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Feb 15, 2023

The Rookie’s Guide to CE Credits

What are CE credits?

Continuing education (CE) credits are awarded to individuals in certain professions, such as healthcare, engineering, or education, to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining and updating their knowledge and skills. While the number and type of CE credits required varies depending on the professional field and regulatory body, the purpose is the same: to ensure that professionals stay current in their field and continue to provide the highest quality services to their clients or patients. 

Professionals generally need to take continuing education courses and acquire CE credits from approved providers. Credentialing boards authorize qualifying organizations to offer CE credits, and professionals should seek out continuing education providers with CE approvals that meet their licensing board’s requirements. For example, a psychologist would seek out a continuing education provider approved by the American Psychological Association to offer CE credits.

Why should I offer CE credits?

Offering CE credits for your conference, webinar, or other education series is a great way to add value. CE credits from an approved provider of continuing education communicates to your audience that your educational activity meets a high standard and the information they’re receiving is current, relevant, useful, and presented by a qualified expert. CE credits lend credibility to your event, and instills a sense of confidence in your attendees regarding the quality of your event.

CE credits additionally help to incentivize professionals to register for your event, since so many professionals are required to accumulate a certain amount of CE credits as part of their licensure requirements. If you’ve been struggling to meet your event registration goals, offering CE credits for that event could help increase your attendance.

How can I offer CE credits?

Organizations looking to become approved providers by a credentialing board often undergo a rigorous application process and are responsible for ongoing reporting and auditing to ensure that the continuing education activities they are hosting meet the boards highest standards of quality. Credentialing boards and organizations seeking approved provider status will often have divisions and staff dedicated to just managing their continuing education programs and compliance. 

If you are considering becoming an approved provider by a particular board, first check out the board's resources and handbooks that stipulate the requirements and commitments. There will typically be a large section of their website devoted to hosting these materials. If it feels overwhelming, consider hiring a consultant or firm with specialized knowledge to help you through the process. 

Alternatively, if you’re just getting into offering CE activities or you aren’t interested in managing a CE approval, consider cosponsorship. Cosponsorship is the joint planning of a continuing education activity where organizations collaborate to plan and execute high quality programs. This allows you to offer CE credits to your attendees. For organizations who would like to offer CE credits for their events, but do not have the requisite approvals, cosponsorship is a great option! In fact, many organizations start offering CE credits with cosponsorship to get the confidence and experience of meeting board requirements and then go on to obtain their own approval status.

How do I find a cosponsor?

Cosponsors come in all shapes and sizes. Organizations might partner with hospitals, healthcare centers, or other professional organizations. If you’re planning a CE event, reach out to your network to see if you can collaborate with an organization who might have their own approvals. Collaborating with a larger group who has approvals may also offer the expanded benefit of them marketing your event to their lists.

Also consider businesses who offer cosponsorship services for a fee. A quick Google search shows a few choices. These businesses may charge cosponsorship fees based on the number of CE credits offered, the size and scope of your event, the type of CE credits you’d like to offer or a combination of these.

In this case the businesses offering cosponsorship services will have you submit your educational content for review to ensure it meets board standards. While the review process may vary, once approved the cosponsor will let grant you use of the applicable CE approval statement(s) on the landing and registration page, and completion certificate, which allows you to offer continuing education credits to those attending your event. 

Qualifying CE-Go client organizations may collaborate with CE Learning Systems to provide CE credits to behavioral health professionals for attending events administered using the CE-Go platform. Reach out to an account manager to learn more and check out our Cosponsorship Guide!

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