Educator Certification

Our Office of Educator Quality is open to the public 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Teacher in theater class with studentsCertification processing and issuance takes approximately fourteen to sixteen weeks.  Applicants can apply through a paper application process.  This webpage and links provides detailed information regarding how to apply for certification, the requirements for specific certification areas, and other information that details the certification process and requirements.


  • NEW!!  New ETS Tests Proposed - Public Comment Requested:  ETS, the testing company used by RI is adding new tests and phasing out older tests. There are currently two tests (Speech-Language Pathology and Middle School Science) that have been regenerated and impact RI. The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is seeking public comment from the education community and the general public on the proposed certification tests and passing scores for initial educator certification in Rhode Island.The public is invited to provide comments on the proposed certification tests and passing scores to the RI Department of Education by visiting this link. If you have any questions please e-mail Hilda Potrzeba at More details on the tests and cut scores are can be viewed here [PDF, 216KB]. Public comment is open until May 14, 2014.
  • Online certification renewal for full certificates available through My eCert  We are pleased to announce the launch of Online Certification Renewal through My eCert, our educator-certification portal. Online renewal is now available for My eCert users who have full certificates (Initial or Professional) expiring on August 31, 2014. Educators can make renewal payments by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).

    At this time, however, educators must renew all preliminary certificates (One-Year Professional and Temporary Initial) as well as permits (Substitute) through a paper application.

    Please note that, as of last year, RIDE discontinued mailing paper copies of certificates to educators. We send all certificates e-mail only. We encourage all educators to maintain a current e-mail address in their My eCert profile.

    Online Certification Renewal - Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, 296KB]
  • Certification Renewal Audit System:   Certification regulations effective January 2012, establish a requirement that educators who receive ratings of ‘Developing’ or ‘Ineffective’ must participate in professional development for the renewal of their certificates. The Certification Renewal Audit System is the system that RIDE uses to monitor the completion of required professional development hours based on educator evaluation ratings for certification renewal. An educator who is selected for a Certification Renewal Audit is required to submit evidence of professional development.
  • eCert – District Portal: RIDE is pleased to announce the launch of the eCert – District Portal. As of December 18, 2013, all superintendents have been able to access this new portal, which has three new features in the eCert module - Verify Educator Certification, Request Priority Processing for Certification Applications, and Verify Highly Qualified Status of Educators.Download the eCert - District Portal User Guide [PDF, 298KB]
  • RI Program Approval Standards:  On Wednesday November 13, 2013, the Board of Education approved new RI Educator Preparation Program Standards. The final/approved standards are a culmination of months of ongoing dialogue with programs and educators within the state and can be found here: Becoming an Educator. The standards align to the educational priorities in Rhode Island’s PK-12 system and will drive the program approval and improvement processes within the state. RIDE would like to reiterate their thanks to all educators and students that provided feedback during the public comment period.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Education is excited to announce the launch of My eCert - the educator certification portal. My eCert is a secure, user-friendly system that all educators will access via the statewide portal called RIDEMap - Educators can view, download and print their certificates in My eCert. As of Spring 2013, RIDE has discontinued mailing paper copies of certificates to educators. All certificates are sent by email only. Educators are urged to make sure they maintain a current email address in My eCert.
    • Please click here for an Overview of My eCert [PDF, 655KB].
    • If you are an educator and have not set up a RIDEmap account, please click here for the RIDEmap User Manual v2.0 [PDF, 1MB] which will walk you through the process.
  • RIDE is pleased to announce the launch of the Educator Verification portal.
    This portal - - replaces the Public Access section of previous certification system. This portal will allow users to search for and verify the work assignments of and status of credentials held by Rhode Island educators, administrators, and support professionals. As previously announced, in February RIDE ceased the printing of educator certificates. A brief tutorial on using the search tool is available through the Educator Verification User Guide [PDF, 631KB].
  • Apply for Certification On-line: At this time, the Online Application is unavailable due to system enhancements. Educators will be able to apply online in the new system - eCert!. More information about the launch will be posted to this page as soon as it is available. This system will be accessible on the RIDEMap Portal.
  • The Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education has approved new certification tests for initial licensure that will go into effect on September 1, 2013. Follow this link to view the specific certification tests and scores.
  • Reminders:

    Important Information:

    Please note that applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Be certain that the application packet is complete. Only complete packets can be processed. Every effort is made to respond to your request in a timely manner.

