GA Background Clearance Information for Initial Programs



The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) requires all students in initial licensure programs in Georgia to obtain a Pre-Service Certificate, even if they already have a background clearance. The required background clearance for initial licensure candidates is built into the process of obtaining a GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate. Initial program students will not be allowed to participate in preclinical experiences (PCE) or demonstration teaching (DT) in Georgia without the Pre-Service Certificate.


In the rare circumstance that a WGU student has a current IN4T teaching certificate, the student is exempt from obtaining a Pre-Service Certificate. However, if the IN4T certificate expires before field experiences, a Pre-Service Certificate will be required.


Step 1:   Take the online Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment—Program Entry 350.  

  • Please be sure to register for the Program Entry (350) assessment not the Program Exit (360) assessment You will be required to take and pass the Program Exit (360) assessment toward the end of your program, but only the Program Entry (350) assessment is required to obtain the Pre-Service Certificate.
  • When registering for the Program Entry (350) assessment, select #4, "I am enrolled, or plan to enroll, in an out-of-state (non-Georgia) certification program..." as the reason why you need to take a GACE assessmentIf you experience difficulties with registration, please contact ETS directly at 1-855-225-7178. 
  • After you complete the assessment, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. You do not need to submit this to WGU as we will be able to verify completion online. 


Step 2Claim enrollment with WGU. 

  • To claim enrollment with WGU log into your MyPSC account, go to the Program tab, verify your program data, and follow the prompts.
  • When you enter your student ID, omit the first three zeros (e.g. if your student ID is 000123456, enter is as 123456). If your ID is not recognized, please contact WGU Licensure at for assistance.


Step 3:  Complete the GaPSC Pre-Service Certificate Application.

  • A completed Pre-Service Certificate application is three pages (see Step 4 for details). Please carefully follow the instructions to complete the application.
  • Your VLP Affidavit must be notarized.
  • Your completed application must be submitted to the GaPSC, by sending it to WGU first, within 90 days of when it is signed.
  • The Pre-Service Certificate Application.


Step 4: Submit your Pre-Service Certificate application to WGU Background Clearance Specialists.

  • Pages one and three of the application must be entirely completed and submitted to WGU along with a copy of the ID you presented to the notary public. This means you will be sending three total pages to WGU. Failure to fully complete and sign your application, or to submit a copy of your ID, will delay processing
  • Compile the three pages of your application into a single PDF file and upload your background check results in your student Field Experience portal under PCE Background Clearance. 
  • The Background Clearance Specialists will notify you when your application has been received and uploaded to the GaPSC.
  • If you attempt to upload the application yourself, it will be rejected. It must be uploaded to the GaPSC by WGU. 


Step 5: Send an electronic copy of your Pre-Service Certificate to WGU Background Clearance Specialists when it is issued.

  • It takes approximately two weeks for the GaPSC to process your Pre-Service Certificate Application. You will receive an email from the GaPSC when your Pre-Service Certificate has been issued.  
  • Please upload in your Field Experience portal an electronic copy of your Pre-Service Certificate to DT Background Clearance so your background clearance requirement can be reviewed and marked as complete.
  • If it's been more than two weeks, you may wish to check your junk/spam email folders. A Georgia Pre-Service Certificate is valid for five years from the issuance date.  


Visit these links for important information:

Georgia Pre-Service Certificate Application

Georgia Background Clearance Information for Advanced Programs


Background questions please contact WGU Background Specialists at  or call 866-889-0132 option 3.



Article Number: 19518, 1286