CONTINUING EDUCATION REGULATIONS
LICENSED SOCIAL WORKERS
This fact sheet is geared toward individual LMSW’s and LCSW’s and covers the requirements for the continuing education credits for LMSW’s and LCSW’s. Providers of continuing education who would like to know more about the requirements of providers should contact the NASW/CT office.
Those Required To Attain Continuing Education Credits (CEC): All LMSW’s and LCSW’s licensed in Connecticut, after their initial renewal of the license, are required to attain 15 hours of continuing education annually (which is defined as your license year). Training in cultural competence and veterans is required (see section below on “Required Topics”). Newly licensed LMSW’s and LCSW’s do not have to get CEC’s until they renew their license for the first time. At the point of that initial renewal the clock begins ticking and the CEC’s become required during the following twelve months that constitutes your license year. Thereafter you must get the annual 15 hours of CEC’s for continued renewal of the license.
School Social Workers: Certified school social workers in CT who hold the professional educator certificate can use their Department of Education approved CEU’s toward the LMSW and LCSW CEC requirement.
Required Topics: There are two topic areas that are required. The first is a requirement for 1 hour per license year on cultural competence. For more information on what qualifies to meet this requirement go to http://naswct.org/continuing-education/ce-regulations/ce-requirement-cultural-competence/ The second topic, effective as of January 1, 2016, is all licensees must get 2 hours of training on veterans and/or veterans families within the 12 months following renewing the license in 2016 and then 2 hours every 6 years thereafter.
The Kinds of Continuing Education Programs Qualifying for CEC’s:
- The most common way to receive some or all of your qualifying CEC’s is by in person attendance at workshops, conferences, in-house staff training, institutes, teleconferences and symposiums that have content related to social work practice. Such programs allow the LMSW or LCSW to receive one credit hour for each hour of the program, to a maximum of eight credit hours in any one-day’s participation in a continuing education program. See programs accepted below.
- Home study including online education is another means to meet the continuing education requirement. A home study program is defined as continuing education activities, clearly related to maintaining skills necessary for safe and competent practice of social work that require successful completion of a proficiency examination. Home study programs may include distance learning and internet-based educational programs. Up to six hours of continuing education per annual renewal period may be attained through home study. The content must be related to social work practice. See programs accepted below.
- Courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level offered by schools of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education will be accepted based on one credit hour for each hour of attendance. Audited courses will be allowed with documentation of attendance. This will only apply to courses taken once the social worker has attained their LMSW or LCSW.
- A fourth way to receive CEC’s is to present for the first time an original paper, essay, or lecture on social work to a recognized group of fellow professionals. Such a presentation counts for five CEC hours.
Licensure Year: Only those CEC hours attained during a given license year can be applied to that license year. For example, if your license year is October 1 – September 30 all of your CEC hours must have been attained in that time period. CEC hours from a prior license year cannot be applied to the current license year.
Continuing Education Programs Accepted By the State for the CEC Requirement: There are two criteria, BOTH THAT MUST BE MET, in order to qualify for CEC hours, these being:
- The program been approved by one of the following organizational bodies: NASW (national or any state chapter), Association of Social Work Boards, or a graduate school of social work or undergraduate social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. If the program is NOT approved by one of these organizations it will not be accepted for LMSW or LCSW renewal. Programs that have not been approved by one of these bodies can be submitted to NASW/CT for individual program approval. NASW/CT charges a member and non-member fee for review. Click here for the individual review application http://naswct.org/continuing-education/individual-reviews-continuing-education-credit/
- The program must have content related to social work practice. This is an important point as it is unlikely but possible that a program may be approved by one of the authorized organizations listed above but still not qualify due to content that does not qualify for CEC’s in Connecticut. If a program is approved by NASW/CT you know that it meets all of the requirements for Connecticut.
Proving Fulfillment of the Requirement: When you renew your license the renewal form will have a check-off box where you attest to having received the required CEC’s. You are required to keep for three years the written certificates issued by the provider of education that document that you completed the continuing education activity and which states the number of CEC hours attained. The Department of Public Health has the right to inspect these records and may request that you submit them to the Department. The Department can take disciplinary action against an individual who has not met the CEC requirement.
Two Kinds of Waivers of the Continuing Education Requirement:
- A waiver of the CEC requirement may be extended to individuals who are not engaged in clinical social work during a given continuing education registration period provided that the individual submits a request for waiver prior to the expiration date of the continuing education registration period. Such a waiver must be applied for on a form provided by the Department of Public Health and must be notarized prior to submission. The application for waiver must be approved by the Department of Public Health in order to be applied by the individual applicant. This waiver requires that the licensee not engage in active practice of clinical social work until the licensee satisfactorily demonstrates to the Department of Public Health that they have completed the requirements for continuing education.
- In individual cases involving a medical disability or illness, a waiver of part or all of the continuing education hours may be granted or an extension of time within which to complete the requirements may be granted by DPH. Verification from a licensed physician is required. The waiver may be for a period of up to one year and if the need for a medical waiver or extension of time continues past one year the licensee can apply for an additional waiver or extension of time by filing a new waiver request with DPH.
To view the Continuing Education Requirements page of the Department of Public Health go to http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3121&q=389598&dphNav_GID=1821
This fact sheet is for informational purposes only. Final determination on the Regulations Concerning Continuing Education for Clinical Social Workers is the responsibility of the Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut.