Section 1283.110  Continuing Education


a)         Continuing Education Hours Requirements


1)         Beginning with the 1999 license renewal and every renewal thereafter, every licensee who applies for renewal of a license as a marriage and family therapist shall complete within the pre-renewal period 30 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the practice of marriage and family therapy.


2)         A pre-renewal period is the 24 months preceding February 28 of each odd-numbered year.


3)         One CE hour shall equal one clock hour.


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


5)         Marriage and family therapists licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states shall comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.


b)         Approved Continuing Education


1)         Continuing education hours shall be earned by verified attendance (e.g., certificate of attendance or certificate of completion) at or participation in a program or course (program) that is offered or sponsored by an approved continuing education 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 marriage and family therapy related courses that are a part of the curriculum of a college, university or graduate school of marriage and family therapy. Courses that are part of the curriculum of a university, college or other educational institution shall be allotted CE credit at the rate of 15 CE hours for each semester hour or 10 hours for each quarter hour of school credit awarded.


3)         CE credit may be earned for verified teaching of a course or program in a college or graduate school approved in accordance with Section 1283.30 and/or as an instructor of continuing education programs given by approved sponsors. Credit will be applied at the rate of 1.5 hours for every hour of teaching or presenting the course or program material and only for the first presentation of the course or program (i.e., credit shall not be allowed for repetitious presentations).


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 marriage and family therapy may be claimed as 5 hours of credit. A presentation must be before a professional audience of marriage and family therapists. Five credit hours may be claimed for only the first time the information is published or presented.


5)         CE hours may be earned through completion of a distance learning course (e.g., pre-recorded online course/program, live online course/program, by mail, computer, etc.) that is offered by an approved sponsor who meets the requirements set forth in subsection (c).  Each course shall include an examination.


c)         Approved CE Sponsors and Programs


1)         Sponsor, as used in this Section, shall mean the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and any other person, firm, association, corporation or group that has been approved and authorized by the Division upon recommendation of the Board to coordinate and present continuing education courses and programs.


2)         An entity seeking approval as a CE sponsor shall submit an application, on forms supplied by the Division, along with the fee set forth in Section 1283.95(a)(3).  (State agencies, State colleges and State universities in Illinois shall be exempt from paying this fee).  The application shall include:


A)        Certification:


i)          That all programs offered by the sponsor for CE credit shall comply with the criteria in subsection (c)(3) and all other criteria in this Section;


ii)         That the sponsor shall be responsible for verifying full-time continuous attendance at each program and provide a certificate of attendance as set forth in subsection (c)(9);


iii)        That upon request by the Division, the sponsor shall 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 Division has reason to believe that there is not full compliance with the statute and this Part and that this information is necessary to ensure compliance;


B)        A copy of a 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 marriage and family therapy;


B)        Foster the enhancement of general or specialized work in the practice of marriage and family therapy;


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.  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 marriage and family therapists and not be limited to members of a single organization or group.


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


8)         To maintain approval as a sponsor, each sponsor shall submit to the Division by February of each odd-numbered year a renewal application, the fee set forth in Section 1283.95(b)(2) and a list of courses and programs offered within  the last 24 months.  The list shall include a brief description, location, date and time of each course given.


9)         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 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.


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


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


12)         Upon the failure of a sponsor to comply with any one of the requirements of this Section, the Division, after notice to the sponsor and hearing before and recommendation by the Board (see 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1110), shall thereafter refuse to accept for CE credit attendance at or participation in any of the sponsor's CE programs until such time as the Division receives assurances of compliance with requirements of this Section.


13)         Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Division or Board may evaluate any sponsor of any approved CE program at any time to ensure compliance with the 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 subsections (a) and (b).


2)         The Division may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the CE requirements (e.g., certificate of attendance). This additional evidence shall be required in the context of the Division's random audit.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.


3)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant shall be notified in writing and may request an interview with the Board. At that time the Board 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].


e)         Continuing Education Earned in Other Jurisdictions.


1)         If a licensee has earned CE hours offered in another state or territory not given by an approved sponsor for which the licensee will be claiming credit toward full compliance in Illinois, the applicant shall submit an individual program approval request form, along with a $25 processing fee, prior to participation in the program or 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).


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 $25 processing fee plus a $10 per CE 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 subsection (c)(3).


f)         Restoration of Nonrenewed License.  Upon satisfactory evidence of compliance with CE requirements, the Division shall restore the license upon payment of the required fee as provided in Section 55(e) and (f) of the Act.


g)         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 Division a renewal application along with the required fee set forth in Section 55(d) of the Act, a statement setting forth the facts concerning non-compliance 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 Division, upon the written recommendation of the Board, finds from such affidavit or any other evidence submitted that extreme hardship has been shown for granting a waiver, the Division 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 by the Board and be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable pre-renewal period because of:


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


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


C)        A physical inability to travel to the site of approved programs documented by a currently licensed physician; and


D)        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 a good standing  until the final decision on the application is made by the Division.


(Source:  Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 1818, effective January 28, 2021)