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Eyvonne from DeVry University asked: I am an Accounting major and am currently looking for a position in the field to gain experience. Figuring out your continuing education (CE) requirements can be a bit puzzling, particularly because the answer varies according to your jurisdiction. According to the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), nearly every jurisdiction that issues social work licenses requires continuing education courses for renewal.
To find out the CE requirements for your jurisdiction in the United States and Canada, check them out at ASWB here.
To ensure your ability to get proper credit for fulfilling your CE requirements for your licensing board, make sure you receive a signed certificate of completion for the program you participated in, as well as a detailed description of the program (including syllabus, outline and bibliography as applicable). Aside from the (potential) licensing requirement for CE, there are also ethical considerations for social workers to take into account. Last but not least, you may want to take additional courses for your own professional growth – irrespective of whether you need CE credits for your jurisdiction. I fully support the idea of mandatory continuing education for social workers (as well as every other professional). One way to make sure you’re getting actual continuing education, and not just meeting licensure requirements, is to decide what you want to learn about this year and select your CE programs accordingly. The list of developments that have occurred in the mental health field since you have graduated with your MSW is striking. With regard to the pursuit of CE, you suggest focusing on one topic per year so as to immerse yourself in whatever subject you’re choosing to increase your knowledge.
I had the opportunity to give a CE program at University Buffalo last year, and I was impressed with the amount of time, energy and money that their Continuing Ed Program puts in given that there isn’t a mandate for social workers to take things.
My point here in part is that having CE requirements are one of the only ways we have to try to provide some balance of quality in education across the profession after people have graduated.
When I work with consultees, I suggest that continuing education goals should be in their business plan, and money for it be in their operating budget. Thanks so much for sharing some of your valuable experience and expertise on continuing education!
Yes, the University of Buffalo’s School of Social Work does have an impressive Continuing Education program. I totally agree with you that agencies should provide some reimbursement for continuing education.
For example, at my hospital placement last year, social workers not only had to pay for any outside CE but also had to use their own vacation days for this time. The point Jonathan makes about learning new therapy methods and techniques is very important. Unfortunately, many therapists only take continuing education in what they are already familiar and comfortable with and don’t learn about new findings in attachment, affect regulation, and interpersonal neurobiology, or about experiential and mind-body approaches to therapy that take these new findings into consideration. I love your enthusiasm for learning new things and your generosity in sharing what you learn with us.
Thanks so much for sharing some of the topics that you feel are important for clinical social workers to be studying to keep up-to-date.
You mentioned evidence-based practice, as well as experiential and mind-body approaches to therapy that take into account new findings in attachment, affect regulation, and interpersonal neurobiology.
Some of the therapies that take into account new findings in affective neuroscience include: EMDR, Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, and Attachment Focused Family Therapy.
I am most grateful for you having provided this list of modalities and recommending a great resource to use to learn about them!



New York State, where I live and work, is one of the few states that doesn’t require continuing education for social workers. Like Jonathan, when I think back on where the field was when I received my MSW it’s staggering to me how many things have changed.
In other words, I see continuing education as a professional obligation, regardless of whether or not state licensing boards require it, and regardless of whether or not agencies pay for it. As you so clearly illustrated, continued education is a lifelong necessity for all mental health professionals. Learn how to banish fallacies about cancer pain through the use of effective pain management and interventions. We offer competitive pricing for Social Work CEU as well as a discounted rate when you order multiple courses.
Nearly $10,000 is the most recent average tuition, according to the College Board, for one year at a public, four-year, in-state university.
However, most positions are asking that a candidate already has a Bachelor’s degree and have three to five years of experience. I want to become an expert in the field; how do I secure a job in HR when I only have customer service and teaching experience from Europe?” Hi Arzu, I can speak from personal experience!
Making yourself a success in a competitive industry will be one of the most difficult things you ever do.
These days, many professionals are interested in learning how to get ahead in the business world. Are you wondering whether you need to need to fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain your LMSW or LCSW license?
However, the requirements vary from one state to another from the number of continuing education (CE) hours required to the type of courses that must be taken.
The ethical principle supporting this value is that social workers practice within their areas of competence and develop and enhance their professional expertise. Nevertheless, I have quite a list of various courses that I want to take so that I have a nice toolkit of methodologies and techniques to be able to apply with my clients.
Licensing boards authorize people and organizations as CEU providers, but they don’t vet the content. One must continually stay abreast of the developments in mental health and update one’s skills to avoid falling behind or worse, being rendered obsolete. This is valuable guidance – to aim for a more intensive, in-depth training that will give you more vs.
John’s point is well taken, and so it was especially nice to see the dedication of both the folks at Buffalo and the students that took the course. For example in MA you are eligible to sit for your license to practice independently 2 years after you graduate if you’ve worked in an agency and been supervised during that time.
In MA you get CEs both for learning and teaching courses, so there is incentive for people to do both. It is an essential component of running a successful practice, both in terms of ongoing professional development but also networking with others. An important part of being a competent therapist is keeping abreast of new developments in the field. I look forward to hearing what you learn about evidence-based practice when you take the class. So in our region, many professionals have found that not only do some agencies not pay for their training, they require that they take vacation days in order to attend training.


If you need to talk or are concerned about someone else, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Additional credits can be added to your order at a rate of $5.95 per credit and must be purchased at the time of bundled order.
If this is your vocational objective, it’s time to start implementing strategies that will help you maintain the type of occupational mobility you desire.
There’s nothing better for your day-to-day practice than to get excited about a new idea or an old idea that you have been reminded of. As long as a program has an educational description and three learning objectives that are reasonable and consistent with the title and description, and you pay your money, then you’ll be able to provide CEUs.
At the moment there is too much administrative headache to offer CEUs for the episodes because they were not designed to be CE programs. This means that people in Albany have to wait 2-3 years longer than the people who live just 40 miles east of them. Personally I think CE should be both a requirement and that agencies should provide some reimbursement as well. There is more and more emphasis on evidence-based practice, so your plan to take the UBSSW online course in it is great!
And then at the other end of the spectrum, we have other agencies that really value continuing education and invest in their employees through funding their professional development. To be really effective in practice you need to not only attend continuing education and read, but ultimately you need to study something in depth. If you pursue a college degree, the last thing you want to do is graduate without career prospects.
Thanks for your question, Eyvonne – As a graduate in Human Resource Management, I faced the same challenges as you in college. There are all kinds of competitive industries out there, from the journalism industry to the film industry. Social work school is so crammed with required courses, so isn’t it nice to know you can take electives for the rest of your professional life through CE?
Interestingly, my impression is that these latter agencies have lower staff turnover rates. This means attending more than a one day workshop on something, but pursuing a topic over many sessions, and ideally obtaining consultation from specialists. However, with some effort and dedication you can change your career trajectory one opportunity at a time. Over the course of your career the knowledge and skills you acquired in your MSW program will go from new and cutting edge to obsolete. There is NO REASON why a social worker can’t put together an excellent year-long plan for continuing education these days.
Choose Your Degree Wisely Pursuing a degree because you “like” a subject is poor career planning. Turn Yourself Into A Brand Turning yourself into a brand is a good way to get people to recognize and remember you in any industry.



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