Section 1250.220  Continuing Education


a)         Continuing Education Hour Requirements


1)         Every funeral director and embalmer renewal applicant shall complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the practice of funeral directing and embalming during each prerenewal period.  For the 2015 and 2017 renewals, the 24 hours shall include a minimum of 6 hours related to the practice of funeral directing and a minimum of 6 hours related to the practice of embalming.  Beginning with the 2019 renewal, the 24 hours shall include a minimum of 9 hours related to the practice of funeral directing and a minimum of 9 hours related to the practice of embalming.  No more than 6 hours may consist of insurance courses.


2)         Every funeral director renewal applicant shall complete 12 hours of CE relevant to the practice of funeral directing or embalming during each prerenewal period.  No more than 3 hours may consist of insurance courses.


3)         The Division shall conduct random audits to verify compliance with this Section.  The prerenewal period is the 24 months preceding the expiration date of the license.


4)         A renewal applicant is not required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal following the original issuance of the license.


5)         A licensee who has been actively licensed as a funeral director or embalmer for at least 40 years shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements of this Section.


6)         Funeral directors and embalmers licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states must comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.


b)         Activities for which CE credit may be earned are as follows:


1)         Verified attendance at or participation in a program given by a sponsor as set forth in subsection (c)(1) of this Section.


2)         A maximum of 6 hours for funeral directors or 12 hours for funeral directors and embalmers per prerenewal period for:


A)        Personal preparation of an educational presentation pertaining to funeral directing and/or embalming that is orally delivered before recognized funeral directing and embalming organizations;


B)        Writing of articles pertaining to funeral directing or embalming and having them published in nationally recognized funeral directing and embalming journals;


C)        Writing a chapter in a book pertaining to funeral directing or embalming; and


D)        Completion of self-study courses taken through an accredited college or university or an approved sponsor.  The self-study courses shall meet the following requirements:


i)          Self-study courses designed for CE credit must include an examination that tests the skills of the licensee and is of sufficient depth that answers are not readily apparent and have not been provided to the licensee by the sponsor or anyone else.


ii)         Sponsors have the obligation to craft examinations in ways to prevent candidates from obtaining unearned credit.


3)         A licensee who serves as an instructor, speaker or discussion leader of an approved course will be allowed CE course credit for actual presentation time, plus actual preparation time of up to 2 hours for each hour of presentation.  Preparation time shall not be allowed for repetitious presentations of the same course and will only be allowed for additional study or research.  In no case shall credit for actual time of presentation and preparation be given for more than 6 hours for funeral directors or 12 hours for funeral directors and embalmers during any renewal period.


4)         The CE hours used to satisfy the CE requirements for renewal of a funeral director or funeral director and embalmer license held in another jurisdiction shall be applied to fulfillment of the CE requirements for renewal of their Illinois funeral director or funeral director and embalmer license.


5)         A maximum of 24 hours of CE credit shall be given for courses completed at an accredited college or university. One semester hour shall equal 8 CE hours.  One quarter hour shall equal 6 CE hours.


6)         A CE hour means a minimum of 50 minutes of actual continuing education spent by a licensee in actual attendance at and completion of an approved CE activity.  A CE program shall not be presented during a dinner or social function.  The dinner or social function must be concluded before the CE program commences or be held after the CE program is completed.  If the CE program is held after the dinner or social function commences, no alcohol may be served.  If the program involves one or more hours of education, credit may be issued in one-half hour increments.


7)         Credit will not be given for activities that are not included in this subsection (b).


c)         CE Sponsors and Programs


1)         Sponsor, as used in this Section, pursuant to Sections 5-15 and 10-35 of the Code, shall mean the following:


A)        An accredited college or university, or State agency;


B)        Illinois Funeral Directors Association;


C)        Funeral Directors Services Association of Greater Chicago;


D)        Cook County Association of Funeral Home Owners, Inc.;


E)        Illinois Selected Morticians Association;


F)         National Funeral Directors Association;


G)        Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Home Association;


H)        Selected Independent Funeral Homes;


I)         An Illinois school of mortuary science;


J)         International Order of the Golden Rule;


K)        National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association; or


L)        Any other person, firm, or association that has been approved and authorized by the Division to coordinate and present CE courses and programs in conjunction with this Section.


2)         Application

A continuing education sponsor application shall be filed with the Division to be approved as a continuing education sponsor.  The application shall include:


A)        A copy of the Certificate of Attendance the sponsor will use, which shall contain the following information:


i)          The CE sponsor license number, name and address;


ii)         Name and license number of the participant;


iii)        Number of hours awarded; and


B)        The required fee set forth in Section 1250.165.


