NBCTs pursuing Maintenance of Certification in 2021-2022 (who did not defer)

Requirements for Exceptions and Portfolio Submission during COVID-19  NBCTs working on MOC in 2021-2022

The National Board is committed to ensuring you have the flexibility for successfully completing and submitting portfolio components during a time when COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on professional and personal lives. A complete list will be maintained here of all approved exceptions specific to COVID-19, and allowances we will make for all candidates going forward.

Be assured that we are committed to upholding the integrity of National Board Certification at the same time as we are committed to maximizing your opportunities for success. National Board Certification will remain a signal that National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) have demonstrated they meet accomplished teaching standards and positively impact student learning. These extensions and guidelines have been determined in consultation with candidates, NBCTs, and outside testing experts. The Five Core Propositions, certificate-specific Standards, component instructions, and the scoring rubrics used to assess your work all remain unchanged.

The following guidance is provided to MOC candidates in need of flexibility for successfully completing and submitting their portfolio components in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Five Core Propositions, certificate-specific Standards, component instructions used to develop and submit your evidence, and the scoring rubrics used to assess your work all remain. If you deferred MOC in 2020-2021, please visit this page for additional guidance.

Portfolios not having all the required materials (videos, forms, MOC components, etc.) will not be scored and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of a maintaining or non-maintaining.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

The rule for video recording in the MOC Instructions applies to all MOC candidates. For MOC, you may begin video recording for Component 2 as early as September 1st of the third year since your initial certification if you initially certified in 2017 or later OR the eighth year since your initial certification or since your most recent Renewal if you initially certified in 2016 or before.

Variety of Evidence

The variety of evidence requirements for MOC candidates remain the same. They were in place before the pandemic and will continue. Requirements can be found in both the MOC Instructions for MOC candidates.

Evidence Collected Online

Some candidates have asked whether they can use evidence collected online for their student work samples, summative assessment materials and data. You are allowed to submit evidence collected online; however, you should carefully consider the extent to which a sudden transition of your classroom to an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic allows you to demonstrate the principles in the rubrics for those components.

You might consider, for example, the extent to which your online assessment is appropriate for formative or summative purposes. You might also consider the extent to which you can get an accurate sense of student progress or set new learning goals based on the analysis of assessment results in a new learning environment that could be very different from the one in which the formative assessments were given.

Formatting Your Evidence for Electronic Submission

You will develop evidence using the format requirements in the MOC Instructions. You will upload your portfolio components in electronic format to the electronic portfolio management system. Be sure to pay close attention to the stated page limits, video time limits, and video editing and audio enhancement rules as there will be no exceptions allowed.

Class Composition

Consult the MOC Guide and Instructions class composition guidelines. If you do not adhere to the class composition requirements for your certificate area, your component will not be scorable and you will receive a code of NS on your score report instead of "maintaining" or non-maintaining’.


This was in place before the pandemic and will continue.

The requirement that at least 51% of the students in the class(es) that you use to complete your portfolio components must be within the stated age range for the certificate area during the period in which you collect evidence for your portfolio will be upheld. This requirement is in place because National Board Certification is specific to students in a particular developmental level and content area. Refer to the component instructions for your certificate area.

Rostered Class – Exception

This exception will not continue after the pandemic.

Students can now be drawn from more than one of your or another teacher’s rostered classes from the regular school day and school year in order to form a class or group. Students may not be drawn from non-rostered groups such as a tutoring group, after-school program, or club.

The instructions for some certificate areas such as Music and School Counseling may state exceptions, so follow your certificate area instructions–except “rostered class” now means you can draw from multiple rostered classes to form one class or group.

Number of Students

MOC instructions do not state a required minimum number of students and therefore allow for less than full class (e.g., if permission for the student to be included in your work was not granted). Regarding class size, keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to provide strong evidence of how you positively impacted student learning and continue to meet the high standards of accomplished practice that Board certification represents. You are allowed choice in determining the number of rostered students needed to accomplish this objective. Class size may vary depending on the area of certification. For some certificate areas, a full class size will make sense and likely be more readily available. For other certificate areas, however, the number of rostered students available might be limited. For example, school counselors may pull a small number of students from different classes for the specific lesson that they prepared, and this number can be even smaller for certain exceptional needs areas.

Filming Videos

Editing for Anonymity – Exception

This exception applies to MOC candidates submitting in 2022. This exception will not continue after the pandemic.

Candidates should try to preserve anonymity throughout their entire portfolio, including their videos, in accordance with the instructions. Candidates using video of virtual classroom(s) should do their best to set up the video so that only students’ or adults’ first name is displayed in the video.

However, if you are unable to remove personal identifiers despite all reasonable efforts, submitting a video with personal identifiers will not impact the review of the submission. If a candidate is unable to remove personal identifiers, for any reason, the candidate should submit the video without making any edits to cover names. Editing videos to remove personal identifiers is not an allowed edit.

Layout of Virtual Classroom Videos– Allowance

It reflects exceptions that were allowed in the past and will continue to be allowed for all candidates in the future.

Videos of virtual classrooms no longer have to be split screen. Videos of virtual classrooms can be a split screen recording, a platform-provided recording (Google Meet, MS Teams, etc.), or a video made with a camera/phone/tablet that captures the teacher at the computer with students on the screen. . Regardless of the way in which a candidate chooses to film a virtual classroom, it will be important to show interaction between the teacher and students, as well as among the students. If this interaction is not clearly seen in the video, the result will be more limited evidence for assessors to score. See instructions and tips on recording in the instructions.

Visibility – No change

For MOC candidates, you and your students must be seen and heard in the video, and the lesson must be conducted synchronously. Your portfolio will not be scored if you fail to meet these requirements.

Face Masks

Face masks and/or shields are allowed. They were allowed before the pandemic and will continue to be.


Release Forms– Allowance

This allowance applies to MOC candidates. It reflects exceptions that were allowed in the past and will continue to be allowed for all candidates in the future.

For each of the three portfolio components, you are required to seek and receive permission to use images and some of the materials you include in your portfolio. Candidates may accept Adult and Student Release forms via email and/or with electronic signature in the event they cannot collect hand-signed physical copies. Candidates may create their own forms, but they must use the same language used on the National Board’s Release Forms. Candidates may choose to use these google forms.

Additional Resources