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​CSPG 13 - Emergency Permits

Modified: October 1, 2019

A local education agency (LEA) requests an emergency permit to fill a vacant position when it is unable to find a certified educator holding a valid and active certificate.

General Policies

Emergency permits are requested by the Chief School Administrator of the LEA that has a permanent, temporary, or day-to-day opening for a professional employee. The permit is valid from the first day of the month of issuance, until the last day of summer school in that school year.

The LEA is required to post any permanent or temporary vacancy for a minimum of 10 days on the school entity’s website before submitting an initial or reissuance application for an emergency permit to fill the vacancy.

Requirements and Procedures

Initial application: The first emergency permit application in the desired subject area and type requested by an LEA for an individual.

Reissuance: The second or subsequent emergency permit application of the same subject area and type requested by the same LEA for the same individual.

Application Process

  1. The position candidate initiates and submits a permit request via the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) at the request of the employing LEA.

  2.  When the request is received by the LEA, they select the type of permit and subject area(s) through their TIMS dashboard, select the payment method, and submit the application. Please note: The LEA determines who is responsible for the payment.

  3. The position candidate or the LEA submits the documents listed on the TIMS cover sheet.

Documentation Required for All Permit Types:

  1. Transcripts
    • Submission:
      • Electronically from the college or university to ra-TeacherCert@pa.gov;
      • In an unopened college-sealed envelope;
      • From the employing LEA if the certifying officer:
        • Received the electronic transcripts directly from the college or university or in college-sealed envelopes;
        • Writes the name of the LEA directly on the original transcript, marks it as "OFFICIAL" and signs (including name and title) and dates it;
        • Forwards it directly to the Division of Certification Services electronically or by mail along with the TIMS cover sheet.
    • Bachelor's degree transcript is required for all initial permit requests except for:
      • School Nurse;
      • Dental Hygienist;
      • Vocational (see CSPG 25); and
      • Pennsylvania-certified educators.
    • Bachelor's degree transcript is required for Type 06 permit requests randomly selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for audit.
  2. PDE requires a copy of the current and valid PA professional license for:
    • School Nurses; and
    • Dental Hygienists.
  3. Required credentials for non-U.S. citizens and individuals prepared outside of the United States (see CSPG 5).

Types of Emergency Permits

  1. Vacant Position with an Educational Obligation to Pursue Certification (Type 01)
    A Type 01 permit is requested for a position that will exceed 20 consecutive days in a single assignment when the LEA anticipates future employment for the position. Following are examples of qualifying vacancies:
      • New Position
      • Resignation
      • Termination
      • Retirement
      • Death

    • Initial Application Requirements:

      The educator agrees to enroll in a state-approved teacher certification program in the subject area(s) of the requested permit and complete the required number of credits as outlined below.

    • Reissuance Requirements:
      • Reissuance may be requested if the educator provides evidence of enrollment in a state-approved teacher preparation program and has completed the required credits in the program.
        • First reissuance credit requirements are based on the date of the initial emergency permit issuance following the chart below:
          • August 1 – November 30 = 6 program credits;
          • December 1 – March 31 = 3 program credits;
          • April 1 – July 31 = proof of program enrollment.
        • Second reissuance and all subsequent reissuances may be requested with proof of nine certification program credits.
      • A permit may be reissued one time after the program is completed for testing purposes IF the test(s) has been attempted in the previous year. The LEA must alert PDE that the permit is being requested based on testing.
  1. Long-Term Substitute with No Educational Obligation (Type 04):
    A Type 04 permit is requested for a temporary position that will exceed 20 consecutive days in a single assignment and when future employment in the position is not anticipated by the LEA. Following are examples of these types of vacancies:
      • Temporary coverage (i.e., sabbatical, medical, maternity, etc.);
      • Coverage while recruiting; and
      • Coverage for a position to be eliminated at the end of the school year.

    • Reissuance Requirements:
      • A Type 04 permit can be reissued one time in the same subject area per LEA.
  1. Act 97 Waiver (Type 02):
    Refer to CSPG No.14 - Act 97 Waiver of Certification.


