New York State Certification
July 12, 2021

FAQs about Certificate Registration and CTLE Requirements

Source: Research and Educational Services
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Registering your certificate with the NYS Education Department (SED) is done using the TEACH system, which is SED’s online system for certification. If you do not have a TEACH account, you can create one here.


Please read the FAQ and Fact Sheet below for details. If you want a brief overview, you can also read the "10 things you need to know about NY's new registration and continuing education regs" summary.


Want to know what to expect during the registration process? Download this PDF containing screenshots from the actual registration system.



This section contains three sets of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to New York State Certification:

FAQs 1 and 2 address Registering and Re-registering certificates with the State Education Department.

FAQ 3 on "Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements" is an overview of which type of certificates are subject to CTLE hour requirements per registration cycle.

  • FAQ 1: Registering Certificates with the State Education Department

    FAQ 1 – Registering Certificates with the State Education Department

    Q1:      When did the registration requirement begin?

    A1:       The requirement to register with the state began on July 1, 2016.

    Q2:      Who is required to be registered?

    A2:       Permanently certified teachers/school building leaders, professionally certified teachers/school building leaders, and Level III Teaching Assistants are required to register with the state.  Chart for Registration and CTLE Requirements.

    If you have one of these certificates and it was issued after July 1, 2016, the state would have automatically registered your certificate in TEACH. On your TEACH home page select “View or Change Registration Status” to view your 5-year registration period.

    Q3:      What does the term “practicing” on the state’s Chart for Registration and CTLE Requirements mean?

    A3:       The term ‘Practicing’ is defined as ‘employed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in New York State. A day of employment includes a day actually worked in whole or in part, or a day not actually worked but a day paid.'

    Q4:      What does registering with the state actually mean?

    A4:      Registering is a step in the process of maintaining a certificate. Educators who are required to register can practice in an applicable school in NYS – see CTLE in Applicable Schools. Registering with the state also creates a 5-year registration cycle during which some certificate holders are required to complete a specific set of professional learning requirements called Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) hours.

    Q5:      What are the registration options available in TEACH?

    A5:       Registered - Active: These educators are registered and are practicing in an applicable school

    Registered - Inactive: These educators are registered and are not practicing in an applicable school.

    Registration Expired: These educators were registered, but their registration period expired. They have not re-registered.

    Not Registered: These educators have never registered and did not begin the registration process.

    Registration/Re-Registration Incomplete: These educators began the registration/re-registration process but did not complete it.

    Q6:      Can I have more than one registration status during a 5-year registration cycle?

    A6:       Yes.  For example, an educator who was on a leave for one year during a 5-year registration cycle can be ‘Registered – Inactive’ for that year and then ‘Registered – Active’ once the leave is complete.

    Q7:      Is there a requirement to notify the State Education Department if I move or change my name?

    A7:      Yes.  If you are required to register regulations require that you notify the State Education Department within 30 days of moving or changing your name. These changes can be done on the certificate holder's TEACH account.

    Link to SED's June 29, 2021 Field Memo on the certificate registration process and CTLE requirements.

  • FAQ 2: Re-Registering Certificates with the State Education Department

    FAQ 2 – Re-Registering Certificates with the State Education Department

    Q1:      Who has to re-register?

    A1:      Permanently certified teachers/school building leaders, professionally certified teachers/school building leaders, and Level III Teaching Assistants must register with the State Education Department every five years. To check the start and end date of your registration cycle, select “View or Change Registration Status” on your TEACH home page. Registration & Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements.

    Q2:      Where can I find the state’s directions for re-registering my certificate(s)?

    A2:      The directions for re-registering are available at Re-registration and Conditional Registration Directions.

    Q3:      When should I re-register?

    A3:      Educators can re-register six months prior to their registration cycle expiration date.

    Q4:      Will the state notify me that my registration cycle is ending?

    A4:      Yes.  Using TEACH, the state will email individuals six months, three months, and one month prior to the expiration of their registration cycle. A valid email, preferably a home email, is required in TEACH to receive these notices.

    Q5:      When re-registering, TEACH asked me how many years I was practicing during my 5-year cycle. If I was on leave for a year, should I enter 4 years and not 5?

    A5:      Yes.  If you were not ‘practicing’ your response should reflect that. The term ‘Practicing’ is defined as ‘employed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in New York State. A day of employment includes a day actually worked in whole or in part, or a day not actually worked but a day paid.’

    Q5a:      What if I didn’t change my registration status to ‘Inactive’ in TEACH for the leave, should I still enter 4 years and not 5?

    A5a:      Yes.  The state recognizes that guidance regarding switching one’s registration status during a registration cycle was not as comprehensive as it could have been when this process started. The state has emphasized that it wants accurate information as the re-registration process is implemented.

    Q6:      What is the ‘Conditional Registration’?

    A6:      Conditional Registration is the state’s way of providing flexibility regarding the CTLE hours’ requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you could not complete the required 100 CTLE hours during this first registration cycle for any reason you can request a ‘Conditional Registration’ and the state will add an additional year to your 5-year registration cycle.

    Q7:      Do I need to submit any documentation to obtain a ‘Conditional Registration’?

