The GaPSC adopted a tiered certification system on July 1, 2014. It established a 5-tiered certification structure designed to
transform a flat profession into one that offers increased opportunities for professional growth to teachers who remain in the
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 tiers.
This structure is a means of improving student learning by recognizing the unique developmental needs of teachers at every career
stage and by encouraging and supporting continuous teacher growth. It is designed to provide support to new teachers and those
preparing to become teachers, and to establish a fair and equitable environment for growth for practicing teachers. Tiered
certification also creates career advancement opportunities for teachers aspiring to assume leadership responsibilities and
contribute to school improvement efforts while remaining in the classroom. When fully implemented, tiered certification will help
foster a school culture in which:
- Educators support the academic growth of their students by focusing on their own professional growth;
- The conditions and resources necessary for teacher retention in the profession and professional growth at
each career stage are identified, valued, and provided through individualized, ongoing, and collaboratively designed and
delivered professional learning focused on the common goal of improving student learning;
- Expert teachers who can contribute to the learning of their peers are provided instructional leadership
opportunities to mentor and coach; and
- Teachers are identified and recognized based on successful performance in the classroom and their ability
to promote and maintain a positive culture.
Tiered Certification enhances and is informed by other initiatives in Georgia such as Teacher Effectiveness Measures
and Program Provider Effectiveness Measures (PPEM
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.
You may click on each tier for more information, including requirements for certificate issuance.
- Advanced & Lead Professional