All renewal requirements are subject to change by the department.
This page will likely undergo updates and changes as further clarifications are provided by IDFPR.
CEU Requirements for 2023–2025 Licensure
For the new licensure renewal cycle starting on December 1, 2023, and expiring on November 30, 2025, all Illinois LSWs and LCSWs who are renewing their license for a second or subsequent time will have only two amended requirements to their licensure renewal requirements as required by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). If you are renewing your license for the first time, please see our FAQ.
Amended! With removal of the in-person CEU requirement in July 2023, the state now requires that any remote program (e.g., self-study, book-study, or computer/online based course) must include an examination. See our FAQ for more information.
All renewing applicants must obtain a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the practice of social work or clinical social work.
Of these 30 CE hours:
Ethics: At least 3 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of social work.
Cultural Competency: At least 3 hours must include content related to cultural competence in the practice of social work. Note: Effective January 1, 2024, Public Act 103-0531 requires that all licensed professionals must obtain at least 1 hour of continuing education in cultural competency. Because social workers are already required to obtain 3 CE hours in cultural competency, this new requirement is redundant (i.e., it doesn't increase the 3-hour CE requirement in cultural comptency to 4 hours); however, the department may write rules that specify what content the one-hour cultural competency training must cover. If this comes to pass, we will update this page accordingly.
Implicit Bias Awareness: At least 1 hour must include a training on implicit bias awareness.
Mandated Reporter Training with Implicit Bias: A mandated reporter training with a section on implicit bias is required for licensure renewal. There is no timed element (e.g., one hour of CEUs) to fulfill this training requirement, nor does it have to be a CEU.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training: A sexual harassment prevention training is required for licensure renewal. If you are employed by an entity in Illinois (not including self-employment), there is no timed element (e.g., one hour of CEUs) to fulfill this training requirement, nor does it have to be a CEU. This requirement dupes an equivalent requirement for a sexual harassment prevention training for all Illinois employees which you should be receiving from your employer annually. All others may be required to obtain one hour of continuing education on sexual harassment prevention. To find out if the course you took fulfills requirements or are self-employed or unemployed but looking to maintain your license, see our More About the Specialty CEU Requirements section below.
Amended! Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias: This licensure cycle MAY require a one-hour (minimum) training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias for all health care professionals who provide health care services to, and have direct patient interactions with, adult populations age 26 or older in the practice of their profession. This requirement applies to all who work with populations age 26 or older, no matter whether their clients are actively experiencing Alzheimer's disease or other dementias or not. See our More About the Specialty CEU Requirements section below for more on why this requirement may or may not be required for you this licensure cycle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I need CEUs for my renewal?
If this is your first time renewing your LSW or LCSW: you do not need to accumulate 30 CEUs for licensure, but you will still need to apply for renewal and (possibly) complete an Alzheimer's disease and other dementias training. See our More About the Specialty CEU Requirements section below for more information.
If this is your second or subsequent time renewing: you will need to accumulate CEUs for renewal.
If you are renewing your LCSW for the first time AND want to keep your LSW: you will need to accumulate CEUs for your LSW renewal. NOTE: We do not recommend maintaining your LSW if you have an LCSW.
I took more courses for CEUs than I needed for the last licensure cycle. Can I roll those excess courses over into the current licensure cycle?
If you accumulate more than 30 CEUs in one two-year cycle, the extras do not carry over to the next period. Trainings can only apply to the licensure cycle in which they are taken—that is, a course must be taken during the current licensure cycle (Dec. 1, 2023, through Nov. 30, 2025) to be applied to that same licensure cycle for renewal. A course taken in the previous licensure cycle (i.e., before December 1, 2023) cannot be used for the current licensure cycle (Dec. 1, 2023, through Nov. 30, 2025).
How long do I need to keep my CEU certificates?
Keep records of your CEs on file for at least five years. You don’t need to send proof of your CEUs in with your renewal form unless (1) you are applying after the renewal deadline or (2) you are requested to provide evidence of your continuing education by IDFPR (likely during an audit).
Where are NASW-IL continuing education (CEs) accepted?
The NASW-Illinois Chapter is an approved provider of continuing education for the following professions in Illinois: Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Registered Nurses, Advanced Practice Nurses, Licensed Clinical Psychologists, and School Social Workers (PELs). Additionally, we are accepted providers for continuing education by the social work licensing boards in our sister state chapters, Nevada and North Dakota.
What courses are eligible for CEUs in Illinois?
In order for a course to be qualified to provide CEUs in Illinois, they must be from a licensed provider in Illinois. The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our NASW Chapter affiliates as well as the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute are approved providers in Illinois. Please note that the NASW-Illinos Chapter/NASW is not the licensing board and does not review and approve coursework and education providers for the state of Illinois. To find out if another provider is an approved CEU provider for the state of Illinois, check with IDFPR.
