Clock Hour Provider Information
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Clock Hour Provider Information

Washington requires that the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) approve providers of continuing education for educators. Approval of agencies as providers of clock hours occurs annually. To seek approval, agencies must be a non-profit organization, private school, an accredited college/university, or a local, state or federal government agency.

Requirements to become a clock hour provider

  • Agencies HAVE TO APPLY ANNUALLY to become an approved clock hour provider by PESB
  • Agencies must be one of the following entities or a department within such an entity WAC 181-85-045
    • College or university WAC 181-85-025
    • Local, state, regional, or national nonprofit organization
    • School district, Educational Service District, OSPI or any state or national agency
    • Approved private school WAC 180-90-112
  • Approval of agencies as clock hour providers only occurs once a year, deadline for submissions is August 20, there are no extensions
  • For agencies that have received approval from PESB, this timeline runs October 1 to September 30 of the following year. (There are no means to retroactively add a clock hour provider or clock hours)
  • There is no fee for agencies to seek approval as a clock hour provider

All School Districts, Charter Schools and Compact Schools in the state of Washington are automatically approved as clock hour providers, however, some do not have the resources to utilize that approval and rely on a regional Educational Service Districts (ESD) to provide the clock hours for their program.


Professional Organizations, Colleges, or ESDs
Application for Approval/Reapproval for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20
The deadline is August 20, 2019*

Guidance for Clock Hour Providers

To provide clock hours, the in-service offering must be at least three (3) hours WAC 181-85-030 (6). One (1) clock hour may be assigned for each 60 minutes of approved in-service offering. This can include “reasonable” time for break and passing time. The clock hour provider can determine what is reasonable. The agency must have a committee or board of directors which provides prior approval to proposed in-service education programs on the basis that the proposed programs are designed to meet the program standards set forth in WAC 181-85-200.

To set up a training, you simply complete an internal process within your organization, this occurs before, during, and after each class. Each preparation program must be in compliance with the program approval standards. WAC 181-78A-220(5). To assist participants in identifying courses approved for clock hours, advertising and literature should clearly assert “Washington State Approved Clock Hour Provider or Washington State Approved Clock Hours”.

If an agency wishes to hold a course prior to becoming an approved clock hour provider, they need to have a currently approved clock hour provider co-sponsor the course or courses for approved clock hours. If you are currently working with a specific school district, you may wish to indicate they will need to arrange any approved clock hours. Another option is to check the current Approved Clock Hour Provider List for an agency that you already have an existing relationship and ask them to co-sponsor your offering. We are also unable to accept hours, such as CEU's, Contact Hours, Professional Development Units (PDU's) etc., in place of approved clock hours.​

Clock Hours MAY NOT be offered for:

  • Routine staff meetings to discuss or explain operational policies or administrative practices within the agency, district, or building
  • Business meetings of professional associations to discuss operational policies or practices of the association
  • Social hours or actual meal time

Content of Trainings

Our office does not approve course content, the content is approved by the agency granting the clock hours under their approval as a provider.

Offerings (must relate to one or more of the following): WAC 181-85-200(5)

  • Opportunities to collect and analyze evidence related to student learning
  • Professional certification standards
  • School and district improvement efforts
  • K—12 standards and curriculum alignment
  • Current or anticipated research based instructional strategies and assessment practices
  • Building a collaborative learning community
  • Advocacy for students, leadership, supervision, mentoring/coaching

Instructor Qualifications WAC 181-85-200(2):

  • All in-service education instructors shall have academic and/or professional experience which specifically qualifies them to conduct the in-service education program (e.g. a person with expertise in a particular subject, field, or occupation)
  • Event registration materials and/or agenda/conference programs need to provide a short description of the qualifications of each instructor
  • In-service education instructors will be responsible for and must ensure collection of sign-in sheets and evaluations

Materials (for each offering): WAC 181-85-200(2)(4)

  • Agenda must have dates and times of each presentation and content and outcomes clearly articulated
  • Agenda must have the names and a short description of qualifications of each instructor. e.g. degrees and current professional position
  • Program materials available to ALL attendees
  • Sign-in sheet for attendees
  • Event evaluation completed by participants

Evaluation Requirements: WAC 181-85-030 (5), WAC 181-85-045 (2)
Basic evaluation components must include:

  • The extent to which the written objectives have been met
  • Participant perception of relevance and quality of the offering
  • The extent to which activities identified by the in-service program have been met
  • Suggestions for improving the in-service education program if repeated

Evaluations must be completed for attendees to receive clock hours

Required Recordkeeping:
The following must be retained for seven (7) years WAC 181-85-205

  • Documentation of the approval committee notes WAC 181-85-045 (2)
  • Program agenda
  • Summary of evaluations
  • Sign-in sheets
  • Record of clock hour recipients and number of clock hours received

If courses are not approved as clock hours prior to holding them, the rules do not allow for courses to be approved retro-actively. Courses cannot be offered for clock hours prior to approval date.

Definition of Continuing Education Credit Hour (Clock Hour)

  • Clock hours are units of credit assigned to educators at a professional development/training event
  • Clock hours are accrued by Washington State educators toward continuing education requirements in the state of Washington
  • Clock Hour rules are available online at Chapter 181-85 WAC

Are you an educator with a question?

Educator Clock Hour Information - FAQs for Educators​

Washington requires that the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) approve providers of continuing education for educators. Approval of agencies as providers of clock hours occurs annually. To seek approval, agencies must be a non-profit organization, private school, an accredited college/university, or a local, state or federal government agency.


   Updated 12/4/2018

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