3)         Requirements


A)        A CE sponsor shall provide CE courses and programs that are organized programs of formal learning that contribute directly to a licensee's knowledge and ability to perform duties as a licensee.  The CE course must meet the following minimum requirements:


i)          Be developed and presented by persons with education, training and/or practical experience in the subject matter to be presented;


ii)         Include a student evaluation of both instructor and the course;


iii)        Specify the course objectives and content and the number of CE hours to be earned.  The information shall be specified in all promotional materials; and


iv)        All sponsors shall verify attendance at each CE course or program.  A record of attendance shall be kept for no less than 5 years.  Sponsors shall give each successful participant a record of completion at the end of the course or program.  All records shall comply with the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(2)(A).


B)        CE sponsors shall be required to renew their license May 31 of odd numbered years.  The first renewal shall be May 31, 2015.


C)        After September 30, 2013, CE programs must be given by a sponsor who has been approved by the Division to provide continuing education. CE sponsors must submit an application and the required fee and meet the current requirements set forth in this Part and the Act within six months after adoption of these amendments in order to continue providing continuing education.


C)        If an approved CE sponsor does not renew the license at the time of renewal, the CE sponsor must reapply and submit the appropriate documents and pay the initial application fee.


4)         All courses and programs shall:


A)        Contain materials that contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of professional skills and knowledge in the practice of funeral directing or embalming.  The course content shall be designed to focus on such advancement and enhancement of professional skills and knowledge;


B)        Specify the course objectives, course content and teaching methods to be used;


C)        Be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program;


D)        Specify the number of CE hours that may be applied to fulfilling the Illinois CE requirements for license renewal; and


E)        Include some mechanism whereby participants evaluate the overall quality and content of the program.


5)         All programs given by sponsors should be open to all licensed funeral directors and funeral directors and embalmers and not be limited to the members of a single organization or group.


6)         Certificate of Attendance or Participation.  It shall be the responsibility of the sponsor to provide each participant in an approved program or course with a certificate of attendance or participation that shall contain the following information:


A)        The name and address of the sponsor;


B)        The name and license number of the participant;


C)        A brief statement of the subject matter;


D)        The number of CE hours awarded in each program;


E)        The date and place of the program; and


F)         The signature of the sponsor.


7)         The certificate of attendance shall be distributed following the educational program or otherwise be provided to the attendee by the sponsor, by such means as mailing the certificate or summary of attendance.


8)         The sponsor shall maintain course materials and attendance records containing all information in subsection (c)(6) for not less than 5 years, except for the signature of the sponsor.


9)         The sponsor shall be responsible for assuring that no participant shall receive CE credit for time not actually spent attending the program.


10)        If it is determined after a hearing before the Board that a sponsor has failed to comply with the foregoing requirements, the Division shall thereafter refuse to accept for CE credit attendance at any of that sponsor's CE activities until the Division receives assurances of compliance with this Section.


11)         Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Division or Board may evaluate any sponsor of any continuing education program at any time.


12)         The Division shall maintain a list of all approved continuing education sponsors in addition to those identified under subsection (c)(1)(A) through (K).


d)         Certification of Compliance with CE Requirements


1)         Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with the CE requirements set forth in subsection (a).


2)         The Division may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the CE requirements.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.  The additional evidence will be required in the context of the Division's random audit.


3)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant will be notified, at which time the Division may recommend that steps be taken to begin formal disciplinary proceedings as required by Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100/10-65].


e)         Exemptions


1)         A licensee may be exempt from the continuing education requirements of this Section if one of the following situations occur.  If an exemption is claimed, it is required that the renewal fee and any documentation needed to support the exemption be submitted for renewal of a license.


A)        A licensee who is on full-time active duty in the military service of the United States, or is a licensee who is called to temporary active duty in the military service or Armed Forces of the United States for a period of time exceeding 120 consecutive days during the renewal period, when that activity restricts participation in a continuing education program.


B)        A licensee who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Division that meeting these requirements would work an undue hardship by reason of disability, illness or other clearly mitigating circumstances.  The supporting documentation shall be in the form of a sworn statement by the licensee, a statement from a physician, or medical records that show the disability, illness or circumstance prevented the licensee's participation in the continuing education program during a substantial part of the renewal period.  If the Division finds from the evidence that good cause has been shown for non-compliance, the Division shall waive enforcement, extend the time within which the licensee shall comply, or establish a particular program or schedule of continuing education, including home study, for the renewal period in which the undue hardship existed.  In the cases of non-compliance by reason of advanced age or serious health conditions lasting a substantial part of the renewal period, enforcement shall not be waived for more than one renewal period.


2)         Any licensee who, prior to the expiration date of the license, submits a request for an exemption under this Section shall be deemed to be in good standing until the Division's final decision on the request has been made.


3)         Any licensee who submits a request for an exemption that is denied may then request his or her license be placed on inactive status.  The licensee shall comply with the continuing education requirements prior to restoration of the license from inactive status in accordance with Section 1250.160.


(Source:  Amended at 37 Ill. Reg. 4838, effective April 1, 2013)