Standard Certificate Renewal Requirements FAQ's

1. What is a Standard Certificate?

The Standard Certificate must be renewed every five years to remain valid. The Standard Certificate replaced the lifetime Provisional and Professional Certificates.

2. When did Texas begin issuing the Standard Certificate?

The standard certificate was issued beginning September 1, 1999. Individuals who complete preparation and/or testing requirements after that date are issued the Standard Certificate.

3. Was there a deadline to receive a lifetime certificate?

Applications from individuals who completed these requirements prior to September 1, 1999 must have been received by TEA no later than October 29, 1999, to be eligible for the lifetime certificate.

4. When will an educator have to renew the Standard Certificate?

The renewal date of a standard certificate shall be five years after the last day of the certificate holder's next birth month. For example, an educator born in March who is issued a certificate in December 1999 would be subject to renewal requirements in March 2005.

5. Do current educators have to renew their lifetime certificates?

No. Educators holding lifetime certificates have been exempted from the renewal process. It is important to note, however, that currently certified educators adding new areas of certification after September 1, 1999, will be issued the Standard Certificate, which must be renewed. As a result, it is likely that many educators will hold both lifetime and Standard Certificates.

6. How soon may an educator begin the renewal process?

An educator may apply for renewal as early as six months prior to the expiration date of the standard certificate.

7. How do I apply for renewal of my Standard Certificate?

Each educator will need to login to their account on the TEA website.

When an educator logs on to the online system, he or she will need to select “Applications” from the Educator Main Menu on the left side of the screen, and then select “Renew a Standard Certificate.” After this selection, the educator will be guided through a series of screens that will advise the educator of the process for requesting a renewal of the standard certificate. Online payment of certification fees is available.

Educators are responsible for maintaining a record of their Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits, and will not need to submit evidence of completion of CPE credits unless specifically requested by TEA for audit purposes.

8. How will TEA verify that an educator has satisfied renewal requirements?

Each educator will affirm through an online affidavit submitted to TEA that all requirements for renewal have been met. Information regarding criminal history and compliance with student loan and child support obligations will be obtained by TEA from other state agencies. If information is presented falsely on the affidavit, the educator could be subject to criminal charges and sanctioning of his/her certificate.

Educators are responsible for maintaining a record of their CPE credits, and will not need to submit evidence of completion of CPE credits unless specifically requested by TEA for audit purposes. It is the responsibility of the educator and the school district to determine which workshops or training sessions meet the requirements for standard certificate renewal. TEA staff will not make these determinations. This allows maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs.

9. What is required for renewal every five years?

All certified educators, including educational aides, seeking to renew a certificate must: hold a valid Standard Certificate that has not been, nor is in the process of being, sanctioned by TEA; successfully undergo a national criminal background check by submitting fingerprints for review; not be in default on a student loan or in arrears of child support; complete the required number of clock hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE); pay the appropriate renewal fee.

NOTE: Please note that educational aides are not required to complete any CPE hours for certificate renewal. The CPE requirements for each class of certificate are as follows: classroom teachers must complete 150 clock hours every five years; counselors must complete 200 clock hours every five years; learning resource specialists and school librarians must complete 200 clock hours every five years; reading specialists must complete 200 clock hours every five years; educational diagnosticians must complete 200 clock hours every five years; master teachers must complete 200 clock hours every five years; and superintendents, principals, and must complete 200 clock hours every five years.

10. Why does my certificate expire in less than 5 years?

An educator renewing multiple classes of certificates issued during the same five-year renewal period may satisfy the requirements specified in §232.851 of this title (relating to Number of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours by Classes of Certificates) for any class of certificate issued for less than the full five-year period by completing a minimum of one-fifth of the required CPE hours for each full calendar year that the class of certificate is valid.

11. Will educators have to take an examination to renew the Standard Certificate?

No.

12. Why does an educator's status with student loan and child support payments impact the renewal decision?

The Texas Education Code (Sec. 57.491) and the Family Code (Chapter 232) explicitly require all licensing agencies to deny renewal to any licensee – in this case, a certified educator – who does not comply with student loan and/or child support obligations.

13. Can an educator renew his/her certificate even if he/she is not employed by a school district?

Yes. Any educator can apply to renew a valid Standard Certificate, regardless of his/her employment status. Professional development opportunities not specifically connected to school districts exist.

14. What is the fee for Standard Certificate Renewal?

To renew all certificates for individuals with one or more certificates: For individuals with only and Educational Aide Certificate: On-time renewal of Standard certificate: $20 $10 Additional fee for late renewal of Standard certificate $10 first 6 months $20 after 6 months $5 Reactivation of inactive certificate $40 $15 Reinstatement following restitution of child support or student loan repayment $50 $20

15. What activities count toward the required CPE clock hours every five years?

To allow maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs, CPE clock hours can be accrued through the following: workshops, conferences, and in-service or staff development delivered by an approved registered provider; undergraduate and graduate coursework through an accredited institution of higher education, with one semester credit being equivalent to 15 CPE clock hours; interactive distance learning, video conferencing, or on-line activities; independent study, not to exceed 20% of the required clock hours;development of curriculum or CPE training materials;presenting CPE activities, not to exceed 10% of the required clock hours; serving as a mentor, not to exceed 30% of the required clock hours; serving as an assessor for the principal assessment, not to exceed 10% of the required clock hours. Only those CPE activities from approved registered providers will be recognized for Standard Certificate renewal purposes.

16. Who can provide CPE hours?

It is the responsibility of the educator to verify the approval status of the CPE provider prior to completion of the CPE activities. All entities or individuals interested in providing CPE hours must apply for approval by TEA. If an entity or individual provides CPE activities on behalf of an approved provider, the approved provider is responsible for ensuring compliance with quality and documentation requirements. CPE providers may include the following: Texas public school districts, provided that staff development activities are developed, approved, and conducted in accordance with the site-based decision-making process; accredited public and private schools in other states, United States territories, and countries outside Texas; regional education service centers; accredited institutions of higher education; education associations that have offered professional development in Texas for at least five years and have tax-exempt status under federal law or state associations that are affiliated with a national association with tax-exempt status; private companies approved by TEA; private schools recognized by TEA; TEA It is the responsibility of the educator and the school district to determine which workshops or training sessions meet the requirements for Standard Certificate renewal. TEA staff will not make these determinations. This allows maximum flexibility for educators to identify appropriate CPE activities to meet their individual needs.

17. Are there specific requirements regarding the number of CPE hours that must be accrued each year and the content of the CPE activities?

Educators must complete the required total number of CPE hours each five-year renewal period. It is recommended that at least five CPE hours each year be devoted to the content area for each certificate being renewed.

18. What happens if an educator does not renew the Standard Certificate?

A Standard Certificate that is not renewed will be placed on inactive status.

19. Will TEA consider requests for hardship exemptions from CPE hour requirements?

The TEA staff will consider hardship exemptions to the CPE requirements for documented health-related reasons and other extenuating circumstances.

20. What documentation should the educator receive to verify attendance at CPE activities?

At the conclusion of each activity, the provider must give to each educator a written document that lists, at a minimum, the provider's name and ID number, the educator's name, the date and content of the activity, and the number of clock hours that count toward satisfying CPE requirements.

Page last modified on 12/1/2010.