PSC rolls out new Tiered Certification rule effective July 1, 2014!

If you haven't looked at your certificate lately, please do so! You will find that all "T" certificates are now coded with the new "SRT"certficate type. SRT stands for Standard Professional Teaching certificate. If you held an "S" or an "L" certificate, they are now "SRS" and SRL" respectively. You don't have to "do" anything in regard to your new certificate; the renewal cycle is still five years and your expiration date remains the same. Certified educators can choose to stay at this level; however for teachers who are evaluated through TKES, there is a new certification tier that is very exciting and recognizes teacher excellence and leadership. This tier has two paths: Advanced Professional or Lead Professional. The PSC guidance document for this tier can be found at Understanding the 2014 Educator Certification Rule Changes.

Certified staff members should submit all Professional Standards Commission applications for certification transactions through the Human Resources Department.

Our office can assist you by:

  • Checking to be sure that your application is completed correctly
  • Checking to be sure that you have submitted all of the required documentation
  • Sending your application electronically to the PSC which verifies your employment and eliminates the need for the Employer's Assurance form required by the PSC. For most transactions this also eliminates the need to pay a processing fee to the PSC.
  • To apply for a certificate upgrade you must submit, to Human Resources, a complete PSC application (see Renewal Packets link for Application) along with official (unopened) transcripts reflecting the degree conferred information.
  • To add a field to your certificate you must submit the complete PSC application along with official transcripts and the Approved Program Recommendation form completed by your university. Note: if the field is added through GACE testing only, no action on your part is required; the PSC will update the certificate once scores are posted.
  • Most importantly, be sure to register on MyPSC located at http://www.gapsc.com/ The PSC no longer mails certification information and the educator must retrieve the correspondence and new certificate through this link.

Certificate Upgrades

Effective December 15, 2010, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission issued a new Certificate Upgrade rule. The purpose of the new rule is to define a connection between the degree major along with the educator's work in the school and student achievement and also to assure the rigor and quality standards met by GaPSC approved institutions or top-tier research institutions. Basically the new rule creates two options for advanced degrees:

  • Option 1: In-Field, the advanced degree must be in a Georgia certificate field already held by the educator

  • Option 2: New Field, the advanced degree must result in the addition of a new field on the educator's certificate (having met all program and GACE requirements to add a field).

  • The new rule also requires the educator to select a university that is either GaPSC approved, or NCATE accredited, or TEAC accredited, or has a Carnegie Classification of RU/VH (research university very high research activity) or RU/H (research university high research activity).

To assist educators with assuring that the program and institution they have selected does indeed meet these guidelines, the Professional Standards Commission has developed a Certificate Upgrade link on the http://www.gapsc.com/ website. Implementation tools include: Certificate Fields for Upgrades and U.S. Institutions for Certificate Upgrades. (Hint: In this document if ONE of the columns has a Yes the institution meets the requirement. The complete set of guidelines may be found at Certificate Upgrade. Remember that these are tools only- it is in your best interest to have a conversation with the potential university to make sure that it meets the guidelines. The PSC has also set up a special email for questions regarding upgrades. You may email the PSC in regard to upgrade questions at certupgrade@gapsc.com. Be sure to include your certification ID# and all program details including university, program description, start and approximate completion dates. The following link is a very helpful Guidance Document issued by the PSC in regard to Educator Certificate Upgrades.

Educational Leadership

If the field or upgrade you are interested is involves an advanced Leadership degree, it is most important that you familiarize yourself with the new Educational Leadership rule effective December 15, 2010. Educational Leadership now involves a partnership between the school system and the university. The PL-6 Information link on our Human Resources page will direct you in the process for applying for a PL-6. The PSC has a guidance document regarding Payment for Advanced Leadership Degrees in response to House Bill 923 which limits salary increases paid for advanced degrees in leadership by requiring the degree-holder to be employed in a leadership position.

Certification Renewal

For certificates expiring the current year, Human Resources will email the educator/paraprofessional an application packet around the first of December of that year. These packets are also available on our website. While we do attempt to assist you with reminders, each educator is ultimately responsible for holding a valid Georgia teaching certificate.

Contact Information:

Human Resources at 770-651-2378

Georgia Professional Standards Commission at mail@gapsc.com or certupgrade@gapsc.com or 404-232-2500.

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