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‚ÄčCertificate Status Circular for Educators

We encourage all Pennsylvania educators to carefully review the information provided below. Your professional career is dependent upon maintaining current and accurate records of your certificates and personal information.

Certification

Everything you need as an educator is on the Certification homepage. One important resource found on the homepage is the Teacher Information Management System, TIMS. TIMS is a one-stop shop for individuals and includes how to: 

  • Apply for PA educator certification
    • Initial certificate
    • Emergency Permits
    • Level I to Level II
    • Instructional Add-Ons
    • And more! 
  • View and update personal information, such as:
    • Name changes
    • Address changes
    • Email changes
    • Phone number
    • And more! 
  • Print a copy of your PA educator certificate(s)
  • And perform additional functions as a current educator. 

New users should start by creating a username and password as a personal user in TIMS. Also included are User Guides with step-by-step instructions for logging in and common functions in TIMS. 

To obtain your teaching certificate, you must complete the testing associated with your program. Review the Certification Testing page and the Certification Testing Video for information related to any necessary testing information. 

Next Apply in TIMS for your certificate if you have not already done so. We recommend watching the Applying in TIMS video for step-by-step instructions after creating your account.

Keeping Your Records Up to Date

It is your responsibility as an educator to maintain current contact information in TIMS. The Pennsylvania Department of Education sends 4- and 5- year notices, if applicable, to the address and email address on file for individual educators when the Act 48 or Act 45/PIL requirements have not been met. We can only send this important information if those addresses are kept up to date in TIMS. 

Guides on how to change demographic and profile information can be found on the TIMS Help/User Guides website: 

View & Update My Profile
Profile Change Application

Maintaining Your Certificate

Educators must maintain both Active and Valid certification to be employed in Pennsylvania public schools. 

The Professional Education Record Management System, PERMS, houses Act 48 and Act 45/PIL continuing education records and time periods. The Act 48 Frequently Asked Questions page contains additional details regarding requirements, accepted credits, and how to submit documentation to remain ACTIVE.   

Teacher Certification's Level I to Level II webpage contains information on all requirements needed to convert your Level I certification. This includes guidelines for the 24 credits, 3 years of service, satisfactory evaluations, and PDE-approved induction programs to ensure your certificate remains VALID. 

Carefully review the Active vs. Valid chart to understand the difference between these two important factors affecting your career as an educator:

ACTIVE VALID

Handled by Act 48 Continuing Education Office

  • Every 5 calendar years from date the initial certificate was issued regardless of PA employment status
  • 6 collegiate credits or 180 hours of professional development 

You can check your specific Act 48 date and requirements on the PERMS website

  • Accepted credits: 2- or 4-year colleges, Intermediate Unit credits or in-service hours from approved providers
  • Notice sent at 4- and 5-year marks if requirement is still pending

If not completed, certificate becomes
INACTIVE


Handled by Certification Services (BSLTQ)

  • The Level I is valid for 6 service years in a PA public school. If not working in a PA school setting, your 6 year "clock" is not running 

It is the responsibility of the educator to keep track of years of employment. Employment is not tracked by PDE and no notice is sent out documenting years of service 

Must apply and complete the following for Level II Permanent Certificate prior to the completion of 6 service years: 

  • 24 credits earned after initial bachelor's degree
  • 3 years of satisfactory PA service
  • PDE-Approved Induction Program

If not completed, certificate becomes
LAPSED

PDE Contact Information

If you have any questions concerning certification, contact the Certification Division. If you have questions concerning Act 48, contact the Division of Planning and Professional Development, at the following emails: 

Certification Division: RA-EDCERTQUESTIONS@PA.GOV

Division of Planning and Professional Development: RA-EDACT48@PA.GOV