• Licensure & Certification Definitions

  • Delaware License Overview

    A license gives an educator permission to practice in a Delaware public or charter school. With the exception of an inactive Initial License, the license is issued for a specific period of time, meaning that it will expire. An educator can hold only one license at any given time. There are three types of licenses in Delaware: Initial, Continuing and Advanced.

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  • Initial License

    An Initial License is valid for four years (or up to six years in the case of trade and industry teachers) unless suspended or revoked and is not renewable. It is most commonly issued to an educator with fewer than three years of full-time experience, but in some cases, may be issued to an educator who has been out of the profession for an extended period of time.

    Comprehensive information regarding the requirements for continuing licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions is detailed in 14 Del.C. §1210 Tier One - Initial Licensure

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  • Inactive Initial License

    An inactive Initial License will be issued to unemployed educators who are otherwise considered fully credentialed. When a holder of an inactive Initial License becomes employed in a Delaware public or charter school, his or her employer will submit an employment form to the Department and the Department will then issue the educator an active Initial License. 

    Comprehensive information regarding the requirements for initial licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions is detailed in 14 Del.C. §1210 Tier One - Initial Licensure

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  • Moving from Initial to Continuing License

    At the end of the period of initial licensure, an educator will be granted a Continuing License provided that he or she has successfully completed a Performance Assessment (if applicable), mentoring and other prescribed professional development activities and has demonstrated competence by receiving no more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation in the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS) during the period of initial licensure. Refer to License Renewal for details on how to obtain a Continuing License.

    Comprehensive information regarding the requirements for continuing licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, is detailed in 14 DE Admin. Code 1511 Issuance and Renewal of Continuing License.

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  • Continuing License

    A Continuing License is valid for five years, unless revoked, and is renewable. It is issued to an educator who has successfully completed a Performance Assessment (if applicable), mentoring and other prescribed professional development activities, and has demonstrated competence by receiving no more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation in the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS) during the period of initial licensure. It may also be issued to an educator who is entering, or reentering, Delaware's credential system with four or more years of full-time credentialed experience. A holder of a previously-issued standard or professional status certificate (that no longer exists) may also be issued a continuing license upon the expiration of that credential.

    Comprehensive information regarding the requirements for continuing licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions, is detailed in 14 DE Admin. Code 1511 Issuance and Renewal of Continuing License.

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  • Continuing License Renewal

    At the end of the period of continuing licensure, an educator will be granted a renewal of the Continuing License provided that he or she has fulfilled, and submitted proper documentation to his or her employer, the professional development requirements of the Continuing License as defined in clock hours.

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  • Advanced License

    An Advanced License is valid for up to ten years, unless revoked, and is only issued to an educator who receives National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. At the end of the period of advanced licensure, an educator will be granted a renewal of the Advanced License provided that he or she has maintained proficiency according to the standards of the National Board by completing its renewal process. An educator who elects not to renew or fails to meet the recertification requirements for National Board certification, will be placed on a Continuing License upon the expiration of their Advanced License. 

    A holder of current National Board certification who relocates to Delaware will receive an Advanced License when applying for Delaware licensure/certification. This license will be valid for the duration of the individual’s National Board certification. Please note that these out-of-state candidates must still apply for Delaware licensure and certification.

    Comprehensive information regarding the requirements for advanced licensure, conditions of issuance, and exceptions is detailed in 14 DE Admin. Code 1512 Issuance and Renewal of Advanced License.

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  • Advanced License Renewal

    The Department shall renew an Advanced License valid for up to an additional ten years, to an educator who has maintained their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. The educator shall provide required evidence of the renewal of their National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

    The term of the renewed advanced license shall be the same as the balance of the term of the educator's National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification.

    An educator who elects not to renew or fails to meet the recertification requirements for National Board certification, will be placed on a Continuing License upon the expiration of their Advanced License.

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  • Emergency Certificate

    An Emergency Certificate is a temporary credential issued to an educator who has obtained employment or an offer of employment with an employing authority and holds a valid Delaware Initial, Continuing, or Advanced License, but lacks the necessary skills and knowledge to immediately meet certification requirements in a specific content area. As per 14 Del.C. §1210, Emergency Certificates will not be issued in a "core content area" for meeting initial licensure and certification requirements, meaning any subject area tested by the state assessment system, including mathematics, English/language arts, science, and social studies unless the educator is enrolled in an approved ARTC program. DDOE also does not issue Emergency Certificates in Elementary Education. Emergency Certificates may only be issued in a “core content area” or in Elementary Education as a second or subsequent certificate, after all initial licensure and certification requirements have been fully met.

    This temporary credential provides the educator with a limited time to meet the requirements for certification in the specific content area. The educator must be employed by a Delaware public/charter school and the emergency must be requested by the employer.

    The Emergency Certificate is valid for one school year and can be renewed if progress towards certification is being made. Emergency Certificates are not issued for all content areas. Please refer to the specific content area requirements for eligibility.

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  • Limited Standard Certificate

    The Limited Standard Certificate was a category of certification issued previously and are no longer issued.

    Holders of an unexpired Limited Standard Certificate should complete the requirements outlined in their evaluation letter prior to the expiration date of their certificate. For a list of approved coursework (the list corresponds with the categories of courses listed in the evaluation letters) or for information on submitting official documentation (transcripts, test scores or forms), please contact the Department.

    Holders of an expired Limited Standard Certificate who wish to pursue current employment as should contact the Department.

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  • Temporary Certificate

    The Temporary Certificate was a category of certification issued previously and no longer exists. Temporary Certificates were only issued for one year timeframes and have all expired.

