CLRN certification

The California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) is supported by the California Department of Education to review online courses for both content and quality. The CLRN content review determines which California Content Standards or Common Core State Standards are met by online courses and examines the extent to which the material is covered and assessed. CLRN also reviews courses against iNACOL’s Standards for Quality Online Courses, a set of 52 criteria all online courses seeking “a-g” approval must be assessed against as a prerequisite for submission to UC.

CLRN certification vs. self-assessment

To fulfill the first step of the two-step online course "a-g" review process, a course will either earn CLRN certification OR the institution will conduct a self-assessment of the course against the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Courses. These two processes are not interchangeable and there are distinct instances when one assessment process is used in place of the other.

Type of Institution / Online Education Program

CLRN Certification


Online course publishers serving public schools



Online course publishers serving only private institutions


Public high schools opening home-grown online courses only to students within their district


Public high schools opening home-grown online courses to students outside of their district



Private high schools

*In place of CLRN certification for courses that do not align with a set of content standards, institutions will conduct a self-assessment of their course against the iNACOL course standards.For a list of courses eligible for CLRN review, please visit the CLRN website.

Institutions that purchase or license online courses from an online course publisher will not complete the CLRN certification or self-assessment processes. It is the responsibility of the online course publisher to complete the appropriate assessment process before submitting their course to UC for "a-g" approval.

What is CLRN certification?

Only those online courses that are CLRN-certified can be submitted to UC for “a-g” review. Certification by CLRN does not guarantee UC “a-g” approval. The University’s subject area analysts still need to review the online course to determine if the content meets UC’s criteria for “a-g” approval. All CLRN-certified, UC-approved online “a-g” courses must be resubmitted to CLRN and UC every three years.

CLRN-certified courses must:

Submitting a course to CLRN

Online course publishers serving public institutions and teacher-created online courses from public institutions that are open to students outside of the local district may begin the certification process by submitting the appropriate course materials and forms to CLRN for courses that align with the California Content or Common Core State Standards. For courses that do not clearly align with a set of content standards, these institutions may conduct a self-assessment

CLRN has provided a list of courses eligible for their review as well as online course review tutorials to assist publishers and schools with the certification process .