For additional information on approved continuing education, see the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice
Will an NASW-IL Chapter training be accepted outside of Illinois?
While NASW-Illinois Chapter continuing education is accepted in many states (including Nevada and North Dakota), ultimately you will need to verify with your state board if education provided by the NASW-Illinois Chapter is accepted by your state board.
What about (X) course I took in Illinois? Will this course I took fulfill specialty CEUs requirements in Illinois?
Contrary to popular belief, NASW/NASW-Illinos Chapter is not the licensing board and does not review and approve coursework and education providers for the state of Illinois. If you are considering taking a course from another provider, check with IDFPR to see if they are an approved CEU provider for the state of Illinois. See also our Ask NASW-IL article, "Will this course count for CEUs in Illinois?"
All NASW-Illinois Chapter courses that fulfill a specialty CEU requirement will be clearly labeled as such in the course description and on the CEU certificate (i.e., "X Cultural Competency CEUs" or "Fulfills IL Implicit Bias Training requirement").
To find out if a course not provided by the NASW-Illinois Chapter fulfills specialty CEU requirements, you will need to review the content of that course and compare against Illinois/IDFPR requirements for those specialty CEUs. See our More About the Specialty CEU Requirements section below for more about specialty CEU requirements.
What about (X) course I took outside of Illinois? Will it qualify for CEUs in Illinois?
The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) does not recognize provider numbers from other states unless it is specifically stated in the Social Work Rules (e.g., The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our NASW Chapter affiliates as well as the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute are approved providers in Illinois). If you have a CEU certificate issued by a provider in another state, it may not be applicable to your CEU requirement in Illinois. Ultimately, you will need to check with IDFPR to find out if another provider is an approved CEU provider for the state of Illinois.
If a licensee has earned CE hours offered in another state or territory not given by an approved sponsor for which the licensee will be claiming credit toward full compliance in Illinois, the applicant shall submit an out-of-state continuing education approval form, along with a $25 processing fee, prior to participation in the program or at least 90 days prior to expiration of the license. The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3).
If a licensee fails to submit an out-of-state CE approval form within the required time frame, late approval may be obtained by submitting the approval form with the $25 processing fee, plus a $10 per hour late fee, not to exceed $150. The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3).
Source: Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, section 1470.95.
Can a CEU course fulfill 2 CEU specialties at once?
See our previously published Ask NASW-IL article, "Can a CEU course fulfill 2 CEU specialties at once?"
I don't work with older adults—do I still need to fulfill the Alzheimer's training requirement?
See our previously published Ask NASW-IL article, "Do I need the Alzheimer's training requirement if I don't work with older adults?"
Looking for more CEUs or courses that fulfill specialty CEU requirements?
Check out our Events page for a complete list of upcoming live events (both in-person and virtual) as well as our recorded trainings which fulfill CE requirements in ethics, cultural competency, implicit bias awareness, mandated reporter training with implicit bias section, Alzheimer's disease and other dementia, and sexual harassment prevention.
See all NASW-IL CEU Trainings
If you're not already an NASW member, you can also sign up to receive our monthly News & Events e-mails which recap the month's latest news as well as provides a list of our current event offerings.
What's the examination required for remote programs?
New to this licensure cycle with the removal of the in-person CE requirement, IDFPR now requires that any CEUs obtained via a remote program (e.g., self-study, book-study, or computer/internet based course) must include an examination.
What remote programs are eligible for CEUs in Illinois?
If you take a course from the Social Work Online CE Institute and want to apply those CEUs for Illinois licensure, click here to get the course validated for Illinois licensure. Please note this form will validate courses taken from the Social Work Online CE Institute for those who hold Illinois licenses (LSW or LCSW) only.
What if I take a remote program from an entity NOT the NASW-Illinois/Nevada/North Dakota Chapters or the Social Work Online CE Institute?
To find out if another provider is an approved CEU provider for the state of Illinois, check with IDFPR. Additionally, you will need to check with the provider to find out if they have fulfilled all remote program requirements to provide CEUs in the state of Illinois, including the requirement to have an exam for all remote programs.
Waiver of CE Requirements
In the event that you have extenuating circumstances which have kept you from accumulating the required CEs, IDFPR allows you to apply for a waiver of the continuing education requirements. If you request a waiver, you must pay a fee and apply for it before the end of the licensure period. IDFPR then examines your request and determines whether you meet the qualifications for a waiver (listed below). You are considered in good standing until the Social Work Licensing and Disciplinary Board makes its final ruling on your request.
A waiver may be granted because of:
Full-time service in the armed forces of the US during a substantial part of the prerenewal period;
An incapacitating illness documented by a statement from a currently licensed physician;
A physical inability to travel to the sites of approved programs documented by a currently licensed physician;
Any other similarly extenuating circumstances.
