Continuing Education: FAQs

By what date do I have to have earned my continuing education units (CEUs) for this licensing renewal cycle?

The date for CEU renewal now corresponds with the license renewal date. All CEUs must be completed by September 30 of even-numbered years.

How many continuing education units do I need to accrue during a two-year cycle?

LCSW Continuing Education Requirements: 40 CEU hours per licensure period. CEU hours must be in suicide prevention. 6 CEU hours must be in ethics, law or technology. 15 CEU hours that are not real-time/interactive/live may count toward the total. 

CSW Continuing Education Requirements: 20 CEU hours of approved CEU's per licensure period. 2 CEU hours in Suicide Prevention. 6 CEU hours in ethics, law or technology.

SSW Continuing Education Requirements: 20 CEU hours of approved CEU's per licensure period. 2 CEU hours in Suicide Prevention. 6 CEU hours in ethics, law or technology.

How many of my CEUs may be earned through home study or online courses?

LCSWs may earn up to 15 hours per cycle through home study or online courses. CSWs and SSWs can earn up to 8 CEU hours that are not real time/interactive/live  No credit may be earned from reading professional journals or books.

How many continuing education units can I carry over into the next cycle?

LCSWs may carry over up to 10 CEUs into the next licensing cycle. CSWs and SSWs may carry over up to 5 CEU hours into the next licensure period.

If I get my LCSW license in the middle of a continuing education cycle, do I need to accrue the full 40 CEUs?

The number of hours you need to accrue is prorated from the time you received your license. For instance, if you become licensed in September of an odd-numbered year, you would need to accrue 20 of the 40 hours since you were licensed for half of the cycle. The same prorated system is used with the SSW and CSW license as well.

Can I get continuing education credit for teaching a workshop?

If you are audited by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing ( DOPL), you will be required to submit documentation of attendance at workshops and conferences, proof of completion of home study or online courses, and outlines of continuing education classes taught.

How do I keep track of my CEU hours?

NASW offers an online CEU tracking system for a low annual fee which you can access here.

What happens if I don’t meet the CEU requirement of 40 clock hours by the end of the recertification period?  

If you are audited by DOPL, you will be subject to review for unprofessional conduct.

How do I know if a workshop or conference has been approved?                                                                                                                              

Most workshop sponsors that seek NASW approval will include that information in their promotional materials. The NASW, Utah Chapter website lists upcoming workshops that have been reviewed and approved by the NASW Continuing Education Committee. If you have any questions about an event's approval status, contact the NASW office.

What if I attend a workshop or conference that has not received NASW, Utah Chapter continuing education approval?

Keep the conference brochure, any handouts you receive, and your certificate of attendance. If you are audited, DOPL will decide if the conference meets the criteria for approval. You may also submit an Individual CEU Application and receive an approval decision from our Continuing Education Committee.

Why is NASW approval important?

If a conference or workshop has received Utah Chapter, NASW approval, you can be assured that the event has met the NASW criteria for continuing education approval and that it will be accepted by DOPL when you are renewing your license. Based on a large number of agencies and organizations seeking NASW approval, such approval is very valuable to sponsors and attendees.

Who submits CEU applications?

Agencies that are sponsoring clinical conferences submit the Social Work Continuing Education Sponsorship Applications for review by NASW.

What is the deadline for submitting a workshop application?

The NASW Continuing Education Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month (unless a holiday interferes), and applications are due by the third Wednesday of each month. Applicants will receive an approval email several days after the meeting or if additional information is needed, a call from a member of the Continuing Education Committee.

Why do some workshops advertise that they "meet DOPL requirements” and others advertise "approved by NASW?"

The Social Work Rules of the Mental Health Practice Act require continuing education for licensed clinical social workers, as set forth by the Utah State Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. The DOPL requirements spell out those continuing education activities that qualify for approval. A workshop sponsor may choose not to apply for NASW approval and may advertise that, in the opinion of the sponsor, the workshop meets DOPL’s requirements. It then becomes the responsibility of the social worker to decide if he or she feels comfortable attending the workshop under those conditions. Most workshop sponsors choose to seek NASW approval so that the participants are assured that the workshop meets the criteria for continuing education approval. A workshop may not advertise that it has received NASW approval if it has not completed the application process. This sometimes does happen, usually as a result of oversight or error, but most workshop sponsors are diligent about following procedures. NASW does deal with sponsors who falsely advertise and may impose sanctions such as publishing the names of workshop sponsors who intentionally falsify NASW approval in the newsletter.

