Vocational Certification Standards

Section: II. INST - 180
Approved By: Dr. Pamela J. Transue, 08/02/11
Last Review: Unknown
Last Revision: Unknown
Prior Revisions: Unknown
Initial Adoption: 07/26/11


  • The College will certify qualifications of each professional-technical instructional candidate upon hiring.
  • Each full-time professional-technical instructor shall establish a professional development plan to be approved by the supervising professional-technical administrator or designee. The professional development plan shall be developed in collaboration with the instructor. The chief professional-technical administrator or designee shall maintain a file of all such plans.
  • Each part-time professional-technical instructor shall be assessed as to their ability to provide student instruction, supervise learning environments, and implement curriculum, outcomes, and assessments.
  • Certification under the standards specified in WAC 131.16.070 thropugh 131.16.094 is a condition of continued employment for all professional-technical education personnel.


In accordance with WAC 131.16.070, the President shall develop standards, certification, and recertification requirements for all professional-technical (vocational) administrative and instructional personnel.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

Instructors in professional-technical programs.


Tacoma Community College Board of Trustees Manual

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 131.16.070, 131.16.080, 131.16.091, 131.16.092, 131.16.093, 131.16.094, 131.16.095




In addition to general standards required by WAC 131.16.080, the college Board of Trustees shall establish that candidates for appointment meet or exceed the following standards in their areas of specialization.

Teaching personnel

  1. Performing services for which advanced degrees are commonly available shall hold the equivalent of a master’s degree in the field of educational service from an accredited college or university or a bachelor’s degree and professional expertise in the field; or
  2. Professional-technical personnel in which bachelor’s or master’s degrees are not commonly available shall be qualified to provide instruction in the area of specialization as demonstrated by possession of the following:
  • Sufficient broad and comprehensive training;
  • Industry recognized certification when available; and
  • Two years relevant work experience and/or relevant, current teaching experience that particularly qualifies them to provide instruction in the area of specialization.
  1. Requirements in (a) and (b) may be waived by the college President. For personnel under waiver, a professional development must be developed to meet criteria under (a) or (b). The plan must be completed during the initial three-year certification process.
  2. Part-time professional-technical teaching personnel must meet minimum qualifications as defined by (a), (b), or (c) and have verification on file.

Types of certification:

Initial (three-year): Upon hire, teaching personnel will be issued initial certification after development and approval of a professional development plan. An initial certificate is not renewable.

Standard (five-year): Will be issued upon completion of the requirements for the initial certification. Standard certification must be renewed every five years.

Prior to employment of candidates to perform professional-technical instructional services, the College must establish that the candidate possesses:

  • Scholarship and/or technical skill representing appropriate study, training and skills in proposed area of assignment.
  • Expertise as a practitioner as evidenced by reports of references.
  • Demonstrable understanding and acceptance of the role as partner in education serving the best interest of students.
  • Demonstrable understanding and acceptance of the mission, role, and character of the college.
  • Ability to perform assigned duties in a manner consistent with the goals of the college and State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

The certification process for professional-technical instructors includes assessing the attainment of the standards contained in the professional-technical skill standards and the completion of a professional development plan. The professional development plan identifies priorities for professional growth. The priorities shall address, at a minimum, the professional-technical faculty’s ability to provide student instruction, supervise learning environments and implement curriculum, outcomes, and assessments. The professional development plan shall be developed in collaboration with the instructor and will include at least five professional development activities linked to the professional-technical faculty skill standards.