FAQ on 2019 Licensure Renewal: It’s Time to Renew Your License!
Regardless of when you first received your license, all social work licenses will expire on November 30, 2019. This includes licensed social workers (LSWs) and licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs).
How do I renew?
In years past, you would get an e-mail approximately one or two months before the November 30th renewal deadline from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to renew your license online. You would then be be required to pay the renewal fee as well as comply with the continuing education requirements. Please note this is subject to change as IDFPR is a governmental agency whose processes may change each licensure cycle.
It is the responsibility of each licensee to notify IDFPR of any change of e-mail and mailing address. Failure to receive a renewal form from IDFPR shall not constitute an excuse for failure to pay the renewal fee or to renew one's license. (Need to change your contact info? Click here.)
What happens if I renew my license after November 30, 2019?
If you renew your license after November 30, 2019, additional fees are required, CEUs must be submitted, and your license may be suspended temporarily. Furthermore, due to new requirements taking effect after November 30, 2019, your reinstatement would require you to complete those new CEU requirements first. So don't wait!
What are the CEU requirements for renewal?
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 will 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 at least 3 of the 30 hours must include content related to cultural competence in the practice of social work.
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 from a provider other than NASW and want to know if their program will qualify for CEUs for licensure renewal with IDFPR, 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.
Heard about new licensure requirements? There will be additional requirements for the 2019-2021 licensure cycle. These DO NOT take effect until December 1, 2019. Check back with the NASW-Illinois Chapter later this fall for information about those changes once they are passed.
Three Ethics CEUs and Three Cultural Competency CEUs Required
Section 1470.95 of the Illinois Clinical and Social Work Practice Act states that “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.” This means that a minimum of 3 CEU credits must be related to “to the ethical practice of social work,” and an additional minimum of 3 CEU credits must be related to “cultural competence in the practice of social work.”
Need your ethics or cultural competency credits? No problem! The NASW-Illinois Chapter offers a variety of CEU trainings around the state in addition to our statewide conference in Wheeling (up to 20 CEUs including classes each day on ethics and cultural competency).
How do I know if a class qualifies for ethics or cultural competency CEUs?
Any courses that qualify as continuing education (CE) for LSW/LCSW renewal must be from a licensed provider in Illinois. The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our affiliates are approved providers and will clearly label courses that qualify for cultural competency or ethics credits.
If a class you took (from a provider other than NASW) fulfills the requirements as listed in Section 1470.95 of the Illinois Clinical and Social Work Practice Act, it may qualify BUT keep in mind that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is the final arbiter for deciding whether classes do or do not fulfill requirements.
Face-to-Face CEUs Required
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. There is no requirement that ethics or cultural competency trainings need to be obtained in-person. NOTE: According to IDFPR, live-virtual workshops (trainings wherein the speaker is not in the same room as the attendee) do not qualify as face-to-face, in-person instruction.
Do I send my CEUs to IDFPR along with my licensure renewal?
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. Keep records of your CEs on file for at least five years in case you are audited.
How do you earn CEUs?
That’s easy! The NASW-Illinois Chapter and all of our affiliates are approved CEU providers for the state of Illinois. Take a look at our website events calendar for CEU opportunities around the state, our 2019 statewide conference which offers up to 20 CEUs, or sign up for a webinar through national NASW’s Social Work Online CE Institute.
And did we mention NASW Illinois members receive FREE CEUs for attending most chapter and district events*? Consider joining today to maximize your savings!
*Excludes ethics, supervision, and conferences/symposia
Have more questions?
All specific questions concerning licensure, an individual license, or a particular application for licensure need to be properly directed to IDFPR. While we do provide a wealth of knowledge about licensure on our chapter website (including in-depth pages on licensure steps, supervision, test prep, applying/renewing, and CEU requirements), unfortunately we do not have any other additional resources or special access to assist you in this process. We do sympathize with you regarding the wait time and difficulty of navigating the system. We can only encourage you to stay on hold and keep at it; eventually you will get through and will receive the answer from IDFPR and/or ISBE you need.