologists must provide verification of successful completion of the required written comprehensive exam if the OSPI Certification Office does not already have the information on file. This shall be determined by the evaluator during review of the submitted application. The application is available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/InitialSecondIssue.aspx].

top of page

 

 

QuestionMy Residency Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school counselor or school psychologist certificate has already been reissued. What is my next step?

AnswerIf you do not yet meet Professional ESA certification requirements, you may apply to have your Residency ESA certificate renewed once. Renewal information and the application are available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Residency2.aspx#Renewal1].

top of page

 

 

QuestionI’m a school counselor and earned my National Board for Professional Teaching Standards school counselor certificate. How do I obtain the Professional Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certificate?

AnswerYou may apply for the Professional ESA certificate by submitting a complete application, available here http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Professional.aspx]. Be sure to include a copy of your valid NBPTS school counselor certificate.

top of page

 

QuestionI’m a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. How do I obtain the Professional Educational Staff Associate (ESA) school psychologist certificate?

AnswerYou may apply for the Professional ESA certificate by submitting a complete application, available here [http://www.k12.wa.us/certification/ESA/Professional.aspx]. Be sure to include a copy of your valid NCSP certificate.

top of page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
Contact Us    |    A-Z Index    |    Site Info    |    Staff Only    |    Education Data System (EDS)