Home Maintenance of Certification Q&A
This page provides answers to commonly asked questions about Maintenance of Certification.
Q. What is Maintenance of Certification (MOC)?
A. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ MOC is a process that will allow a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) to extend her/his certificate for five years. The process is designed to recognize that a Board-certified teacher is growing professionally and maintaining a positive impact on student learning. MOC is consistent with our goal to make the Board certification process more affordable, flexible, and more accessible to teachers. MOC will become a Board-certified teacher’s pathway for keeping their certification active, replacing the Renewal process in the 2020-21 cycle.
For initial certification, an NBCT demonstrated multiple performance-based teaching practices which met the National Board Standards of accomplished teaching and Five Core Propositions. Maintaining certification is not the same as re-certification or going through the certification process again. The MOC process will focus on how you, as an NBCT, have continued to grow in your professional practice and positively impacted student growth. While the evaluation of your MOC evidence will be based on the Standards and Five Core Propositions as with certification, MOC has fewer parts and will take less preparation time than initial certification.
Q. What is the foundation of the MOC process?
A. The Five Core Propositions, the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, and the National Board Standards in your certificate area are the basis on which MOC has been designed and against which MOC evidence will be evaluated. The MOC process is based on parts of the Renewal process’ Profile of Professional Growth that asks NBCTs to demonstrate that their practices are consistent with the high standards that Board certification represents. Due to the shorter interval before MOC, MOC will have fewer parts than the Profile of Professional Growth.
Q. What are the requirements of MOC?
The MOC process consists of a portfolio submission of two interrelated parts. These parts draw upon two Professional Growth Experiences (PGEs) related to your original certificate area. PGEs are activities in which you learned something new that has influence within or beyond the classroom and had a direct or indirect impact on student learning. While these experiences may have begun before certification or at a later point, they have evolved to become an important focus of your professional growth since initial certification or since renewal.
To demonstrate your maintenance of National Board certification, you will describe, analyze, and reflect on how your PGEs and teaching practices continue to align with the Five Core Propositions, the current National Board Standards for your area of certification, and the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. Each part will include a written commentary in response to prompts and evidence that supports that commentary and demonstrates a positive impact on student learning.
Q. Am I eligible for MOC?
A. If you are a current NBCT with a certificate that expires on or after November 22, 2022*, you are eligible to extend your certificate for five years through the MOC process if:
- Your initial or renewal certificate is valid
- Your teaching license is current and unencumbered (e.g., not suspended or revoked), and
- You are about to enter the year before or year that your current certificate expires. See the MOC Calendar.
*If your certificate expires in 2021, see When will MOC replace the Certification Renewal process?
Q. When should I complete MOC?
A. As a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), you must successfully meet the MOC requirements in one of the two years prior to the expiration of your certificate to maintain certification in your original certificate area. Once you successfully complete MOC, your certification is extended five years from the expiration of your current National Board certificate, regardless of whether you successfully completed MOC in the year your certificate expires or the year before it expires.
There are two options for when to apply for MOC:
- For the first option you may apply no later than the end of February and submit your MOC evidence in May in the year before your current certificate expires. For example, if your certificate expires in 2022, you would apply no later than February 2021 (but as early as September 2020) and submit your MOC evidence in May 2021. Submitting in the year before your certificate expires allows you the opportunity to re-apply and re-submit again in the year your certificate expires if you do not meet MOC requirements in the year before it expires.
- You may also decide to apply no later than the end of February and submit your evidence in May in the year your current certification expires. For example, if your certificate expires in 2022, you would apply no later than February 2022 (but as early as September 2021) and submit your MOC evidence in May 2022. If you decide to complete MOC in the year your current certification expires and are not successful at meeting the MOC requirements, your certificate will expire. There is no opportunity to re-apply for MOC, but you may begin National Board certification anew immediately. See the MOC Calendar for important dates related to MOC based on when your certificate expires.
Q. When will MOC replace the Certification Renewal process?
A. MOC will replace the Certification Renewal process beginning in the 2020-21cycle. In 2021, MOC will be the only process by which NBCTs can extend their certificate. Successful completion of MOC will extend an NBCT’s certificate by five years from their current certificate’s expiration date.
Please refer to the chart below to see how the process used to extend your certificate depends on the year your certificate expires. Note that for NBCTs who have certificates expiring in 2021, the first opportunity to extend certification will be to apply for Certification Renewal before February 28, 2020; after that date you will be able to apply only for MOC. See the MOC Calendar for MOC application windows and deadlines.
