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Act 48 Basics
All educators with Pennsylvania public school certification including Instructional I and II, Educational Specialist I and II, Administrative, Supervisory, Letters of Eligibility and all vocational certificates, employed or not. Additionally, certain school and system leaders serving under administrative certificates may have additional requirements since they must also comply with Act 45 of 2007.
The period begins as of the effective date upon issuance of the educator's initial Instructional certificate and is renewed after the end date if all requirements are met. If an educator's initial certificate was issued prior to the enactment of Act 48, the certificate's first Act 48 period began on July 1, 2000.
Act 48 beginning and end dates can change depending on whether an extension was granted, if a five-year period was completed after the deadline, or if other factors apply. In this case, a new five-year period is assigned beginning the day after the previous five-year period was completed.
Educators must earn six semester credits of collegiate study; OR six CPE credits of PDE-approved continuing professional education courses; OR 180 hours of continuing professional education programs, activities or learning experiences through a PDE approved provider; OR any combination of these every five years to maintain an active certification status.
For information on acceptable sources for Act 48 credits and hours, visit our Options to Earn Act 48 FAQ page.
At least 12 months prior to the end of the five-year period, PDE will send a notice regarding any remaining credits or hours still needed to fulfill requirements, if applicable. An additional notification of status will be sent at the end of the five-year period; therefore, it is important that PDE has a current name and address for each educator.
Public school entities should run reports regularly using the Report section in PERMS to ensure their educators are on track with Act 48 requirements. For information regarding this process, please contact RA-EDACT48@PA.GOV.
Public school entities are defined as school districts, charter schools, joint school districts, area vocational technical schools, state schools and intermediate units.
Notifications regarding certificate status are mailed and emailed using the demographic profile maintained in the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS). It is important that current name, address, and email are updated when changes occur. Contact information may be updated directly in the TIMS profile and a no-fee application for a change in name, SSN# and citizenship status may be created and submitted via TIMS.
To view your progress go to the PERMS (Professional Educator Record Management System) webpage. Once there, enter your Professional Personnel Identification (PPID) number in the box provided. Your Act 48 information will be displayed.
This webpage will list your specific Act 48 period, a total of the hours recorded, and the number of hours still needed to complete requirements. If you do not have your PPID, you may retrieve your number by following the instructions provided under "Find your Professional Personnel ID (PPID)."
A more in-depth guide on navigating PERMS can be found on our Options to Earn Act 48 FAQ page.
It is the responsibility of the educator to monitor
their record of credits or hours in PERMS. It is also the educator’s
responsibility to contact the provider(s) to correct any discrepancies.
Yes. Legislation passed as of July 13, 2016 stipulates up to a maximum of 50 excess hours earned within the last two years of the compliance period may be attributed to the succeeding five-year period. This is not retroactive to periods completed prior to July 13, 2016 and may not apply to Act 48 periods that are not consecutive.
PDE may accept credits and/or professional education hours from courses that ended or began after Jan. 1, 2000, for individuals who were certified prior to July 1, 2000.
Act 48 vs. Level I/II and Act 45/PIL
Yes. The provisions apply to all educators holding a Pennsylvania public school certification.
No. Act 48 and the requirement to convert from Level I to Level II are separate issues. All educators with PA public school certificates must comply with Act 48 regardless of Level I and Level II status.
More information on teacher certification is available PDE's website.
Administrators may require Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) continuing education courses as outlined by Act 45 of 2007 as part of their Act 48 requirements.
This requirement pertains to active school and system leaders serving under certificates in specific covered positions such as principals and assistant principals, superintendents and assistant superintendents, intermediate unit (IU) executive directors, assistant IU executive directors and directors of area vocational-technical schools. Individuals employed in these positions under administrative certificates must earn their continuing professional education requirements in courses and programs that have received PIL approval from the Secretary of Education. PIL/Act 45 courses will fulfill Act 48 requirements but not vice versa.
The following link provides more information relating to Act 45 requirements: Information relating to Act 45 Requirements
Certificate Status and Reactivating
If a certificate holder does not complete the requirements of Act 48 within the prescribed period the certificate remains valid but becomes inactive. While inactive, the educator is disqualified from employment in Pennsylvania public school entities as a professional (tenured) or temporary professional (prior to gaining tenured status) until all Act 48 requirements have been met.
