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Continuing Education FAQ
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Continuing Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is continuing education?

Education and training oriented toward maintenance, improvement or enhancement of social work practice is considered Continuing Education (CE). The State of Michigan requires licensed social workers to complete 45 hours of continuing education every three years.

Who needs to get continuing education hours?

All fully licensed LMSWs and LBSWs are required to obtain continuing education hours. Limited Licensees and Registered Social Service Technicians (RSSTs) are not required to obtain continuing education.

Can I take continuing education courses from any provider?

No. Continuing education courses must be pre-approved. The Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative (MICEC) has been designated by the Michigan Board of Social Work as the authorizing agent for approval of CE providers and courses. You may take courses that have been approved by one of the following organizations:

  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) or the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program
  • Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative (MICEC)
  • Another State's Board of Social Work

When can I start accumulating my continuing education hours?

You may start accumulating hours based on the renewal date of your license. For example: If you renewed your license on April 30, 2010, you were eligible to being accumulating your 45 hours as of May 1, 2010. If you accrue more than 45 hours in your three year period, extra hours do not count toward your next renewal cycle.


Are there specific subject matters that must be covered in the courses that I take?

You are required to take 5 (five) hours of Social Work Ethics and 2 (two) hours of Pain and Pain Symptom Management. CE hours in Pain and Pain Symptom Management may include, but are not limited to courses in Behavior Management, Psychology of Pain, Behavior Modification, and Stress Management.


In addition, courses must 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

For example, content areas appropriate for continuing education can include:

  • Methods of intervention, such as individual counseling, psychotherapy, family treatment, group work, and community organization. 
  • Supervision, consultation, planning and policy development. 
  • Teaching and educational methods, social problems, advocacy, social change. 
  • Social action, cultural diversity and specialized services and treatment.

What records do I have to keep?

If you are a licensee attending CE courses, you are required by Michigan law to retain documentation of meeting the CE requirements for a period of four (4) years from the date of application for license renewal or re-licensure.  Although the law does not specify what information the licensee must retain, it is suggested that you keep the following information:

  • The title of the course or program and any identification number assigned to it by the provider.
  • The number of CE hours completed.
  • The provider's name and identifying number.
  • Verification of your attendance by the provider.
  • The date and location of the course.
  • All of this information is likely to be included on a certificate of course attendance that providers will be required to give to all attendees who complete the course.

To help social workers ensure they have enough CE hours to renew their license by their renewal date, NASW-Michigan provides a CE Tracking Service for a small fee.

How does program length relate to continuing education credits?

An instructional hour is defined as a 60 minute hour with no less than 50 minutes of uninterrupted instruction.  Credit can be given in half hour increments (i.e., 30 minutes = 0.5 credits).  When counting hours, the following exclusions apply: travel time, meeting time devoted to business, committee activities, entertainment, or social activities such as coffee hours, luncheons, dinners, etc.



Where can I receive free or discounted CEs?

NASW-Michigan Chapter Upcoming Workshops & Networking Events

National NASW Professional Development Center (you may complete any current or archived workshop)

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