Frequently Asked Questions
Is a PSC certificate required in Georgia?
Yes. Any professional serving in the public schools must hold a valid certificate appropriate to the field of employment. Certificate types include: Teaching, Service, Leadership, Paraprofessional, Non-Instructional Aide, Technical Specialist, and Permit. There is also a license for Support Personnel in leadership positions. Many private schools also require certification.
Currently substitute teaching does not require Georgia certification. For information regarding substitute teaching opportunities, contact the local school system/agency.
Do I need to complete the entire application and submit all of the additional documents listed on the Instructions page?
You need to complete and submit documentation that would apply to your individual certification transaction. All applicants must complete the front and back of the application. Be sure to use dark ink or type. The name and address on the application will be used for all correspondence and certificates sent to you. List a permanent mailing address where you know you will receive your certificate. The Personal Affirmation section must be completed and signed. If this is incomplete, your application will be returned to you and the certification process will be delayed. Be sure to carefully read the Instructions and Checklist page so that you will know which additional forms are needed. Application forms must be received within 90 days of the date of the signature on the application.
Which transaction should I request?
This depends on your individual certification status. Many of the transactions apply only if you hold, or have previously held a Georgia Certificate. These transaction types include: Renewal, Convert to Clear Renewable, Upgrade, Add a New Field, Duplicate, and Name Change. If you have never been certified in Georgia and are applying for professional certification based upon completing a state approved education program or having professional certification outside of Georgia, you would request a Clear Renewable Certificate.
If you have never been professionally certified and your Bachelor’s degree (or higher) was not awarded in an educator preparation discipline, you need to request a Non-Renewable Certificate. Please note, Non-Renewable certificates are issued only upon the request of an employing Georgia school system. You would indicate this transaction only if you have been employed and the superintendent or personnel director has completed the Employer’s Assurance Form to request the certificate. In order to determine your eligibility for a Non-Renewable certificate, please visit our web site at http://www.gapsc.com/Application/SelfEvaluation.asp and follow the directions for the Self-Evaluation.
If you have been issued a Non-Renewable certificate and have completed all requirements for Clear Renewable certification, you need to apply to Convert Non-Renewable Certificate to Clear Renewable status.
Should I submit a fee?
Fee requirements have been outlined on the Instructions and Checklist page and referenced in the Transactions Requested section of the application. If you do not submit a fee when required, or if you use an incorrect method of payment, you will receive a written request for the appropriate fee. This will delay the application process. If a fee is submitted, but not required, you will receive a refund within approximately six weeks.
I attended several colleges. Can I submit just the official transcript from the college where I received my degree?
If the degree granting college accepted all of the courses completed elsewhere and has printed the information (course name, number, the grade received and hours earned) on the official transcript, then that transcript will be sufficient. If you are unsure, request official transcripts from all colleges. Remember, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the Professional Standards Commission has received all the information necessary to process an application.
I have already been certified in Georgia or have submitted an application package previously. Do I need to resubmit everything?
No. You need only submit a new application with the additional documentation (new transcripts of credit, new certifications, etc.) needed for the current application transaction.
What tests do I need to obtain a Georgia certificate?
Content tests are required by Georgia law. Specific tests will depend on which field of certification you select. See www.gapsc.com, Educator Testing link for more information.
Can the submitted documents be returned to me?
No. As stated on the Application, all documents submitted become the property of the PSC and will not be returned. Also, copies of documents will not be provided to the applicant or third parties.
How long will it take for my certificate application to be processed?
College graduation (May/Dec) and hiring for the new school year typically result in a backlog of several weeks. Processing time is determined by the volume of applications received.
How do I contact the Certification Section of the Professional Standards Commission?
The easiest and quickest way to receive information regarding certification in Georgia is to visit our web site at http://www.gapsc.com/. When visiting our web site, you may also check the status of your application by clicking on the Check Certification Status icon from the home page and then entering your social security number. You may also check your status by calling (404) 232-2510. For additional information go to the web site at http://www.gapsc.com/.
When should I answer “Yes” to an affirmation question?
The affirmation questions are written in simple sentences to avoid confusion. Read the question and answer “Yes” if that is the correct response. DO NOT include matters that the PSC has investigated or is current investigating.
What is moral turpitude?
Case law defines moral turpitude. The PSC investigates all felonies. The PSC investigates misdemeanors involving moral turpitude, which includes but is not limited to, larceny, fraud, theft by taking, soliciting for prostitution, bad checks, making a false report of a crime, sale of narcotics or illegal drugs, etc. If you are in doubt, review the definition that is posted on this website at http://www.gapsc.com/Professionalpractices/moral_turpitude.pdf
What happens if an event is investigated and the commission finds “No Probable Cause” to take any disciplinary action?
When the commission finds “No Probable Cause,” the file is closed, sealed, and expunged. The information in an expunged file is not available under the Open Records Act. The educator receives a letter specifically stating what matter was addressed. It is important to keep any correspondence from the PSC for your records.
What will happen if I answer “No” to a Personal Affirmation Question when I should answer “Yes”?
Answer all questions truthfully. The PSC investigates untruthful answers and generally takes disciplinary action. When an educator becomes employed, the local school system is required by law to complete a Federal background check (fingerprints) and report inconsistent information to the PSC.