The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Announces Policy Change Allowing Early Career Teachers Access to Certification, Paired with a Support Program Pilot for Kentucky Educators

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is excited to announce a change in policy that will allow early career teachers to begin pursuing National Board Certification as soon as they begin their teaching careers. Previously, educators must have completed three successful years of teaching prior to beginning the National Board Certification process. The policy change now will open access to educators interested in the Board certification process by allowing them to begin the process of Board certification before completing three years of teaching experience. While this change allows educators to begin the process earlier, educators will need to complete three successful years of teaching employment to become Board-certified. This policy change goes into effect today, September 19, 2022.

The teaching profession is facing many challenges today, including growing shortages and urgent pressure to diversify. This change contributes to solving these challenges, as it provides a clear pathway for early career teachers to accelerate their professional learning and grow their compensation, two critical factors that enable retention and effectiveness. Other professions have built clear, supportive pathways for new practitioners from preparation to accomplished practice. Teaching can and must do the same.

“This policy change will open doors, allowing more teachers to access the transformational impact of National Board Certification, and is another step in our efforts to make the process more accessible, diverse, and centered on the needs of our teachers and students,” Said Peggy Brookins, President and CEO of NBPTS. “We are excited to begin working with teachers earlier in their practice, and to support educators as they deepen their teaching practices and become Board-certified!” 

The National Board is piloting a special support program in Kentucky to support early career teachers in their pursuit of Board certification. Through a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education, supported by American Rescue Plan funding, 100 early career teachers will participate in a fully supported, two-year program to pursue and achieve National Board Certification. These teachers will receive full fee support for the cost of certification as well as professional learning support from National Board Certified Teachers in Kentucky including mentorship, coaching and training. Best practices and lessons learned from this program pilot will be shared with the broader National Board stakeholder community across the country.

You can learn more about this policy change and how to begin your National Board certification by joining an informational webinar on the why and how of Board Certification on September 21, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. ET to learn more. A recording will be sent to everyone who registers.

For inquiries on the Kentucky pilot program, please contact Danielle Brown, Senior Manager, Candidate Experience at For media inquiries, please contact Tamara Dudley, Vice President, Advocacy & Communications at

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.