• NASW-IL Staff

Ask NASW-IL: What do I need to renew my LSW/LCSW license in 2023?

Updated: Nov 2


Ask NASW-IL in neon light signage

Regardless of when you first receive your license, every license shall expire on November 30 of each odd-numbered year. The next license expiration date is November 30, 2023.


As a courtesy to our members and Illinois social workers, we posted our article, "IDFPR Licensure Renewal Requirements for 2021–2023," back on December 1, 2021, as well as updated the NASW-Illinois Chapter CEU Requirements webpage. Additionally, as a courtesy to our members, we have also been including a "Licensure Updates" section in our bimonthly member e-mails which contains any updates pertaining to licensing changes as issued by Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). To make sure you're getting the latest updates as we receive them from IDFPR, be sure to maintain or renew your NASW membership!

 

Membership dollars help provide us the time and staff to research, review, and communicate rules and laws that affect the social work profession. Get clarification on the rules and regulations that affect your practice by JOINING or RENEWING your NASW membership today! https://www.socialworkers.org/Membership

 

2023 LSW and LCSW Licensure Renewal 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)

For a full breakdown on CEU requirements for 2023 licensure renewal, please check out our CEU Requirements webpage.



Frequently Asked Questions about LSW/LCSW Licensure Renewal

Below are our most frequently asked questions around this current cycle of licensure renewal:


Will there be a waiver of the in-person CEU requirement for the 2021–2023 licensure cycle? As with the previous 2019–2021 licensure cycle, the department did not write emergency rules to waive the in-person CEU requirements until nearly a year into the pandemic. It is likely the department will not consider changing their requirements until 2023 to see what the state of the pandemic is in the next year (2023). In the meanwhile, we have been strongly recommending for social workers to spend this first year working on acquiring the 15 virtual CEUs allowed for renewal under existing rules—that way, you are not behind next year if IDFPR does not write emergency rules.


Should future COVID variants continue to prevent safe re-opening in Illinois, the NASW-Illinois Chapter will advocate for another variance to be written by the department.


Can I seek a waiver of CE requirements? What if I can't accumulate 30 CEUs or 15 in-person CEUs? 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. We strongly recommend that you get your CEUs if at all possible—it is 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.


Where can I get CEUs to fulfill these new requirements? The NASW-Illinois Chapter has both live virtual and recorded CEU trainings available with in-person trainings. To check out the latest course offerings, including specialty CEU trainings, please visit our Events webpage. You can also add yourself to our monthly e-mail list to receive news of upcoming chapter events that are hosted in-person, live virtually, and recorded here.


I took a course last year/licensure cycle—can I still utilize it for CEUs this cycle? Trainings may only apply to the licensure cycle in which they were taken. That is, any education acquired before December 1, 2021, will not be eligible for use for your licensure renewal in 2023. You can only start acquiring CEUs for your 2023 renewal after December 1, 2021.


Additionally, if you took a course between December 1, 2021, and February 28, 2022, and

utilized it for your 2019–2021 licensure renewal, you cannot use the course a second time for

2021–2023 licensure renewal.


Am I correct in reading that I can take a sexual harassment prevention training from a non–social work education provider like my work/agency? If I take a sexual harassment prevention training through my work, do I still need to take another sexual harassment prevention training? Until recently, we had two laws in Illinois. The first one said all employers who had more than one employee had to provide or require an annual sexual harassment prevention training for their employees. That law is still fully in effect. The second law said all licensed professionals must have 1 CEU in sexual harassment prevention training. A scenario was occurring where a social worker would get annual sexual harassment prevention trainings but because their employer was not a licensed provider, they would still need to purchase another CEU in sexual harassment prevention.


The NASW-Illinois Chapter put our membership dollars to work and reached out to the original bill sponsors to work out an amendment to the second law that now removes the 1 CEU requirement. You'll still need to complete a sexual harassment prevention training to renew your license, but now, your employer–provided training can qualify for licensure renewal—it just might not count as a CEU toward your required education hours.


When can I apply for renewal? Approximately 60 days out from the November 30, 2023,

deadline, IDFPR should notify all license holders via e-mail that LSW and LCSW renewal is now active on their system. In fall 2021, the department updated their online renewal system to a new portal. All Illinois professionals must now renew their license online via this new portal: IDFPR Online Services Portal. IDFPR requires each licensee to keep the agency notified of their current address, email address and phone number. To update your information, click here.


How can I keep track of all the CE requirements? 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 & FAQ. 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.


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.


>> One of the biggest benefits of NASW membership is consultation access for questions relating to the social work profession. Become a member today! https://www.socialworkers.org/nasw/join


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