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National Board Certification

NEA supports National Board Certification.

National Board Certification (NBC) is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure. NBC has national standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certifies teachers who successfully complete its rigorous certification process. 


NEA supports National Board Certification through its resolutions and other policy documents and considers it a valuable professional development option for experienced teachers. NEA views its support of this advanced, voluntary certification as an important part of its long-standing efforts to enhance standards for—as well as perceptions of—the teaching profession. 


NEA was among the founding organizations that established the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 1987, and remains one of its strongest supporters for several reasons: 

  • NEA members attest to the positive effects the National Board Certification process has on their classroom practices. 

  • A growing body of research links National Board Certification with improved student achievement. 

  • The certification process is a rigorous, challenging process that causes teachers to analyze their work. It is a powerful learning experience whether they achieve National Board Certification or not. 


NEA supports and promotes the national certification process as an important element of a comprehensive system to ensure teacher quality. We provide support to our state and local affiliates on National Board issues. We bring together NBPTS staff and our state instructional issues staff regularly to discuss recruiting and supporting National Board candidates. We provide workshops for potential candidates—such as the "Jump Start" program—where we demystify the NBC process, delve into the standards, and help our members understand the requirements. 

NEA affiliates at the state and local levels also actively promote National Board Certification. Many helped pass legislation to pay fees and provide release time to National Board candidates. Others bargained contract provisions for release time, fee payment, mentoring/assistance, and salary recognition for candidates. 


Association support for National Board Certification is making a difference. Already more than 82,000 teachers have achieved National Board Certification, the teaching profession's highest credential.  


Every professional needs time to think, learn, and strengthen skills, and teachers are no exception. Good staff development programs can reinvigorate teachers. Poor ones can demoralize them. 
High-quality professional development requires a commitment of money and time. NEA believes school districts must provide time during the regular workday and work year for study, research, reflection, and collaboration with colleagues.

For more information about the certification process, please contact Rowena Shurn ([email protected]) in the NEA Teacher Quality department.

Information for Potential Candidates, Candidates, and NBCTs




National Board Five Core Propositions Micro-Credentials

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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.