Preparing for Focus Recertification for Evaluators/ Observers of Teachers


DPI requires evaluators of teachers:

  • Pass the Focus certification assessment before conducting observations and evaluations of teachers.
  • Complete calibration activities every semester between certification assessments.  
  • Pass the recertification assessment every 4 years after the initial achievement of certification.

Structure of the Recertification Assessment

Time to Complete

The Recertification Assessment should take about 2.5 hours to complete, but there is only a 6-hour window once it’s started to complete it.  It must be completed in one sitting.  The Recertification Assessment is to be taken independently, not in a collaborative environment.

If recertification is not achieved, evaluators may take the test again after a 14-day waiting period. It is recommended that users use that time to revisit Observer Training and Scoring Practice as needed. If recertification is not achieved in 2 attempts, the district/charter EE Coordinator must contact Technical Support to have the assessment reset within the account.


The Recertification Assessment consists of four videos that are approximately 15 minutes in length. Videos are of classrooms from the observer’s selected grade span within the system.  The assessment is similar to the video scoring portion of the initial Proficiency Assessment.  There are no multiple choice items.

Recertification Criteria

To achieve recertification, a minimum score of 60 points out of a total 96 must be received. Users may receive full, partial, or no credit for each component score.

  • Full credit:  User score is in exact agreement with the master score
  • Partial credit:  User score is adjacent to the master score, meaning that it is one level higher or lower that the master score
  • No credit:  User score is discrepant with the master score, meaning that it is two or more levels higher or lower than the master score

Results will be available immediately upon completion of the assessment.

 Resources for Preparation to Complete the Recertification Assessment

This information has been created as a separate resource for easy print, email, or URL/digital distribution to evaluators/observers.

 Testing Tips

While completing the assessment, remember:

  • Review the instructions thoroughly.  They are presented in the system immediately before you start. Print and save a copy for your reference if needed.
  • The Recertification Assessment is to be taken independently, not in a collaborative environment or manner.
  • If you click on “Quit Assessment” before you complete the assessment, your recertification status will be determined based on the portion completed.
  • Set aside enough time to complete the assessment in an environment where you will not be interrupted.
  • Have a printed copy of the Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument (Observable Components) in front of you while completing the assessment.  This can be downloaded and printed from the Resources on the right-hand side of the Focus Overview (landing) page, in the Help section of Focus, and buttons within the Recertification Assessment. The version of the Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument used in the system is slightly different from other published versions of the Framework. Therefore, print out the PDFs available in Focus rather than using a version that you already have.
  • Wear a headset while watching the videos to reduce any outside distractions or noises and enhance the audio from the video itself.
  • Connect to the internet through a cable (‘hard-wired’) rather than rely on WIFI access.
  • Videos in the Recertification Assessment can only be viewed in one pass.  You will not be able to rewind or fast-forward the videos.

 Study Tips

  • Review Observer Training and Scoring Practice as needed, based on your performance on Calibration exercises.
  • Review the Minimizing Bias module in Observer Training and your personal list of biases and preferences in order to keep them in check and to help you score accurately.
  • You may collaborate with others in preparation for the assessment to improve your accuracy.  However, the assessment must be completed independently.

 Access to the Recertification Assessment

Login using your username and password at

See Accessing and Preparing for the Recertification Assessment

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