Certification Renewal Guide


This guide was created to answer questions regarding the renewal process.

This Guide Will:

  • Explain the renewal process required by the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Teacher Certification.
  • Help you determine the certification areas to renew.
  • Assist with evaluating the inservice record.
  • Furnish a broad list of professional growth areas acceptable for renewal.
  • Explain the process for late renewals and expired professional certificates.
  • Provide contact information for the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Teacher Certification

Telephone Inquiry
In state – 1-800-445-6739
Outside US – 1-850-245-5049

Correspondence Inquiry
Bureau of Teacher Certification
Room 201 Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

Web Site Address: http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/renew.asp

The Renewal Process

You must complete the appropriate application form and provide the $75 fee, payable by money order, personal check or cashier’s check to the St. John’s County School District, and include the necessary documents (official sealed transcripts and/or original subject area score reports). Those applications submitted without proper documentation will be returned. Applications must be submitted to the Certification Office for processing after July 1 and before June 30 of the school year the professional certificate expires (e.g., after July 1, 2010 for a certificate that expires June 30, 2011).

You should include a copy of your inservice record (if you are using inservice points to renew), or transcripts or National Board certificate.

All work (inservice, college course-work and exams) must be completed by June 30 of the year the professional certificate expires.

Determining Certification Areas to Renew

To determine which areas of certification need to be renewed, look on the professional certificate. The Department of Education uses special codes to help educators pinpoint which areas are due each renewal period.

The following codes are used before the certification area number: “C” indicates “Credit Needed” this validity period “W” indicates “Renewed Last Validity Period”

All certification areas on the professional Florida Educator Certificate must be renewed within a ten year period (two successive validity periods). A subject which has not been renewed during two successive validity periods will be deleted from the certificate.

In the event a subject is deleted from the certificate due to non-completion of renewal requirements, all requirements which are in effect when application is submitted to add the subject to the certificate again must be completed.

Sixty (60) inservice points in an approved Florida master inservice plan are equivalent to three (3) semester hours of college credit.

A passing numerical score on the Florida subject area test specific to the coverage to be renewed is equivalent to three (3) semester hours of college credit for renewal purposes.

A grade of at least a C must be earned in each college course used for renewal.

College Credit Equivalents

  1. Inservice points: Inservice points earned from a Florida public school district or private school organization that has an approved Master Inservice Plan are acceptable as equivalent to college credit. Sixty (60) Inservice points are equivalent to three (3) semester hours of college credit. For points earned other than in groups of 60, the “district” is responsible for converting points and college course work for the Bureau to equal 120 inservice points.
  2. Subject Area Examination: A passing score on the subject area examination for the subject shown on the certificate is equivalent to three (3) semester hours of college credit. The SAE must be taken in the subject area at the appropriate level. SAE’s in other areas may not be used as elective credit. There is no limit on the number of SAE’s that may be taken during one validity period for subjects shown on the certificate. Note: SAE used to add a subject to the Professional Certificate may also be used for 3 semester hours of renewal credit.
  3. National Board Certification: A certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) corresponding to at least one subject on the Florida certificate, as shown on the NBPTS chart in this section of manual, equates to 6 semester hours of renewal credit. The NBPTS certificate may be used for renewal as long as it is valid during any part of the validity period of the Florida certificate. A photocopy of the valid national certificate submitted with each renewal application shall be acceptable verification.
  4. College Teaching: A course taught at the college level at an accredited or approved institution is the same as a course taken at the college level for renewal. Verification of course name, prefix, number, semester hours and dates taught should be submitted on college letterhead by the registrar or dean. Teaching multiple sections of the same course may only be used as one course for renewal.

Renewing Certificates with One, Two, or More Than Two Subject Areas

  1. Professional Certificates with one subject: At least three (3) of the six (6) semester hours or equivalent must meet the criteria in “Appropriate Categories/Topics for Renewal” below.
  2. Professional Certificates with two subjects: All six (6) semester hours or equivalent must meet the criteria in “Appropriate Categories/Topics for Renewal” below. Any subject for which credit is not earned according to this provision will be deleted at the time of renewal.
  3. Professional Certificates with more than two subjects: At least six (6) semester hours or equivalent must be earned each validity period. For each subject on the certificate, three (3) semester hours of appropriate renewal credit or equivalent must be earned over the course of two successive validity periods to renew all subjects. Any subject(s) for which credit is not earned at least once during the two successive validity periods according to this provision will be deleted at the time of renewal.

Evaluating the Inservice Record

There are four key pieces of information to know before evaluating your inservice record.

1. Your certificate validity period. The certificate validity period can be found by looking at your professional certificate. The validity period varies but always begins with July 1 and ends with June 30. It is important to know this since the Department of Education requires that inservice/coursework be earned during the validity of the certificate in order to use it towards renewal. Professional certificates are valid for five years, i.e. July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2012.

