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What is certificate validity?
Intern certificate is valid for a specified calendar period and a Level I certificate
is valid for a service time period as specified in CSPG
#3. An educator may only be employed/perform
service on a valid certificate.
How long is my certificate valid?
- Emergency permits: valid for up to one school year from the date of issuance to July 31 of the school year issued.
- Intern certificates: valid for three
- Level I certificates: Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional I, Educational Specialist I, Supervisory I, and Administrative I. Validity is determined by
service time, not calendar years. Validity expiration dates are not printed on certificates.
- Military Science is valid for 99 years.
- Certificates issued under 1980 and 1987 regulations are valid as follows:
- Instructional I: six years of service.
- Alien Provisional: six years of service (no longer issued and converted to non-citizen credential 9/2012).
- Educational Specialist I: six years of service.
- Career and Technical Instructional I: seven years of service.
- Supervisory I: three years of service.
- Certificates issued under 1999 regulations are valid as follows:
- Instructional I: six years of service.
- Educational Specialist I: six years of service.
- Career and Technical I: See Important Information under Career and Technical Instructional I Certificate.
- Supervisory and Career and Technical Supervisor: 99 years of service.
- Administrative certificates issued in accordance with statute and regulations listed below are valid as follows:
|Administrative I: Elementary or Secondary Principal (effective 1980 and 1987)||83/84||Five years of service|
|Administrative (effective 1999)||78||99 years of service|
|Administrative I (effective 7/20/2007)||75||Five years of service beginning 1/1/2008|
|Career and Technical Administrative Director||78||99 years of service|
- Provisional Administrative I certificate holders:
|Provisional Administrative I (effective 6/30/2011)||72||Although a provisional certificate is issued with a five-year validity period, certificate holders must complete additional statutory requirements within two years of service on the provisional certificate in order to retain the administrative certificate (see below).|
Within two years of employment as a principal, vice principal or assistant principal, the Provisional Administrative I certificate holder must either:
- Complete an approved administrator preparation program; and
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of school law by presenting evidence of satisfactory achievement on the praxis test required for administrative certification.
- Provide proof of completion of an Introductory Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) program approved by PDE; and
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of school law by presenting evidence of satisfactory achievement on the Praxis test required for administrative certification.
Provisional Administrative certificate holders who fail to complete the above requirements within the two-year period may have the provisional certificate annulled by PDE.
Who should I contact for specific questions regarding the validity of my Administrative I five-year Principal certificate?
you have questions regarding the certification process, contact the Bureau
of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.
What is a lapsed (or invalid) certificate?
- A certificate lapses when the valid calendar or service time period ends (as stated in CSPG #3) and the holder has not converted the certificate to the next level certificate.
- Service time is not counted until the certificate is issued and the educator officially begins an appropriate assignment.
- The educator may not be employed/perform service on a lapsed (or invalid) certificate.
- Emergency permits are not issued to lapsed certificate holders.
What is an inactive certificate?
- The certificate becomes inactive when a certified educator has not met the Act 48/Act 45 continuing professional development requirements within the five-year compliance period.
- Certificates can become inactive even when the educator is not employed on the certificate or when the educator is residing outside of Pennsylvania. Please see the Department's Act 48/45 FAQ.
- A valid certificate must be maintained as active by completing approved continuing professional development requirements.
What service time must be counted against the certificate?
Service on a Level I certificate, in the following types of school entities/institutions or programs, is creditable toward Level II certification and is charged against the validity period of the Level I certificate:
- Public school district
- Intermediate unit (IU)
- Career and technical school (CTC or AVTS)
- Approved private school (APS.
- Pre-K Counts program (effective 2008-09 school year)
- State-owned schools:
- Scotland School for Veterans Children
- Scranton State School for the Deaf
- Correctional facilities providing secondary high school diploma programs for school-aged children
- Juvenile correctional facilities or county jails – when employed by a public school entity
- An alternative education after-school program when graduation credit is given
What if I serve in a Pennsylvania charter school?
- Service time as a principal or assistant principal will count against the validity of the Level I Administrative Certificate (additional PIL requirements may need to be met).
- Service time on the types of Level I certificates listed below will not count against the validity of the certificate in charter schools:
- Instructional I
- Educational Specialist I
- Supervisory I
Note: Service time accrued on the Level I certificates listed above is strictly optional service time and may be used to meet Level II requirements.
