NEWS

Certificate Renewal Tracking System (CERTS) Now Available Online

 

For Release October 1, 2001

Further Information: 217/782-4648

Reduces paperwork, streamlines certificate renewal

The Certificate Renewal Tracking System, known by the acronym CERTS, is now available on the State Board of education's website.

CERTS is an interactive tracking and storage system designed to streamline the paperwork-laden process of renewing certificates for all elementary and secondary teachers in Illinois public schools.  Teachers are required by legislation enacted in 1999 to develop and complete professional development plans in order to get certificates renewed. 

Most teachers will have certificates that must be renewed at five-year intervals after their professional development plans are completed and approved by the Local Professional Development Committee.  Each of the state's 890 school districts must have at least one LPDC (many will have more than one) to review, approve and maintain records for each plan submitted.   

The CERTS system will substantially reduce the paperwork required by the certificate renewal process while at the same time facilitating communications among various level of the process.  In fact, CERTS replaces 16 forms that previously were required for the certificate renewal process.  The system may be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days per week by any computer with Internet capability. 

Password-protected records will be available to teachers who submit professional development plans, LPDCs that must review and approve those plans and Regional Professional Development Committees that must review appeals.  CERTS also allows each of these parties to leave messages for any of the others.

This web-based service will ease the record-keeping burden of local districts, LPDCs, RPDCs and Regional Offices of Education.  CERTS may be accessed through the State Board of Education website (www.isbe.net) by clicking on the "CERTS" link.  An online help feature offers a user-friendly guide to use of the system.

About 160,000 teachers will complete the certificate-renewal process at five-year intervals through over 900 Local Professional Development Committees. Teachers who achieve the Master Certificate by completing national certification requirements will renew their certificates on a ten-year cycle.