  2. Day-to-Day Substitute (Type 06):
    A Type 06 permit is issued to qualify a person for service as a day-to-day substitute in any certificate area. If service exceeds 20 days in a single assignment, a long-term substitute permit (Type 04) is required.

    An official bachelor’s degree transcript is to be kept in the educator’s personnel file and must be submitted to PDE if the application is selected for a random audit.

  3. Teacher Exchange/Cultural Exchange (Type 08):
    An individual is eligible to receive an Emergency Type 08 teacher/cultural exchange permit if all the following are met:
  • Educator participates in a teacher/cultural exchange through a U.S. Department of State designated teacher exchange program sponsor. For a complete list of designated sponsors, go to https://j1visa.state.gov/;
  • Holds a J1 Visa;
  • Holds a degree that is equivalent to a baccalaureate degree earned in the United States;
  • Has been sponsored by a Commonwealth LEA to participate in the teacher/cultural exchange program;
  • Is certified to teach in another country;
  • Possesses good moral character; and
  • Is proficient in the English language. 

The LEA submits to PDE a verification letter of acceptance/participation from the U.S. Department of State designated teacher/cultural exchange program sponsor as the required emergency permit application documentation.

Type 08 permits are limited to one initial application and two subsequent applications.

A teacher/cultural exchange candidate cannot be used to fill a district vacancy.

  1. Locally Issued Day-to-Day Substitute (issued by the Chief School Administrator):

Certified Educators:

  •  May be issued to educators holding a valid and active Pennsylvania or comparable out-of-state certificate.
    • The educator must meet requirements of the School Code related to clearances and good moral character.
    • The educator may serve as a substitute for 20 school days in each certificate area outside of their certificated area(s).
    • If they are needed for more than 20 days in the same certificate area, an emergency permit must be requested from the Department.
    • The LEA is responsible for maintaining accurate records and evidence of the above requirements.

Teacher Preparation Program Completers:

  • Act 36 of 1999 allows approved teacher preparation program completers to be a day-to-day substitute when the following criteria are met:
    • Educator must present a letter from a college or university verifying successful completion of an approved teacher preparation program, completion of all testing requirements, and completion of all requirements for awarding of a bachelor’s degree;
    • Must meet requirements of the School Code related to clearances and good moral character; and
    • May serve until the end of the school year including summer school.
    • The LEA is responsible for maintaining accurate records and evidence of the above requirements being met.

Prospective Teacher Substitutes (Act 86 of 2016):

  • Must be currently enrolled in a Pennsylvania-approved college or university teacher preparation program;
  • Must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours or equivalent;
  • May teach a maximum of 10 days for a single employee and a maximum of 20 days per school year; and
  • Must meet requirements of the School Code related to clearances and good moral character.
  • Reissuance provisions:
    • May be reissued for one additional year;
    • Must provide proof of completion of additional 15 credits hours or equivalent from a PDE-approved preparation program provider; and
    • Must remain enrolled in a PDE approved preparation program.
    • The LEA is responsible for maintaining accurate records and evidence of the above requirements being met.

Special Considerations

  1. See CSPG 25 for vocational permit requirements.

  2. Inactive and Voluntary Inactive Pennsylvania certificate holders may substitute for a total of 90 days per school year in their certificate area(s).
    • No permit is required to work in the certification area(s) (24 P.S. § 12-1205.2).
    • A Type 06 emergency permit is required when the individual is working outside of their certification area(s). A single assignment may not exceed 20 days.
    • These two options combined cannot exceed 90 days per school year.

  3. Emergency permits will not be issued under the following circumstances:
    • Candidate holds an expired Intern certificate in the subject area being requested;
    • Candidate holds a lapsed Level I certificate; and
    • Candidate voluntarily deleted the subject area being requested from their certificate.

  4. The LEA must request emergency permits for substitute teachers provided to their district by private agencies or contractors.