2. You will need a minimum of 120 inservice points, six (6) semester hours of college coursework, or a combination of inservice and coursework depending on the number of certification areas you are renewing. The combination requires sixty (60) inservice points and three (3) semester hour of college coursework.

3. NEW RENEWAL REQUIREMENT: Any person applying after July 1,2014, for renewal or reinstatement of a Professional Certificate must earn at least one (1) semester hour of college credit or the equivalent twenty (20) inservice points in the instruction of students with disabilities. As an acceptable equivalent, if your current Professional Certificate includes a subject in the instruction of students with disabilities, a passing score on the corresponding subject area exam (i.e., Exceptional Student Education, Hearing Impaired, Speech-Language Impaired, Visually Impaired) earned during the current validity period will satisfy the sixty (60) inservice points and also the requirement for credit in the instruction of students with disabilities.

4. Depending on the number of certification areas you are renewing, information in the section entitled “Appropriate Categories for Renewal” (see page 6) must be considered. The Next Step towards evaluating your inservice record is to print a copy of your inservice record by accessing SunGard. Any questions about SunGard or Inservice records contact Staff Development (904) 547-3983 or (904) 547-3981.

Look at all inservice earned during the validity of the certificate. Add all points that meet the above criteria.

Using Subject Area Exams for Renewal

You may use the subject area exam that corresponds to the certification subject shown on the professional certificate to renew that specific subject. Nonexample: You cannot use the Elementary Education 1-6 subject area exam to renew Social Science 6-12. Original score reports will be required.

The tests are offered daily at your convenience. To sign up, you will need to go online to www.fl.nesinc.com. Study guides may be ordered through this site as well, exam fees vary.

Using Adjunct Instructor Experience For Renewal

Individuals who act as adjunct instructors for a Florida college/university course can use that course towards certificate renewal. In this case, a letter must be provided from the supervisor at the college/university (on school letterhead) at the time of renewal. The letter must include the course prefix, number and title, dates taught, semester hours awarded and the employees name listed as the instructor.

Appropriate Categories for Renewal

The Florida Department of Education provides flexibility relative to professional growth opportunities to be used for certificate renewal. Educators are encouraged to be creative in the classroom and, therefore, can choose training topics/courses that do not fall within their content area. The following is a list of the types of topics/courses that are acceptable for all certification areas:

  • Content, methods or education strategies specific to the subject coverage.
  • ESOL or Exceptional Student Education.
  • Drug abuse, child abuse and neglect, or student dropout prevention.
  • Computer applications, computer literacy and computer education.
  • Training related to School Improvement Goals, such as:

Content – English, economics, mathematics, science, social sciences, foreign languages, humanities, global economy, technology, ecology, first aid, health and safety.

Classroom Strategies – Cooperative learning, problem solving skills, classroom management, child development, collaboration techniques for working with families, critical thinking skills, teaching reading, educational assessments, social services, or child guidance and counseling.

School Administration Accountability – Instructional design, leadership skills, school and community relations, school finance, school facilities, school law, or school organization.

Vocational and Adult Education Accountability – Adult learning, principles of adult or vocational education, education for students with special needs, or vocational guidance.

College credits used for certificate renewal must be completed at a college or university accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations.

College credits may be used to BOTH renew the certificate and add a field to the certificate; however, two distinctly different procedures must be followed.

Late Renewal of Certificate

The renewal application may be submitted after expiration of the Professional Certificate if the following criteria are met:

  • Appropriate renewal requirements are completed prior to expiration of the Professional Certificate, and
  • Renewal application form, application fee, and $30.00 late fee are submitted prior to July 1 of the year following expiration of the certificate. Reinstatement of Expired Professional Certificate

Reinstatement of a Professional Certificate

Florida State Board of Education Rule 6A-4.004(7) provides that certificates which have expired are permanently invalid. In addition, requirements completed for issuance of the expired Professional Certificate may not be used to meet requirements for issuance of a new Professional Certificate.

The 1997 Florida Legislature amended Florida Statutes to enable an individual to reinstate a Professional Certificate. The 2000 Florida Legislature increased the reinstatement period from three to five years from the date the Professional Certificate expires. The re-write of the Florida School Code by the 2002 Florida Legislature allows for reinstatement of an expired Professional Certificate regardless of the date the certificate expired beginning with applications received January 7, 2003, and after. For applications received prior to this date, the Professional Certificate may only have expired for five years by the time reinstatement requirements are competed.

Requirements for Reinstatement:

  • Submit completed application form CG-10R with $75.00 processing fee
  • Complete six (6) semester hours of college credit from an accredited institution or 120 inservice points from an approved Master Inservice Plan
  • Submit a passing score on the subject area examination (SAE) in each subject from the expired certificate that will be shown on the reinstated certificate
  • Submit cleared fingerprints

Banking of ESOL and Reading Inservice Points

As of July 1, 2001 individuals, upon the time for the renewal of their professional certificate, may bank a maximum of 300 component specific ESOL or Reading points, in the increments earned, toward certification renewal during future validity periods.

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