IDFPR Licensure Renewal Requirements for 2021–2023
Updated: May 27
The next LSW and LCSW licensure cycle has begun on December 1, 2021, and ends on November 30, 2023. While the previous 2019–2021 licensure cycle deadline was extended to February 28, 2022, if you have obtained all continuing education requirements for licensure, you may now begin taking courses to apply to the 2021–2023 licensure cycle.
With a new licensure cycle also comes new and updated licensure requirements. To view NEW licensure renewal requirements for the 2021–2023 licensure cycle, please read the below. Please note that 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.
NOTE: 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.
This article will be updated if any changes are announced that will affect 2021–2023 licensure cycle.
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:
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).
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). For questions about whether IDFPR will waive the in-person requirement again, see FAQ section below.
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 & 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.
Is IDFPR waiving the in-person CEU requirements for the 2021–2023 LSW/LCSW licensure cycle due to the COVID-19 pandemic? 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. With regards to chapter in-person events, based on early survey results, attendees of our trainings will be comfortable attending in-person events again when it is safe to do so, hopefully in summer 2022.
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.
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.
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.
>> 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
GET YOUR CEUs
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.
NASW-Illinois Chapter Events: https://www.naswil.org/events
Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (recorded): https://naswinstitute.inreachce.com/Details/Information/09cd0601-3142-4217-b4d8-c344b5a7911b
Waitlist for NASW-IL Specialty CEU Trainings on:
Implicit Bias Awareness
Mandated Reporter Training with Implicit Bias Section, and
Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias