If you are looking for individual certificate information, please visit the OSPI Certification website.
For details regarding certification requirements for educators from outside of the state or country, please see this OSPI Certification page. What follows here is a policy overview.
Washington’s rules allow us to recognize ANY state approved educator preparation program and degree from an accredited institution to meet our basic requirements. This in essence, allows educators who have completed a college/university preparation program in another state, reciprocity for our state to recognize and accept that program toward our certification requirements.
Out-of-state and foreign trained applicants need to meet four requirements in order to qualify for a residency certificate, the first tier of licensure:
- Degree requirement: A bachelor’s degree or higher from any accredited college/university. Foreign trained applicants must submit documentation verifying the equivalency of their degree.
- Program requirement: Completion of any state’s approved teacher preparation program. This would be either an approved program through an accredited college or university or an approved alternative route program.
OR, out of state and foreign trained applicants may be considered if they have held a regular teacher certificate issued by another state within the U.S. and have taught at the P-12 level outside of Washington for at least 3 years.
- Testing requirement: Applicants must pass a basic skills test (WEST-B or approved alternative/equivalent test) and an endorsement content knowledge test (WEST-E/NES or approved alternative/equivalent test) within 12 months of receiving a temporary permit. Washington state accepts all other state-approved content knowledge tests.
- Fingerprint/Background check requirement
The Professional Certificate is the advanced level certificate. It is normally awarded to holders of the Residency Certificate who complete the ProTeach Portfolio or National Board Certification, but may sometimes be awarded to out-of-state applicants in lieu of the Residency. Please see this OSPI Certification page for details regarding obtaining a professional certificate if you are coming from out-of-state.
If coming from out of state, to obtain the Washington state professional certificate, in addition to general certification requirements, educators must:
- Have completed a ProTeach Portfolio
- OR, hold the Wisconsin Masters Educator License, or the Ohio Professional Teaching License (five year license) AND have verification of five years teaching experience in a P-12 setting
- OR hold a certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Out of state and foreign trained certification applicants are very strongly encouraged to call the OSPI certification office at (360) 725-6400 or email email@example.com.
|181-79A-255||Certification of out-of-state trained educational personnel—Interstate educational personnel contracts.|
|181-79A-260||Establishing equivalency for course work, degrees and programs completed in countries outside the United States.|
Questions regarding your individual certificate? Please contact the OSPI Certification Office at (360) 732-6400 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The OSPI Certification Office will be able to access your certification records, and clarify your individual certification status and next steps.
Limited certificates are generally held by individuals who do not fully qualify for a regular educator certificate. Districts usually need to initiate the application for a limited certificate.
Limited certificates for teachers, ESAs, and administrator positions:
- Nonimmigrant exchange
Limited certificates for substitutes:
- Emergency substitute
- Intern substitute
Limited certificates for CTE teachers: