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Continuing Education
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Continuing Education (CE)


Continuing education exists to ensure that social workers remain up-to-date in the profession and are being trained in 21st century social work practices. Every "licensed" Michigan Social Worker is required to obtain 45 continuing education contact hours every three years in order to maintain an active license. Your three year cycle is determined by your license expiration date. If you do not know what your license expiration date is, you should contact the Michigan Department of Community Health.

  • Out of the 45 required CE hours, five of those hours must be obtained from taking an "approved" Social Work Ethics course.
  • One hour must obtained from taking an "approved" course on pain/pain symptom management.
  • Every "licensed" Michigan Social Worker can earn up to 10 hours of "approved" online learning every three years.

Not all courses advertised as social work courses are acceptable for your continuing education hours. Only courses approved by one of the following organizations are recognized as "approved" courses for Michigan Social Workers:

  • Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative- MICEC
  • Association of Social Work Boards - ASWB or ACE
  • Other states' Board of Social Work

If you take a course that is not approved by one of the organizations listed above then those hours will not count toward your required 45 CE Hours.

Click here for the continuing education requirements for Michigan Social Workers

Acceptable Continuing Education (CE) 

Criteria and Limitations:

Any of the following will be acceptable as continuing education (CE): 

  • 1 continuing education contact hour (CECH), without limitation, may be earned for each 60 minutes of attendance at a CE program that complies with the standards set forth in the rules.
  • 3 CECHs -- for each 60-minute presentation of a CE program that is not a part of the licensee’s regular job description and that complies with the rules. Credit may be earned for the same program only once in each renewal period. A maximum of 15 CECHs may be earned pursuant to this provision.
  • 5 CECHs -- for each semester credit earned for academic courses related to social work practice offered in an educational program approved by the Board
  • 3 CECHs -- for each quarter credit earned for academic courses related to social work practice offered in an educational program approved by the Board.
  • 1 CECH -- for each 60 minutes of program attendance, without limitation, at a CE program approved by another state board of social work or the ASWB
  • 1 CECH -- for each 60 minutes of attendance, without limitation, at a CE program related to social work practice offered by an educational program approved by the Board.
  • A maximum of 10 CECHs -- for publication, in a social work journal or textbook, of an article or chapter related to the practice of social work. 
  • A maximum of 10 CECHs -- for completion of online computer programs pertaining to social work.

The Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative recommends that in order to improve their skills and obtain knowledge, social workers should obtain their CE hours from a variety of methods and sources. The Licensing Board is currently reviewing the law to determine how home study will be defined and incorporated in future licensing requirements.

Methods of, and Criteria for, Approval of CE Programs

The Board adopted the standards of the ASWB for approved continuing education (ACE) providers set forth in the ASWB’s publication entitled "ACE Provider Guidelines” (April 2004). Further, a course or program may be reviewed and approved by the Board or any organization authorized by the Board to approve such courses or programs. Approved courses or programs must comply with the following requirements:

Cover one or more of the following topics:

  • Theories and concepts of human behavior in the social environment.
  • Social work practice, knowledge, and skills.
  • Social work research, program evaluation, or practice evaluation.
  • Social work agency management or administration.
  • Development, evaluation and/or implementation of social policy.
  • Social work ethics and standards of professional practice.
  • Current issues in clinical or macro social work practice.
  • Provide an outline of the course or program and the qualifications of the individuals presenting the course or programs.
  • Describe the method used to deliver the course or program.
  • Define measurements of pre-knowledge and post- knowledge or skill improvements 
  • Provide for the monitoring of attendance.  Records of course attendance would have to show the date of a program or course, its location, the credentials of the presenters, rosters of individuals who attended, and continuing education contact hours awarded to each attendee.
  • Provide to each attendee a certificate or written evidence of attendance that indicated the participant’s name, date and location of program, sponsor or program approval number, and hours of continuing education earned.
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