Become an Approved Provider
Washington requires that the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) approve providers of continuing education for educators. Approval of agencies as providers of clock hours occurs annually. To seek approval, agencies must be a non-profit organization, private school, an accredited college/university, or a local, state, or federal government agencies.
Clock Hour Provider
Approval of agencies as clock hour providers only occurs once a year; the deadline for submissions is August 1, annually. There are no extensions!
- Agencies have to apply annually to become an approved clock hour provider by PESB
- Agencies must be one of the following entities or a department within such an entity WAC 181-85-045
- Accredited College or university WAC 181-85-025
- Non-profit or not-for-profit organizations. These organizations must provide documentation of non-profit or not-for-profit status if asked to present it.
- Local, state, Educational Service Districts (ESDs) or regional agencies
- State- Approved private school WAC 180-90-112
- For agencies that have received approval from PESB, this timeline runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. (There are no means to add a clock hour provider or clock hours retroactively)
- There is no fee for agencies to seek approval as a clock hour provider
All School Districts, Charter Schools, and Compact Schools in Washington are automatically approved as clock hour providers. However, some do not have the resources to utilize that approval and rely on regional Educational Service Districts (ESD) to provide the clock hours for their program.
The 2023-24 Clock Hour Provider Application is closed. The 2024-25 Clock Hour Provider Application will be available on October 1, 2023.
Guidance for Clock Hour Providers
The in-service offering must be at least one (1) hour WAC 181-85-030 (6) to provide clock hours WAC 181-85-030 (6). One (1) clock hour for each 60 minutes of approved in-service offering may be assigned. This can include "reasonable" time for a break and passing the time. The clock hour provider can determine what is reasonable. The agency must have a committee or board of directors that provides prior approval to proposed in-service education programs because the proposed programs are designed to meet the program standards outlined in WAC 181-85-200.
To set up a training, you complete an internal process within your organization; this occurs before, during, and after each class. Each preparation program must comply with the program approval standards. WAC 181-78A-220(5). To assist participants in identifying courses approved for clock hours, advertising and literature should clearly assert "Washington State Approved Clock Hour Provider, or Washington state Approved Clock Hours."
If an agency wishes to hold a course prior to becoming an approved clock hour provider, they need to have a currently approved clock hour provider co-sponsor the course or courses for approved clock hours. If you are currently working with a specific school district, you may wish to indicate they will need to arrange any approved clock hours. Another option is to check the current Approved Clock Hour Provider List for an agency you already have an existing relationship with and ask them to co-sponsor your offering. Continuing education units (CEUs) from accredited colleges or universities are accepted as clock hours, whether in-state or out-of-state. Professional Development Units (PDUs), STARS hours (issued by Washington State DCYF), and hours used to renew Department of Health (DOH) licenses will be accepted as clock hours (all educators, not just educational staff associates (ESAs), can use hours that satisfy the DOH licensure requirements as clock hours for continuing education).
Clock hours may not be offered for WAC 181-85-030
- Routine staff meetings to discuss or explain operational policies or administrative practices within the agency, district, or building
- Business meetings of professional associations to discuss operational policies or practices of the association
- Social hours or actual meal time
- Individuals serving as the instructor for a course for which that individual is the only participant
Offerings (must relate to one or more of the following): WAC 181-85-202
The content and objectives of clock hour courses must relate to one or more of the following:
- Professional role standards under WAC 181-85-203
- Paraeducator standards of practice as described in WAC 179-07
- Cultural competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion (CCDEI) standards under RCW 28A.410.260. Until the board adopts the CCDEI standards, the content must relate to the cultural competency standards published by the board; OR
- Social-emotional learning standards, benchmarks, and indicators under RCW 28A.410.270
When partnering with another organization, an approved clock hour provider cannot provide blanket approval of all courses from that organization. The approved clock hour provider must follow all relevant policies for approving each individual course from another organization. WAC 181-85-200
Instructor Qualifications: WAC 181-85-200(3)
- All in-service education instructors shall have academic and/or professional experience which qualifies them explicitly to conduct the in-service education program (e.g... a person with expertise in a particular subject, field, or occupation)
- Event registration materials and/or agenda/conference programs need to provide a short description of the qualifications of each instructor
- In-service education instructors will be responsible for and must ensure the collection of sign-in sheets and evaluations
Materials (for each offering): WAC 181-85-200(2)(4)
- Agenda must have dates and times of each presentation and content and outcomes clearly articulated
- Agenda must have the names and a short description of the qualifications of each instructor. e.g... degrees and current professional position
- Program materials available to ALL attendees
- Sign-in sheet for attendees
- Event evaluation completed by participants
Evaluation Requirements: WAC 181-85-200
Clock hour providers must provide course evaluations to the participants and collect these evaluations to the extent possible. The designated administrator must periodically report assessment summaries to the clock hour committee. Summaries of the evaluations must be available to OSPI staff for review.
Essential evaluation components must include:
- The extent to which the written objectives have been met
- Participant perception of relevance and quality of the offering
- The extent to which activities identified by the in-service program have been met
- The extent to which the course provided the opportunity for participants to reflect on the next steps or implementation of the learning in their practice
- Suggestions for improving the in-service education program if repeated
The following must be retained for seven (7) years WAC 181-85-205
- Documentation of clock hour committee approved a course's date, number of hours, objectives, relation to clock hour standards, instructors, and the qualifications before the being offered WAC 181-85-045 (2)
- Summary of course evaluations and minutes showing that the committee reviewed the evaluations
- Participant registration list
If courses are not approved as clock hours prior to holding them, the rules do not allow for courses to be approved retroactively. Courses cannot be offered for clock hours prior to the approval date.
Clock Hour Committee WAC 181-85-045(2):
Each clock hour provider must have a designated administrator and a clock hour committee. Before 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 WAC 181-85-202
- Clock hours may not be issued retroactively WAC 181-85-045; 181-85-200
Participants must register before taking courses. Providers must keep a record of this.
Clock hour providers are subject to audit. Providers found not to comply with WAC 181-85 will no longer be eligible to provide clock hours.
OSPI is not responsible for approving course content; the clock hour committee approves the agency's scope, granting clock hours under their approval as a provider.
The 2023-24 Application Deadline is August 1, 2023.