Continuing Education

Update on continuing education and provider approval requirements

Exception to the limitation on the number of continuing education hours that can be completed through self-study courses | Conditional approval of social work continuing education providers | Additional information regarding the social work continuing education requirement

Exception to the limitation on the number of continuing education hours that can be completed through self-study courses

As of January 1, 2015, all LMSWs and LCSWs must complete 36 hours of continuing education in each 3-year registration period. Of these 36 hours of continuing education, only 12 hours can be completed through self-study courses that are structured study, offered by a New York State Education Department (Department) approved provider that are based on audio, audio-visual, written, online and other media. Self-study courses do not include live instruction (transmitted in person or otherwise) during which the student may communicate and interact with the instructor or other students. However, to assist licensees, who will register between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016, in complying with the continuing education requirement during the phase-in period, the Department will allow them to complete 100 percent of their required continuing education through self-study activities that are taken from a provider conditionally approved or approved by the Department. This exception only applies to licensees that register between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016.

Please be advised that the Social Work website provides an up-to-date listing of Department-approved providers, which includes entities, organizations and agencies that offer traditional, in-person classes, as well as live online webinars and self-study activities.


Conditional approval of social work continuing education providers

The Office of the State Board of Social Work (Board Office) is continuing to review prospective continuing education provider applications. However, due to the large number of applications and capacity issues in the Board Office, the application review process is taking longer than anticipated. In order to address this situation and comply with the intent law, the Department will conditionally approve applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • submit a complete provider approval application with the Department, including payment of the required fee; and
  • are already approved as a social work continuing education provider by an entity, organization or agency whose provider standards are comparable to the Department's standards, such entities, organizations or agencies, include, but are not limited to:
    • the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
    • the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) or
    • a State board for social work in another jurisdiction.

Applicants who meet these requirements will receive notification from the Department that they have been conditionally approved to provide social work continuing education. However, until they receive this notification, they cannot provide any continuing education. Providers’ conditional approval will terminate when they are notified of the determination by the Department to either grant or deny their provider approval application. If their application is granted, their provider approval continues and their conditional approval status is removed. If their approval is denied, their conditional approval is terminated. Conditionally approved entities will be identified on our website, including the date of the final determination to deny the application.

A provider that is conditionally approved may offer social work education courses to LMSWs and LCSWs in New York and the Department will accept such courses as meeting the continuing education requirements. However, the Department may subsequently notify the provider that a particular course or courses is/are not acceptable under section 74.10 of the Commissioner’s Regulations and, therefore, will not be accepted for CE credit from the date of such notification.


Additional information regarding the social work continuing education requirement

For additional information regarding the social work continuing education requirement, please use one of the links above.

If your question is not answered on the website, please email it to swbd@nysed.gov.

Last Updated: May 14, 2015