Maintenance of Certification Q&A

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 final instructions for Maintenance of Certification are currently being pilot tested. Here is a summary of the requirements in those instructions. While the MOC instructions are based on the Renewal instructions, it is possible that adjustments to instructions will be made as a result of the pilot. Consult the final instructions when they are published in September 2020 for a complete description of the MOC requirements you will have to meet in order to extend your certificate for five years.

The MOC web page will be kept updated, and we will share information via email as it becomes available.

MOC Components

The MOC process consists of a portfolio submission of two interrelated components. These two components 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 component will include a written commentary in response to prompts and evidence that supports that commentary and demonstrates a positive impact on student learning.

In Component 1 you will

  • Identify two PGEs.
  • Develop a Written Commentary in response to prompts.
  • Collect evidence that supports your PGEs and Written Commentary and that demonstrates positive impact on student learning.

In Component 2 you will

  • Choose one of your PGEs identified in Component 1 to demonstrate its application with a group of students who are within the developmental level and content area of your original certificate area.
  • Design a lesson related to your chosen PGE in the same content area and developmental level as your original certificate area.
  • Prepare a video recording of no more than ten minutes of you teaching the lesson to a group of students in a pre-K-12 setting.
  • Develop a written commentary in response to prompts.

Component 2 Video Guidance

Whether you currently teach in your original certificate area, you now teach at a different developmental level and/or in a different content area than your original certificate, or you currently practice in a position outside of the classroom (e.g., administrator, mentor, consultant, itinerant teacher), you can complete the video recording.

The lesson you design and the students with whom you work in the video recording must match your original certificate area (content area and developmental level). At least 51% of the students in the class or group of students you use in Component 2 must be within the stated age range for your certificate area, and the lesson needs to take place in a pre-K–12 setting. In addition, the students must be rostered, although you do not need to be the teacher of record.

You should select the class or group of students that will best allow you to demonstrate your positive impact on student learning. There are a number of ways in which this can be done other than teaching your own class. For example, you could team-teach or partner on a special project that meets the needs of the student population, while allowing you to showcase an area of your professional growth. You could also integrate content from your original area of certification in a meaningful and relevant way into a lesson that you are currently teaching, as long as the students are at the same developmental level as your certificate area. Another way would be to guest teach in a colleague’s classroom that meets the developmental level and content area requirements.

If you are considering filming instruction in a virtual classroom, see the guidance posted regarding clarifications for portfolio submissions due to COVID-19.

Consult the final instructions when they are published in September 2020 for a complete description of the MOC requirements you will have to meet in order to extend your certificate for five years.

Rubric

Overall, your MOC submission must demonstrate that your professional growth continues to align with the Five Core Propositions, the current National Board Standards for your area of certification, and the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching. This is the rubric currently being pilot tested. Consult the final instructions published in September 2020 for the rubric that assessors will use to evaluate your MOC submission.

The MOC submission provides sufficient evidence that the candidate

  • Identifies and addresses significant needs of students, communities supporting students, and/or the candidate;
  • Acquires and/or deepens certificate-specific content knowledge and/or pedagogical practice and/or knowledge;
  • Effectively integrates appropriate technology to directly and/or indirectly impact student learning;
  • Involves others in Professional Growth Experiences;
  • Practices National Board Standards–based, relevant, and meaningful instruction in the candidate’s certificate area;
  • Ensures fairness and equity of access and promotes appreciation of diversity in the candidate’s instructional practice;
  • Has a meaningful, positive, direct and/or indirect impact on student learning;
  • Has ongoing and varied professional experiences; and
  • Uses reflection to analyze the connections and patterns in his or her continuing professional growth.

Together, the two components present sufficient evidence of professional growth that has evolved since certification, renewal, or last successful MOC completion, detailing milestones reached and accomplished goals. Although there may be unevenness in the level of evidence of professional growth presented, overall, there is sufficient evidence of professional growth that continues to align with the Five Core Propositions, the current National Board Standards for the candidate’s area of certification, and the Architecture of Accomplished Teaching.

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:

  1. Your initial or renewal certificate is valid
  2. Your teaching license is current and unencumbered (e.g., not suspended or revoked), and
  3. 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.

What should I be doing now to prepare for MOC? 

  1. As an NBCT, verify when your National Board certification expires because that will determine when you will complete the MOC process. You can use the chart above to determine what process will be available for you to extend your certificate. (Note: If you are currently completing the Certification Renewal process, visit our website for more information.)
  2. Begin to reflect on your professional growth and to identify professional growth experiences. 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. These PGEs are ongoing and varied activities in which you engage and that contribute to your positive impact on student learning. Both PGEs will require a written commentary in response to prompts and evidence that supports that commentary and demonstrates positive impact on student learning.
  3. Start thinking about which of your two PGEs you could demonstrate through a video-recorded lesson with students in the content area and developmental level of your original certificate. NBCTs, no matter their current role or teaching assignment, can create the required video by guest teaching a rostered group of students in the content area and developmental level of their original certificate.
  4. Consult the description of MOC requirements under What are the requirements for MOC in this Q&A and review Certification Renewal’s Profile of Professional Growth (PPG). MOC is based on Renewal, so while MOC instructions are not yet available and MOC has two components as opposed to four for 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.
  5. You may want to contact your state or local program administrator to locate information about incentives for maintaining certification available in your state.

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 the 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. At the end of 2019, NBCTs from all certificate areas were recruited to participate in a pilot of the MOC process. The purpose of the pilot study is to evaluate the clarity of and adjust the MOC instructions prior to opening registration for MOC in September 2020.

For more information, visit the Design and Development of Maintenance of Certification page

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. 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?