2021-2023 Licensure

Looking for online CEUs? 
Looking for online CEUs? 
Get them through NASW's Social Work CE Institute and rest assured they qualify for licensure renewal.
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Mandated Reporter Training with Implicit Bias.jpg
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Sexual Harassmen Prevention Training.jpg

CEU Requirements for 2021–2023 Licensure

Below are CEU requirements pertaining to the licensure cycle beginning on December 1, 2021, and ending on November 30, 2023. For information about the previous 2019–2021 licensure cycle whose deadline was extended to February 28, 2022, click here.

 

What follows is a thorough description of the policies of the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) on continuing education units (CEUs) for social workers. 

 

  • If this is your FIRST TIME renewing your LSW or LCSW and you are no longer renewing your LSW: you do not need to accumulate 30 CEUs 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 CEUs for licensure (see below) and to reapply for licensure renewal with IDFPR (see Apply/Renew).

As a result of delays at the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR), the previous 2019 licensure cycle (beginning December 1, 2019) had its deadline extended to the new February 28, 2022, deadline date. While this deadline extension allows for licensed social worker (LSW) and licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) licensees to submit their renewal applications as well as obtain continuing education units (CEUs) through February 28, 2022, the 2021 licensure cycle still begins on December 1, 2021, and will end on November 30, 2023. Due to this three-month overlap into the 2021 cycle, licensees must make sure the classes they attend between December 1, 2021, through February 28, 2022, are clearly identified as applying for either the 2019 or 2021 licensure cycles.

For the new 2021 licensure renewal cycle starting on December 1, 2021, and ending November 30, 2023, Illinois LSWs and LCSWs will have 3 additional/amended requirements for licensure renewal as required by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

  • NEW! One-hour (minimum) of a training on implicit bias awareness. Effective January 1, 2022, with the signing of Public Act 102-0004.

  • A mandated reporter training with (NEW!) a section on implicit bias. Effective January 1, 2022, with the signing of Public Act 102-0604.

  • NEW! One-hour (minimum) of a training on the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Applies to 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 ONLY. Effective January 1, 2023, with the signing of Public Act 102-0399.

The above requirements are in addition to pre-existing LSW/LCSW licensure renewal requirements:

  1. A minimum of 30 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the practice of social work or clinical social work of which:

    • At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to the ethical practice of social work, and

    • At least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to cultural competence in the practice of social work (Effective December 1, 2013).

  2. 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 (Effective December 1, 2013).

  3. A sexual harassment prevention training will be required for licensure renewal. There is no timed element (e.g., one hour of CEUs) to fulfill this training requirement (Effective August 6, 2021).

 

CE Worksheet & FAQ

To help social workers better keep track of their CEs for 2021–2023 LSW/LCSW licensure renewal, the NASW-Illinois Chapter has created this CE Worksheet. Please note this worksheet is NOT an IDFPR-required document but rather a roadmap to help you fulfill all CE requirements. The requirements in this document are subject to change. Check with the IDFPR website and NASW-IL for any changes as they are announced.

>> Download the NASW-IL CE Worksheet for 2021–2023 LSW/LCSW Licensure Renewal & FAQ

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 of this printing, the department has not yet released rules for this training

requirement. If (and when) such rules are written by the department, this article will be updated

accordingly.

Mandated Reporter Training with Implicit Bias Section: In an update to the previous mandated reporter

training requirement, all LSW and LCSWs 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 Act. The new implicit bias

section shall provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking and ultimately eliminate discriminatory

behaviors. The training shall be provided through the Department (DCFS); an entity authorized to provide continuing education for professionals licensed through the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) such as NASW-IL; or an organization approved by the Department (DCFS) to provide mandated reporter training including a section on implicit bias.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Training: This requirement shall only apply to 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 Act. A health care professional may count

this one hour for completion of this course toward meeting the minimum credit hours required for

continuing education.

Sexual Harassment Prevention Training: The training 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.

Effective August 6, 2021, with the signing of Senate Bill 1079.

Looking for Specialty CEU Trainings?

The NASW-Illinois Chapter is currently at work scheduling courses for the next licensure cycle. To add yourself to a waitlist to receive notification when we announce one of the specialty CEU training courses required for 2021–2023 licensure, click here. You can also check with the NASW-Illinois Chapter Events page to see all upcoming chapter and recorded CEU events.

 

Summary of Requirements:

LSW and LCSW licensees must obtain 30 CEUs for the 2021 licensure cycle starting on December 1, 2021, and ending on November 30, 2023. Of those 30 CEUs, 50 percent of the total CE hours (i.e., 15 CEUs) must be obtained via face-to-face, in-person instruction. Additionally, licensees must also obtain trainings on the following topics:

  • Implicit bias awareness (One hour minimum)

  • Mandated reporter training with implicit bias section (No timed requirement)

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias (One hour minimum)—applies ONLY to 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

  • Sexual harassment prevention (No timed requirement)

  • Ethical practice of social work (Three hours minimum)

  • Cultural competence in the practice of social work (Three hours minimum)

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 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).

Source: Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, section 1470.95.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I seek a waiver of CE requirements? What if I can't accumulate 30 CEUs or 15 in-person CEUs?


For the 2019-2021 Licensure Renewal Cycle Only: NASW-IL was successful in advocating for the in-person requirement to be waived 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. In the event that you have extenuating circumstances which have kept you from accumulating the required CEs or make it impossible to accumulate 15 hours of in-person 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. For details on a waiver of CE requirements, see the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, section 1470.95.




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.