Memo To: TSE Teachers/Coordinators From: Alex Hansen, WTSEA President Re: TSE Continuing Education (CE) Requirements Date: 8/20/18
Because of the difference between conditional and certified teachers, and two different agencies, it always gets confusing as to what the requirements are for continuing education (CE) in Traffic Safety Education. In an attempt to clarify the confusion, the following information is provided:
I. Public School Teachers The agency for monitoring compliance requirements with continuing education for public school TSE teachers is the Office of Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI). But, they don’t do it directly through the Certification Office. Compliance for TSE CE is monitored by the Student Transportation section through the annual TSE program approval process. Each year the TSE Coordinator or district administrator is required to certify that all instructors are in compliance with applicable WACs and RCWs pertaining to instructor qualifications, which include maintenance of an acceptable driving record and continuing education requirements. Traffic Safety Education is the only endorsement subject area that requires continuing education specific to the endorsed subject matter. This is important for safety reasons and for maintaining high uniform standards in both the DOL and OSPI-administered TSE programs. There are four types of situations that pertain to TSE teachers in the public schools, depending upon the type of certificate you hold:
1) Certified teachers - must receive 40 approved clock hours (or 4 university credits) every 5 years in TSE-related coursework. (This can be inclusive of the 100 hours/10 credits required every 5 years to maintain a Continuing, Residency or Professional teaching certification) It is the TSE Coordinator who is responsible for monitoring compliance with this requirement (just like checking the driving abstracts annually is also his/her duty). But it is the individual teachers who are required to maintain compliance, just as they are required to maintain the requirements of their teaching certificate. If you do not maintain compliance with the TSE CE requirement, you will lose the ability to teach TSE, but not your TSE endorsement or your teaching certificate, unless you do not renew your teaching certificate before the expiration date.
2) Lifetime Certificate teachers or holders of a Letter of Approval – Be advised: The same TSE continuing education requirement pertains to you, even if you are not otherwise required to take continuing education coursework to maintain your teaching certificate.
3) Conditional instructors (BTW or classroom) - must receive 60 hours of TSE-related coursework every 2 years. Twelve of those must be approved clock hours. The other 48 hours can be project-related, or other coursework that is approved beforehand by your TSE coordinator (if the superintendent has designated the coordinator as the authorizing agent). (It is unclear what documentation is necessary to support this in case of an audit; the best advice is to check with OSPI before engaging in any “project-based” coursework in your district; courses that have been approved are: SPED workshops, technology classes, first-aid courses, etc. “TSE projects” can be curriculum development/revision, drafting lesson plans/route plans, etc.) [Arrangements with WTSEA can also be made to approve clock hours for TSE-specific courses or projects if an application is submitted to us for approval in a timely manner before the coursework begins. However, WTSEA will not approve clock hours for general “professional development courses,” first aid, or other courses offered by a school district or ESD due to our inability to monitor the coursework. In general, WTSEA does not approve clock hours when a school district or ESD is an approved clock hour provider and is sponsoring the training.]
4) A Commercial Driver Training School (DTS) Instructor, who is also a Certified or Conditional Teacher in a public school - must receive approved clock hours from an OSPI-approved clock-hour provider (such as WTSEA). Attendance or completion certificates from coursework sponsored by entities that are not OSPI-approved clock hour providers will not be accepted by OSPI; nor will they be accepted by a school district for advancement on a salary scale. You must have the official documentation (FORM SPI 1125) from an OSPI-approved clock-hour provider.
Note to all public school teachers,regardless of which type of certificate you hold:
The simplest way to remain in compliance with the TSE CE requirement is to be a WTSEA member and attend at least one of the available TSE-related workshops/conferences per year. WTSEA is an OSPI-approved clock hour provider and offers 8-14 clock hours at our annual conference in October. In addition, WTSEA usually offers clock hours for other TSE-related conferences/workshops in Washington or Oregon, even if sponsored by ODOT, the DOL or PDSAW. We also offer clock hours for attendance at the annual ADTSEA conference. DOL accepts WTSEA’s OSPI-approved clock hours for satisfying its CE requirements. Either way, if you are a WTSEA member and receive clock hours from us, your clock hours will be accepted by either agency. But, you may have to check-in and out at both registration tables to get the appropriate documentation.
