Section 1245.310  Continuing Education


a)         Continuing Education Hours Requirements


1)         In order to renew a license, a licensee shall be required to complete 30 hours of CE during the renewal period.


2)         A renewal period is the 24 months preceding October 31 of each odd-numbered year.


3)         One CE hour shall equal one clock hour.  After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be give in one-half hour increments.


4)         Courses that are part of the curriculum of a regionally accredited university or college shall be allotted CE credit at the rate of 15 CE hours for each semester hour, 14 CE hours for each trimester hour and 10 CE hours for each quarter hour of school credit awarded.


5)         A renewal applicant shall not be required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal of an Illinois license.


6)         Dietitian nutritionists licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states shall comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.


7)         CE credit hours used to satisfy the CE requirements of another jurisdiction may be applied to fulfill the CE requirements of the State of Illinois.


b)         Approved Continuing Education


1)         CE hours shall be earned by verified attendance (e.g., certificate of attendance or certificate of completion) at or participation in a program or course that is offered or sponsored by an approved CE sponsor who meets the requirements set forth in subsection (c), except for those activities provided in subsections (b)(2), (3) and (4).


2)         CE credit may be earned through postgraduate training programs (e.g., extern, residency or fellowship programs) or completion of dietetic and nutrition services related courses that are a part of the curriculum of a college or  university.


3)         CE credit may be earned for verified teaching in a regionally accredited college, university or graduate school of dietetics and nutrition services approved in accordance with Section 1245.130 as an instructor of CE programs given by approved sponsors.  Credit will be applied at the rate of 1.5 hours for every clock hour taught and only for the first presentation of the program (i.e., credit shall not be allowed for repetitious presentations).  A person may earn a maximum of 10 hours per renewal period.


4)         CE credit may be earned for authoring papers, publications or books and for preparing presentations and exhibits.  The preparation of each published paper, book chapter or audio-visual presentation dealing with dietetics and nutrition services may be claimed as 5 hours of credit per renewal period.  A presentation must be before an audience of dietitian nutritionists. Five credit hours may be claimed for only the first time the information is published or presented.


c)         Approved CE Sponsors and Programs


1)         Sponsor, as used in this Section, shall mean one of the following:


A)        Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, branch associations, or organizations approved as sponsors of CE by the Commission on Dietetic Registration;


B)        Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists, branch associations, or organizations approved as sponsors of CE by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists;


C)        American Clinical Board of Nutrition, branch associations, or organizations approved as sponsors of CE by the American Clinical Board of Nutrition;


D)        Clinical Nutrition Certification Board, branch associations, or organizations approved as sponsors of CE by the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board;


E)        Colleges and universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation;


F)         Employers licensed under the Hospital Licensing Act [210 ILCS 85];


G)        Illinois State agencies;


H)        Providers approved by another state's board of dietitian nutritionist practice; or


I)         A person, firm, association, corporation or any other group that applies pursuant to subsection (c)(2) and has been approved and authorized by the Department to coordinate and present CE courses and programs.


2)         An entity seeking approval as a CE sponsor shall submit an application, on forms supplied by the Department, along with the required fee as set forth in Section 1245.305.  (State agencies, State colleges and State universities in Illinois shall be exempt from paying this fee.)  The application shall include:


A)        Certification that:


i)          All programs offered by the sponsor for CE credit shall comply with the criteria in this Section;


ii)         The sponsor shall be responsible for verifying attendance at each program and provide a certificate of attendance to the participant as set forth in subsection (c)(7);


iii)        Upon request by the Department, the sponsor will submit evidence (e.g., certificate of attendance or course material) as is necessary to establish compliance with this Section.  Evidence shall be required when the Department has reason to believe that there is not full compliance with the Act and this Part and that this information is necessary to ensure compliance; and


B)        A copy of a 3 hour sample program with faculty, course materials and syllabi.


