P.O. Box 94987

Lincoln, NE 68509-4987



Nebraska Provisional Trades Teaching Certificate


To assist Nebraska schools in the employment and certification of persons who are qualified to teach specialized areas of vocational education in areas of expertise that are not normally available on regular teaching certificates, The Nebraska Department of Education issues, to those who meet the qualifications, Provisional Trades Certificates. These certificates--known as "TRADES" certificates--are usually issued to persons who have a special field of vocational expertise.


Through the cooperation of the Nebraska School Activities Association and the Nebraska Department of Education, arrangements have been made to allow persons who are not trained as teachers to receive a teaching certificate to permit them to serve as coaches of school sports/teams in Nebraska. This action was taken to address the shortage of persons who are appropriately trained to serve as coaches in our schools.

In order to protect the health and welfare of the student who will play, practice and compete under the direction of these coaches, a number of specific requirements apply to the issuance of this certificate. Some of these requirements apply to all teaching certificates. The training requirements, approved by the Coaches Education Committee of the Nebraska School Activities Association, apply only to those persons who apply for the ‘coaching on trades’ form of teacher certification.

The Provisional Trades Certificate

The provisional trades certificate is one of several types of certificates issued by the Nebraska Department of Education. It is issued to persons who have a special skill, usually of a vocational nature (not usually available on a regular teaching certificate) which needs to be included in the school program of offerings. The certificate must carry the name of the area of specialization--this is called the ‘endorsement’. The Provisional Trades Certificate allows teaching only in the area of endorsement.

Endorsements are available in a virtually unlimited number of trade areas. See ‘Other Endorsements" on a separate page of this publication.

One of the endorsements which may be placed on the Provisional Trades Certificate is the coaching endorsement. It is unusual because this endorsement is also placed on regular teaching certificates and on administrative and supervisory certificates and because it usually does not represent a career field or trade in which the applicant earns a living; instead, it is an area of interest or avocational skill. This endorsement indicates that the person holding the certificate has had specialized training in sports management, recreation, theory of coaching, management of injuries and other knowledge appropriate to the responsibilities of being a coach.

How to Apply

The Provisional Trades Certificate is issued only upon the request of a school system. Therefore, the first step in making any application for a Provisional Trades Certificate is to contact the office of the local school system and inquire if it is employing persons with your specializations (area of endorsement) to teach.

The requirements for the first issuance of the Provisional Trades Certificate, regardless of endorsement, are:

1) Complete the application form^

2) Pay the application fee^

3) Submit, with the application, a written request for the issuance of the certificate from the Superintendent of the employing school system or from the governing body of the school system or from the personnel director of the employing school system.^

4) Pass one of the prescribed basic skills competency tests required of teachers and have a score report sent to the Department of Education, Teacher Certification Office.*

5) Successfully complete a human relations training class required of all Nebraska teachers and have the official transcript (not a grade report) sent to the Teacher Certification Office.*

6) Successfully complete a three semester hour course in a four year college which trains teachers on special education (this should be a survey course covering all handicapping conditions).*

7) If fingerprinting is required (see the application form for more information) submit fingerprints as specified in the special fingerprint memo and use the special fingerprint envelope, available from the Department of Education and pay the additional $40 for fingerprinting. **

The first Provisional Trades Certificate is valid for one year. All renewals are valid for three years. All renewals require meeting those requirements in the above list which are followed by the ^ symbol and verifying that, within three years of the date of application, actual teaching or coaching has occurred or that three semester hours of college credit in the area of endorsement has been completed.

The renewed Provisional Trades Certificate is valid for three years and may be renewed for an unlimited number of times by meeting the requirements indicated by the ^symbol and the verification of experience referenced previously or the completion of three semester hours of credit (see above).

*Persons who have not completed one, two or all three of these requirements but who are employed in a Nebraska school system may be eligible to receive a one year temporary certificate which can usually be renewed for one more year. The requirements which are not met must be completed to receive any further certification.

**Persons who have submitted fingerprints but for whom the report of the fingerprint investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not yet completed, may be eligible to receive a conditional permit, allowing teaching to be done. A self-reporting form must be submitted with the certificate application. This form is available from the teacher certification office.

Who is Responsible to See That the Limitations on the Trades Certificate are not exceeded or violated?

Both the employing school and the individual teacher are expected to keep such records as may be necessary to be sure that the limitations on the Trades certificate are not violated. The major limitations are 1.) Teaching may only be done in the area of endorsement on the certificate, and, 2.) No substitute teaching is authorized by any Trades certificate, and 3.) teaching may be done only in the school system named on the certificate.

If you have further questions about Provisional Trades certificates or about teacher certification in general, contact your local school administrator or the teacher certification office.

Requirements for the COACHING ENDORSEMENT on the Provisional Trades Certificate (‘coaching on trades’) Applicants must meet the requirements for the certificate (see details elsewhere) as well as for this endorsement.

Complete ACEP (American Coaching Effectiveness Program)/NFICEP (National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Education Program) - this program consists of coaching principles and sports first aid....or ...Complete PACE (Program for Athletic Coaches Education)...or...Complete the following six courses from a college with an approved teacher education program - the six courses must be approved by the Nebraska School Activities Association (1) Prevention, care and management of injuries (2) Risk management (3) Growth, Development and Learning (4) Training, conditioning and nutrition (5) Psychology of coaching (6) Coaching theory and methods.