Q. What should I be doing now to prepare for MOC?
First, as an NBCT, verify when your National Board certification expires, because that will determine when and whether you will complete the Certification Renewal or MOC process. You can use the chart above to determine what process will be available for you to extend your certificate. You may also want to contact your state or local program administrator for information about incentives for maintaining certification available in your state.
Second, you can begin to reflect on your professional growth. The MOC process will require you to describe, analyze, and reflect on how two of your Professional Growth Experiences (PGEs), teaching practice, and collaboration in learning communities continues to align with the Five Core Propositions, the current National Board Standards for your area of certification, and the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. Both PGEs will require a written commentary in response to prompts and evidence that supports that commentary and demonstrates positive impact on student learning.
MOC is based on Certification Renewal’s Profile of Professional Growth (PPG), so while MOC instructions are not yet available and MOC will have fewer parts than Renewal, the PPG can be a helpful tool as you plan ahead. The PPG has information to help you reflect on your own professional growth and consider what evidence you might collect that demonstrates the impact of the activities in which you are engaged. Read through the PPG to understand the evaluation criteria. Carefully reflect on your professional growth over the years since becoming an NBCT or since renewing if you have renewed your certification. Think about the PGEs you engage in. Consider which experiences have had the most significant impact on student learning and that demonstrate how you have continued to grow as a professional in a variety of areas. Plan to select experiences that most effectively highlight your growth in certificate-specific areas that have directly or indirectly had an impact on student learning in your field of certification and that have been ongoing.
The MOC web page will be kept updated, and we will share information via email as it becomes available.
If you will complete the Certification Renewal process, for more information visit our website.
Q. What is the cost?
A. MOC will cost $495 plus a $75 registration fee. This cost is aligned with the National Board’s commitment to making all aspects of the Board certification process as flexible, affordable and accessible as possible for the diverse range of our country’s educators.
Q. Can I complete MOC if I am not teaching in a classroom?
A. Yes. NBCTs who do not currently teach students but serve in other roles in education are eligible to complete MOC. NBCTs often take on many roles during their careers, and MOC is designed to be supportive of the various classroom and non-classroom placements they may have in any given MOC period. Whether you are an education faculty member, administrator, retiree, work outside the classroom in a teacher leadership role, or have changed the subject area and developmental level you teach, you can still maintain your National Board certification.
Q. How are NBCTs involved in development of MOC?
A. MOC, like National Board certification, is being developed by teachers, for teachers. We have worked with National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) to design and evaluate the MOC assessment framework, as well as gather input on factors associated with renewing or maintaining one’s certification. Questions and discussions around MOC are helping NBCTs, the NBPTS Board of Directors, the Certification Council (with NBCTs serving on each), and the Technical Advisory Group move forward with MOC development and implementation. Multiple survey results and recommendations from conversations with teachers, stakeholders, and measurement experts were presented to the NBPTS Certification Council in October 2018 and Board of Directors in November 2018. Look for more specific details about MOC —which will include input from hundreds of NBCTs and educators —throughout 2019. It is our priority to have as many NBCTs involved in this process as possible.
Q. How will my MOC submission be scored?
A. Scoring will involve one or more NBCTs independently and holistically evaluating the NBCT’s MOC submission. Based on the entire body of evidence submitted, an assessor(s) will then make a single decision— to maintain certification or not to maintain certification. This scoring procedure will mirror what takes place in scoring the current Certification Renewal’s Profile of Professional Growth.
Q. What kind of feedback will I receive on my MOC submission?
A. The MOC reports will provide teachers with feedback statements comparable to those given in the current renewal reports. If an NBCT chooses to submit their MOC evidence in the year before their current certificate expires and does not meet the requirements, the feedback statements can be used to guide them to strengthen their MOC submission in the second MOC attempt available in the year her/his certificate expires.
Q. What happens when I successfully complete MOC?
A. NBCTs who are successful in satisfying MOC requirements prior to the expiration date of their certificate will have their certificate extended for five years. Each term will commence at the time of the expiration of an NBCT’s current certificate.
Q. Is there a limit to how many times I can extend my certificate?
A. No limitations will be placed on the number of times an NBCT can extend his or her certificate by meeting MOC requirements.
Q. When will more information become available?
A. The National Board will continue to update the MOC web page and will share periodic updates as the development work progresses. Look for updates throughout 2019 as groups of NBCTs review instructions and recruitment for a pilot study begins. Preliminary instructions will be available online in 2020.
For a description of what NBCTs can do to plan ahead, see What should I be doing now to prepare for MOC?
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