HR - Educator Certification

Please use the
 Upgrade Advisor to verify acceptable advanced degrees that will lead to a certificate upgrade. All information received through the Advisor is considered an official response and if you choose to save the information, it will be saved to your certification file as written verification of the acceptable degree(s).

If a degree of interest is not in the Advisor, please complete the Upgrade Degree Approval Form. The form may only be used for a degree that is NOT listed in the Certificate Upgrade Advisor. If you complete and submit this form correctly, the degree’s approval status (yes or no) will then be added to the Advisor for the related certification field(s). You will be able to check the approval status approximately 2 weeks after submission.

 Only the following types of certificates can be upgraded: 

  • Renewable, professional certificates: Includes Standard Professional, Performance-Based Professional, Advanced Professional, & Lead Professional. Permits may not be upgraded.
  • Induction Pathway 1, 2, or 3 certificates: Induction Pathway 4 certificates may not be upgraded.

   General, Teaching, Service, and Leadership
   Substitute Teacher
   PLU Requirements for Recertification

 Upgrade Advisor, Guidelines, and Tools
   Paying for Advanced Leadership Degrees
   Educational Leadership
   PLU Requirements for Recertification

   Certification Application and Forms

   GACE Registration and Testing
   GACE Assessments
   Paraprofessional Assessment
   Educator Testing FAQ

 Georgia Approved Professional Education Programs

The GaPSC adopted a tiered certification system on July 1, 2014. It established a 4-tiered certification structure designed to transform a flat profession into one that offers increased opportunities for professional growth to teachers who remain in the classroom. This structure will help GaPSC identify excellent teachers and recognize their accomplishments. In addition, new certification requirements will ensure that new teachers enter the profession better prepared and are supported through their early careers.

It is important to note that tiered certification is not tied to compensation. The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) will continue to use certificate levels to determine placement on the salary schedule.

While some certificates such as Non-Renewable Professional, Permit, and International Exchange certificates remain outside the tiered certification structure, most Georgia educator certificates issued on or after July 1, 2014 fall into one of the following tiers. You may click on each tier for more information, including requirements for certificate issuance.

   For more information, click here

A safe learning environment for all students is a top priority for everyone in Georgia. A critical factor in establishing and maintaining that safe environment is appropriate and professional educator conduct.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission's (GaPSC) Ethics Division has a highly qualified team of investigators, many whom have law enforcement experience, as well as legal and support staff. Through the operations of the Ethics Division, the GaPSC safeguards that environment by setting, communicating, and enforcing clear standards for how educators are expected to conduct themselves with students, with one another, and within the broader community. The standards are set forth in the educator Code of Ethics, which are communicated throughout Polk School District.

The GaPSC has the authority to enforce the guidelines by fully investigating valid complaints of improper conduct, including inappropriate relationships; mishandling public funds; violating state and federal laws and rules; and other unprofessional actions. In addition, the Ethics Division investigates all applicants for certification that have a criminal history to ensure that the applicant presents no threat to Georgia’s children. When appropriate, the GaPSC may impose disciplinary sanctions ranging from warnings to certificate suspensions or revocations.

   Code of Ethics
   Moral Turpitude
   Ethics Rules