January 2018

Renewing standard certificates

by Karen Dooley

Q.  Does the Texas Education Agency (TEA) audit continuing professional education (CPE) credit for renewable standard certificates?

A. The short answer is yes, but they do not have the resources to audit every renewal submitted to the agency. Currently, about 80 individuals are being chosen per month for auditing CPEs, according to Dr. Tim Miller.

An educator affirms through an online affidavit they have met the CPE hours required for renewal. If selected for audit, the individual must provide documentation to TEA. The individual certificate holder is responsible for documenting their own hours and determining which CPE hours meet the renewal requirements. At least 80 percent of CPE activities should be focused on the standards and directly related to the certificate(s) being renewed.

A standard certification in Texas must be renewed every five years. Classroom teachers are required to complete 150 CPE hours over the five-year period. An individual who holds a professional certificate (i.e., administrative and student services) must complete 200 hours.

CPE hours may be earned through several avenues, including:

  • Workshops, conferences, in-service training, and staff development through an approved provider
  • Undergraduate and graduate coursework from an accredited college (one semester hour equals 15 CPE hours)
  • Interactive distance learning, video conferences, or online activities
  • Independent study (not to exceed 20 percent of the required clock hours)
  • Developing, teaching, or presenting a CPE activity (not to exceed 10 percent of the required clock hours)
  • Serving as a mentor to another educator (not to exceed 30 percent of the required clock hours)

A list of approved CPE providers and information for free online CPE providers may be found on the TEA website. Worksheets to assist educators in tracking CPE hours for each area also are available.

Provider recordkeeping requirements

Districts are not required to maintain individual educator records. As CPE providers, districts are responsible for creating their own system to document their training sessions. At the conclusion of each activity offered for CPE credit, the provider or sponsor must provide to each educator in attendance written documentation listing, at a minimum, all of the following:

  • Provider's name and provider number
  • Educator's name
  • Date and content of the activity
  • Number of clock-hours that count toward satisfying CPE requirements

Providers are required to maintain for a period of seven years after the activity is completed a record of CPE activities that includes a list of attendees, the date and content of the activity, and the number of clock hours that count toward satisfying CPE requirements for a period.