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  • NASW-IL Staff

Frequently Asked Questions About 2021 Licensure Renewal

Updated: May 27, 2022

11/16/21 UPDATE: LSW and LCSW licensees may now apply for renewal through the new IDFPR renewal website. Read more here.

11/04/21 UPDATE: IDFPR has granted an extension of the CEU deadline. Read more here.

10//21/21 UPDATE: IDFPR has granted an extension of the renewal deadline. Read more here.


This article was updated on August 10, 2021, to reflect signing of Senate Bill 1079 which removes redundant rules around the sexual harassment prevention training requirement.

What do I need to renew my license?

Please see our article posted back in December 2019, "2019–2021 IDFPR Licensure Renewal Changes” for a complete list of education requirements. Every licensed social worker in the state of Illinois is required to fulfill those requirements during the current license cycle.

>> For steps on renewing your license, go to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website:

Do I need to accrue 30 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) every time I renew my license?

If this is your first time applying for the LSW or LCSW or this is your first time renewing your license, you do not need to accumulate 30 CEUs for licensure. However, for every subsequent renewal after your first, you will need to acquire 30 hours of continuing education.

I got more than 30 hours of credit. Can I roll the extras over into the next licensure cycle?

Trainings only apply to the licensure cycle in the year which they are taken. That is, a course taken before December 1, 2019, cannot be applied toward the 2019–2021 licensure cycle. Therefore, if you accumulate more than 30 CEs in one two-year cycle, the extras do not carry over to the next period.

Where do I send my CEUs? How long do I need to keep my CEUs?

You don’t actually need to send proof of your CEUS with your online renewal application unless you are applying for renewal after the deadline or IDFPR requests it. In the meanwhile, we suggest keeping record of your CEs on file for at least five years.

How do I know if a specific training/conference will be accepted by IDFPR for my renewal?

The NASW-Illinois Chapter cannot vouch for CEUs being offered by another provider. If you are considering taking a course that you are not sure offers CEUs, contact the sponsor 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.

Can I seek a waiver of CE requirements? What if I can’t get enough CEUs by the deadline?

While IDFPR allows you to apply for a waiver of the continuing education requirements, it is subject to their approval. We at the NASW-Illinois Chapter strongly recommend that you do not apply for a waiver unless you are sure that you qualify for a waiver.

>> For full details on a waiver of CE requirements, see the Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act, section 1470.95.

What qualifies as a sexual harassment prevention training?

Effective August 6, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1079 into law which states that 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. There is no timed element (e.g., one hour of CEUs) to fulfill this training requirement.

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.

>> For a social work–focused sexual harassment prevention training , check out our 1-hour recorded training (eligible for 1 CEU and fulfills IDFPR sexual harassment prevention training requirements):

What qualifies as a mandated reporter training?

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 (Effective January 1, 2021).

>> For a thorough, in-depth look at the mandated reporter training requirement and its ramifications on social workers, check out our recorded training with Monahan Law Group, LLC (eligible for 3 CEUs and fulfills IDFPR mandated reporter training requirements):

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!

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