National Board Certification (NBPTS)

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards NBPTS is recognized as the gold standard for identifying accomplished teaching.

Teacher with classWhat is National Board Certification?

Based on the Five Core Propositions of the NBPTS, National Board Certification challenges educators to demonstrate their practice against a rigorous set of standards that identify what all accomplished educators should know and be able to do. With nearly 64, 000 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) nationally and 300 within Rhode Island, the National Board represents a growing and significant voice within the field of education. 

Achieving National Board Certification requires educators to provide evidence of their accomplished practice and deep content knowledge. To do this, candidates for National Board Certification complete four portfolio entries and take six assessment center exercises. The assessment process is designed to be completed in one year, although candidates can bank scores that do attain the achievement rate to earn within three years the required minimum score. Details for completing the assessment process including the portfolio entries and assessment center exercises are available to be downloaded from the National Boards website.

National Board Certification in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Education is committed to encouraging and supporting the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification process. To that end, the Office of  Educator Quality and Certification advocates to secure funds to provide subsidies for $2000 of the $2500 assessment fee. Annually, RIDE is able to provide subsidies for approximately 75 candidates. Since funding is limited, RIDE allocates the subsidies in the order in which subsidy applications are received.

The subsidy application process begins in the spring when the application is released for the following school year. Prospective candidates should submit their application following the guidelines described below. On or after July 1 when the subsidy budget is determined for the following school year, RIDE notifies candidates who are selected to receive a fee subsidy.

Participation in the NBPTS certification process is a major professional commitment. Interested educators should visit the NBPTS website at to examine the Five Core Propositions, certification areas, standards, and eligibility requirements. Interested educators are also encouraged to speak with others who have participated in the process to gain an understanding of the expectations all candidates must meet and the commitments involved. Prospective candidates should recognize that to ensure an equitable experience for all candidates, the National Board Certification process follows an established schedule and requirements. Prospective candidates should also note that candidates have up to three years to achieve certification.

Several supports are available to candidates who pursue National Board Certification. These include candidate support classes at both Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island, formal and informal networking groups, individual candidate support by NBCTs, and the National Board responsive email and telephone support.


National Board Candidate Support Coach