The Professional Services Division at the Commission on Teacher Credentialing provides opportunities for professional educators to become involved in the statewide accreditation system for California.

  • Become a Member of the Board of Institutional Reviewers (BIR).
  • Participate in a Program Document Review Session. - Please note: BIR training and membership is NOT required to participate in a Document Review Session. See Below.

Participating in a Program Document Review Session is one of the most effective ways to gain professional development experience without having to commit to a full BIR training session. Below you will find all of the information you need to learn more about participating in a review session.

Why Participate in Document Review Sessions?
The accreditation system for California emphasizes the essential participation of professional educators in the review of Initial Program documents as well as Program Assessment documents. Participation in a review session is also an excellent preview of what is involved when becoming a member of the Board of Institutional Reviewers (BIR).

Participation in the Program Review process:

Adds value for anyone preparing for their institution's accreditation site visit

Provides insight for writing a response for the institution's program submission

Provides an opportunity to review revised program standards

Provides a unique professional development opportunity

Gives readers a chance to network with their reading partners and discuss strategies for an effective submission

Gives back to the profession and assists programs and educators as we all strive for excellence

Who Qualifies to Read Documents?
While it is preferred that participants in the reading sessions are members of the BIR and have been trained over a multi-day training system, we still invite professional educators that have not had an opportunity to attend a BIR training to participate in the document review process. Deans, associate deans, program directors, and those exceptionally qualified to review standards in one or more of the standard areas (Teaching and Service Credentials, Common Standards, Single Subject Matter Preparation Programs) are invited to participate in the document review process and are accepted on a case-by-case basis. BIR members are eligible for Cost Recovery In-Kind Credit.

How do Document Review Sessions Work?
Review sessions start with an online calibration session which must be completed by the reader prior to traveling to the reading location or reviewing remotely. Readers are required to re-calibrate every 12 months.

There are three types of review sessions:

  • On Location: On location reading sessions are held at a specific location such as the Commission or at an institution. Readers must travel to the location of the reading and Commission staff are at the reading session to provide guidance. Reading sessions are typically two days. Readers are not required to attend the second day if it doesn’t work in their schedule; however attending the first day is important to attend.
  • Dedicated Day Remote: Dedicated day remote reading sessions are coordinated on a specific set of dates, however readers do not travel. The morning of the first session begins with a conference call with all participants and Commission staff for a final calibration discussion and a brief question and answer period for the group. The remainder of the day should be dedicated to reading the documents and providing feedback. Commission staff will be available for questions via technology (phone, email, etc.) for both days of the reading. Readers are to participate in a location of their choosing where they will be free from distraction, able to maintain document confidentiality, and will be available to work via technology for both days.
  • Remote Review, non-Dedicated Day: Experienced readers may be sent documents at any time to review. A return date for feedback is established and readers agree to provide feedback by that date. Questions may be asked of CTC staff by email at any time throughout the reading process but may not be answered immediately.

Once feedback is completed and sent to program sponsors, the institution will have time to submit an additional response to the feedback.

Program resubmissions in response to reader feedback are sent to readers via email When reviewing in a pair, both readers must collaborate on every round of the review. The subsequent rounds of review often require minimal time; however, individuals should only sign up for a reading if they can commit to timely completion of the additional work beyond the initial review.

What is the Typical Schedule of a Document Review Session?

Registration: Opens 2-3 months prior to the review date.

Confirmation: 3 weeks prior to the review date an email will be sent providing the link to the online calibration as well as travel or conference call information. Note: It is important to read the email in its entirety and to reply, confirming your attendance (in person or virtual).

  • Calibration Prior to Reading Session: Readers complete the online calibration session on their own time. The online calibration will take approximately 90 minutes and is available 24 hours a day.
  • Review Days: Readers arrive at the reading location or join a conference call (remote) at 9:00 a.m. A short calibration review and question and answer session takes place during the first thirty minutes. Readers then have the entire day to read the document and provide feedback. The second day of the reading begins at 8:30 a.m. To accommodate travel the reading ends at 4pm. Please keep the scheduled start and ending times in mind when reserving flights.
  • After the initial review: Readers are sent the program resubmission via email. Readers review the response, amend their feedback and send it to the Commission within approximately two weeks of receipt. The back and forth process can take as many rounds as necessary to complete, however it is typical to see one to three passes of the document. Programs are careful to indicate their new information in a manner that saves the readers time and makes it easy to find the added information. Please keep in mind that if you do not complete your document at the initial reading we ask that you both take it with you to finish up and return the document to the commission within two weeks.

What Kind of Documents are Read?
Two type of program documents are read: Initial Program Review Documents (IPR) and Program Assessment Documents (PA):

  • IPR Documents are proposals submitted to the Commission from institutions wishing to start up a new program. More information on IPR
  • PA Documents are from programs that are already operating and are a required part of the accreditation cycle. Each cohort must submit them in year four of the accreditation cycle. More information on PA

How do I Register for Document Review Sessions?
Participants must register for each individual date as the registration link becomes active. Registration is opened up approximately two months prior to the scheduled date. Review dates are posted weekly through the PSD E-News.

DateLocationRegister Online
April 15-16, 2015Southern California - Brandman University IrvieRegister
May 20-21, 2015Commission Office - SacramentoRegister
Watch PSD News for information on upcoming reading session dates
Updated June 26, 2023