Act 48


Ensuring that all Pennsylvania children receive the high-quality education that they deserve requires an effective teacher in every classroom and school and district leadership that is focused on raising achievement. The Commonwealth’s educators – from the classroom teacher to the district superintendent – are the most important components of Pennsylvania’s strategy for educational success.

As professionals in an ever-changing knowledge-based society, the state’s educators are required to continuously upgrade their skill-set – just as it is an expectation for lawyers and doctors. Pennsylvania’s professional development law, known as Act 48 of 1999, describes the requirements that apply to all certified educational professionals.

The professional education plan of each school entity shall be designed to meet the education needs of that school entity and its professional employees, so that they may meet the specific needs of students. Professional development must be based on sound research and promising practices, and it must be part of an approved plan for building educators’ skills over the long term.

Each school entity in Pennsylvania – including school districts, intermediate units, area career and technical centers and charter schools, the Scotland School and the Scranton State School for the Deaf – is required to submit a Professional Education Plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The Pennsylvania Department of Education will approve or reject each plan; a plan that is rejected must be revised and resubmitted. The Professional Education Plan sets out each school entity’s strategy for training school personnel at all stages of their careers. School entities are required to examine their student-level data, determine their professional education goals from the data, design an action plan with activities that meet their identified needs, and then evaluate the effectiveness of the training.

All certified educators must then complete every five years 180 hours of professional development that is related to an area of the professional educator’s assignment or certification and, if the educator is employed by a school entity, complies with their school entity’s plan. The 180-hour requirement can be met with six college credits, six credits of continuing professional education courses, 180 clock hours of continuing professional education, or any combination of collegiate studies, continuing professional education courses or other programs, activities or learning experiences equivalent to 180 hours. For the purposes of calculating hours and credits, one credit of collegiate study or continuing professional education course is equivalent to 30 hours of continuing professional education.


The Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership (PIL) Program is a statewide, standards-based continuing professional education program for school and system leaders. The comprehensive, cohort-based program is focused on developing the capacity of leaders to improve student achievement. The program is offered by the Department of Education in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Intermediate Units and other partners at eight regional sites (see accompanying map). Each of the eight sites is administered by a PIL Regional Site Coordinator.

Act 45/PIL Requirements and Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership Program Information

All Act 48 activities at IU9 move through the Curriculum Office. Do not hesitate to call with your questions or concerns regarding professional development for educators.

For more information contact:

Cindy Murphy