3)         All programs shall:


A)        Contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of the professional skills and scientific knowledge of the licensee in the practice of dietetics and nutrition services;


B)        Foster the enhancement of general or specialized work in the practice of dietetics and nutrition services;


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


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


E)        Specify the number of CE hours that may be applied to fulfilling the Illinois CE requirements for  renewal of a license.


4)         Each CE program shall provide a mechanism for evaluation of the program and instructor by the participants.  The evaluation may be completed on-site immediately following the program presentation or an evaluation questionnaire may be distributed to participants to be completed and returned by mail or electronically.  The sponsor and the instructor, together, shall review the evaluation outcome and revise subsequent programs accordingly.


5)         An approved sponsor may subcontract with individuals and organizations to provide approved programs.  All advertising, promotional materials and certificates of attendance must identify the licensed sponsor and the sponsor's license number.  The presenter of the program may also be identified, but should be identified as a presenter. When a licensed sponsor subcontracts with a presenter, the licensed sponsor retains all responsibility for monitoring attendance, providing certificates of attendance and ensuring the program meets all of the criteria established by the Act and this Part, including the maintenance of records.


6)         All programs given by approved sponsors shall be open to all dietitian nutritionists and not be limited to members of a single organization or group.


7)         Certification of Attendance.  It shall be the responsibility of a sponsor to provide each participant in a program with a certificate of attendance or participation.  The sponsor's certificate of attendance shall contain:


A)        The name, address and license number of the sponsor;


B)        The name and address of the participant;


C)        A brief statement of the subject matter;


D)        The number of hours attended in each program;


E)        The date and place of the program; and


F)         The signature of the sponsor.


8)         The sponsor shall maintain attendance records for not less than 5 years.


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


10)         Upon the failure of a sponsor to comply with any one of the requirements of this subsection (c), the Department, after notice to the sponsor and hearing before the Department, shall thereafter refuse to accept for CE credit attendance at or participation in any of that sponsor's CE programs until the Department receives assurances of compliance with requirements of this Section.


11)         Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Department or Board may evaluate any sponsor of any approved CE program at any time to ensure compliance with requirements of this Section.


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 this Section.


2)         The Department may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the CE requirements (e.g., certificate of attendance).  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.


3)         The Department may conduct a random audit to verify compliance with the CE requirements.


4)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant shall be notified in writing.


e)         Continuing Education Earned in Other Jurisdictions


1)         If a licensee has earned CE hours offered in another jurisdiction not given by an approved sponsor for which the licensee will be claiming credit toward full compliance in Illinois, the licensee shall submit an individual program approval request form, along with a $20 processing fee, within 90 days prior to expiration of the license.  The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3) of this Section.  Licensees may seek individual program approval prior to participating in the program.


2)         If a licensee fails to submit an out of state CE approval form within the required time frame, late approval may be obtained by submitting the approval request form with the $20 processing fee plus a $10 per hour late fee not to exceed $150.  The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in this Section.


f)         Waiver of CE Requirements


1)         Any renewal applicant seeking renewal of a license without having fully complied with these CE requirements shall file with the Department a renewal application along with the required fee set forth in Section 1245.305, a statement setting forth the facts concerning noncompliance and request for waiver of the CE requirements on the basis of these facts. A request for waiver shall be made prior to the renewal date.  If the Department finds, from an affidavit or any other evidence submitted, that extreme hardship has been shown for granting a waiver, the Department shall waive enforcement of CE requirements for the renewal period for which the applicant has applied.


2)         Extreme hardship shall be determined on an individual basis and be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable prerenewal period because of:


A)        Full-time service in the armed forces of the United States of America during a substantial part of the prerenewal period;


B)        An incapacitating illness documented by a statement from a currently licensed physician; or


C)        Any other similar extenuating circumstance.


3)         Any renewal applicant who, prior to the expiration date of the license, submits a request for a waiver, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provisions of this Section shall be deemed to be in good standing until the final decision on the application is made by the Department.


(Source:  Amended at 40 Ill. Reg. 3658, effective March 11, 2016)