The next deadline for licensure renewal is February 28, 2022!*
Next CEU deadline is still November 30th 2021.
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. Of those 30 hours, the below requirements are required for renewal:
At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of social work.
At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to cultural competence in the practice of social work (Effective December 1, 2013).
NEW! In addition to the above content requirements, all licensees must also fulfill the following training requirements:
A mandated reporter training is required for licensure renewal (Effective January 1, 2020).
A sexual harassment prevention training is required for licensure renewal (Effective August 6, 2021).
NOTE: There is no timed element (e.g., one hour of CEUs) to fulfill these training requirements.
For more about the new sexual harassment prevention and mandated reporter training requirements, see sub-section below.
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 (Effective December 1, 2013). According to IDFPR, live-virtual workshops do not qualify as face-to-face, in-person instruction. UPDATED 10/13/2020: NASW-IL was successful in our efforts to advocate for waiver of the in-person CEU requirements by IDFPR due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may now utilize any mixture of in-person, live virtual, or virtual trainings to reach your 30-hour CEU requirement for the current 2019–2021 LSW/LCSW licensure renewal cycle ONLY.
More on Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirements:
Effective August 6, 2021, when Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1079 into law, all licensees must
complete a sexual harassment prevention training. This course may be provided by the licensee's
employer, the Department of Human Rights, or any continuing education provider (such as NASW-IL's
recorded Sexual Harassment Prevention Training) authorized to provide continuing education under an
Act administered by the Department in accordance with Section 2-109 of the Illinois Human Rights Act.
For those who have already taken a sexual harassment training for CEUs prior to August 6, 2021, you may still count the training toward your 30 CEU requirement for licensure renewal.
More on the Mandated Reporter Training Requirements:
Effective January 1, 2021, as dictated by the amendment to Senate Bill 1778, mandated reporter trainings
must fulfill the following requirements:
1. Shall be in-person or web-based, and shall include, at a minimum, information on the following topics:
indicators for recognizing child abuse and child neglect, as defined under this Act;
the process for reporting suspected child abuse and child neglect in Illinois as required by this Act and the required documentation;
responding to a child in a trauma-informed manner; and
understanding the response of child protective services and the role of the reporter after a call has been made.
2. The training must be provided through 1) The Department (DCFS); 2) An entity authorized to provide continuing education for professionals licensed through the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) such as the NASW-Illinois Chapter (see our recorded Mandated Reporter Training for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect in Illinois); or 3) An organization approved by the Department (DCFS) to provide mandated reporter training.
3. Each mandated reporter shall report to his or her employer and, when applicable, to his or her licensing or certification board that he or she received the mandated reporter training. The mandated reporter shall maintain records of completion.
Additionally, any continuing education accrued for the mandated reporter training shall count toward licensure renewal.
More About CEUs
CEs must be from a licensed provider in Illinois. The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our affiliates, the NASW Social Work Online CE Institute, 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, 2019, cannot be applied toward the 2019–2021 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).
*10/21/21 UPDATE: Read our latest article on IDFPR's renewal extension here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I seek a waiver of CE requirements? What if I can't accumulate 30 CEUs or 15 in-person CEUs?
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.
Does this class I took qualify for CEUs?
The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our affiliates are approved CEU providers for the state of Illinois. If you are considering taking a course that you are not sure offers CEUs, contact the sponsor of the course prior to attending and make sure they have one of the following two things:
- A certified provider number issued by the IDFPR—this number will be a 9-digit number beginning with 159.
- A co-sponsorship with an organization that has a certified provider number.
If you take a course from an organization that is not a certified provider of CEUs at the time of the event, you may not claim CEUs after the fact.
I took a class with NASW-IL and can't find my CEU certificate. How can I request a duplicate copy?
Please submit our Request for Duplicate CEU Certificate form here.
Is IDFPR waiving the in-person CEU requirements for the 2019–2021 LSW/LCSW licensure cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
We are elated to announce that our efforts in advocating for the social work profession were successful, and that IDFPR has now released a new guidance for social workers and clinical social workers that allow for waiver of the in-person CEU requirement for the current 2021 licensure cycle. You may now utilize any mixture of in-person, live virtual, or virtual trainings to reach your 30-hour CEU requirement. Read more here.