Social Work Continuing Education: Understanding Requirements

Keeping current for your social worker’s license takes more than simply filing the necessary paperwork every two years. Social work continuing a course in miracles is a serious requirement in most states. Nearly every licensing body requires continuing education credits as a requirement for licenses. Continuing to learn about different techniques and advances in the field make the education credits an important factor for social workers. Regardless of his or her area of expertise,  any social worker can gain insights in the field through coursework, whether it be probing more deeply into an area in his field of expertise or diving into a completely new arena.

The ongoing education requirements vary by jurisdiction. Some entities only require a certain number of credit hours, while other licensing bodies mandate work be done in ethics, domestic violence or substance abuse. Individual jurisdictions have the final say on classes and whether they meet credit requirements of the governing body. It is up to each social worker to contact his or her respective licensing body to ensure that the education endeavor he is considering meet his educational needs with the governing jurisdiction. Know that it is not the responsibility of the licensing body, the education provider or the association body sanctioning the training.

Make sure you understand the licensing body’s requirements, such as whether education requirements are tabulated by clock hours or credit hours and what types of courses will and won’t be accepted for education requirements. The best way to be clear about licensing requirements is to contact the agency either by phone or by searching its website.

Don’t guess that a seminar or program will count for your licensing requirement. Make sure with that governing body. Your social worker’s license is not something you took lightly when achieving it. Make sure you don’t take re-certification requirements lightly either. Know what your licensing board’s definition is of education credit and if a social work continuing education program you are considering will meet that definition. Governing boards normally have their education certification requirements available on their websites. Be aware of just what those requirements state. It is always better to contact the licensing board prior to taking a class rather than pitching it as meeting education requirements after you have already spent the money and taken it.

Also make sure you understand what type of verification your governing body needs showing that you took the education program or seminar. The education provider should be able to provide that verification, but remember to keep the paperwork for the program so that you have vital telephone numbers and program information should you need verification for your licensing. Before leaving the education session, you should receive a signed certificate verifying your attendance. The social work continuing education provider should also have that verification information for up to seven years in case you need to prove your education credentials again down the road. The provider should also offer the qualifications of the instructors, consultants and organizers who implemented the program.

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