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Your Questions – Answered.

Answers to the questions we get asked the most about certification in Pennsylvania are below.

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​I want to teach in Pennsylvania – what do I do?

​I have a degree and need to get certified to teach – what do I do?

Contact an approved certification program provider for your area of certification and they can review your transcripts to determine what you will need to complete a certification program. Once you have chosen and completed a program, you will take the concentration test and then apply for your certificate.

Visit our become an educator page for additional information and resources.

​I’m already certified to teach – what do I do?

​How do I submit my application to become certified?

Via the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS), Pennsylvania’s online certification platform. TIMS is a one-stop shop for educators to submit a certification application.

Learn how to complete your certification in TIMS by watching a brief video. Find more help and resources on our Help With TIMS page.

Once you’re ready to submit a certification application, visit this page to login to TIMS.

​What is TIMS?

TIMS is the Teacher Information Management System – Pennsylvania’s online certification system. Visit our TIMS webpage to learn more about the system, how to login for the first time, how to submit an application, view answers to frequently asked questions, obtain help, and much more.

​What’s the status of my application?

Incomplete: You started an application but have not yet submitted it.

Submitted for IHE/LEA Verification: You submitted your application and it is now waiting for an electronic verification of your preparation program (IHE) or work experience (LEA).

Pending Documentation: PDE is still waiting for your required documents.

Awaiting Evaluation: The TIMS system has determined your application is complete and is now waiting for staff in our office to review your application by the “awaiting evaluation” date. Applications with an answer other than “no” to a good moral character question will take longer. See the TIMS webpage for current processing time.

Pending Additional Documentation: The PDE evaluation has occurred and you now need to submit additional information in order to complete the evaluation. Please check your email to look for the specific requirements outlined by your evaluator.

Pending Test Score: The PDE evaluation has occurred and you need to complete a test(s) in order to be issued a PA certificate.

For any additional questions, first view the TIMS FAQ and/or the Help With TIMS webpage before contacting PDE. If you have a specific question about your application, please email ra-edcertquestions@pa.gov.

​Help – I can’t login to TIMS!

Use the forgotten password tool to have a new password emailed to you. The password will be sent to the email associated with your profile – if you do not have access to that email address, please call Help Desk Support: 717-783-1087 and select option four (4) at the prompt.

If you have an issue with your application in TIMS, please send an email describing your issue to: ra-edcertquestions@pa.gov. Help Desk Support can only assist with login issues – please do not call them for application assistance.


​How do I update something in TIMS?

​I need information on Level II certification – where do I go?

Our Level I to Level II webpage provides helpful information, a checklist, answers to frequently asked questions, and much more.

If you’re an administrator, visit our Administrative Level II webpage for information.

​How do I get my administrative/supervisory certification?

Our Administrative-Supervisory webpage contains information and brief a video to help you learn how to become a superintendent, IU Executive Director, Principal, and Vocational Administrative Director, or, obtain your supervisory certificate.

How do I keep my teaching certificate active/how do I reactivate an inactive certificate?

An educator who holds an Inactive Pennsylvania certification can reactivate their certificate by:

  • Completing the Act 48 credit requirement - visit our Act 48 FAQ webpage for more information or contact the Act 48 office: ra-EDAct48@pa.gov.

  • Holding an active and valid Out-of-State certification with verification of employment on that certificate within the previous two (2) calendar years – reactive your Pennsylvania certificate for $75 by submitting an application in TIMS. Need help? Follow this reactivation guide.

You do not lose your certificate based on Act 48 compliance – your certificate is either Active or Inactive based on the completion of your continuing education. Active/inactive status has no bearing on the validity of a certificate.

How do I get an emergency teaching permit?

Visit our substitute teaching page for additional information.

Where do I find information on certification fees I need to pay?

​Where can I find the forms I need to fill out?

Visit our fees and forms page. In addition, forms will also be accessible via the coversheet that’s created once you successfully submit and pay for your TIMS application. 


​I want to be a substitute teacher in Pennsylvania – what do I do?

If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher, please contact the school district where you wish to apply for more information on requirements, processes, and procedures. The hiring district completes the hiring process, including setting the compensation rate and designating assignments.

Learn more about substitute teaching in Pennsylvania on our associated webpage.

​I still need help.

Please visit our answers to frequently asked questions webpage.

Would you like to contact a member of the certification services team?

Our Certification Staff are currently available by phone Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.

You can talk to our certification staff by calling: 717-PA-TEACH (728-3224) or 717-787-3356

You can also email: ra-edcertquestions@pa.gov. In your email, include the following (where applicable):

Your name, PPID number/date of birth, Application ID, and a detailed description of your problem