Update on NYS Continuing Education Law
By Rachel L. West
Advocacy & Community Outreach Consultant
The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has released further information pertaining to the implementation on New York’s continuing education law for social workers.
Starting January 1, 2015 all licensed social workers in the state must complete 36 hours of continuing education units each registration cycle. NYSED previously announced that it would phase in the requirement. On December 19th NYSED sent out an email informing licensees of the following:
The continuing education regulations restrict a licensee to no more than 12 hours of self-study from an approved provider, out of the required 36 hours in a 3-year registration period, or one-third of the required hours in a registration period other than 36 months.
Continuing education must be completed through a provider approved by the State Board and may not be taken until January 1, 2015, the effective date of the law. This may present a challenge to licensees who must complete acceptable continuing education in order to register in the first 6 months of 2015. Therefore, the Department will allow an applicant whose registration period ends between January 1 and July 1, 2015 to complete 100 percent of the required continuing education hours through self-study activities. OP hopes that this will make it easier for licensees to meet the initial continuing education requirement during the phase-in period.
The State Board Office is continuing to review and approve entities that applied to become an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (LMSWs and LCSWs). The State Board Office continues to update the list of approved providers on the web:www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw/swceproviderlist.htm. The providers include local and national entities who offer traditional, in-person classes, as well as live online webinars and self-study activities.
Please review the questions and answers at: www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw/swcefaq.htm. This site will help you determine the number of hours you need for the period starting January 1, 2015, based on your current LMSW or LCSW registration period. You will also find information about other education activities that are defined in law and regulation as acceptable ways to meet the continuing education requirements.
If your question is not answered on the website, please email it to SWBD@nysed.gov.