National Board Certification, Professional Development
May 13, 2013

National Board Certification: What You Need to Know

Source: Research and Educational Services

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What you need to know about National Board Certification

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards improves teaching and student learning. National Board Certified Teachers are highly accomplished educators who meet high and rigorous standards.

Like board-certified doctors and accountants, teachers who achieve National Board Certification have met rigorous standards through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment and peer review. NBPTS offers 25 certificates that cover a variety of subject areas and student developmental levels.

In a congressionally-mandated study, National Board Certification was recently recognized by the National Research Council as having a positive impact on student achievement, teacher retention, and professional development.

Since 1987, more than 102,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification. These teachers prepare America's diverse student population with the skills it needs to compete in the 21st century workplace.


The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was established in 1987 in response to a central recommendation of the Carnegie Commission's report, A Nation Prepared Teachers for the 21st Century. The Board was conceived as an independent, non-governmental body focused on improving student learning by setting clear, high, and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.

What's required

Candidates must be experienced teachers (three years minimum) voluntarily seeking recognition for meeting rigorous standards in one of twenty-five areas defined by subject and students' age. A National Board certificate is valid for ten years and is renewable as explained below in Certificate Renewal. Additionally, the National Board standards can serve as a solid base for or a component of professional development resulting in improvements in teaching and learning.

A candidate must successfully complete two components of an assessment process designed to examine teaching competencies, skills, and knowledge in relation to NBPTS standards for a particular subject area for students of specified ages.

• The portfolio consists of four entries that document teaching practice and student work which demonstrate evidence of the NBPTS standards. Candidates demonstrate their ability to think descriptively, analytically, and reflectively about their practice. Two videotapes are required.

• The assessment center exercises take place in a computer-based testing center and require on-demand knowledge of content knowledge, child development and the NBPTS standards. Candidates respond to six 30 minute exercises.

Time spent in working towards achieving National Board Certification can be applied to satisfy the 175 hours of professional development, every five years, required by New York State.

Take One!

Take One! is a professional development offering from NBPTS that provides an introduction to the larger Certification process. Teachers prepare and submit one pre-selected video portfolio entry from one of the certificate areas. A teacher can later transfer the score if s/he pursues National Board candidacy within two years. There are no eligibility requirements for Take One! The cost of Take One! is $395.


The Albert Shanker Grant administered by the New York State Education Department will cover the $2,500 cost of NBC. To be eligible Albert Shanker Grant Candidates MUST

(a) currently teach in a NYS public school

(b) hold a valid New York State teaching certificate

(c) hold tenure

(d) hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university

Apply for National Board Certification on-line before applying for the Albert Shanker Grant. Record the candidate identification number and make an extra confidential copy. The candidate identification number will be needed for the Shanker Grant application. "The Box" containing your NBC materials will arrive about three weeks after applying to NBPTS. Do NOT throw out the box. Your portfolio entries will be submitted in the box.

Certificate Renewal

National Board Certification is issued for a period of 10 years. A National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) must complete the National Board Profile of Professional Growth prior to the expiration date of his or her certificate and can only renew certification in the original certificate area. The National Board Certified Teacher may formally begin work on the Profile of Professional Growth as early as year 8 of his or her certification period, pending completion of development and subsequent availability of the Profile of Professional Growth renewal instrument. The fee for the renewal of National Board Certification is currently $1,250.

Renewal target dates and other information are available at NBCT Renewal.

Keep in mind that it is an individual's responsibility to renew your NB certificate. NYSUT members are strongly urged to update their profiles on the NBPTS web site.

For more information

"Fact Sheet 13-06:  National Board Certification"  provides teachers with additional details and answers to frequently asked questions about National Board Certification.

To obtain bargaining NB provisions, contact your local's NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist at your NYSUT Regional Office or Melanie Pores at NYSUT Research and Educational Services, 800-342-9810, extension 6057, or

For candidate assistance support and comprehensive information related to National Board Certification, e-mail Maureen Shiland, NBCT National Board Coordinator, National Board Council of New York Network/GCRTC or click on NBCNYS to go to the National Board Council of New York Network web site.