Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

What is National Board Certification?

Main content start

What is National Board Certification?

The idea that teachers could be evaluated using professional standards created by teachers, for teachers as adapted to the situations in which they taught was no longer a fantasy. The letters “NBCT” after a teacher’s name is the highest honor a member of the profession can attain.

From What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do preface by Lee Shulman, Emeritus Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education. 

Becoming a National Board Certified Teacher

National Board Certification involves a 1-3 year process in which candidates submit four components that show evidence of accomplished practice. This is a voluntary process, created by teachers and assessed by teachers. There are 25 certificate areas that cover most teachers or school counselor roles. Each certificate has a set of teaching standards that were written by accomplished teachers in that certificate. They create a vivid picture of what accomplished teaching looks like in that certificate. Find out more about the National Board Standards here.

National Board certification is administered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), an independent non-profit organization. The Stanford National Board Resource Center offers programs and guidance for candidates pursuing certification, and for schools, districts, and other educational organizations to support their candidates locally.