The Georgia Professional Standards Commission was created by the Georgia General Assembly
on July 1, 1991, to assume full responsibility for the preparation, certification,
and professional conduct of certified personnel employed in the Georgia public schools.
Commission responsibilities have increased since 1991, to include such areas as supporting recruiting functions throughout the TeachGeorgia.org website.
GaPSC responsibilities outlined in legislation include:
- To simplify and make more efficient the process of certifying
educational personnel in Georgia;
- To attract the highest possible number of qualified personnel
to become educators in Georgia;
- To promote the hiring of qualified educators from other states
to work in Georgia schools;
- To improve the level of preparation of educators, both pre-service
and in-service, by requiring for purposes of certification those essential skills
and the knowledge needed to deliver effective education;
- To adopt standards of professional performance and a code
of professional ethics for educators, both of which shall represent standards of
performance and conduct, which are generally accepted by educators of this state;
- To investigate reports of specified criminal conduct, violations
of professional or ethical codes of conduct, and violations of certain rules, regulations,
and policies by school system educators;
- To enforce the requirement that local school systems promptly
report specified criminal conduct of school system educators to the commission;
- To impose disciplinary action or a denial of a certificate
against an educator
To build the best prepared, best qualified and most ethical educator workforce in
for GaPSC Contact Information.
The development of certification in Georgia has been a cooperative effort between the State Legislature, Department of Education,
teacher preparation institutions, and the state professional teachers’ associations. The first provisions requiring certificates of all teachers in
schools receiving funds from the State were found in the school laws of 1858; however, certificates of qualification to teach and be of "good moral character" were issued by the county Board of Examiners.
In 1887 the issuance of a permanent state license by the State School Commissioner was authorized, but it was not until 1924 that the State Division of Certification was established.
In 1946 the dual system of state certification and county certification was discontinued and all teachers were required to hold a state teacher’s certificate.
Since that time, certification in Georgia has seen many changes including increases in the requirements for initial preparation, the addition of many new fields of certification,
new trends in alternative preparation, developments in the initial and continuing assessment of educators, and moves toward national trends in certification.
The variable that remains constant throughout this history, however, is the continuous collaboration between the Division of Certification, teacher preparation institutions, and the educators of Georgia.
In July of 1991, a legislative mandate was enacted which created the the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) as a separate government agency, removed from the Georgia Department of Education,
with the central responsibility for establishing a certification/licensure process that is streamlined, understandable, and flexible in order to remove barriers and to attract qualified
individuals to the education profession. Specifically, the GaPSC major purposes are: to simplify and make more efficient the process of certifying educational personnel in Georgia;
to attract the highest possible number of qualified personnel to become educators in Georgia; to promote the hiring of qualified educators from other states;
and to improve the level of preparation of educators.