• Atlanta Public Schools Performance Based Leadership Certification 

    Overview of Georgia Performance-Based Leadership Certification:

    The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) implemented a new performance-based leadership (PL) certificate and phased out the traditional leadership (L) certificate on September 30, 2009. 

    Georgia’s Professional Standards Commission (PSC) has transformed the state’s educational leadership preparation and certification process to meet 21st century needs.  This includes new preparation standards for Georgia’s colleges and universities and a new performance-based leadership (PL) certification process. 

    This new certification process means that individuals can no longer independently secure a leadership certificate. Candidates interested in securing leadership certification must now complete a performance-based program at an approved college in collaboration with their school district.  This collaboration, which is formalized in a contract between the school system, candidate, and college, will allow for customization of the leadership training program to meet the needs of the candidate and the employing system.

    Each district will have their own process for selecting and sponsoring employees in leadership roles and positions.  Districts will be able to apply for an employee’s NPL-5 (interim certification) while they enter into a specialist or doctoral program leading to a PL-6 or PL-7 certificate only after being selected by a school system for a leadership role.

    Individuals who hold clear, renewable L-5, L-6, or L-7 certificates issued prior to September 30, 2009, will be grandfathered. These individuals may opt to add a PL certificate, but it is not required.  They may be hired into school system leadership positions and continue to perform these roles.


    Easy Steps to secure your Performance Based Leadership Certificate (PBLC) 

    *Please note that individuals who are in process or have completed a Performance-Based Leadership Certification program leading to a PL-6 or PL-7 prior to November 2012 are not required to follow this process.  These individuals should contact Human Resources to provide information on their university program and certification status.


    Step 1Ensuring you have the proper pre-requisite Degree

    A Performance-Based Leadership Certification is only available for the specialist or doctorate level. Therefore, you must have a master’s degree in educational leadership in order to be eligible for a performance-based leadership certificate. If you have a master’s degree in a field other than educational leadership, you will be required to complete pre-requisite courses prior to entering a certification program.  See Georgia Professional Standards Commission - PSC code 505-2-.300 Educational Leadership at www.gapsc.com for further information and degree requirements.  Please note: Individuals who secured an NL-5 certificate prior to December 2010 by passing the GACE in leadership may be eligible to have the pre-requisite courses waived.  This will be determined by the university program you select to attend.  If you already have a specialist or doctorate level degree, you may be eligible for add-on certification.  This information is available to you on each approved university’s website.


    Step 2 - Secure an approved leadership position in the district 

    The following positions are currently approved leadership positions designated by Atlanta Public Schools. Note: if your position is not listed and you think it qualifies as a leadership position, you may submit an application for review in step 3. Be sure that all required signatures are included.

    • Academy Leader

    • Assistant Principal

    • Central Office and School-based Coordinator positions

    • Central Office and School-based Specialist positions

    • Instructional Coach

    • Instructional Mentor

    • Project Assistant

    • Project Facilitator

    • Project Manager

    • Program Administrator

    • Program Manager

    • Special Education Lead Teacher

    Individuals do not need to have leadership certification to apply for one of the above listed positions.  Once you secure the position and if the position requires leadership certification, please contact your Human Resources Certification Specialist. They will assist you in securing an interim leadership certificate (NPL). An NPL is valid for five years and must be requested by the district. 

    Step 3 – Complete Application

    Complete the Performance Based Leadership Certification Application (PBLC Application), which is available on the Certification Home Page. Be sure to secure the required signatures, and send via scanned email or fax to your certification specialist. Once your application is received and approved by Human Resources, you will receive an email indicating your next steps in the sponsorship process.

    Step 4 – University Enrollment

    Individuals, who are selected by the school district for sponsorship, may apply to any of the following universities that have an approved program and a partnership with the Atlanta Public Schools:

    Each university has different admissions requirements.  Employees are responsible for all financial obligations associated with their degree and certification program.  District sponsorship does not guarantee acceptance into a university program. 

    Important: Each university requires superintendent designee signatures. Therefore, notify your Human Resources Specialist immediately so that they may obtain the proper signature. 


    Step 6 – Completing your PBLC

    Upon completion of your performance based leadership certification program, contact your Human Resources Specialist to coordinate securing appropriate certification with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. 

    Certification Specialist Information

    For information or help with completing your Performance-Based Leadership Certification, please contact:

    Ty Copeland                                                      
    Certification Analyst
    Human Resources                                                                                                  
    404-802-2391 Phone                                                                     
    404-802-1301 Fax                                                                         

    For additional information about Performance Based Leadership Certification and all the new guidelines for leadership certification in Georgia, visit the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website: http://www.gapsc.com/Commission/policies_guidelines/pg_leadershipProgram.aspx