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IX. Continuing Education Guidelines (Section 17-103- 203)

 

A. Definition:

  1. Social Work Continuing Education (SWCE) has been defined as those formalized activities that are directed at developing and enhancing an individual's social work knowledge base and service delivery skills in the applicable areas of social planning, administration, education, research or direct service with individuals, couples, families, and groups. These activities may include short academic courses, audit courses in colleges and universities, independent study, internet courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, and lectures oriented toward enhancement of social work practice, values, skills, and knowledge.

  2. A SWCE Credit Hour represents one clock hour (60 minutes) of a SWCE activity. A credit hour represents actual time in the SWCE activity. For example, a workshop that begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break would provide 5 credit hours for the participants.

  3. Continuing Education Units are generally offered by colleges or universities at the rate of one CEU for each ten clock hours of instruction. A licensee receiving 2 CEU's would then have completed 20 SWCE credit hours.

  4. Academic Credit Hour: One academic credit hour is equivalent to fifteen (15) clock hours for the purpose of license renewal. Credit for auditing an academic course will be for the actual number of clock hours in attendance, not to exceed the academic credit.

B. Basic Requirements:

  1. Each licensee is required to complete 48 credit hours of SWCE during each two-year licensure period. Of the 48 hours, a minimum of three hours must be in professional ethics.

  2. SWCE may be documented on the form for reporting continuing education supplied by the Board or any other form provided the same information is presented. A typed or computerized list of training that is kept by the social worker's employer is acceptable for documentation. The list must include the same information as the form for reporting SWCE and the employer's name, address and phone number. The licensee and the licensee's supervisor or employer must sign the list certifying that the social worker was in attendance at all of the sessions listed.

  3. Documentation of the SWCE must be maintained by the licensee for a period of two years following the renewal date. A summary sheet will be mailed to the licensee with the notice of license renewal. The licensee must complete the summary sheet, sign it certifying his/her attendance at the workshops listed and return it to the Board with the renewal fee and application.

  4. After each renewal period, the Board will, in its discretion, audit a percentage of the renewal applications to ensure that the continuing education requirement has been met. Each licensee audited will be required to provide documentation of all the continuing education workshops listed on his/her summary sheet.

C. Examples of Acceptable Social Work Continuing Education (SWCE):

  1. Seminars, workshops, or mini-courses oriented to the enhancement of social work practice, values, skills and knowledge

    a. Cross disciplinary offerings from medicine, law, administration, education and the behavioral sciences are acceptable if they are clearly related to the enhancement of social work practices, values, skills and knowledge.

    b. Clock hour credit will be given for the actual number of hours in attendance.

    c. In-service training can be provided by the employer using presenters from the staff or from outside agencies.

    d. Training specifically related to policies and procedures of an agency may not be counted.

  2. Academic social work courses or social work related courses such as mental health, administration, health and social research, psychology, sociology, human growth and development, child and family development, counseling and guidance taken for credit or audited

    a. An official transcript may be used to verify courses taken for credit. One academic credit hour is equivalent to fifteen (15) clock hours for the purpose of license renewal. Credit for auditing will be for actual clock hours in attendance, not to exceed the academic credit.

  3. Presentation for the first time of an academic social work course, in-service training workshop or seminar, or other professional seminar.

    a. A copy of the course syllabus and verification that the course, workshop or seminar was presented may be used as documentation. The actual number of hours of presentation plus an equal number of hours for preparation will be allowed. A maximum of ten (10) clock hours will be allowed for preparation and presentation during each two-year licensure period.

  4. Preparation for the first time of a professional social work paper published in a recognized professional journal or given for the first time at a statewide or national professional meeting.

    a. A copy of the paper and verification of publication or presentation at a professional meeting must be submitted to the Board for evaluation and certification of the number of hours of credit to be allowed. A maximum of ten (10) clock hours will be allowed during each two-year licensure period.

  5. Independent home studies/internet courses that are directed at developing and enhancing the licensee's knowledge base and service delivery skills in the applicable areas of social planning, administration, education, research or direct service with individuals, couples, families and groups. A maximum of twenty (20) clock hours will be allowed during each two-year licensure period.

D. The Board does not have the capacity to preapprove all continuing education workshops. It is the licensee's responsibility, using his/her professional judgment, to determine the workshops that are applicable and appropriate to his/her professional development as a social worker.

  1. If a licensee submits documentation for training that is not clearly identifiable as SWCE, the Board will request a written description of the training and how it applies to the individual's professional development as a social worker. If the Board determines that the training cannot be considered SWCE, the individual will be given three months to replace the hours not allowed. Those hours will be considered replacement hours and cannot be counted during the next licensure period.

  2. Continuing education hours that are clearly not social work related will be unacceptable and the individual will not be given time to replace those hours.

  3. If credit is not given for the SWCE submitted, the licensee may request a hearing before the Board.

  4. Extenuating circumstances that prevent licensees from completing the continuing education requirement will be reviewed on an individual basis.