Washington State has
several different applications, dependent on the role. Applications are available for Teachers,
Substitutes, Limited Certificates, Educational Staff Associates (School
Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, School Nurses,
Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists & School Speech and Language
Pathologists), Administrators (Principals, Program Administrators, &
Superintendents) and Career and Technical Educators.
Paper applications are
no longer available for most roles.
Online applications are available at http://www.k12.wa.us/Certification/e-Cert/default.aspx.
Many applications require forms to be completed by your university or
other organization. Those forms will be available
when you choose the appropriate application.
All applicants who do
not hold a current Washington certificate must be fingerprinted for a
background check. If you are in
Washington, contact the nearest ESD for a fingerprint appointment. If you are not currently in Washington but
want to start the fingerprint process, contact an ESD and request that a
fingerprint card and instructions be mailed to you.
- If you have a teaching
certificate in another state, but are new
to Washington State and need either a Washington State Teaching
Certificate or Substitute Teaching Certificate, use the
Residency/Substitute Teacher Certification Application. If you hold a valid National Board
Certificate, you should apply for a Professional certificate (that
application in not currently available online – contact OSPI at
360-725-6400, or this office at 360-405-5801).
- If you are applying for a new Educational
Staff Associate certificate: school counselor or school psychologist – use
the Residency ESA application; school nurse, school occupational therapist,
school physical therapist, school speech language pathologist or
Audiologist, or school social worker – use the Initial ESA application.
- If you are applying for a new administrator
certificate, use the Residency Administrator application (principal or
program administrator) or Initial Administrator application (Superintendent).
- If you are not eligible for a
regular teacher certificate (you have never completed a teacher preparation
program in college and have never held a regular teacher certificate in
another state), you can apply for an Emergency Substitute certificate. A school district must be ready to hire
you as an Emergency Substitute before you can apply. The application process is a little
complicated. First, you must create
an account in the E-Cert system at http://www.k12.wa.us/Certification/e-Cert/default.aspx. Be sure to include your social security
number. Next, the school
district(s) wanting to hire you must look up your record, using your
social security number, and complete a District Request for Emergency
Substitute form. After the district
has done so, you can log back in and at the Welcome screen click on Apply
for a Washington Credential Here.
The Emergency Substitute application should be in the list of
- If you are renewing your
Continuing or Professional certificate, you need enter into E-Cert all of
your continuing education (clock hours or credits), or your Professional
Growth Plans. To do so, log into
your account and at the Welcome screen click on View Your Credentials
Here. Hover over the Educator tab
at the top, and choose Professional Development from the drop down
list. Then click on the bottom line
that says Click Here to Add Professional Development Hours. Note that you cannot enter National
Board Certificate information. That
information is uploaded automatically to OSPI’s database. (If you completed your National Boards
while not in Washington, you will need to provide a copy of your
certificate to OSPI – you should be able to upload a .pdf copy to your
- If your Continuing Teacher
certificate has lapsed, you can reinstate it using the Continuing
Certificate Reinstatement application.
You must have 150 clock hours and/or the equivalent in credits, all
earned within the five year period going back from the date your
reinstatement application is received.
You must provide proof of the 150 hours by providing either transcripts
or the clock hour forms. Finally,
if you do not hold another valid certificate, such as a Substitute
certificate, you must be fingerprinted for a background check.