Why do some workshop classes receive NASW credit, while others do not?

The NASW Continuing Education Committee reviews workshop applications using a set of criteria that has been developed and approved by the Chapter and which is in greater detail than the DOPL requirements. The criteria include: requirements that the workshop or conference have components such as identified educational objectives with theoretical and clinical outcomes; have a meaningful and current theory and practical content which increases the participant’s professional competence; have academically qualified instructors; be clearly planned and organized and deal with social work practice, professional responsibility and ethical obligation; plus many other criteria. For the complete text of the Criteria for Continuing Education activities, click here.

Sometimes a workshop is advertised for a certain number of credit hours and then the CEU certificate indicates a different number approved. Why?

Workshops frequently advertise that they have "applied to NASW for 6 hours” or "6 hours are pending approval.” The brochures may be mailed out before the sponsor is granted NASW approval. If the workshop is then approved for a different number of hours, it is the responsibility of the sponsor to let the registrants know. The Continuing Education Committee attempts to work with the sponsors to rearrange their workshop hours so that full credit can be given. We understand the frustration that situations such as this create.

Why do some workshops refuse to give out CEU certificates until the workshop is over

The short answer is because they are doing it right! Participants really should not receive certificates of completion until they have completed the training, and participants have the ethical responsibility to honor that procedure.

The Law

What the Social Work Licensing Act Rules say about continuing education:

R156-60-105. Continuing Education.

(1) Required Hours. In accordance with Subsection 58-60-105(1) and Section 58-60-205.5, during each two-year renewal cycle commencing on October 1 of each even-numbered year:

(a) An LCSW shall be required to complete not fewer than 40 hours of continuing education. A minimum of six of the 40 hours shall be completed in ethics and/or the law and 2 hours in suicide prevention.
(b) An SSW and CSW shall be required to complete not fewer than 20 hours of continuing education of which a minimum of six contact hours shall be completed in ethics and/or the law and two hours in suicide prevention.
(c) The required number of hours of continuing education for an individual who first becomes licensed during the two-year renewal cycle shall be decreased in a pro-rata amount.
(d) The Division may defer or waive the continuing education requirements as provided in Section R156-1-308d.

(2) A continuing education course shall meet the following standards:

(a) be relevant to the licensee's scope of practice 
(b) have a method of verification of attendance and completion
(c) be prepared and presented by individuals who are qualified by education, training, and experience to provide CE; and

(d) be approved by, conducted by, or under the sponsorship of one of the following: 
(i) a recognized accredited college or university; 
(ii)  a county, state, or federal agency; 
(iii)  a professional association or similar body involved in mental health therapy; 
(iv)  a mental health agency that provides mental health services; or 
(v)  the Division.

(3) A licensee may recognize CE credit as follows:

(a)  for the following forms of education, one CE hour for each 50 minutes of education: 
(i) lectures;
(ii) seminars;
(iii) conferences;
(iv) training sessions;
(v) real-time, interactive distance learning courses that are clearly documented as real-time and interactive; 
(vi) specialty certifications;
(b) for college or university credit courses directly related to the licensee's scope of practice, three CE hours per semester hour, or 1.5 CE hours per quarter hour.
(c)  for distance learning courses that are not real-time and interactive, one hour of CE for each hour, up to a maximum of: 

(i) 15 CE hours for an LCSW; 

(ii) eight hours for an SSW or CSW;
(d) for each hour of lecturing or instructing a CE course or teaching in a college or university in the licensee's profession, two CE hours, or one hour for an SW, up to a maximum of:
(iten CE hours for an LCSW;
(ii) five CE hours for an SSW or CSW;

(4A licensee shall maintain adequate documentation as proof of compliance with this section for a period of two years after the end of the renewal cycle for which the CE is due.  At minimum, the documentation for each course taken shall include:
(a) name of attendee;
(b) name of course provider;
(c) name of instructor;
(d) date of course;
(e) title of course;
(f) number of CE hours;
(g) course objectives; 
(h) type of CE albeit a seminar, real-time interactive distance learning, teaching.