The next deadline for licensure renewal is November 30, 2019!
What follows is a thorough description of the policies of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) on continuing education (CE) for social workers.
If this is your FIRST TIME renewing your LSW or LCSW: you do not need to accumulate 30 CEs for licensure; however, you must still apply for licensure renewal with IDFPR (see Apply/Renew).
If this is NOT YOUR FIRST TIME renewing your LSW or LCSW: you do need to accumulate 30 CEs for licensure (see below) and to reapply for licensure renewal with IDFPR.
For (not first time) LSW and LCSW renewal, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the practice of social work or clinical social work. At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of social work and, effective December 1, 2013, at least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to cultural competence in the practice of social work. (There will be additional requirements for the 2019-2021 licensure cycle. Check back for those changes which take effect December 1, 2019.)
Effective December 1, 2013, a minimum of 50% of the total CE hours required must be obtained by a method that includes face-to-face, in-person instruction or experience. According to IDFPR, live-virtual workshops do not qualify as face-to-face, in-person instruction.
CEs must be from a licensed provider in Illinois. The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our affiliates, the NASW Online portal, and the ASWB are approved providers in Illinois. Don't know if an educational program/conference will qualify for CEs? See "Does this class I took qualify for CEUs?" below.
Trainings only apply to the licensure cycle in the year which they are taken (i.e., a course taken before December 1, 2017, cannot be applied toward the 2017–2019 licensure cycle).
If you accumulate more than 30 CEs in one two-year cycle, the extras do NOT carry over to the next period.
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 deadline or (2) IDFPR requests it.
For additional information on approved continuing education, see the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, section 1470.95.
Looking to provide CEUs?
The NASW-Illinois Chapter has developed a procedure to approve programs for continuing education units (CEUs). Go to 'Advertising' and click on #4 Co-Sponsorship. Otherwise, contact IDFPR for more information on applying to become an approved provider of CEUs.
NOTE: 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 (like an NASW affiliate). If you have a CEU certificate issued by a provider in another state, it may not be applicable to your CEU requirement in 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).