Changes made to clock hour policy


Changes made to clock hour policy

July 25, 2019

BULLETIN NO. 02-2019


( X ) Action required


( X ) Informational


Clock hours are a unit of currency for continuing education. They can be used to obtain and renew certificates for Washington teachers, administrators, educational staff associates (ESAs), and are now used in the paraeducator certificate program.

PESB convened a work group in 2019 to review Washington clock hour policy. At the July 2019 board meeting, PESB approved changes to clock hour policy based on the workgroup’s recommendations. Recommendations focused on flexibility and access, streamlining the system, and accountability.

What are some of the policy changes?

Flexibility and access

  • The minimum time a clock hour course can be offered has been reduced from three hours to one hour. 
  • Continuing education units from accredited colleges or universities, whether in-state or out-of-state, will now be accepted as clock hours. Other non-credit bearing units, such as Professional Development Units (PDUs), will also be accepted. 
  • All educators who hold specific Department of Health (DOH) licenses, not just educational staff associates (ESAs), can use hours that satisfy the DOH licensure requirements as clock hours for continuing education.
  • Continuing education hours (STARS hours) from the Washington Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) will be accepted as clock hours. 

Course approval 

  • Clock hours may not be issued retroactively. Providers may not provide blanket approval to all of another organization’s courses. Each course must be approved individually.
  • Prior to offering a course, the provider’s clock hour committee must approve:
    • Date of course
    • Number of clock hours being offered
    • Course objectives and program agenda
    • Instructors and their qualifications
    • Relation of course to clock hour standards
  • Clock hours may not be offered to individuals serving as the instructor for a course where they are the only participant.

Provider approval

There will be no changes to the approval process for clock hour providers in 2019. Clock hour providers may now apply for approval through the OSPI Certification Office. The application deadline is August 20, 2019. Questions on the clock hour provider approval process should be directed to the OSPI Certification Office at or (360) 725-6400.

Learn more

  • For a more comprehensive list of policy changes, please visit our website.
  • Attend one of our upcoming webinars