The information contained on this page will provide you with guidelines regarding teacher licensure and renewal procedures for a Virginia license.
Conditions for Licensure
Applicants for licensure must:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Pay the appropriate fees as determined by the Board of Education and complete the application process.
- Have earned a baccalaureate degree (with the exception of the Technical Professional License) from an accredited institution of higher education with a Board of Education approved teacher education program.
- Possess good moral character (free of conditions outlined in Part VII (8 VAC 20-22-690 et seq. Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel).
All candidates who hold at least a bachelor's degree and who seek an initial Virginia teaching license must obtain passing scores on a professional teacher's assessment (VCLA, RVE, and Praxis II Specialty Exams when applicable) prescribed by the Board of Education. Candidates seeking a Technical Professional License or the Pupil Personnel Services License are not required to take the professional teacher's assessment. Individuals who have completed a minimum of three years of full-time, successful teaching experience in an accredited public or nonpublic school (kindergarten through grade 12) in a state other than Virginia are exempted from the assessment requirement.
Required Child Abuse and Neglect Training (CANT)
In the Commonwealth of Virginia there exists a codified requirement for all teachers to participate in specified Child Abuse and Neglect Training (CANT) prior to obtaining or renewing their licenses to teach. This training, which takes about one hour to complete, is available at no charge through web-based instruction. You are advised that completing CANT will be part of the employment process for applicants wishing to teach in any school division in Virginia. Upon completion of the training, you will need to print your certificate to use as verification of having met the requirement.
Required Emergency First Aid, CPR, and AED Training
Effective on July 1, 2013, every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license must provide evidence of completion of certification or training in Emergency first aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the use of automated external defibrillators (AED).
Individuals submitting an initial application for a license or a renewal request must submit official written documentation providing evidence that all three topics (emergency first aid, CPR, AED) were included in the certification or training. Waiver Requirements-Any person with a disability whose disability prevents him or her from completing the certification or training may submit a request for a waiver from the new requirement. The individual must submit a written request and provide official documentation identifying the disabling condition preventing completion or the certification or training.
For more information, see Superintendent's Memo #156-13 and Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).
Types of Licenses; Dating of Licenses
All licenses will be effective from July 1 in the school year in which the application is made. The following types of licenses are available:
Collegiate Professional License
The Collegiate Professional License is a five-year, renewable license available to an individual who has satisfied all requirements for licensure, including the professional teacher's assessment (VCLA, RVE, and Praxis II Specialty Exams when applicable) prescribed by the Board of Education.
Postgraduate Professional License
The Postgraduate Professional License is a five-year, renewable license available to an individual who has qualified for the Collegiate Professional License and who holds an appropriate earned graduate degree from an accredited institution.
Technical Professional License
The Technical Professional License is a five-year, renewable license available to a person who has graduated from an accredited high school (or possesses a General Education Development Certificate); has exhibited academic proficiency, skills in literacy and communication, technical competency, and occupational experience; and has completed nine semester hours of specialized professional studies credit from an accredited college or university. The nine semester hours of professional studies course work must include human growth and development (three semester hours), curriculum and instructional procedures (three semester hours), and applications of instructional technology or classroom and behavior management (three semester hours). The Technical Professional License is issued at the recommendation of an employing educational agency in the areas of career and technical education, educational technology, and military science. Individuals seeking Military Science must have the appropriate credits issued by the United States Military. In addition to demonstrating competency in the endorsement area sought, the individual must:
- Hold a license issued by the appropriate Virginia board for those program areas requiring a license and a minimum of two years of satisfactory experience at the journeyman level or an equivalent.
- Have completed a registered apprenticeship program and two years (within the past five years) of satisfactory experience at the journeyman level or an equivalent level in the trade; or
- Have four years of work experience at the management or supervisory level or equivalent or have a combination of four years of training and work experience at the management or supervisory level or equivalent.
Individuals holding the Technical Professional License who seek the Collegiate Professional or Postgraduate Professional License must meet the professional teacher's assessment requirement.
