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Renewal of a social worker's license is contingent on completion and receipt by the board of an application attesting to completion, within the previous 2 year period, of 24 credit hours of continuing education in programs and categories approved by the board.

CONTINUING EDUCATION objectives are to acquire knowledge of professionally relevant ideas and information; maintain and increase proficiency in service delivery; refine skills, and reinforce appropriate professional attitudes.

CREDIT HOUR means 1 hour or its equivalent spent by the social worker in an activity which qualifies for continuing education credit. Means a 60-minute hour. One credit hour equals a 50-minute class hour in a classroom instructional setting.

CATEGORY I -- Formally Organized Learning Activities
1. This category includes the following programs given by the Board-authorized sponsors.
a. Academic courses conducted by an accredited academic institution taken for credit or audit.
b. Seminars, workshops, mini-courses, staff development, and training programs.
2. At least 12 of the required 24 credit hours shall be earned in Category 1. All 24 credits may be earned in this category.
3. To be approved for credit in this category, a learning program and an automatic sponsor's program shall have;
a. A stated purpose and defined content area which is consistent with the objectives set forth in these regulations;
b. Presenters who are qualified professionals in the specified subject matter;
c. A clearly identified program time period;
d. Records of attendance
e. Documentation of completion provided by the program sponsor;
f. A requirement that participants complete an evaluation of learning program;
g. Face-to-face transactions between teacher and learners; and interactive video technology.
h. A session of at least 3 hours, unless it is part of a series.

CATEGORY II -- Professional Meetings and Organized Learning Experiences
3. Attendance at professional meetings or conferences at local, state, national, and international professional and scientific organizations, structured discussions, conferences, study groups and journal clubs.

CATEGORY III -- Self-Directed Learning Activities
4. Self-directed learning activities which have been approved by the board.
5. Instruction of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students.
6. Provision of continuing education programs which have been approved by the board.
7. Initial preparation and presentation of a social work course, seminar, institute, or workshop.
8. First-time publication of a social work article, book, or chapter of a book.
9. Consultation and consultative activities.
10. Provision of and participation in planned supervisory activities as a supervisor or supervisee.

CATEGORY I - A minimum of 12 and a maximum of 24 credits shall be earned in this category.
CATEGORY II - 12 of the required 24 credit hours may be earned in this category.
CATEGORY III - 4 of the required 24 credit hours may be earned in this category.

(#1) One academic credit is the equivalent of 15 credit hours. Audit credit will be for the number of hours of class instruction attended, but may not exceed the number which would have been awarded if the class had been taken for credit.
(#5) 4 credit hours for instruction of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students or specialty applicants, with a maximum of 2 credit hours in any one semester.
(#7) 2 credit hours for first-time preparation endeavors.
(#9) 2 credit hours for consultation and supervisory activities.

(#1) An official transcript for credit hours earned in a course taken for credit.
(#2) A certificate of participation for all other programs.
(#3) A certificate of participation, if available. If not available, the dates on which the program was presented, the names of the presenters, topics presented, and an outline of the presentation.
(#4-10) Proof of presentations made; reprints of publications; dates, times, and names of participants in supervisory and consultation activities; when credit is claimed for instruction of students, letters from educational institutions.

Social workers shall attest to completion of continuing education hours on a form as part of the application for license renewal. Social workers shall retain records of continuing education for 4 years after the licensing renewal date for which the report of continuing education was submitted to the board. The board shall audit a percentage of social workers to be determined by the board for each reporting period.

1. The following sponsors are automatically authorized to sponsor Category I activities:
a. The National Association of Social Workers, Federation of Clinical Social Work Societies, and the National Association of Black Social Workers.
b. Recognized state, regional, national, or international social work associations.
c. National, regional, or state accredited academic institutions offering academic courses or programs recognized as acceptable social work curriculum subject areas.
d. National level nonsocial work professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association that are relevant to the professional development of social workers.
2. The following may be authorized to sponsor Category I programs on application and approval by the board:
a. Licensed health professionals.
b. Individuals with documented expertise in an area related to the practice of social work.
c. Agencies, institutions, or organizations not entitled to automatic authorization but which provide continuing education programs.
3. Authorized sponsors shall include the following in their program descriptions:
a. The category and number of continuing education credit hours which will be certified by the sponsor in a certificate awarded to the licensee on completion of the program.
b. A statement that the named sponsor is authorized by the board.
c. A statement that the named sponsor maintains responsibility for the program.
4. The board shall maintain a roster of authorized sponsors.
5. The board shall require a sponsor to document continuing education activity for audit at the time within the succeeding 6-year period.

Refer to Maryland regulations for specific information.