NCATA's PDP Certification Program
The Professional Development Plan (PDP) is NCATA's volunteer certificate program which encourages teacher assistants to further their training. The program helps teacher assistants track the training they receive from community colleges, local district workshops, and conferences, and awards certificates based upon their progress at seven different levels.
There are even a few local school districts who provide bonuses or incentive pay for their teacher assistants based on their certification level. Check with your local human resources department to see if your county is one of those organizations. NCATA does NOT provide financial compensation for certification.
Why Participate in the PDP Program?
PDP is an important tool for NCATA members to use in order to reach their full potential as instructional assistants contributing to student achievement. PDP certification was used as teacher assistants worked to meet the regulations of the No Child Left Behind legislation, which required them to be "highly qualified" by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. Your PDP certification is a great way to document your value to administrators, supervisors, and other educational professionals. Get started today!
How Do I Apply?
For more information, download and print the PDP booklet and application, along with any other useful files at the bottom of this page.
To apply for certification, complete the PDP application and send it in along with all requested information and the application fee, before the end of the calendar year - December 31st - in order to be eligible to receive your certification during the following year. Apply as early as possible -- this gives you time to correct any issues prior to the committee's review of your application.
We recommend you take the time to review the information in the PDP booklet, which gives an overview of the program, a timeline and a checklist of all items needed for certification. There is a great FAQ on this site which is worth your time to review as well.
If you have additional questions, email NCATA's PDP Administrator, Teresa Perry (tperry AT teacherassistants.org). (Be sure to remove the words "AT" and replace with the @ symbol to use their email addresses.)
How Do I Keep My PDP Certification Active?
Once you have PDP certification, you must do 2 things to keep it active:
1) renew your NCATA membership annually and
2) renew your PDP certification every 5 years by submitting at least 64 hours of continuing education that you’ve had since your last certification. The renewal fee is $45. NCATA sends a letter the year prior reminding you that it’s time to renew.
Other Important PDP Tips (Please read before applying!)
Remember, you must complete a PDP application each time you renew or upgrade your PDP Certification.
The membership application (found in our membership documents) and PDP application are 2 different forms. You can find the PDP application below. Print the application to send in with your papers. The PDP booklet also contains a timeline, other helpful forms, and important information about the requirements for each level of certification.
The PDP committee reviews the PDP files twice each year – usually November & February. It is helpful to the committee to get your PDP files in early rather than waiting until the DECEMBER 31 deadline.
Please read page 8 of the PDP Booklet for the application instructions and check to be sure all papers you send in are signed (not a computer signature), dated, with course name, clock hours and your name on them.
Keep in mind that any college class counts for 16 contact hours per 1 semester hour, but using college hours requires a sealed official transcript.
If your school system keeps a record of your continuing education hours, you may submit that printout – signed by your principal (be sure they include their title with the signature) – rather than sending an individual “certification of credit” for each of those classes. This will help with the storage of the PDP files, so we are encouraging you to send this if at all possible. If one of the workshop titles on your county history report is unclear, we may ask for further justification of that class; so, you may want to include certificates of completion for those titles.
Take time to print and read the PDP Booklet carefully before sending in your application! All downloads require Adobe® Reader®. To download Adobe® Reader®, please click here.
Practical Tips for Completing the Application:
1) Use only last 4 digits of SS#. White out first numbers if necessary.
2) Organize the papers you send in by year and preferably in chronological order (that eliminates sending duplicates).
3) Please do not send unsigned grade reports from colleges - we need official transcripts or certificates with signatures of instructors.
4) Do not send any financial information such as college tuition, book sales, membership dues, copies of cancelled checks, etc.
5) Do not send any certificates of appreciation. copies of CPR certification card or any paper that does not have contact hours on it. They will be destroyed.
6) EVERY paper you send, including the Continuing Education Employee History Report, has to have a signature with a person's title; your principal's signature/title will do.
7) If possible, send a copy of the Continuing Education Employee History Report instead of a paper for each class. Remember, though, if the class title is unknown or unclear to us, we may ask for further information.
8) DO NOT USE STAPLES ON ANYTHING; paper clips are fine