Professional and Continuing Education Staff Associate (ESA)

Suicide Prevention Requirement

Applies to school nurses, school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers earning or renewing their second tier certification beginning July 1, 2015. 
Requirement: 3 hours (minimum) of training in suicide prevention from an approved curriculum. 

Issues of Abuse Course

National and local attention to issues of child abuse has caused all states to develop laws speaking to the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse/neglect of children. Educators, nurses, social workers, and others are mandated by law to report abuse and neglect; therefore, they need a clear understanding of the problem, definitions and physical/behavioral indicators. THIS COURSE MEETS RCW 28A.410.035, requirements for all educator certificates.

This syllabus provides more information on the Issues of Abuse Course which is required for all educators.  

Professional Certificate

The professional certificate allows working ESAs to demonstrate competency of career level standards in their current position. The candidate must have a dated residency certificate and be in their 3rd contracted year in their certificated role with a public or private school or ESD. Part-time practitioners and ESAs assigned to more than one role are encouraged to discuss with a ProCert program director (listed below) whether their assignment/s provide sufficient opportunity to accomplish the ProCert standards. 
The ProCert process involves:
1. an entry seminar that provides an orientation to the process and to the benchmarks, a self-evaluation "audit," and development of a Professional Growth Plan;
2. Professional Growth Plan (PGP) implementation, wherein the candidate gathers evidence on the benchmarks and develops capacity in the major areas of focus; and
3. an Action Research Project created in conjunction with the completion of a ProCert program.

School Psychologists

School psychologists with an expiration date of June 2013, 2014, or 2015 on their Residency Certificate have been granted a one time 2-year extension. 
  • School psychologists holding a dated Residency Certificate can earn a continuing certificate by working in the role of school psychologist for 180 days and completing 150 clock hours (WAC 181-79A-221). Contact the OSPI Certification Office with School Psychology in the subject line with specific questions.
School psychologists may use the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) Certificate for the Professional Certificate.
  • For additional information on the NCSP process, contact NASP.
  • Those in the process of obtaining their NCSP may apply for a one time 2-year extension on their Residency Certificate.  Contact the OSPI Certification Office for information on the verification process.

School Counselors

Please read our advisory regarding the new National Board process and candidates with expiring 5 year residency credentials.

School Counselors interested in ProCert should contact programs for details on the ProCert process:

Basic information on the ProCert process can be found here:
Prior to ProCert Enrollment

ProCert Program Resources
Professional Growth Plan Document (your institution may require a different format)

Additional Resources

School counselors may use the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certification for the Professional Certificate.

School Counselors and Psychologists Certified Prior to September 2005:

Continuing Certification: An ESA receiving their first Washington certificate in School Psychology, School Counseling, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, School Nursing, or Speech-Language Pathology should follow the Initial/Continuing track. All ESA roles with a valid Initial Certificate should apply to the Certification Office for the Continuing Certificate.
Peer Review for school psychology and school counselor programs: See the current list of programs offering peer review.

School Social Workers

School social workers are now on the Initial/Continuing track for certification. Those with Residency Certificates will apply to the local Education Service District (ESD) for certification.
For more information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.