Level I Certification


This is a reminder that all professional employees must maintain a valid certificate to be entitled to perform professional instructional duties, to perform educational specialist services to students, or to perform supervisory or administrative functions for which it was issued. If you are holding an Instructional I (Provisional/Level I) certificate or Educational Specialist I (Provisional/Level I) certificate you must convert your certificate to an Instructional II or Educational Specialist II (Permanent/Level II) certificate by the end of the validity period. If not converted the Level I certificate lapses. Don't let your certificate expire! Contact Human Resources.

What is the validity period? — The validity period for Instructional I (Provisional/Level I) certificates and Educational Specialist I (Provisional/Level I) certificates is 6 years of service. This is 6 years for actual years of professional service as an educator, not calendar years. For example: A certificate issued in 1990 was used for a total of 3 years of professional service as an educator prior to 2004. This may include some long-term substitute assignments. As of 2004 there are 3 years of validity remaining.

Will PDE send me a notice announcing when my certificate will expire? — NO. It is the responsibility of each certificate holder to know when his or her certificate expires and to apply for a Level II certificate. Failure to convert the certificate before the end of the applicable service period will result in a lapsed certificate and the certificate holder will be ineligible for employment as a professional.

What service does not count against the validity period? — The years when the holder was not in education, unsatisfactory service, non-professional or paraprofessional service, Intern Certificate service, Emergency Certificate service, day-to-day substitute service, outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania service, or service when a person did hold an appropriate certificate does not count against the validity period.

What service counts against the validity period? — Satisfactory service performing professional duties for a minimum of one-half year of the employing school entity’s teaching day or week, satisfactory service (including long-term substitute service) for a minimum of 45 days in a 180 day school year in a single assignment in areas for which the Level I certificate was issued will be counted as one-half year against the validity period, and service performed within a private special education school approved by PDE will be counted as service against the certificate.

Who determines the validity of my certificate? — Only the Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation can determine the validity of a certificate. The Bureau will make an official determination of certificate validity upon written request of the school entity or educator.

What happens if my certificate is lapsed? — If your Level I certificate is not converted within the validity period, the Level I certificate lapses and becomes invalid. You cannot be employed in a Pennsylvania public school with a lapsed or invalid certificate and will be ineligible for employment as a professional.

Can my initial Level I certificate be renewed? — No. The Level I Instructional certificate and Educational Specialist I certificate is valid for a maximum of 6 services years in Pennsylvania.

Can I get an emergency permit? — No. An emergency permit will not be issued to a person with an invalid certificate.