Obviously, that last category makes the law ambiguous since almost anything could potentially be considered an extenuating circumstance. However, there is no way you can know if you qualify until you pay the fee and file the application. NASW strongly recommends not applying for a waiver if you are unsure whether you qualify. Remember that you are dealing with a government agency not accustomed to making exceptions, and if they do not decide in your favor, you could lose your license. Get your CEUs if at all possible—better to be safe than sorry.
Where's my NASW-IL CEU certificate?
I took a course with the NASW-Illinois Chapter and can't find my certificate. How can I request a duplicate copy?
Please allow up to 45 days for processing of all CEU certificates. All NASW-Illinois Chapter CEU certificates are e-mailed via a third party product, so we strongly urge you to be sure to check and search in all of your e-mails, junk and spam folders, as well as alternate folders (such as "Promotions" folders for Gmail account holders) for your certificate.
To ensure receiving all future event links, materials, and your CEU certificate, be sure to add our events coordinator and and office account e-mails to your e-mail address book/approved sender list.
To request a duplicate copy of a CEU certificate you received for a past NASW-Illinois Chapter training, please submit our Request for Duplicate CEU Certificate form here.
How can I/my organization provide CEUs?
The NASW-Illinois Chapter has developed a procedure to approve programs for continuing education units (CEUs). Go to our Advertising page and click on #4 Co-Sponsorship. Otherwise, contact IDFPR for more information on applying to become an approved provider of CEUs.
Have More Questions?
All specific questions concerning licensure and individual licenses or a particular license application needs to be properly directed to IDFPR as they are ultimately the licensing board who approve of licenses for Illinois. The NASW-Illinois Chapter website also has a plethora of information relating to licensure, from supervision requirements, the licensing process, testing procedures, and more. Go to the NASW-IL Licensure page to read more.
More About the Specialty CEU Training Requirements
Implicit Bias Awareness Training: All health care professionals must obtain at least one hour of training
on implicit bias awareness as required by Public Act 102-0004.
>>Take the NASW-IL recorded training, Implicit Bias: From Allyship to Solidarity.
Mandated Reporter Training with Implicit Bias Section: All licensed social workers must complete a
mandated reporter training that includes a section on implicit bias. There is no timed element (e.g., one
hour of CEUs) to fulfill this training requirement; however, there are content-related requirements as
listed in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA).
>>Take the NASW-IL recorded training, Interrupting Bias: A Mandated Reporter's Responsibility to Act.*
*Please note that while the NASW-IL recorded training, Interrupting Bias: A Mandated Reporter's Responsibility to Act, fulfills IDFPR requirements for a mandated reporter training with implicit bias section, it cannot be taken to fulfill the implicit bias requirement as the implicit bias section in the course is insufficient in length.
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training: As required by the administrative code and Public Act
102-0308, all licensed social workers must complete a sexual harassment prevention training prior to
renewal. Did you take a sexual harassment prevention training provided by an Illinois employer?
If YES: Sexual harassment prevention trainings that fulfill Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) requirements will additionally fulfill the IDFPR requirement for a sexual harassment prevention training for social work licensure renewal. No timed element is required of the employee-provided sexual harassment prevention training, but there are still content requirements for this scenario as per Section 1130.400(c) of the Administrative Code.
If NO: If you are self-employed (i.e., employee of one), unemployed, or live in another state but are looking to maintain your license in Illinois and as such, you are unable to obtain a sexual harassment prevention training through an Illinois employer, you will need to take a sexual harassment prevention training course spanning at least one hour in length. This training must be provided by a licensed provider of continuing education in Illinois and utilize content that complies with Section 2-109 of IHRA.
>>Take the NASW-IL recorded training, Sexual Harassment Prevention Training.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Training: New to this licensure cycle with the passing of
Public Act 103-0531, the department is required to flex out the cycle in which the Alzheimer's disease
and other dementias training is required to alleviate some of the CE requirements on health care
professionals. As of this writing (on November 30, 2023), the department has not yet determined
whether the Alzheimer's training requirement will be required for the current 2023–2025 licensure cycle
or flexed out to a future licensure cycle.
Furthermore, the Act requires all first-time renewal applicants to complete an Alzheimer's disease and other dementias training regardless of licensure cycle. We are awaiting clarification from the department as currently, first-time social worker renewal applicants do not require CEs for first-time renewal.
Please check back with this page as we will update it accordingly when clarification is received by the department.
Should the Alzheimer's and other dementias training be required for you, the requirement is for a one-hour (minimum) training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias for health care professionals who provide health care services to, and have direct patient interactions with, adult populations age 26 or older in the practice of their profession. This training must be at least one hour in length and fulfill content-related requirements as listed in The Department of Professional Regulation Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. A health care professional may count this one hour for completion of this course toward meeting the minimum credit hours required for continuing education. Effective January 1, 2023, with the signing of Public Act 102-0399.
>>Take the NASW-IL recorded training, Social Work with Persons Living with Dementia and Their Families: Challenges and Opportunities.