If you have never held a professional Georgia certificate and do not currently hold a valid Non-Renewable Georgia certificate, you must have at least 3 years of experience to qualify for an initial Professional certificate in a teaching field.
  • If you hold an expired Clear Renewable or Professional certificate, please click here for information about renewing your certificate.
  • If you hold a valid Non-Renewable Georgia certificate, you must fulfill the requirements outlined in the correspondence issued with your certificate in order to qualify for a Professional certificate. Please note, these requirements must be completed before the expiration of your Non-Renewable certificate. If not, you may be subject to new requirements.
  • If you are seeking initial certification in a teaching field but do not have at least 3 years of experience, please click here to learn about the Induction certificate.
There are two types of Professional certificates: Standard and Performance-Based. The requirements for each are outlined in the sections below.

Performance-Based Professional Certificate

The Performance-Based Professional certificate is issued to those teachers who have been evaluated for at least 3 years on the statewide Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) and for leaders who have completed a Georgia performance-based Educational Leadership certification program.

Requirements for a Performance-Based Professional certificate in a teaching field include:

  • At least 3 years of successful experience within the last 5 years. All 3 years must have been earned in a Georgia school with a summative performance rating of “Proficient” or “Exemplary” while being evaluated on the TAPS component of TKES, the statewide evaluation system. All educator experience should be documented on the Experience Verification Form.

Requirements for a Performance-Based Professional Educational Leadership certificate include:

  • Completion of a GaPSC-approved Performance-Based Educational Leadership program at the specialist or doctoral degree level. Please include official transcripts reflecting all course work for your program with your application package. Program completion must be verified electronically by Georgia institutions.
  • A passing score on the GACE Educational Leadership content assessment. GACE scores are transmitted electronically to the GaPSC.
  • A passing score on the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL). This is required if you enrolled in a GaPSC-approved Tier II program on or after 7/1/2017.
  • A passing score on the Ethics for Educational Leadership Assessment (Test Code 380) if it was not previously passed for Tier I certification.
Please note: While Georgia Educational Leadership now consists of a tiered structure, completion of previously approved Building and System level programs will result in performance-based Educational Leadership – Tier II certification. Those enrolled in these previously approved programs are not required to pass the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) for certification.
  • Performance-Based Building or System Level Educational Leadership certificates were converted to Performance-Based Tier II Educational Leadership with the implementation of the tiered structure in January 2016.

Standard Professional Certificate

This certificate is issued in all service fields, as well as to leaders who have not completed a performance-based program (those who hold/held field 704 or complete a Tier I program) and to teachers who do not have the TKES evaluations required for the Performance-Based Professional certificate.

Requirements for a Standard Professional certificate in a teaching field include:

Requirements for a Standard Professional certificate in service fields are different for each field. Please click on the links below to view the Certification Rule for each service field. The requirements for a Standard Professional certificate are outlined in each rule.

The Standard Professional Educational Leadership certificate is issued to:

  • Those who complete a GaPSC-approved Tier I Educational Leadership program;
  • Qualifying out-of-state educators applying for initial Georgia certification in Educational Leadership based on reciprocity;
  • Georgia educators who completed a GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership certification program prior to September 30, 2009.


Professional Georgia educator certificates are valid for 5 years. For renewal requirements, please click here.

How to Apply

Once you meet the qualifications for a Professional certificate, please submit documentation of the specific requirements indicated above. Instructions on how to apply may be found here.