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Professionalism - National Board Certification

National Board Certification (NBC) is an advanced teaching credential and a challenging professional development experience offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). It complements, but does not replace, a state’s teacher license. It is valid for 10 years, and renewal candidates must begin the renewal process during their eighth or ninth years as NBCTs.  

A longtime champion of National Board Certification in Kentucky and a former NBPTS Board member Ruth Sweazy guest blogs in praise of Governor Beshear's support of NBC at

National Board Certified Teachers are highly accomplished educators who meet high and rigorous standards set by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). With over 2700 NBCTs, Kentucky has the seventh largest group of NBCTs in the nation.

To seek National Board Certification (NBCTs) you must meet the following requirements prior to applying:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree
  • Have completed three full years of K-12 teaching/counseling experience
  • Possess a valid state teaching/counseling license

NBC is a voluntary certification system based on high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do, and consists of an innovative two-part portfolio and assessment center process that spans several months. Candidates are charged a $65 registration fee and a $2500 assessment fee to begin the certification process.

Upon attaining National Board Certification, teachers are paid an annual $2,000 salary bonus for the life of their National Board Certificate; and the $2,000 base bonus factors into retirement. Additionally, new NBCTs with Master Degrees are permitted to apply to EPSB for a rank change to Rank 1. The Rank 1 designation is permanent.

Kentucky Education Association has been an active and ardent supporter of the National Board and is proud of its support of candidates, NBCTs, mentors and the people who make the program work. We offer support in the form of professional learning opportunities for candidates, Candidate Support Providers (CSPs), and NBCTs getting ready to renew. Contact Mona Ball ( for more details.

NEA also offers many resources for the candidate considering National Board Certification. Visit the NEA's National Certification web site for answers to frequently asked questions, a candidate's guide, and much more. NEA members may also qualify for low interest NBC loans. Visit the NEA Member Benefits Web site for more details.

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