CEU Requirements for New York Licensed Social Workers

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Clarification for New York LMSWs, LCSWs, and LCSW-Rs regarding the new requirement to have approved continuing education hours to renew your license registration. 

Effective date

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Professions State Board for Social Work put this new rule into effect 1/1/15 for LMSWs, LCSWs, and LCSW-Rs. Only approved training taken after this date can be used for registration renewal.

**As of 1/1/17, there is a continuing education requirement for licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychoanalysts, and creative arts therapists.

Who are approved training providers?

We are one of the approved NYSED State Board for Social Work training providers-  #SW-0001. Link to all approved training providers.

Have questions about the process?

Information is on the NYSED website for FAQs (a must-read page for every social worker), regulations, updates on requirements, lists of approved providers, and applications to become a training provider.  The last question in the FAQs provides the email and phone number for the Social Work Board if you have a situation that is not answered by their FAQs or other information.

How many continuing education hours do I need to renew my registration?

Check the chart in #8 of the FAQs.  All registrations expire on the last day of the month. The chart gives you dates as of the first of the month when your license is due so you know now many hours are needed for registrations that expire in that month.

Verify when your license registration expires

You can look up your license expiration date online. Once the search finds your record, click on your blue license number to pull up the details, status and expiration date if you are currently registered. This is public information available to everyone.

How will NYSED know how many continuing education training hours I have taken?

When you renew your registration, you will be asked to sign an attestation statement indicating you have completed your required hours. You do not send in copies of your training certificates at this time. Keep your training certificates for 6 years because when you are randomly audited by NYSED, you will need to provide copies at that time to prove you obtained the required number of hours prior to your last registration renewal. 

TIP: We suggest that you keep two copies of each training certificate in different places so you always have a copy. Example: keep the originals in a home safe and a scanned copy backed up to a cloud or external hard drive, or in a separate paper file in another location. If you keep certificates at work, keep photocopies and not originals as many people have lost their certificates when they changed employers.

How do I know if a training is approved for NYSED social work contact hours?

Before you register for a training, look for the standard wording in the training or conference description that the provider is approved by the NYSED State Board for Social Work, their provider number, and the number of live or self-study contact hours included. This wording should also be on your certificate of completion that you receive at the end of the training event.

“Full attendance is required; partial credit is not given for partial attendance.” What does this mean?

The NYSED State Board for Social Work made this a requirement for continuing education training and it was communicated to all training providers. Plan ahead- don’t be late or leave early.

What is the difference between live and self-study contact hours?

A live training is delivered in person where you are in the same room with the trainer, or through an online webinar where the trainer is delivering the training at the same time you are watching/listening and you have access to the trainer and other participants. Self-study hours are typically online courses that were prerecorded and you do not have access to the instructor and other participants. The training description and the certificates of completion must specify if the training is providing live or self-study social work contact hours.

After 1/1/16, only one-third of your continuing education training may be comprised of self-study courses.

Are there other ways to obtain social work contact hours?

Yes, hours can be obtained if you are a trainer for approved training provider, teaching select university credit courses, writing books or publishing articles, etc. There is information about this in #21 on the FAQ page

What if I have circumstances that do not allow me to comply with obtaining the required continuing education hours?

Refer to instructions in the Compliance section on the FAQ page.

Published 10/30/15