Certified Staff


Arizona Department of Education
1535 W. Jefferson (corner of 15th Ave. and Jefferson)
Phoenix, AZ 85007

(602) 542-4367

Certification requirements and forms available online at www.ade.az.gov/certification

Walk-in, same-day services include:

AEPA Test Information

There are two parts to the AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment):

Professional Knowledge:  Elementary (K-8)orSecondary (grades 7-12)   

Subject Knowledge:  Your certificate type (elementary or secondary) determines which subject knowledge test(s) you will need.   (Please note, teaching a single subject in grades 7-8 requires an approved area on your certificate, such as:  Middle Grades Math, General Science, Language Arts Reading or Social Studies.  Music, Art and/or Physical Education require an endorsement.) 

Test dates, study guides and online registration available online at www. aepa.nesinc.com.  

Arizona & US Constitution Tests Required for Certification

Following are a few resources for meeting the Arizona and US Constitution requirements: 

Fingerprint Information

All certified staff must have a valid fingerprint clearance card.  As a benefit to our teachers, the Pendergast District will fingerprint and pay for the renewal of your card.  No less than sixty days prior to the expiration of your fingerprint clearance card, contact Human Resources (623-772-2235) to schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted.  

If you have previously been issued a fingerprint clearance card and need a replacement, contact the Department of Public Safety at 602-223-2279.
Reciprocal Provisional Certificates

Teachers holding a valid teaching certificate from another state are eligible to be issued an Arizona Reciprocal Teaching Certificate.  Reciprocal certificates expire one year from date of issue; they cannot be renewed or extended – they can only be transferred to a Provisional Teaching Certificate. 

Important:  When issued, your reciprocal certificate will include an evaluation.  The evaluation advises the requirements to transfer your reciprocal certificate to a provisional certificate.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet these requirements.  If you have questions or need assistance, please call Human Resources at 623-772-2234 or 772-2236. 

Provisional Certificates

Provisional certificates are valid for three (3) years and are not renewable.  At the end of three (3) years, you are required to convert your provisional certificate to a standard certificate. 

Important:  When issued, your provisional certificate will include an evaluation.  The evaluation advises the requirements to convert your provisional certificate to a standard certificate.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet these requirements.  If you have questions or need assistance, please call Human Resources at 623-772-2234 or 772-2236.

(In the event you have not obtained the teaching experience required to convert to a standard certificate, your provisional certificate may be extended (one-time only) for an additional three years.)

Standard Certificates

Standard teaching certificates are issued for six years and are renewable based on 180 hours of professional development. These hours may be a combination of professional development classes and college/university credit hours. Each college/university credit hour is equivalent to 15 hours of professional development.   Professional development and/or college/university credit hours must be obtained during the valid dates of your current certificate.

Human Resources must verify and sign-off on professional development hours used for recertification. Teachers are required to submit to Human Resources their Professional Development Class Certificates obtained during the valid dates of their current teaching certificate.  College/University credits require official transcripts be sent with the certification renewal form; they do not require Human Resources verification.  

Information, application forms and requirements regarding endorsements can be found at www. ade.az.gov/certification.


Each February, Human Resources will collect information from certified staff members regarding salary schedule advancement and incentive grant eligibility for the next school year.  Intent to Advance Forms are sent to each certified staff member.  Certified staff who intend to advance on the salary schedule or who will be eligible to receive an incentive grant must complete and submit this form to Human Resources by the date indicated on the form. 


The certified salary schedule is designed to encourage continuous professional development.  An employee may be frozen on the last step of a column if appropriate course work has not been taken to advance to the next column. The district strongly encourages its employees to participate in on-going professional growth and staff development.  Horizontal movement on the certified salary schedule may occur when 15 graduate level credits are obtained.

Teachers will advise Human Resources of their intent to move on the salary schedule by submitting their Intent to Advance Form the year prior to expected move.  In addition to the Intent to Advance Form, official transcripts verifying earned credits must be submitted to Human Resources by September 15th.

Incentive Grants

An incentive grant is a $500 payment paid to employees who have earned (and advised their intent to receive) 50 district incentive points.

Activities Eligible for Incentive Points:

District-sponsored classes or workshops. These courses are classified as "Incentive" before the classes are taught and must be approved by the Educational Services Department.

Outside professional development opportunities that are pre-approved prior to instruction by Educational Services.  

Two points will be granted for each day of unused Paid Time Off (PTO) accrued during the current fiscal year. Employees do not lose unused PTO days used to receive incentive points, but will continue to accrue them from one fiscal year to the next.

An employee who indicates his/her intent of accruing 50 incentive points (verified by Human Resources) on the Intent to Advance Form sent to them in February will receive a $500 incentive grant in August of the next contract year.   

Per policy GCI-RB an employee who resigns or whose contract is not renewed will be ineligible to apply for or receive any incentive grant.  An employee who is on approved leave of absence the year following completion of requirements for the incentive grant will not be eligible for the incentive grant until October following return from leave.