What if I serve in a Pennsylvania private licensed academic school or a non-public, non-licensed school?
Service time in these school categories may be used for converting a Level I certificate to a Level II certificate. Service time accrued in these school categories is strictly optional service time and will not automatically count against the validity of the Level I certificate.
What other conditions affect whether or not my service time counts against my certificate validity?
Service time is not counted until the certificate is issued and the educator officially begins an assignment for which the certificate may be used according to certification policies (irrespective of contract, tenure, seniority pay, or retirement) in:
- The state of Pennsylvania
- A new or open vacancy (retirement, resignation, or death)
- A long-term substitute, single assignment for at least 70 days in which service is 50 percent or more of the school day and school week
- Service must be in the area of certification and/or the service must be under the scope of the certificate
- A part-time position in which service is equal to 50 percent or more of the school day and school week, e.g.:
- 4 of 8 periods per school day
- 2 ½ days per a five-day week
- A federal programs assignment
- Title I services as a teacher from a public school entity contracted to provide services to a private or registered non-public school
- A program area for which a person is permitted to hold any Level I certificate (e.g., alternative education, gifted enrichment, and in-school suspension)
- An ESL assignment on a School Program Specialist certificate (time is counted against the Instructional I certificate, not the ESL Program Specialist certificate)
Service time does not count against the validity of the certificate when the educator is:
- On approved leave of absence (maternity, medical, FMLA)
- Teaching only adults in correctional facilities
- Employed less than 50 percent of a day and week, e.g.:
- 3 periods of an 8 period school day
- 2 days per a five-day week
- Employed as a day-to-day substitute (20 days maximum in one single assignment)
- Employed under an emergency permit or Act 97 waiver
- Employed outside the mandated school year (extended school year or summer school)
- Serving on an Intern certificate (will not count against a Level I certificate)
- Employed in areas which are considered to be outside the educator's certificate scope, e.g.: an elementary K-6 certified teacher teaches an 8th grade English class; a Physics teacher teaches an Earth & Space Science class
- Employed outside of a public school entity (MH/MR center, hospital, museum, business/industry)
- Employed in another state or foreign country
How do I count my service time if I serve as a long-term substitute (Instructional or Educational Specialist) and do not work an entire school year?
The service time is counted as:
- 70 days in a single assignment in the certificate area served in one semester = ½ year
- 70 days in a single assignment in the certificate area served across 2 semesters = ½ year
- 70 days in a single assignment in the certificate area served in the 1st semester and 70 days in a single assignment in the certificate area served in the 2nd semester = 1 year
- Holidays, snow days, personal days and sick days are not considered.
If I am serving on an Administrative I (or Supervisory I) certificate, how is my service time calculated?
Effective February 2013, Administrative I Principal K-12 (& Supervisory I), service is counted as follows:
- For 10, 11, and 12 month contracts, SERVICE is counted based on hiring dates:
- July 1 and September 30 = 1 year
- October 1 and December 31 = ½ year
- January 1 and March 31 = ½ year
- April 1 and June 30 = 0 years
- Service counts against the Administrative I Principal K-12 certificate validity for:
- Vice Principal
- Assistant Principal
- Service does
NOT count against Administrative I Principal K-12 certificate validity for:
- Single-Area Supervisor
- Curriculum & Instruction Supervisor
- Pupil Personnel Services Supervisor
- Dean of Students (administrative level)
If I am serving on one of the following certificates issued under the 1999 regulations, do I need to convert it to a Level II certificate?
- Administrative Principal K-12 certificate (type code 78)
- Supervisory certificate (type code 76)
No. These certificates were issued as 99-year permanent certificates. Other PIL requirements may apply for these Principal certificates.
How do unsatisfactory ratings affect my certificate?
- Unsatisfactory service cannot be used for obtaining a Level II certificate.
- Unsatisfactory service does count against the validity of the Level I certificate.
What should be done if the school entity or the educator believes that their certificate is about to lapse or has already lapsed?
Can I apply for an extension of my certificate validity due to extenuating circumstances such as financial hardship, critical medical issues or family issues?
No. There is no provision to extend the validity
period on an Intern or Level I certificate for any reason.
If my certificate lapses and I do not convert it to a Level II immediately, do I have to enroll in a new college certificate program and meet new testing requirements?
No. To convert to a Level II certificate, you must complete the Level II requirements and apply in TIMS.