The Provisional License is a nonrenewable license valid for a period not to exceed three years issued to an individual who has allowable deficiencies for full licensure as set forth in the Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel. The individual must have a minimum of an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university (with the exception of those individuals seeking a Technical Professional License). The Provisional License, with the exception of those individuals seeking licensure through a career switcher program, will be issued for three years. Individuals must complete the requirements for the regular, five-year license within the validity period of the Provisional License
Provisional Special Education License
A Special Education Conditional License is a three-year, nonrenewable teaching license issued to an individual employed as a special education teacher in a public school or a nonpublic school in Virginia who does not hold the appropriate special education endorsement. The license is not applicable to individuals employed as speech pathologists. To be issued the Special Education Conditional License an individual must:
- Be employed by a Virginia public or nonpublic school and have the recommendation of the employing educational agency.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
- Have an assigned mentor endorsed in special education.
- Have a planned program of study in the assigned endorsement area and have completed a minimum of three to six semester hours in the core competencies of characteristics of students with disabilities and legal aspects associated with students with disabilities.
During the three years the Provisional Special Education License is valid, the individual must complete all requirements for the special education endorsement area, complete professional studies requirements, and meet Virginia's professional teacher's assessment (VCLA and VRA) requirement prescribed by the Board of Education.
Pupil Personnel Services License
The Pupil Personnel Services License is a five-year, renewable license available to an individual who has earned an appropriate graduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university with an endorsement for guidance counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, speech-language pathologist preK-12, or vocational evaluator. This license does not require teaching experience.
Alternative Route to Licensure
An alternative route is available to individuals employed by an educational agency who seek teaching endorsements Pre-K through grade 12.
- An individual seeking a Provisional License through the alternative route must meet the requirements specified in 8 VAC 20-22-90, i.e. Career Switcher, Provisional Special Education or Experiential Learning.
- The professional studies requirements for the appropriate level of endorsement sought must be completed. A Virginia educational agency may submit to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval an alternative program to meet the professional studies requirements. The alternative program must include training (seminar, internship, course work, etc.) in human growth and development, curriculum and instructional procedures (including technology), instructional design based on assessment data, classroom and behavior management, foundations of education, and reading.
- One year of successful, full-time teaching experience in the appropriate teaching area in an accredited public or nonpublic school must be completed. A fully-licensed experienced teacher must be available in the school building to assist the beginning teacher employed through the alternative route.
Alternative programs developed by institutions of higher education (i) recognize the unique strengths of prospective teachers from nontraditional backgrounds and (ii) prepare these individuals to meet the same standards that are established for others who are granted a provisional license.
Conditions for Licensure by Reciprocity
An individual coming into Virginia from any state may qualify for a Virginia teaching license with comparable endorsement areas if the individual has completed a state-approved teacher training program through a regionally accredited four-year college or university, or if the individual holds a valid out-of-state teaching license full credential without deficiencies that must be in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is made. An individual seeking licensure must establish a file in the Department of Education by submitting a complete application packet, which includes official student transcripts. A professional teacher's assessment prescribed by the Board of Education must be satisfied.
Individuals who hold a valid out-of-state license (full credential without deficiencies) and who have completed a minimum of three (3) years of full-time, successful teaching experience in a public or accredited nonpublic school (kindergarten through grade 12) in a state other that Virginia are exempted from the professional teacher’s assessment requirements.
Teachers from another state should provide evidence that they have met another state's requirements for the No Child Left Behind Highly Qualified (NCLB HQ) status. To be considered Highly Qualified in VA, you will need a written statement from your university or school district stating that you have met the NCLB HQ requirement for another state. The statement should include the subjects/grade levels for which you are considered highly qualified and the method used, i.e. NY testing OR a passing score on the Virginia approved Praxis II specialty exam.
Who Can I Contact for Additional Information?
For additional questions regarding licensure or information on renewing a Virginia license, contact the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Teacher Education and Licensure, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, VA 23218-2120 or the VDOE website: www.doe.virginia.gov.