Once the remaining requirements are completed, certificates return to active status.
Yes. An educator who is not currently employed by a Pennsylvania public school entity may request a voluntary inactive
certificate status by submitting an application and fee online via the Teacher Information Management System (TIMS)
. You may also request removal of voluntary inactive
status via TIMS.
Voluntary Inactive status may not always be the best option for all educators. It is recommended that you contact RA-EDACT48@PA.GOV before requesting this status.
A person who requests this status will have the requirements of Act 48 suspended temporarily. This process does not affect certificate validity.
To remove this status, an educator must apply through TIMS and submit evidence of 30 hours or one semester credit earned within of date of the removal application.
Once active status is granted, the educator will have the remaining balance of their original five-year period restored to complete any remaining Act 48 requirements. Credits/hours taken during the inactive period (including the 30 hours for reactivating the certificate) may be counted toward fulfilling the Act 48 requirements.
Active certification indicates compliance with the provisions of Act 48. An inactive certificate indicates noncompliance with the requirements of Act 48 and will prevent an educator from serving in a professional position in a public school entity within the Commonwealth. Additionally, inactive certification may impact an individual's ability to use a certificate in other educational institutions. It should be noted that active/inactive status has no bearing on the validity of a certificate.
A Pennsylvania level I certificate is valid for a specific number of teaching/service years spent in the schools of the
Commonwealth. Therefore, a certificate may remain "valid" even if it becomes "inactive."
Please see our chart comparing active/inactive and valid/invalid.
Yes, if you hold an active, valid out of state certificate and have taught on that certificate sometime within the last two (2) years, you may qualify to use that status to reactivate your inactive PA certificate.
This process is only available to reactivate and cannot be used to maintain an active status in Pennsylvania.
Meeting the Act 48 requirement every five years with acceptable professional education courses or activities will maintain the educator's active status for any and all certificates held by the educator.
If PIL/Act 45 hours are required, exceptions may apply. Please see the PIL/Act 45 FAQ.
Yes, an individual with an inactive certificate may be employed as a substitute teacher, principal, superintendent, or assistant superintendent in accordance with the endorsement on the individual's certificate or letter of eligibility for 180 days per school year.
However, please check with your individual LEA. While the law allows educators with inactive certificates to sub up to 180 days per school year, individual LEAs have the option via their school boards to require that ALL their educators, even subs, have active certificates.
Once an educator with an inactive certificate meets the remainder of their Act 48 requirements and reports those credits or hours to PERMS, the system will automatically return the status back to active overnight. The PERMS system will then assign a new five-year compliance period based on when the Act 48 requirement was completed.
There is a provision in Act 48 for granting an extension of the five-year period due to extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances may include active military duty, a medical disability, financial hardship, or others mentioned on the form. Apply online via TIMS to change your existing credential and request an extension of the Act 48 continuing education period.
For additional information, contact RA-A48APPS@pa.gov
Yes, an educator may appeal a notice of inactive certification. All appeals must be received by the Division of Planning within 30 days of the date of the notice of inactive certification. The appeals form can be found on the Fees and Forms page of our website
. For additional information, contact RA-A48APPS@pa.gov
Educators Not Employed by PA Public School Entities
Notifications concerning the status of individual
teaching certificates, are mailed and emailed to certificate holders. To ensure
that educators receive this information, maintain a current name and address on
file with PDE. Please see the answer to “How can I ensure that I receive
correspondence regarding the status of my teaching certificate?” above for more
Yes, compliance with Act 48 is required to maintain an active status for public school certification regardless of whether the certificate holder is actively teaching in PA public school or not.
Active public school certification is not required by law for an educator to teach in a private/nonpublic school classroom. It is important to note however that many private/nonpublic schools, at their discretion, require their professional educators maintain their Instructional I or II certificate's status by completing continuing education credits or activities.
Educators can maintain active status by meeting continuing education requirements or may request voluntary inactive status from PDE's Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality via TIMS to suspend the requirements of Act 48.
For more information on acceptable options for completing the Act 48 requirements, please visit our Options to Earn Act 48 FAQ
For more information on Voluntary Inactive status, see the answers to "Is there a process to postpone or freeze the Act 48 requirement period" and "What is Voluntary Inactive status?" above.