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Home » Educator Support » Continuing Education Clock Hours » Become an Approved Provider

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 agency.

Clock Hour Provider Requirements

  • 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.
    • Local, state, Educational Service Districts (ESDs) or regional agencies
    • State- Approved private school WAC 180-90-112
  • Approval of agencies as clock hour providers only occurs once a year, deadline for submissions is August 20, there are no extensions
  • For agencies that have received approval from PESB, this timeline runs October 1 to September 30 of the following year. (There are no means to retroactively add a clock hour provider or clock hours)
  • There is no fee for agencies to seek approval as a clock hour provider

All School Districts, Charter Schools and Compact Schools in the state of Washington are automatically approved as clock hour providers, however, some do not have the resources to utilize that approval and rely on a regional Educational Service Districts (ESD) to provide the clock hours for their program.


Professional Organizations, Colleges, or ESDs
2022-2023 Clock Hour Application 

Application Deadline is August 20, 2022.


Guidance for Clock Hour Providers

To provide clock hours, the in-service offering must be at least one (1) hour WAC 181-85-030 (6). One (1) clock hour may be assigned for each 60 minutes of approved in-service offering. This can include "reasonable" time for break and passing time. The clock hour provider can determine what is reasonable. The agency must have a committee or board of directors which provides prior approval to proposed in-service education programs on the basis that the proposed programs are designed to meet the program standards set forth in WAC 181-85-200.

To set up a training, you simply complete an internal process within your organization, this occurs before, during, and after each class. Each preparation program must be in compliance 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 that you already have an existing relationship and ask them to co-sponsor your offering. Continuing education units (CEUs) from accredited colleges or universities, whether in-state or out-of-state, are accepted as clock hours. 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 CCDEI standards are adopted by the board, the content must relate to the cultural comoetency stndards published by the board; OR 
  • Social emotional learning standrads, 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 policy 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 specifically qualifies them 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 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 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, to the extent possible, collect these evaluations. The designated administrator must periodically report summaries of evaluations to the clock hour committee. Summaries of the evaluations must be available to OSPI staff for review.

Basic 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 participant to reflect on next steps or implementation of the ;earning in their practice
  • Suggestions for improving the in-service education program if repeated

Required Recordkeeping:

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 retro-actively. Courses cannot be offered for clock hours prior to 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 prior to taking courses. Providers must keep record of this.

Clock hour providers are subject to audit. Providers found not to be in compliance with WAC 181-85 will no longer be eligible to provide clock hours.

OSPI is not responsible for approving course content, the content is approved by the clock hour committee of the agency granting clock hours under their approval as a provider.