  5. Emergency permits may not be requested during a legal work stoppage.

References

22 Pa. Code §§49.31, 49.32, 49.33, 49.34; 24 P.S. §11-1122

Related CSPGs

CSPG 2, CSPG 5, CSPG 14, CSPG 63

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous CSPG printing dates on this subject: 3/75, 8/76, 1/87, 7/04, 6/08, 9/10, 12/15, 10/16, 1/17, 2/18.

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revision
​Major Changes to CSPG #13
​10/2019​Revisions to teacher/cultural exchange permit process.
​2/2018
  • ​Adjustment of required credit obligations for requesting a Type 01 emergency permit reissuance.
  • Clarification and adjustment of conditions for requesting a Type 01 or Type 04 emergency permit.
  • Additional clarifications were added.
​1/2017​Clarified information on Locally-Issued Day-to-Day Substitute permits.
​10/2016
  • ​Added Locally-Issued Day-to-Day Substitute Information:
    • Teacher Preparation Program Completers (Act 36 of 1999)
​12/2015
  • ​A Type 04 permit is issued for the first application of a vacant position. A subsequent application for a vacant position must be for a Type 01 emergency permit.
  • Locally-issued permits have been designated as Type 05 permits.
  • No bachelor’s degree is required for the issuance of a School Nurse or Dental Hygienist permit.
  • Substituting limitations have been clarified for educators holding inactive or voluntary inactive status.
  • The vocational permit process has been relocated to CSPG #66.
​9/2010
  • ​Type 08 emergency permits have been expanded to include cultural exchanges.
  • Vocational candidates seeking a Type 01 emergency permit do not need to submit a PDE 338 ES form with the initial application. The PDE 338 ES form is required for Vocational Type 01 reissuance.
  • Individuals issued emergency permits between June 1 and July 31 have no educational requirements.
  • Registered Nurses and Dental Hygienists are no longer limited to Type 04 or Type 06 emergency permits.
  • Type 06 permits are to be issued for 20 cumulative days, not consecutive days.
​6/2008
  • ​Type 03 emergency permits will no longer be issued by the Division of Certification Services.
  • When applying for a Type 01 emergency permit, a school entity must demonstrate a consistent and persistent inability to fill a vacancy with a fully qualified candidate.
  • Type 06 emergency permits may be issued to school entities for educators holding inactive certificates who wish to teach outside of their area of certification. Permits issued to inactive certificate holders will be valid for 90 service days.
  • Bachelor’s degree for school nurses and dental hygienists is required for a Type 01 but not required for a Type 04 or Type 06 emergency permit.
  • Deleted the section that obligates a school entity to continue the employment of the emergency permit holder in subsequent years even if the incumbent employee has served satisfactorily and met his or her educational obligation.
​7/2004
  • ​Emergency certificate changed to emergency permit.
  • School nurse or dental hygienist was required to have a Bachelor’s degree. However, policy was adjusted to require a Bachelor’s degree for a Type 01 for school nurses but not required for Type 04 or 06 emergency permits.
​1/1987
  • ​CSPG No. 4 was changed to CSPG No. 13 and was divided into three categories: General Policies; Issued for Temporary Professionals, Professional Employees; and Substitutes.
  • Bachelor’s degree was required, except for school nurse or dental hygienist.
  • Emergency certificate types identified to include: 01 – Vacant Position with 9 credit obligation, 03 – Long-Term Substitute with education obligation, 04 – Long-Term Substitute, 06 – Day-to-Day and 08 – Exchange.
​3/1975
  • ​Guiding document changed to CSPG No. 4 – Issuance of Emergency Certificates.
  • Requested by school district and in agreement with PDE. Additional detail included in the CSPG.
​1/1962
  • ​Four years or 120 semester hours of post-secondary education was now required.
​1/1961
  • Three years or 90 semester hours of post-secondary education was now required.
​7/1951
  • ​County or district superintendent may issue an emergency certificate to a person with two years post-secondary education or 60 semester hours.
  • Only valid if filed with PDE on the proper form after 90 days.
  • Not applicable: Vocational, Recreation, Special Education and Extension Education.