    Federal legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act mandates that all teachers of core academic subjects be highly qualified as defined by the law. To meet the federal definition of a highly qualified teacher you must:

    • Hold a Bachelors Degree
    • Hold full state certification
    • Demonstrate subject matter competency in the core academic subject (s) by having a major or its equivalent or by passing a rigorous content knowledge test.

    RI Professional Educator Standards

Certification Applications

Certification Requirements

Certification Tests and Passing Scores:

Certification Process

Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island

Effective January 1, 2012

The January 1, 2012 Rhode Island certification regulations detail a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  The goals of the regulations are to align educator certification to the Rhode Island Department of Education’s 2010 Strategic Plan, to more closely connect certification and educator performance, to open pathways for career advancement, and to streamline educator certification requirements.  The January 1, 2012 certification requirements bring all previous sets of regulations and revisions together into one set of regulations governing educator certification in Rhode Island.

General Information

Guidance Documents

Rhode Island is a participating state in the Interstate Certification Compact (ICC) which provides that certification be granted to an applicant who holds a valid and comparable certificate from another member state, provided the applicant has complied with any requirements of the receiving state regarding degrees held, experience, eligibility, citizenship, and moral, ethical, physical, and mental fitness.

The Reciprocity Route to educator certification in Rhode Island is the process by which Rhode Island issues certification to educators who completed approved educator preparation programs in a state other than Rhode Island or hold full certification in a state other than Rhode Island. (Note, full certification is comparable to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Stage 3 License and is recognized by other states for reciprocity.) Educators who seek certification in Rhode Island through reciprocity must satisfy dependent certification requirements which stipulate that the first issuance of specified certificate areas (e.g. Special Education, District Administrator - Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and Reading Specialist) require the individual to also apply for and hold the corresponding independent certification (e.g. Elementary Education, Building Principal, and Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or All Grades Teacher). Further information regarding Independent and Dependent certificate areas is available here [PDF, 105KB].

Note, certifications that are not NASDTEC Level 3 or higher such as Preliminary certificates are not considered full certificates and are not eligible for reciprocity in Rhode Island.

To obtain certification in Rhode Island through reciprocity, applicants must complete the following:

  • Submit an Official Transcript showing conferral or completion of degree(s) and/or program(s) from a state approved educator preparation program.
  • Submit a copy of a current, valid, and comparable educator certificate from the member state.
  • Provide evidence of meeting all Rhode Island certification assessment requirements.
  • Apply for or hold the appropriate Independent Certificate.
  • School nurse teachers and social workers must hold a valid R.I. license issued by the R.I. Department of Health to be considered for reciprocity.

Rhode Island Interstate Agreement: Teacher, Support, Administrator, and Vocational Contract States

State Teacher Support Administrator
Alabama Y Y Y
Alaska Y Y Y
Arizona Y Y Y
Arkansas Y
California Y
Colorado Y Y
Connecticut Y Y
Delaware Y Y
District of Columbia Y Y
Florida Y Y
Georgia Y Y Y
Guam Y Y Y
Hawaii Y
Idaho Y
Illinois Y
Indiana Y Y Y
Kentucky Y
Louisiana Y Y Y
Maine Y Y
Maryland Y Y Y
Massachusetts Y Y Y
Michigan Y Y
Mississippi Y Y Y
Montana Y
Nebraska Y Y
Nevada Y
New Hampshire Y Y Y
New Jersey Y
New Mexico Y Y
New York Y Y Y
North Carolina Y Y
North Dakota Y
Ohio Y
Oklahoma Y Y Y
Oregon Y Y Y
Pennsylvania Y
South Carolina Y Y Y
South Dakota
Tennessee Y Y Y
Texas Y Y Y
Utah Y Y Y
Vermont Y Y
Virginia Y Y Y
Washington Y Y Y
West Virginia Y Y Y
Wyoming Y Y Y