Investigations and the Committee of Credentials
All allegations of misconduct that may result in discipline of a credential, except certain criminal charges or convictions that result in mandatory action without a hearing, must be presented to the Committee of Credentials. The committee is a panel of seven people, including public members and educators, who are appointed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Overview of the investigation process
The investigation process starts when the Division of Professional Practices sends the teacher a letter of inquiry. The letter explains why the Committee on Credentials is reviewing the teacher’s credential or credential application and requests a written response. If the committee does not close the investigation after the teacher responds in writing, it will offer the opportunity to submit additional information and to personally appear before the committee. The committee can then close the investigation with no discipline, or it can recommend to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing that the teacher be privately admonished, publicly reprimanded, or that the teacher’s credential be suspended or revoked.
Upon being notified of the recommendation, the teacher may request an administrative hearing. At the hearing, the teacher will have all of the rights afforded under the California Administrative Procedures Act.
What to do if you receive a letter of inquiry
If you receive a letter of inquiry from the Division of Professional Practices, you should contact your local California Teachers Association or other union representative immediately and request a referral to a Group Legal Services Program (GLSP) attorney. If you are not a member of a union that assists with attorney fees and costs, you may contact us directly. We will explain the process, along with the fees and costs associated with a credential investigation.
The Committee of Credentials investigation process is unique among professional licensing agencies in the State of California. While learning that your credential or credential application is under review can be frightening and create tremendous anxiety, the committee’s process provides an opportunity to present important information that can result in closing the case or minimizing the discipline that might be recommended.