NU NB Leadership Center
As many of you who have been in the world of National Board Certification (NBC) already know, the renewal criteria is changing. As a lead support provider, I have heard a great deal of confusion and concern from other support providers and the candidates they support with regard to these changes. The main reason for such response rests with a change in the timeline for renewal. Over the last 25 years of the NBPTS assessment, National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) held that title for 10 years. In order to maintain NBC status, NBCTs had to renew prior to the expiration date of their most recent certificate, that is, every 10 years.
The new language for certification holds that newly certified educators will maintain the distinction of being an NBCT for half that time; for 5 years. However, this change in timeline will not begin until 2021. Therefore, candidates who certify in 2016-2020 will have valid certification for 10 years prior to renewing, should they choose to maintain NBCT status. After that, every NBCT renews every 5 years. Therefore, a 2016 candidate will renew in 2026 (10 years) the first time they go through renewal, but after that, must renew every 5 years. An educator who certifies from 2020 forward, must renew every 5 years to maintain certified status as an NBCT.
One might, at first, feel that cutting the time-frame requirements for renewal makes no sense, however, this change in timeline appears to make this process of greater merit, and a more doable, and affordable process.
With regard to greater merit, it is common knowledge that the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) holds that the NBC process is a public assurance that NBCTs have met the profession’s highest standards for accomplished practice. In addition, the distinction signifies that NBCTs are up to date on the knowledge and best practices in their certification area. Further, as in other professions such as a certified physician or a lawyer who practices after earning a law degree, certification is a credential that requires periodic demonstration of knowledge and skills. As with other professional certificates, NBCTs must periodically renew. As mentioned, in the past, NBCs renewed every 10 years. In order to ensure that distinction of NBC is as highly respected as possible and of the same merit as a professional in other fields, the NBPTS made the decision to cut the renewal process down. The idea is that NBCTs continue to maintain and show evidence of the highest standards of accomplished practice as well as proof that they are up to date on the knowledge and best practices in their certification area as measured by the assessment of the renewal process.
With regard to a more doable process, what has been the experience of many NBCTs is that by the time they start the renewal process, so many years have gone by that many NBCTs have become detached from the process making renewal challenging. Ideally, having less time between original certification process and the renewal process will make the renewal process less challenging for NBCTs.
What follows is the current renewal process followed by the forthcoming 5 year process which will begin in 2021 using the language of the NBPTS from the Candidate Support Resources.
Profile of Professional Growth - The Current Renewal Process through 2021
The current renewal process is not recertification. It’s a process by which you compile and submit a Profile of Professional Growth (PPG), demonstrating how your practices continue to align with the Five Core Propositions in your certificate area. In contrast to initial certification, the PPG is a single submission composed of three interrelated components and a reflection. These components draw upon a single group of Professional Growth Experiences (PGEs) you select.
Here are the current components of the Profile of Professional Growth:
- Component 1: This requires you to submit responses to prompts related to four areas of your professional growth that reflect your continuous commitment and contributions to professional activities that ultimately have an impact on student learning.
- Component 2: This requires you to choose one of your PGEs featured in Component 1 and demonstrate its application in the same content and developmental level as your original certification. You do not have to be a full-time teacher in the classroom to complete this component.
- Component 3: This requires you select another PGE from Component 1 (not the one used in Component 2) and demonstrate either a direct or indirect impact on student learning.
- Reflection: Submit a written reflection that requires you to analyze the connections and patterns among the first three components, focusing on challenges encountered as well as plans for continued professional growth and efforts to impact student learning.
Maintenance of Certification - The New Renewal Process beginning in 2021
Beginning in 2021, NBCTs will extend their certificate through a new process called maintenance of certification (MOC). While the specific requirements for completion have not been released, once introduced in 2021, the new policy reflects tremendous changes in education in the past two decades since National Board Certification was first introduced. It is also aligned with the movement of 40 state licensure systems to a five-year renewal period. Most importantly, it reflects the National Board’s effort to make certification more affordable and efficient for all teachers, so that that it can become the norm in the profession.
To recap, a new renewal process of the NBPTS is forthcoming. The change from the current renewal system using PPGs to the new system of renewal entitled maintenance of certification will take effect for current candidates who certify in 2017 and later. Beginning in 2021, as existing 10-year certificates expire, NBCTs will extend their certificate at five-year intervals through the new MOC process. Please refer to the table above to see how the change may affect you. (NBCTs: For current candidates, to look up your certificate's expiration date, check your records in the NBCT directory.)