Levels of Certification Through The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI)


There are many organizations that offer Orton Gillingham training. In addition, there are trainings in various Orton Gillingham-based programs. It can be difficult for professionals and especially for parents to understand what level of expertise a particular teacher has. The Center for Effective Reading Instruction, or CERI, has created a certification system that clears up much of the confusion caused by differences in training.

This is the featured image for a blog post about certification through CERI.

What is CERI?

CERI stands for Center for Effective Reading Instruction. The CERI is an organization affiliated with the International Dyslexia Association or IDA for the purpose of certification and accreditation.

The CERI uses as its basis for certification and ongoing professional development the Knowledge and Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPS). These standards were created by the IDA. They represent a list of skills and knowledge necessary to teach literacy to all learners. These standards are the basis for the accreditation of training organizations.

Learn more about the KPS by listening to Season 2, Episode 18 of the Together in Literacy Podcast!

What are the Benefits of Applying for Certification through CERI?

Certification through the CERI is beneficial to the certificate holder in a number of ways.

  • When you are certified through CERI, you get a badge that you can use on social media or in your email signature as a way to show that you have reached this benchmark.
  • You also get a certificate that needs to be renewed periodically.
  • CERI has a provider directory in which you can be listed. Parents or other educators might use this directory to look for people with your qualifications.
  • Having the CERI certification is also valuable because it allows you to show that you genuinely have the skills and expertise that you profess.

There are no laws or guidelines when it comes to declaring yourself a Dyslexia Specialist. However, no one is a Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Therapist unless they have the CERI qualification.

A teacher undergoes training online.

The CERI certifications apply across different training organizations to help professionals with a high degree of expertise stand out. The certification also strives to help parents ensure that they are finding a highly qualified teacher to work with their students with dyslexia. This consistency helps administrators and professionals that may be looking to hire somebody with strong structured language experience.

It is not unusual when there are multiple accrediting organizations for there to be questions of reciprocity. Since not all types of training are available in all parts of the country, this would be a way to show that you have an equivalent level of expertise to somebody who was perhaps certified through a different program. For literacy teachers who relocate this could be particularly important.

What are the Levels of Certification Through CERI?

1. Structured Literacy Classroom Teacher Knowledge Certificate

The first tier of certification is the Structured Literacy Classroom Teacher Knowledge Certification. This certification states that a teacher is aware of and understands the principles of structured literacy education. However, they may not be prepared to utilize them in specialized instruction or remediation.

A teacher with this certification might incorporate aspects of structured literacy into tier one curriculum.

A classroom teacher works with a student.

The requirements for this level of certification include 45 hours of training and a passing score on the KPEERI exam. This exam ensures that the applicant is knowledgeable about the Knowledge and Practice standards (KPS). These standards include knowledge of reading acquisition, diverse reader profiles, assessment, knowledge of the principles and practices of structured literacy education, and professional practices, and expectations.

2. Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Interventionist

The second tier of certification is structured literacy interventionist (C-SLDI). This was previously known as a certified dyslexia practitioner. This is typically the certification level of someone working with tier 2 and 3 interventions, and those in private practice.

The requirements for this level of certification include completing an IDA-accredited training program with 90 hours of instruction and the completion of a practicum with at least one student.

3. Structured Literacy/Dyslexia Specialist

The third tier of certification is Certified Structured Literacy Dyslexia Therapist. This is the highest level of certification through CERI. This represents practitioners that are truly experts in the field of structured literacy instruction and continue to refine and update their knowledge through ongoing professional development.

The requirements for this level of certification include 135 hours of training, a practicum with three different students, and a passing score on the KPEERI exam.

If you are in structured literacy training, learn more about How To Get the Most Out of Your Structured Literacy Professional Development!

You can apply for certification through The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) here.

Certification through CERI helps ensure high levels of training and knowledge among professionals working with students with dyslexia. This is beneficial to students, families, and the practitioners themselves.

For monthly structured literacy professional development opportunities, sign up for Building Readers for Life Academy. Both educators and families are welcome!

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Building Readers for Life Academy is a monthly membership program that empowers educators AND families by diving into structured literacy and strategies for ALL learners. With BRFL Academy, you’ll learn what it takes to help EVERY student become a reader for life. We offer monthly and yearly membership options!

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