CEU information for trainers

Depending on what demographics they serve, being able to provide CEU credits for the workshops they provide is an important consideration for some trainers. The FAQs below will help with the process of becoming approved to provide credits, which in turn will help you disseminate life-saving skills among helping professionals.

Most professional organizations will accept the following documentation in support of granting continuing education credits for your training programs:

  • Completed application form for the organization you are hoping to serve.
  • Names and professional credentials of the trainer or trainers (some organizations may want their resume or vitae).
  • Workshop overview document for each workshop or presentation, which includes:
  1. Course description
  2. Course content
  3. Course outline including contact hours
  4. Course learning objectives
  5. Course outcomes
  6. Texts and instructional resources
  7. References

A template for these items is available for download. Credentialing boards and professional organizations will require you to keep this information on file for periodic auditing as an ongoing continuing education provider. Some trainers apply to grant credits for each workshop they deliver and turn in this information each time.

When providing continuing education, you are also required to maintain the following information about the participants to whom you award hours:

  • Date and location of training
  • Name of participant
  • Contact information for participant
  • Type of license and number

A standard template for keeping track of this information is available for download from the CEU page.

Some professional organizations require at least one of the trainers to have credentials that are comparable to the professions they represent. For example, counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, chemical dependency counselors, and nurses will often accept credentials from each other’s professions. Psychologists and physicians often require that the trainer have similar credentials to their own unless the credentialing body is a hospital or medical school. For groups like police officers or educators, being a registered or master trainer is often more important than the academic credentials.

You will need to contact the professional organization in question to find out how they count contact hours. There are three commonly used methods:

Method One

Higher education counts an hour as 50 minutes’ contact and 10 minutes’ break. 10 hours equals 1 credit hour or CEU. 

Here is how the ASIST workshop is counted according to this method:
Day 1 morning: 220 minutes
Day 1 afternoon: 160 minutes
Day 2 morning: 213 minutes
Day 2 afternoon: 165 minutes
Total: 758 minutes
758 divided by 50 minutes would be 15 contact hours. If you were offering higher education credits or CEUs, the course would be worth 1.5 credit hours or 1.5 CEUs.

Here is how the safeTALK workshop is counted according to this method:
Part one: 85 minutes
Part two: 80 minutes
Total: 165 minutes
160 divided by 50 minutes would be 3.2 contact hours. If you were offering higher education credits or CEUs, the course would be worth .33 credit hours or .33 CEUs.

 

Method Two

Some professional organizations count all time spent in the workshop, including short breaks but excluding the lunch break. Totals are measured in hours of continuing education.

Here is how the ASIST workshop is counted according to this method:
Day 1 morning: 220 min. (contact) + 20 min. (breaks) = 240 min. (4 hours)
Day 1 afternoon: 160 min. (contact) + 20 min. (breaks) = 180 min. (3 hours)
Day 2 morning: 213 min. (contact) + 30 min. (breaks) = 243 min. (4 hours)
Day 2 afternoon: 165 min. (contact) + 15 min. (break) = 190 min. (3 hours)
Total: 758 min. (contact) + 85 min. (breaks) = 843 min. (14 hours)
843 divided by 60 minutes would be 14 hours of continuing education.

Here is how the safeTALK workshop is counted according to this method:
Part one: 85 min. (contact) + 15 min. (break)
Part two: 80 min. (contact)
Total: 165 min. (contact) + 15 min. (break) = 180 min. (3 hrs) 
180 divided by 60 minutes would be 3 hours of continuing education.

 

Method Three

Some professional organizations do not count breaks as part of the time provided. The totals are measured in hours of continuing education.

Here is how the ASIST workshop is counted according to this method:
Day 1 am: 220 min. (contact) + 20 min. (breaks) = 240 min. (4 hrs)
Day 1 pm: 160 min. (contact) + 20 min. (breaks) = 180 min. (3 hrs)
Day 2 am: 213 min. (contact) + 30 min. (breaks) = 243 min. (4 hrs)
Day 2 pm: 165 min. (contact) + 15 min. (break) = 190 min. (3 hrs)
Total: 758 min. (contact) + 85 min. (breaks) = 843 min. (14 hrs)
758 divided by 60 minutes would be 12.6 hours of continuing education.

Here is how the safeTALK workshop is counted according to this method:
Part one: 85 (contact) 15 (break)
Part two: 80 (contact)
Total: 165 minutes (contact) + 15 (break) = 180 (3 hrs)
165 divided by 60 minutes would be 2.75 hours of continuing education.

Some states offer one application to grant credits through several different professional associations. For example, the California Board of Behavioral Services offers continuing education hours for licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEPs), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCCs).  

For other states you may have to go to each professional board and make separate application for each profession. For example, in Texas you would go through the Texas Department of Health and apply separately for several professions. Most states have a Board of Nursing or Board of Registered Nurses. Some states have special accreditation for police officers through the state police officers’ association, or you can work through the local training department in your area. In addition, some trainers have been able to work with their local community college or university to offer trainings for college credit as well as continuing education.

There are also some national organizations that offer applications for continuing education. For some you can apply each time, while with others you may be best served to become an ongoing provider. All providers, regardless of whether they’re federal or regional, have fees associated with this process. In each case, you will have to weigh the costs and benefits to decide whether you want to pursue this and whether you are prepared to keep up with the ongoing documentation. Providing continuing education credits can be valuable and rewarding for trainers in certain fields, but is not necessary for everyone.

If you would like help and support to find out where to apply in your state, province, or region, please contact Monica Kintigh, LivingWorks CEU Coordinator.