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National Board to Revise Certification Process to Meet Needs of Today’s Educators

September 6, 2013

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the profession’s standard bearer for accomplished teaching, today announced it will revise its certification process. The revision is being made to incorporate the latest research—as certification was last updated in 2001—and to reduce barriers so that more students can learn from Board-certified teachers.

The changes to the process will begin in the 2014−2015 academic year.

The National Board Standards, created for teachers by teachers, will not change.  

The revised certification process will:

  • Incorporate the latest research on effective teaching. Just as Board-certified teachers have always been asked to be reflective in their practice, the National Board also strives to ensure the certification process incorporates new research on best teaching practices.
  • Provide greater flexibility, efficiency, and access. The National Board will provide flexibility for educators by allowing candidates to complete the process in any sequence and at a pace that fits their schedule, while maintaining the same level of rigor.
  • Drive down the cost of certification. The total cost of initial certification will decrease from $2,500 to about $1,900—driven largely by moving from a paper-based system to digital—and candidates will have the option to “pay as they go.” 

“Board certification should be the natural next step for all teachers after the novice phase of their career, but there are some parts of the current process that create obstacles that have nothing to do with whether or not a teacher is accomplished,” said Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board. “Although 100,000 National Board Certified Teachers is a substantial figure, it’s not nearly enough. We’ve heard from countless teachers who would like to pursue National Board Certification, but they could simply not attempt it in its current form. These changes will help us ensure that many more students learn from National Board Certified Teachers.”

Research shows that Board-certified teachers have a significant impact on student achievement, and that their students outperform their peers in other classrooms. National Board Certified Teachers have demonstrated that they have met the profession’s highest standards for accomplished practice through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process.

Candidates for the new certification will be able to begin the process in spring 2014. Revised certification components will be rolled out over time, with two expected to be available for the 2014-2015 school year. Current candidates will continue the process they started.

Pearson, the National Board’s assessment partner since 2008, will continue to support the National Board certification process.

National Board Certification is available in 25 certificate areas, from Pre-K through 12th grade. 

To watch Ron Thorpe and Board-certified teachers discuss the new certification process, visit


About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (
The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.

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