Certified Instructional Leader Program

A program designed to promote the highest standards of school instructional leadership offered by the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS).


The Certified Instructional Leader (CIL) program was established in 2013 to promote the highest standards of instructional leadership through the credentialing of school administrators.  The CIL program is designed to identify educational leaders who demonstrate the knowledge and skills which are essential to the practice of effective instructional leadership.  The purposes of the CIL certification program are to:

  • establish the body of knowledge for instructional leaders;
  • assess the level of knowledge demonstrated by instructional leaders in a valid and reliable manner;
  • encourage professional growth in the field of educational leadership;
  • formally recognize individuals who meet the requirements set by the CIL Commission; and
  • serve the school stakeholders by encouraging quality instructional leadership.

The CIL Commission, with the assistance and advice of proven instructional leaders, has attempted to develop a credential that will recognize accepted levels of expertise in the profession with the goal of improving professional standards in the educational leader profession. However, no certification program can guarantee professional competence. In addition, given the diverse makeup of Pre K - 12 schools, the CIL Commission cannot guarantee student or teacher growth.  The CIL Commission welcomes constructive comments and suggestions from the Pre K - 12 stakeholders and the profession.

The CIL program designates those who have completed the rigorous coursework and in field experiences identified by CLAS & the CIL Faculty as essential to the instructional leader role.  Achieving CIL status will be obtained after completing, in a cohort framework, extensive coursework and provide evidence of systemic, systemized, job-embedded implementation of the tasks necessary for competent instructional leadership.  The candidate must also commit to ongoing professional development to remain abreast of current practices in instructional leadership.

 Note: Applicant must be a building-level administrator (principal or assistant principal) who directly supervises curriculum and instruction.