Here are some other key points to bear in mind:
5) Clock hours: from another state or national conference are not acceptable, unless an OSPI-approved-clock-hour provider offers them. [WTSEA can offer this service if an application for clock-hour approval is submitted and approved prior to the workshop/conference; A WTSEA representative or designee must also be present to verify attendance, or to certify the coursework, and to coordinate the paperwork]
6) Documentation: The necessary records for proving TSE CE compliance are these:
(A) Each time you attend a workshop/conference, follow the registration procedures, and sign-in. You must also sign–out at the end of the workshop session and the conference, and return the evaluation form; at that time a signed copy of the official clock-hour form that certifies your credit will be handed to you. Keep these in your permanent file as proof of earning the clock hour credit. Never give the original copy to anyone (like OSPI or your school district) who may require proof of attendance. If they need a copy, have them make a photocopy of the original and return it to you. [Unlike the ESDs, WTSEA does not send you a transcript each year listing the clock hours you have earned; but WTSEA can send out a duplicate form upon request]
(B) Keep track of your accumulated hours on the official OSPI-form #1547 (available on the OSPI and WTSEA websites) All certificate renewals are completed online in the eCertification system. You do not need to submit the form. Keep it for your records. However, you will need to enter course information in the professional development section of eCertification to request renewal.
(C) It is up to your local TSE coordinator to determine which documentation will be expected to verify compliance each year when the Program Approval is due. Check with him/her. Upon renewal of your teaching certificate, OSPI does not require verification unless you are audited. You simply report the courses and hours completed. But, if audited, OSPI accepts only an official OSPI-approved clock hour form or a college transcriptas definitive verification, so this is recommended. Because you are responsible for your own records, keep all originals.
7) Annual program approval by OSPI is contingent upon the district certifying that all instructors/teachers meet all requirements they are held to. If you do not maintain your continuing education requirements, you endanger the district’s program because OSPI can deny approval and DOL can decertify your program, denying access to the DRIVES portal. Further, it is a violation of professional conduct standards for you teach TSE if you haven’t maintained your CE requirement.
8) WTSEA, and any other clock hour-provider, cannot offer clock hours for attendance in a course after-the-fact. There are strict requirements for record-keeping and prior approval. If you plan to attend a particular workshop/conference for which you desire approved clock hours, you need to contact WTSEA well ahead of time and submit an application (available on the wstea.com website). This is not normally done on an individual basis. [Note: WTSEA offers clock hours at no charge to current members only. Dues must be paid at renewal time in the Fall and are good until the following August 31st]
9) University credit (transcripts) for appropriate classes taken out of state usually will be accepted by OSPI to satisfy the continuing ed requirements for certified teachers. Conditional teachers should be sure to get approval from the TSE coordinator beforehand. Your proof of record is the college transcript.
11) Legal References: (See appendix for actual language)
• RCW 28A-220.030 (4)
• WAC 392-153-020 (3)
• WAC 392-153-021 (3)
II. DOL Driver Training School (DTS) Instructors
The agency responsible for monitoring compliance requirements with continuing education for DTS instructors is the Department of Licensing (DOL). For DTS instructors, there is only one license. Instructors must submit a renewal application every two years. Documentation of compliance with the TSE continuing education requirement is part of the renewal process. Here are the details:
1) The requirement for continuing education is 8 hours every two years. The coursework requirement must be verified on the instructor’s renewal application.
2)Documentation/records: You must sign in and out at every workshop and return the workshop evaluation. The DOL, like OSPI, has a form (see DOL website) to list the workshops attended over the two-year period. But, a separate clock-hour verification form does not have to be issued for each course or workshop, as OSPI requires. The DOL keeps track of the hours for each instructor via the sign-in and sign-out form at each workshop/conference. The names are then entered into the database at the DOL office---a service not provided by OSPI. This is your back-up 5 documentation.
3) The driver training school instructor is required to verify on your renewal application that you satisfied the continuing education requirement. Keep your own record of your attendance at workshops/conferences. Like OSPI/public school TSE programs, the entire DTS program approval is in jeopardy if individual instructors are not in compliance with continuing education requirements.
4) If a DTS instructor also teaches TSE in the public schools, then he/she will also have to fulfill the continuing education requirements and maintain the record-keeping requirements described in the above section for public school teachers.
5) If the DOL, the PDSAW, or WTSEA is not the sponsor of the workshop or conference, it is advised to check with someone in authority at the DOL if you are in doubt about whether a course you are considering taking will satisfy the continuing education requirements. (The DOL has allowed approved Trainer-of-Trainers at respective driving schools to offer their own in-house trainings if they meet certain requirements)
7) Legal References: (See appendix for actual language)
• RCW 46.82.320 (1)
• WAC 308-108-080(3)
Note: There are two professional associations in Washington State for TSE instructors/teachers. Both welcome members from either public schools or commercial driver training schools. Only WTSEA is an OSPI-approved clock hour provider. Here is the contact information:
Washington Traffic Safety Education Association (WTSEA) http://www.wtsea.com (Welcome Page) You can also contact us by fax at: 360-658-2629 Alex Hansen, President email@example.com
Professional Driving School Association of Washington (PDSAW) Please contact JC Fawcett, President firstname.lastname@example.org 425-643-0116 x103