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.
As of September 2020, MOC is the Board-certified teacher’s pathway for keeping their certification active. The Renewal process has been replaced by MOC.
For initial certification, an NBCT demonstrated multiple performance-based teaching practices which met the 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 asks NBCTs to demonstrate that their practices are consistent with the high standards that Board certification represents.
Q. When did MOC replace the Certification Renewal process?
A. MOC will replace the Certification Renewal process beginning in the 2020-2021 cycle. MOC is 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.
Note that for NBCTs who have certificates expiring in 2021, the first opportunity to extend certification was to apply for Certification Renewal before February 28, 2020; after that date you will only be able to apply only for MOC. See the MOC Calendar for MOC application windows and deadlines.
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. How are NBCTs involved in the development of MOC?
A. MOC, like National Board Certification, is 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 was 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.
Eligibility and timing
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. You can verify the expiration date of your current certificate via your National Board account.
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. 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.
Q: My original certificate area also included a specialty area. If I certified with a specialty area, does my MOC submission have to be in that specialty area?
A. No. Your MOC submission must be in the content area and developmental level of your original certificate area, but does not need to be within the same specialty area. For example, if a music teacher originally certified with the band specialty, MOC submissions could include a choral lesson or a science teacher who originally certified with a physics specialty could submit a chemistry lesson for MOC.
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, developmental level, and/or specialty you teach, you can still maintain your National Board Certification.
Q. When should I get started on my MOC process?
A. You can start preparing for MOC as soon as you certify. For example, you may want to think about varied and ongoing Professional Growth Experiences (PGEs) that first year and continue to collect evidence in years 2 and 3. If you feel ready or want to make sure you have another chance to complete MOC in Year 5, Year 4 is your first chance to apply for MOC and pay the required fees (no later than February). If you submitted your MOC portfolio in Year 4 but received a “not maintaining certification” decision* or if you did not apply in the prior year, this is your last chance to apply for and submit your MOC portfolio components. The Maintenance of Certification 5-Year Planner in the MOC Instructions contains more guidance. It is important that you review the MOC Instructions for specific guidelines for redeveloping your MOC portfolio.
Q. What should I be doing now to prepare for MOC?
Whether you are eligible to register for MOC now or if you recently certified, you can begin preparing for MOC.
- 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 to determine what process will be available for you to extend your certificate.
- Read the Guide to MOC. This information will help you determine your next steps as you plan for and engage in Maintenance of Certification. Take time to read all the information provided in this guide prior to registering, paying close attention to the important dates and deadlines.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Consult the MOC Instructions for the MOC requirements. The instructions have 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 instructions 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.
- You may want to contact your state or local program administrator to locate information about incentives for maintaining certification available in your state.
- You may want to explore Supplemental Resources for Candidates created by candidate support providers.
- This planner provides guidance on how you might approach preparing for MOC as part of your ongoing practice and professional growth.
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 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.
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.
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MOC PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS
Q. What are the requirements of MOC?
In summary, the MOC process consists of a portfolio submission of two components. These two components draw upon two Professional Growth Experiences (PGEs) related to your original certificate area. PGEs are activities in which you engaged, and that resulted in direct and/or indirect positive 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 your most recent renewal or MOC.
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.
Q. What advice can you give for selecting PGEs?
A: A Professional Growth Experience is an activity in which you learn something new that has influence within or beyond the classroom and has a direct and/or indirect positive impact on student learning. There are any number of PGEs that will allow you to demonstrate your accomplished practice.
Some PGEs may involve you having a direct impact on student learning. For example, you apply knowledge or practices based on a PGE or use resources you have developed as you interact directly with students during instruction, counseling, etc. Other PGEs may involve indirect impact on students. These include situations in which your impact on students is through the actions of others you have worked with, such as colleagues or students’ family members. You may have provided training, mentoring, or resources related to a PGE. Whether direct or indirect, or both, you need to provide evidence of your positive impact on student learning. Think of the ongoing and varied professional activities that you have undertaken in the past few years and that have had a direct and/or indirect positive impact on student learning.
