Section 1375.220  Continuing Education


a)         Continuing Education Hours Requirements


1)         In order to renew a license, a licensee shall be required to complete 30 hours of continuing education.  All clinical professional counselors are required to complete 18 hours in clinical supervision training of the 30 continuing education hours required.  This is a one-time (lifetime) requirement.  All supervision training successfully completed subsequent to September 1, 2003 can be applied to the 18 hours of clinical supervision continuing education required.


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


3)         CE requirements shall be the same for licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical professional counselors.


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


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


6)         Professional counselors or clinical professional counselors licensed in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states or jurisdictions shall comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.


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.


b)         Approved Continuing Education (CE)


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


3)         CE credit may be earned through postgraduate training programs (e.g., extern, residency or fellowship programs) or completion of professional counseling related courses that are a part of the curriculum of a college, university or graduate school.  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 CE hours for each quarter hour of school credit awarded.


4)         CE credit may be earned for verified teaching in the field of counseling in an accredited college, university or graduate school 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 taught and only for the first presentation of the program (i.e., credit shall not be allowed for repetitious presentations of the same program).  A maximum of 10 hours of CE credit may be obtained in this category per prerenewal period.


5)         CE credit may be earned for authoring papers, publications, dissertations or books and for preparing presentations and exhibits in the field of counseling.  The preparation of each published paper, book chapter or professional presentation dealing with professional counseling or clinical professional counseling may be claimed as 5 hours of credit.  A presentation must be before an audience of professional counselors.  Five credit hours may be claimed for only the first time the information is published or presented.


6)         A maximum of 8 hours of CE credit may be earned per renewal period for clinical supervision received or provided on a regular basis with a set agenda. Clinical supervision shall be documented with a letter from the supervisor indicating the start and end dates in which the supervision occurred, the site where supervision was provided, the number of hours of participation and the name and license number of the supervisor.  The letter shall be signed by the supervisor and the supervisee.


7)         A maximum of 6 hours of CE credit may be earned per renewal period for leadership activities.  These activities include, but are not limited to, officer of a state or national counseling organization; editor of a professional counseling journal; member of a national counselor certification board; member of a national ethics disciplinary review committee; chair of a major counseling conference or convention; active member of a counseling committee producing a substantial written product.  The leadership shall be documented in a letter of confirmation on the organization's letterhead and shall include the start and end dates of leadership, the name of the organization and the position held.


c)         Approved CE Sponsors and Programs


1)         Sponsor, as used in this Section, shall mean:


A)        National Board for Certified Counselors or its affiliates;


B)        American Counseling Association or its affiliates;


C)        Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor or its affiliates;


D)        American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy or its affiliates;


E)        Employee Assistance Professional Association (EAPA) and Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) or its affiliates;


F)         Social Work Continuing Education Sponsors approved by the Division in accordance with the rules for the administration of Clinical Social Work and Social Work Practice Act [225 ILCS 20], 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1470.95;


G)        American Psychological Association or its affiliates; and


H)        Any other accredited school, college or university, State agency, or any other person, firm, or association  that has been approved and authorized by the Division pursuant to subsection (c)(2) to coordinate and present continuing education courses and programs.


2)         An entity seeking approval as a CE sponsor pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(H) shall submit an application, on forms supplied by the Division, along with the fee set forth in Section 1375.205. (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 professional counseling or clinical professional counseling;


B)        Foster the enhancement of general or specialized counseling or clinical counseling practice and values;


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 license renewal.


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 licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical professional counselors and not be limited to members of a single organization or group.


7)         To maintain approval as a sponsor pursuant to subsection (c)(2), each shall submit to the Division by March 30 of each odd-numbered year a renewal application, the fee set forth in Section 1375.205 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 by the sponsor and by any subcontractor.


8)         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 or person responsible for the CE program.


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


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


11)         Upon the failure of a sponsor to comply with any 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 that sponsor's CE programs until such time as the Division receives assurances of compliance with this Section.


12)         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 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 or is seeking 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 applicant shall submit an individual program approval request form, along with a $25 processing fee, prior to participation in the program or within 90 days after expiration of the license.  The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the 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 $50 per CE hour late fee not to exceed $300.  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 1375.205.


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 1375.205, 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 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 sites of approved programs documented by a currently licensed physician; or


D)        Any other similar extenuating circumstances.


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 Division.


(Source:  Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 1837, effective January 28, 2021)