    Holders of expired Temporary Certificates who wish to pursue current employment should contact the Department.

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  • Performance Assessment

    The Performance Assessment is a multiple measure assessment in the professional area of licensure and certification to ensure that novice educators can demonstrate application of content, pedagogy skills, and reflective practice (adopted pursuant to 14 Del.C. Ch. 12). A performance assessment is not a multiple choice assessment. Educators will have two years from the date of hire and issuance of an Initial License to complete the Performance Assessment. However, educators who teach in a vocational trade and industry field as a “Skilled and Technical Sciences” or “STS” educator will have six years to complete the Performance Assessment.

    Approved Delaware Performance Assessments:

    • edTPA by Pearson
      • 13 Point Rubric – Qualifying Score of 33
      • 15 Point Rubric – Qualifying Score of 38
      • 18 Point Rubric – Qualifying Score of 46

    • PPAT by ETS
      • Qualifying Score of 38

    NOTE: Delaware exempts certain certification areas by law and will not require completion of a Performance Assessment. This exemption applies only to the below list of Standard Certificates:

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  • DEEDS (Delaware Educator Data System)

    DEEDS (Delaware Educator Data System) is the database where all educator licensure and certification information is stored. Every educator in the state of Delaware is required to have an account in DEEDS for storage of their credentials. 

    For additional DEEDS application information, refer to Registering for an Educator Account in DEEDS.

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  • Registering for an Educator Account in DEEDS

    The Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS) is a database system which stores your personal educator data. The system communicates with PHRST, the State of Delaware’s Payroll system. This database stores your personal information, email, transcripts, employment information, graduate salary increments, and any other relevant data that is uploaded by the Delaware Department of Education or your employing entity. DEEDS can be accessed by your District or School’s HR Department; however, they can only access certain data. Only the Delaware Department of Education can access all the information in your DEEDS account.

    To apply for a new license, certificate or permit, you must have an account in the Delaware Educator Data System (DEEDS).

    • If you already registered in DEEDS, you may skip this step. 
    • If you are not registered in DEEDS, you must first register and apply via the DEEDS Registration Page to create a profile record (i.e., name, contact information, education information, student teaching, work experience, etc.).

    You may stop at this point and you will only have created your account in DEEDS. You have not yet applied for a teaching license and certificate. When you continue, there will be a $100 application fee which is reimbursable upon employment in a Delaware public school.

    Note the following:

    • You must continue, following the DEEDS Application Process Steps to apply for a Delaware Teaching License and Certificate.
    • If you intend to apply for a Delaware Teaching License and Certificate, you must request to have all required documentation of official transcripts, certificates, work experience, and test scores sent to the appropriate location.
      • Employed applicants should have their documents forwarded to their district office or charter school HR staff.  Documents submitted by districts and charters must have met the standard of official documents when first received at the district- or school-level and will be shared with the Delaware Department of Education.
      • Non-Employed applicants should have their documents forwarded to the Department’s Licensure and Certification office:

    Delaware Department of Education
    Licensure & Certification
    Collette Education Resource Center
    35 Commerce Way, Suite 1
    Dover, DE 19904
    Email: deeds@doe.k12.de.us

    • Your License and Certificate(s) cannot be processed until ALL documentation listed on your application are officially received.  You can monitor this by visiting the DEEDS website and signing into your DEEDS account. Your email address must be kept current at all times.

    Given the volume of applications and documents received, it is your responsibility to timely provide the required documentation and monitor your application in DEEDS.

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  • DEEDS Application Process Steps

    1. Log in to your DEEDS account.
      • If you are a new applicant and do not have an account, create a profile in DEEDS via the DEEDS registration page.
      • If you are employed in the Delaware public school system, login via the IMS login page.
      • If you are not employed in the Delaware public school system, login via the DEEDS login page.
        • If you have forgotten your username, use the "Forgot UserName" link.
        • If you have forgotten your password, use the "Forgot Password" link.
    2. Apply for the appropriate License and Certificate(s) for the content area you want to teach.
    3. Have a credit card (not a debit card) at hand. There will be a one-time $100 application fee, which is reimbursable upon employment in a Delaware public or charter school.
    4. Request to send all official documentation:
      • All official transcripts.
      • Test Scores.
      • Proof of student teaching, if not on your transcript.
      • Scores on Performance Assessments (ETS, Pearson, ACTFL).
        • If you are applying with credentials from out-of-state or out-of-country, there may be additional requirements.
        • To ensure speedy processing, please ensure that you follow the documentation guidelines for submission.
    5. Upon receipt of all documentation, DDOE Staff will review the application and documentation.
    6. DDOE staff will update your application status.  You will receive an email indicating:
      • If you met certification requirements; or
      • If you did not meet certification requirements you will be notified of the documents that are still needed.
    7. You may apply for employment while your License and Certificate(s) are pending. Districts and charter schools will have access to your application information via DEEDS.


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  • SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement)

    SARA stands for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. SARA is a nationwide collaboration of states intended to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines while also helping states and institutions in regulating interstate distance education. SARA expands students access to quality distance education, assists with complaint resolution, and reduces institutional costs. 

    To learn more about SARA, please visit the Delaware Department of Education's SARA page.

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  • Delaware Department of Education
    Licensure & Certification
    Collette Education Resource Center
    35 Commerce Way, Suite 1
    Dover, DE 19904

    Feel free to contact us:
    M-F 8:00 AM-4:30 PM
    302-857-3388
    deeds@doe.k12.de.us

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Last Modified on May 24, 2018