In choosing the PGEs to feature in Component 1, it is very important that you consider those experiences that have had the most significant positive impact on student learning and that demonstrate how you have continued to grow as a professional in a variety of domains. Select those PGEs that allow you to showcase not just your accomplishments, but what you did—what steps you took, what milestones you reached, what goals you achieved—to reach that level of accomplishment.
Q. What advice do you have for completing the video requirement?
A. Consult the MOC Instructions for a complete description of the MOC requirements you will have to meet in order to extend your certificate for five years. Here is a summary of some of the considerations.
Whether you currently teach in your original certificate area, you now teach at a different developmental level and/or in a different content area or specialty 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.
Q: What about COVID-19? Do I need a video?
A: We acknowledge the uncertainty given teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. MOC candidates should follow all guidelines in the Guide to MOC and the Instructions. You should also check the National Board’s COVID-19 page for any allowances or exceptions specific to COVID-19 for MOC candidates.
Q. What advice do you have for evidence collection?
Here is a summary of some of the factors you should consider when collecting evidence.
The evidence you choose should be samples of products that resulted from each of your two PGEs and that support the claims that you make in your Component 1 Written Commentary. You may select direct evidence such as student work or indirect evidence stemming from collaborative work with school staff, families, or the community. However, you must always ensure that you explain how this evidence is connected to one of your PGEs and demonstrates positive impact on student learning. Consequently, evidence such as certificates or transcripts showing your participation in professional development or coursework, while connected to a PGE, will not make clear your positive impact on students. Appropriate types of evidence may include, but are not limited to the following:
- student work products (e.g., examples of students’ writing, artwork, self-reflections on their learning, three-dimensional work products)
- photographs of non-text student work (e.g., artwork, engineering design product) or of students engaged in learning activities
- student test scores or other measures of students’ performance
- testimonials from teachers or other staff regarding outcomes related to implementation of training/mentoring you have provided
- emails from students’ families
- quantitative or qualitative data related to student engagement or attitudes toward learning
- attendance and/or graduation rates
- data related to use of resources (e.g., library, technology) in support of student learning
- an excerpt of a website, a blog, or an article or paper that you wrote or created
- a summary of the outcomes of a project you worked on or implemented
Q. What is the timeline for collecting evidence?
In summary, evidence for Component 1 must be in the form of samples of products that you gathered since your initial certification or most recent MOC or Renewal.
The video for Component 2 can be recorded no earlier than September 1 in the year prior to your first year of MOC eligibility (i.e., two years before your certificate expires).
- If you obtained initial certification in 2017 or later, or you have previously completed MOC, then you cannot record the video before September 1 of the third year of your current certificate, for submission in the spring of your fourth or fifth year. Refer to the Maintenance of Certification Calendar on the National Board website.
- If you obtained your initial certification in 2016 or earlier, or you have previously completed Renewal, then you cannot record the video before September 1 of the eighth year of your current certificate, for submission in the spring of your ninth or tenth year. Refer to the MOC Calendar.
Q. How many students need to be part of the recording?
This is left open for candidates to determine for themselves. Class size may vary depending on the area of certification. For some, a somewhat regular class size will make sense and likely be more readily available. Given the impact of COVID-19, the number of rostered students that can be included might be limited. For some certification areas, like school counseling, a small number of students from different classes may be pulled for the specific lesson prepared, and this number can be even smaller for certain exceptional needs areas.
IMPORTANT: Candidates must ultimately provide strong evidence of how they positively impact student learning. You’re allowed choice in determining the number of students needed to accomplish this objective and to demonstrate overall that you continue to meet the high standards of accomplished practice that Board certification represents.
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EVALUATION AND FEEDBACK
Q. How will my MOC submission be evaluated? What is the rubric?
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 maintaining certification or not maintaining certification. This scoring procedure will mirror what takes place in scoring the current Certification Renewal’s Profile of Professional Growth.
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.
Evaluation Rubric for MOC Submission
The MOC submission provides sufficient evidence that the candidate
- Identifies and addresses relevant 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 evidence of professional growth and positive impact on student learning 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 and its positive impact on student learning 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. What kind of feedback will I receive on my MOC submission?
A. The MOC reports will provide teachers with feedback statements. 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.
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