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ERS Project & Community Resources

ERS-3 Certification

UPDATE: Effective January 2023, we will no longer be providing virtual ERS-3 certification. All certifications will be done in-person.

Want to deepen your knowledge of the Environment Rating Scales (ERS)? ERS Certification is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the scales with the support of our state anchors. Certification in the Environment Rating Scales provides early childhood professionals with a live opportunity to use the skills gained in training. Being certified shows that you are capable of observing in classrooms using the Environment Rating Scales and that you have additional expertise. Participants wishing to go through the certification process should use the Certification Request Form to submit a separate request for each scale they want to certify in. ERS-3 certification is conducted in a classroom with a member of the Quality Advancement Team and you. You will observe for three hours together and then debrief off site after the observation to discuss scores and rationale. After the debrief, you will complete a feedback report using a Clayton template. This report is to solidify your understanding of the scale and to provide the ECE provider with feedback from your visit. Certification is valid for one year, and participants must go through the process every year to maintain certification. If your certification lapses, re-training on the Environment Rating Scale will be required. 

Prerequisites: To become certified for the first time, completion of Environment Rating Scale (ERS) Training within the last 12 months for the scale you are certifying in is required. If you maintain certification by recertifying annually and not allowing your certification to lapse, ERS training is not required again. There are three different ways you can meet this requirement:

  1. Clayton Full-day ERS Training: This is an eight-hour deep dive course where you will practice scoring, review the scale in-depth, and learn more about the research and rationale behind the scale's criteria. A copy of the scale is also provided.
  2. ERS PDIS Training: Clayton collaborated with our state Instructional Design Team at CDHS to develop the content of these trainings. These are free, self-paced two-hour trainings that provide a high-level review of the scale and how to prepare for observation, including what to expect from your Colorado Shines assessor. Please complete both the Introduction and Overview courses (links below).
  3. ERSI ERS Training: There are six different levels of training available (in-person, online self-study, virtual instructor-led, etc.) and these trainings provide different levels of depth into the scale content. More information here

If you pursue options two and three above, certificate(s) of completion must be provided to the Advancement Team prior to scheduling your certification. You will also need to purchase a scale prior to your certification if you chose either of these options. 

PDIS ERS Training Links
Login-in to PDIS here and search for the ERS-3 training(s) listed below. 

  • Introduction to the Environment Rating Scales, Third Editions (ECERS-3 & ITERS-3)
  • Overview of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (ECERS-3)
  • Overview of the Infant and Toddler Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (ITERS-3)
  • Introduction to the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (FCCERS-3)
  • Overview of the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale, Third Edition (FCCERS-3)

Taking at least one Cultural training is highly recommended, but not required. There are cultural PDIS trainings (links below) available for this purpose, but there could be other options in the community as well. 

PDIS Cultural Training Links
Login-in to PDIS here and search for the training(s) listed below. 

  • Recognizing the Impact of Bias on Early Childhood Professionals: This is a one-hour course that explores how bias impacts relationships and decisions.
  • Culturally Responsive Care (Infant and Toddler Care Sequence): This is a one-hour course that defines culturally responsive care and how culture affects interactions with children and families. 


Looking for training? We are excited to announce that all of our amazing trainings can be found on Colorado's Professional Development Information System (PDIS) website. We are providing both in-person and virtual options along with both full-day and mini trainings. Click the button below to login to PDIS to find and register for training!