Educator Resources

Memos to the Field


Assistant Commissioner of Office of Teaching Initiatives


December 18, 2009


District Superintendents; Superintendents of Schools; School Business Officials; Directors of Human Resources; Administrators of Nonpublic Schools

From: Robert G. Bentley
Subject: Electronic Certification Records

The Office of Teaching Initiatives will be discontinuing the printing of time limited certificates on February 1, 2010. The TEACH online system serves as the official record for all certificates.  Certificates that do not expire (Professional, Permanent, and Teaching Assistant III), will continue to be printed and mailed to the applicant.

We expect to see direct financial savings from the discontinuation of printing certificates that are time limited. There will also be savings in staff time involved in the handling and mailing of these certificates.  Verification of certification online protects against forged certificates being accepted by a school district or the acceptance of a paper certificate which has been subsequently suspended or revoked.  The electronic file is more efficient and provides the current certification status of teachers, school leaders, and other certified personnel.  

To obtain information regarding an applicant’s education, work experience, certificates, fingerprint clearance, exam results, workshops, and more, you should access the TEACH system at

Online verification of an employment applicant’s certification status should be used in lieu of printed certificates for current, and potential, employees. School districts should also check the TEACH database to ensure that any Permanent or Professional certificates for new hires remain valid. We ask that you no longer require applicants or teachers to produce a paper certificate or apply for duplicates of time limited certificates (Initial, Transitional, Provisional, Supplementary, etc.) as this information is readily available to you on the TEACH system, and it will not be a regular practice to print the time-limited certificates.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation in implementing this change to using online verification rather than paper certificates.  If you should have any questions regarding the above, you may contact Deborah Horton at (518) 474-4661.

cc:     BOCES Regional Certification Officers
Deborah Horton
Joseph P. Frey
Thomas Hogan
Deans of Teacher Education
Thomas Rogers, New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS)
Maria Neira, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)
Steven VanHoesen, New York State Association of School Business Officials                     (NYSASBO)
Kevin Casey, School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS)
Brian Gibbons, New York State Federation of School Administrators (NYSFSA)
Timothy Kremer, New York State School Boards Association
Paul Connelly, New York State Association of School Personnel Administrators
Anita Gomez-Palacio, New York City Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA-NYC)

Last Updated: June 4, 2018
June 4, 2018