If you are looking for individual certificate information, please visit the OSPI Certification website.
Education Staff Associate (ESA) Certificates in Washington state include School Counselor; School Psychologist; School Occupational Therapist; School Physical Therapist; School Nurse; School Speech Language Pathologist or Audiologist; and School Social Worker.
You can find out more on specific procedures for obtaining or renewing an ESA certificate for all roles on the OSPI ESA Certification page>–what follows here is a policy overview for school counselors and school psychologists.
School counselors and school psychologists enter the profession with an undated residency certificate. These ESAs are eligible for a five-year residency certificate (also called a dated residency or residency reissuance) when they have completed two years of successful service in the role in Washington with a school district, state approved private school, or state agency that provides educational services for students.
These two years do not need to be consecutive, they do not need to be completed with the same employer, and the individual does not need to have a contract for a third year with an employer in place prior to the issuance of the five-year residency certificate.
School counselors and school psychologists each have two options for obtaining a second tier certificate: continuing or professional. School counselors may obtain a continuing certificate with 150 clock hours aligned to the school counselor domains, or, they may obtain a professional certificate through National Board Certification for School Counselors from the NBPTS. School Psychologists may obtain a continuing certificate with 150 clock hours aligned to the school psychologist domains, or, they may obtain a professional certificate as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP.)
Residency, professional, and continuing certificate holders in the roles of teacher, administrator, and ESA may renew in five year intervals with:
- 100 clock hours or the equivalent in college credit
- Or, by completing four annual Professional Growth Plans (PGPs) during the five-year validity date of the certificate
- Or, by combining completed PGPs with clock hours for a total of 100 hours. (e.g. 3 PGPs + 25 CH = 100 CH)
- Or, by possession of a valid certificate issued by National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for teacher; or for school psychologists, by the National Association of School Psychologists; or for SLPs, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
School nurses, school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers must attest to the completion of an approved suicide prevention training within the previous five years when renewing a continuing or professional certificate. The training program must be at least three hours in length. (RCW 28A.410.226)
|181-79A-221||>Academic and experience requirements for certification—School counselors and school psychologists.|
|181-79A-223||Academic and experience requirements for certification—School nurse, school occupational therapist, school physical therapist and school speech-language pathologist or audiologist, and school social worker.|
|181-79A-2511||School counselor residency and professional certification—Renewal and reinstatement.|
|181-79A-2512||School psychologist residency and professional certification—Renewal and reinstatement.|