Continuing Education Regulations
For Licensed Clinical Social Workers
This fact sheet is geared toward individual LCSW’s and covers the requirements for the continuing education credits for 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 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). Newly licensed 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 leading up to the next renewal of your license. 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 LCSW CEC requirement.
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. Such programs allow the 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.
- 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 clinical 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 requirement will remain the same as the current regulations, that being the content must be related to clinical social work or the business end of practice (which is limited to 3 hours per annual renewal period). Approved programs are those that are offered by a school of social work (BSW or MSW) accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, or approved by the National Association of Social Workers or the Association of Social Work Boards.
- 3. Graduate level coursework 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 LCSW.
- A fourth way to receive CEC’s is to present for the first time an original
paper, essay, or lecture on clinical social work to a recognized group of fellow professionals. Such a presentation counts for five CEC hours. Luncheon speeches however do not count for CEC hours.
- 5. Another means for attaining CEC’s is having an original paper published in a professional journal that accepts papers only on the basis of independent review by experts. Publication counts for six CEC hours and is to be applied in the license year that the paper is published (i.e. at the time of the actual publication, not the acceptance for publication).
Licensure Year: Only those CEC hours attained during a given license period can be applied to that license period. For example, if your license period is October 1 – September 30 all of your CEC hours must have been attained in that time period. CEC hours from a prior license period cannot be applied to the current license period.
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:
- 1. The program been approved by one of the following organizational bodies: NASW (national or any state chapter), Association of Social Work Boards, or a school of social work (BSW or MSW) accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. These are the only specifically authorized organizations recognized by the Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut. If the program is NOT approved by one of these organizations it will not be accepted for LCSW renewal.
- 2. The program must have content related to social work. This is an important point because 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.
Activities That Are Not Eligible for CEC’s: Professional organizational business meetings; correspondence courses and other mechanisms of self instruction, except when used as a component of a home study program; reading of books, articles or professional journals; and audio-visual materials except when the latter is used as a component of a qualifying continuing education activity.
Proving Fulfillment of the Requirement: When you renew your license the renewal form will have a check-off box where you certify that you have received the required CEC’s. You are required to keep for three years the written certificates provided by educators that document that you completed the continuing education activity and on 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:
- 1. 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.
- 2. In individual cases involving a medical disability or illness, a waiver of the minimum continuing education requirements 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.
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