Character and Fitness

The Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) requires teacher candidates to complete and submit a Character and Fitness document before beginning a teacher education program. Please review the three sections of the table below. If you would answer yes to any of these questions, you may not be able to be certified as a teacher. Please contact OSPI, Office of Professional Practices to discuss detail at email cert@k12.wa.us.

Professional Fitness

  1. Are you currently, or have you ever been, the subject of any certificate or licensing investigation or inquiry by any certification or licensing agency for allegations of misconduct?
  2. Have you ever had any adverse action taken on any certificate or license? (Adverse action includes letters of warning, reprimands, suspensions [including stayed], revocations, voluntary surrenders, or voidance.)
  3. Have you ever been denied, or otherwise rejected for cause, an education certificate, credential, or license?
  4. Have you ever withdrawn an application for any education certificate, credential, or license?
  5. Have you ever practiced in any educational position in a public school for which you did not hold the appropriate valid educational certificate, credential, or license for that position?
  6. Have you ever been dismissed, discharged, or fired from any employment position involving children or dependent adults? (Do not include RIFs)
  7. Have you ever resigned from, or otherwise left any employment (e.g., settlement agreement), while allegations of misconduct were pending?

Criminal History

NOTE: For questions 1, 2, 3, DO NOT include minor in possession (MIP)/minor in consumption (MIC) occurring more than 2 years ago or driving under influence (DUI) occurring more than 5 years ago.

  1. In the last 10 years, have you ever been arrested for any crime or violation of the law? (Do NOT include Minor in Possession [MIP]/Minor in Consumption [MIC] occurring more than 2 years ago or Driving Under Influence [DUI/DWI] occurring more than 5 years ago.) (Note: For “yes” responses to 1, 2, 3, even if your case was dismissed or your record was sealed you must answer this question in the affirmative.) You need not list traffic violations for which a fine or forfeiture of less than $300 was imposed.
  2. In the last 10 years, have you ever been fingerprinted as a result of any arrest for any crime or violation of the law?
  3. In the last 10 years, have you ever been convicted of any crime or violation of any law? (Note: For the purpose of this question “convicted” includes [1] all instances in which a plea of guilty or nolo contendere is the basis of conviction, [2] all proceedings in which a sentence has been suspended or deferred, [3] or bail forfeiture.) You need not list traffic violations or fines for which a fine or forfeiture of less than $300 was imposed.
  4. Have you ever been convicted of any felony crime?
  5. Do you currently have any outstanding criminal charges or warrants of arrest pending against you? This would include Washington State, any other state, province, territory, and/or country.
  6. Have you ever been, or are you presently under, investigation in any jurisdiction for possible criminal charges? If your answer is “yes,” identify agency and location (street address, city, state) and the circumstances or details relating to the investigation on a separate piece of paper.

 Fitness

  1. Have you ever exhibited any behavior or conduct which might negatively impact your ability to serve in a role which requires a certificate, credential, or license?
  2. In the past 10 years, have you ever engaged in any conduct which resulted in the damage or destruction of property? (For purposes of questions 2 and 3, property includes both real and personal property owned by you or another. Do not list damages done as the result of an automobile accident.)
  3. In the last 10 years, have you ever threatened to damage or destroy property?
  4. Have you ever engaged in any conduct which resulted in the physical injury or harm of any person(s)? (Do not list injury or harm caused as the result of duties performed due to a job assignment such as police officer, armed forces member, or athlete.)
  5. Have you ever threatened to do physical injury or harm to any person(s)? (Do not list threats issued as the result of duties performed due to a job assignment such as police officer, armed forces member, or athlete.)
  6. Do you have a medical condition which in any way impairs or limits your ability to serve in a certificated role with reasonable skill and safety?
  7. If you use chemical substance(s), does this use in any way impair or limit your ability to serve in a certificated role with reasonable skill and safety?
  8. If you disclosed a “yes” answer to questions 6 or 7 above, are the limitations or impairments caused by your medical condition(s) or substance abuse reduced or ameliorated because you receive ongoing treatment (with or without medications) or participate in a monitoring program?
  9. Do you currently use illegal drugs?
  10. Have you used illegal drugs in the last year?
  11. If you disclosed a “yes” answer to question 9 above, have you successfully completed, or are you participating in, a supervised rehabilitation program? Please explain on a separate sheet of paper and provide the name, address, and telephone number of the program.
  12. Have you ever been found in any dependency or domestic relation matter to have sexually assaulted or exploited any minor?
  13. Have you ever been found in any dependency or domestic relation matter to have physically abused any person?
  14. Are you currently in default status on any educational loan or scholarship? (Do not include loans that are currently in a compliant deferment status.)
  15. Are you currently in non-compliance with a support order?

If you have questions please review the Washington State Administrative Code (WAC) 181-86-013, and contact OSPI - Office of Professional Practices directly.