    A7:      No.  No documentation is needed.

    Q8:      If I get a Conditional Registration, what do I need to do once I complete the missing CTLE hours?

    A8:      Once you complete the missing hours you can register for your next 5-year registration cycle. Note: you can do this beginning six months before the Conditional Registration expiration date.

    Q9:      What is the difference between a ‘conditional registration’ and an ‘adjustment’?

    A9:      A Conditional Registration adds one additional year to your current 5-year registration cycle and does not require any supporting documentation. Adding a year to your current registration cycle means that you will only be completing the missing CTLE hours during that extra year.

    An ‘Adjustment’ provides you with one more year to complete any missing CTLE hours yet requires documentation for the adjustment and the year provided does not get attached to your current 5-year registration cycle. In other words, you would need to complete any missing hours from your first registration cycle while simultaneously completing hours for your second registration cycle.

    Q10:      Is there a requirement to notify the State Education Department if I move or change my name?

    A10:      Yes.  Registration regulations require that you notify the State Education Department within 30 days of moving or changing your name. These changes can be done on your TEACH account.

  • FAQ 3: Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements

    FAQ 3 – Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) Requirements

    Q1:      What types of certificates are subject to the Continuing Teacher & Leader Education hours’ requirement?

    A1:     Educators who hold a professional teacher or educational leader certificate or a Level III Teaching Assistant certificate are subject to the CTLE requirement. View SED's Chart for Registration and CTLE Requirements

    Q2:      What if I am not currently teaching – am I still required to complete CTLE hours?

    A2:      No. CTLE certificate holders (see A1 above) who are not practicing may select the registration status of ‘Registered – Inactive’ for as long as they are not practicing. During this time, you are not required to complete CTLE hours.

    Q3:      What does the term “practicing” mean?

    A3:      The term ‘Practicing’ is defined as ‘employed 90 days or more during a school year by a single applicable school in New York State. A day of employment includes a day actually worked in whole or in part, or a day not actually worked but a day paid.'

    Q4:      What will count toward these 100 hours?

    A4:      What counts for the CTLE hours’ requirement is a local determination and should be reflected in the district’s Professional Learning Plan to the extent possible. CTLE activities are offered by SED-approved sponsors which include districts, BOCES, and a variety of other providers - see Approved CTLE Sponsors.

    Q5:      Is there a definition for CTLE?

    A5:      CTLE activities are designed to improve the teacher or leader’s pedagogical and/or leadership skills and are targeted at improving student performance. The activities also promote the professionalization of teaching and educational leadership. CTLE activities should address the content one teaches and/or how one teaches that content, and language acquisition that addresses the needs of English language learners.

    Q6:      What is the CTLE Language Acquisition requirement?

    A6:      This requirement varies based on the certificate(s) you have. If you have an ESOL certificate or a Bilingual extension, half of your CTLE hours must be related to language acquisition. Other CTLE certificate holders must complete 15 CTLE hours in this area unless your district has an exemption - see CTLE Language Acquisition Requirement Exemption.

    Q7:      Can I bank CTLE hours from one 5-year registration period to the next?

    A7:      No.

    Q8:      Do I need to send documentation to the state so they know I completed my hours?

    A8:      No. No one is required to send documentation to the state unless the state education department specifically asks for it. You do need to keep records of your CTLE hours though - see CTLE Recordingkeeping and Documentation Requirements for the state’s expectations regarding record-keeping.

    Q9:      Where can I find the state’s guidance regarding the CTLE requirement?

    A9:      Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Requirement This page contains an overview of CTLE requirements and links to specific subcomponents such as the language acquisition requirement, approved sponsors, and record-keeping.

    Link to SED's June 29, 2021 Field Memo on the certificate registration process and CTLE requirements

  • FAQ 4: Retirees: What do we do about registering with SED?

    FAQ 4 – Retirees: What do we do about registering with SED?

    Q1:      I am retired. If I don’t register with the State Education Department (SED), does that mean that my permanent certificate is no longer valid?

    A1:      No. A permanent certificate is still a lifetime credential.

    Q2:      I am a permanently certified retired teacher and I currently work occasionally as a substitute teacher in a local NYS public school. Do I need to register with SED?

    A2:      Maybe. If you are working in a NYS public school or BOCES for more than 90 days in a school year, the state would expect you to register as active. If you work less than 90 days in a school year, you can still register as Registered - Inactive.

    Q3:      I am a permanently certified retired teacher and have no current plans to work in a NYS public school or BOCES. Do I need to register with SED?

    A3:      You have a choice regarding registration. If you are fairly certain that you will not seek employment in a NYS public school or BOCES in the future, you can choose not to register. SED will consider you as just that, ‘Not Registered.’

    If you think there is a chance that you will work in a NYS public school or BOCES in the future, you can register with SED and choose to be considered “Inactive” by SED.

    Q4:      How do I register with SED?

    A4:      Registration is done using the TEACH system, which is SED’s online system for certification. If you do not have a TEACH account, you can create one here.

    Q5:      If I register, do I need to complete Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) hours?

    A5:      No. This requirement does not impact permanent certificate holders.

If you still have questions, please use the Teacher Certification Question Form to send our NYSUT staff a message.

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