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Professional Development

We at the American Montessori Society believe that continuing professional growth is a necessary component of best practice in Montessori teacher development.

Professional Development Requirement

For Those with Credentials Issued July 1, 2013 or Later

AMS requires that holders of AMS credentials issued on or after July 1, 2013 complete 50 hours of professional development every 5 years for the credential to remain active. If professional development hours are not completed within the 5-year period, the credential will be considered inactive—and, until the requirement is met, will no longer qualify you as an AMS-credentialed educator.

  • If your credential was issued July 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013: Regardless of the month in which your credential was issued, you have until December 31, 2018 to earn the 50 hours of CPD. This means that some of you will have more than 5 years to meet the requirement. It is a special concession we are extending to help ease the first cohort of AMS-credentialed teachers who are affected by the requirement into the process of meeting it.
  • If your credential was issued on or after January 1, 2014: You must complete the 50 hours of CPD within 5 years of when your credential was issued. Thus, for example, if your credential was issued in January 2014, you would need to complete your 50 hours of CPD by January 2019. If your credential was issued in December 2014, you would need to complete your 50 hours of CPD by December 2019.

The credential holder must keep a record of his or her professional development, and submit it to AMS using our PD log form.

For all credential holders: Log Your PD Hours

If you are located in China, please email AMS at:

For Instructors & Staff of Teacher Education Programs

AMS requires that instructors and directors of AMS-affiliated teacher education programs complete 30 hours of continuing professional development every 3 years. These hours may be applied toward the professional development requirement described above.

Events That Qualify

AMS Events

We enthusiastically encourage you to avail yourself of AMS professional development events, which provide Montessori-specific learning and growth opportunities in a variety of formats to best meet your needs. From in-person events such as conferences and retreats; to webinars and other online learning experiences; and more, we offer thought-provoking and enjoyable PD tailored to meet a comprehensive range of needs and interests.

Other Events

Our view of professional development is wide and we encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities for relevant learning that are offered by other organizations, schools, and groups, such as those listed on our Local Professional Development Events webpage, as long as they adhere to the guidelines lower down on this page.

Completed hours may be recorded in terms of contact hours, CPDs, continuing education units (CEUs) and/or credit hours:

  • Each hour of professional development will be considered equivalent to 1 CPD hour, unless otherwise noted by the host organization.
  • For coursework completed at an accredited college or university, 1 credit hour will be counted as 15 hours of continuing professional development.
  • CEUs are counted as equivalent to CPDs, unless otherwise defined within an event’s documentation.

Guidelines for Qualifying Events

Events that qualify for the AMS professional development requirement may be face-to-face or online and, and may address any of the topics on the list below. The event host must provide written verification attesting to your participation. Be sure to hold onto it; it is your proof of attendance. Professional development events do not need pre-approval by AMS to count towards the requirement, as long as they adhere to the guidelines below.


The following event topics qualify for the professional development requirement:

  • Montessori education and philosophy/pedagogy
  • Curriculum
  • Classroom management
  • Child development
  • Health, safety, and nutrition (excluding CPR, first aid, medication administration, exercise)
  • Peace education
  • Service learning
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership skills
  • Social/emotional issues
  • Special education and learning differences
  • Education research
  • Public or education policy
  • Technology training that will enhance the teacher’s use of technology with students or refine the teacher’s computer skills in ways that will improve his teaching  

Events that do not qualify: CPR, first aid, or medication administration training; exercise or yoga classes, unless they are related directly to teaching physical education to students; the reading of books, magazines, or journals; travel.

Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program

The American Montessori Society’s Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program is a professional development initiative designed to nurture the next generation of individuals highly qualified to assume leadership positions in our Montessori community.

Read More »

    Local Professional Development Events

    Local Events

    Check out these listings of events that meet the guidelines for AMS hours of professional development, and are hosted by relevant organizations worldwide.

    Read More »

      AMS Continuing Professional Development Hours

      Attending AMS-approved events can earn educators AMS hours of continuing professional development—and eventually, an AMS Certificate of Continuing Professional Development.

      Read More »

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