Submit a certificate of completion of these coach’s education programs or an official transcript showing completion of the appropriate college hours with the application for certification.

No ‘coaching or trades’ certificate will be issued if at least one of these training programs is not completed. A partial completion of the chosen program of training will not result in certification.

Contact the Nebraska School Activities Association to learn when these training sessions will be offered in your area. Call (402)489-0386 or write to: Nebraska School Activities Association, 8230 Beechwood Dr., Lincoln, NE 68510

Requirements for OTHER ENDORSEMENTS on the Provisional Trades Certificate--

Other trade or industrial endorsements on a Provisional Trades Certificate, such as welding, auto body, construction trades and other true ‘trades areas’ are based on one or more of the following qualifiers: 1) completion of a prescribed course of study in a community college or other technical trade institution. 2) completion of an apprenticeship program in the trade. 3) passing a proficiency examination approved by the particular trade or industry. 4) demonstrated proficiency in the trade over five years of employment in the trade. or 5) current employment by a community college as an instructor to teach the specific trade or skill.

Unlike coaching, these endorsements, generally, are NOT available through traditional teacher training and do not appear on a regular teaching certificate.

Requirements for the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) endorsement on the Provisional Trades Certificate.

This endorsement requires four years of full time experience in the military as well as a recommendation from a former military supervisor.

Remember--in addition to these requirements for the endorsement, the requirements for the certificate, as explained in How to Apply, must also be satisfied.

Questions and Answers about the Provisional Trades Teaching Certificate

Q: Is it possible for a person who wants to teach to secure this form of certification without ever having been to college?

A: Yes. Coaching, vocational trades and ROTC endorsements are all available without college credit.

Q: Is it possible for a person to secure the "Coaching on Trades" certificate on short notice if an emergency arises in a school coaching staff?

A: Not usually. The requirements for the certificate itself are quite extensive and the requirements for the endorsement in coaching include further expectations including an extensive training program. If all these requirements had been met, the certificate could be issued quickly.

Q: What is a ‘conditional permit’?

A: Applicants for this certification who have not met the residency requirement are required to submit fingerprints in qualifying for the certificate; since the issuance of the final ‘criminal history report’ sometimes takes several months, a conditional permit can be issued, if all other requirements are met, to allow the person to teach. As soon as the background check is completed, the certificate is issued and the conditional permit is canceled.

Q: Can I teach other subjects in the school besides the one(s) that are endorsed on my Provisional Trades Certificate?

A: No.

Q: Can I serve as a substitute teacher in the school with a Provisional trades Certificate?

A: No.

Q: Can I teach in more than one school system?

A: No. The certificate will carry the name of the school system which originally requested the issuance of the Certificate. Teaching is restricted to any of the schools in that school system.

Q: With a Coaching endorsement on a Provisional Trades Certificate, am I allowed to coach the physical education classes in the school day?

A: No. Coaching refers to after-school activities. The physical education teaching assignment requires a physical education endorsement; this endorsement is not available on a Trades certificate.

Q: Does the "Coaching On Trades’ certificate allow me to serve as a head coach or only as an assistant coach?

A: The Department of Education does not restrict the endorsement in such a manner. It is possible however, that the employing school system and/or the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) will place such restrictions on the certificate. Check with the appropriate authorities for further information.

Q: Does the ‘Coaching on Trades’ certificate cover more than one sport? Can the Certificate-holder coach throughout the school year?

A: Yes.

Q: Is there any limit on the number of days or games or number of classes or sports that may be taught during the school year?

A: No. There is no limit on any of the items mentioned above. There are limits in other areas, however, these are the school system in which teaching may occur, and the titles or names of the classes taught.

Q: When I receive my certificate or conditional permit, what should I do with it?

A: You should receive a separate brochure entitled "Your Nebraska Teaching Certificate." This will explain the need to register the certificate with the county superintendent in the county(ies) in which you will teach. You may also be required by your employer to bring your certificate to the superintendent’s office or the office of the Director of Personnel.

Q: Is the person who holds Provisional Trades Certificate able to teach in the elementary grades?

A: All endorsements on Nebraska teaching certificates have a ‘level’ assigned to them to indicate the grade levels at which teaching may occur. The coaching endorsement, ROTC endorsements, and virtually all vocational trades endorsements on the Provisional Trades Certificate, are limited to secondary grades.

Q: Who has to submit fingerprints? How is it done? What effect does it have?

A: Anyone who has not maintained continuous Nebraska residency for the five years prior to applying for the teaching certificate is required to submit fingerprints and an additional $40 fingerprinting fee. Persons who have previously held a Nebraska teaching certificate may have this requirement waived. The Department of Education, teacher certification office, upon request, will provide detailed instructions on how to go about having your fingerprints taken, we well as providing you with the fingerprint cards, a special envelope for mailing your cards when they are complete, and a ‘self-reporting form’ which is explained elsewhere in this publication. Applicants for certification from whom fingerprints are required, will not receive a certificate until a report from the identification agencies is received by the Department of Education. This may be several months. The conditional permit (see information elsewhere) allows them to begin to work in the school(s) before the actual certificate is issued.

Q: Can a person send in fingerprints without making an application for a certificate and then make application after the report comes back from the FBI and NSP?

A: No. The Department of Education is authorized in statute to submit fingerprints only from people who are applicants (for a certificate).