1. Meeting regulatory requirements
Standard 1.1 – Regulations. The CE provider knows and adheres to social work regulations regarding CE requirements in the jurisdictions where it offers ACE credit.
2. Applying social work values and ethics
Standard 2.1 – Values and ethics. The CE provider’s overall programs and individual courses and conferences adhere to the social work profession’s values and codes of ethics.
Standard 2.2 – Nondiscrimination. The CE provider does not discriminate against any individual or group based on gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, organizational membership, or any other basis prohibited by law or counter to the social work profession’s codes of ethics.
Standard 2.3 – Cultural awareness and diversity. The CE provider infuses cultural awareness and diversity into its courses and programs.
Standard 2.4 – Accessibility. The CE provider offers accommodations and accessibility as required by law.
3. Working with ACE
Standard 3.1 – Application eligibility. Prospective applicants must meet eligibility requirements prior to applying.
Standard 3.2 – Provider staff. The CE provider has assigned staff members to the roles of continuing education director, social work consultant, and primary contact to work with the ACE program during the application process and after approval to ensure continued compliance with ACE standards.
Standard 3.3 – Continued compliance. The CE provider ensures that its program and courses meet current ACE standards.
4. Ensuring course quality and relevance
Standard 4.1 – Acceptable topics. The CE provider offers courses on topics that are relevant to evidence-based social work practice and reflect current peer-reviewed research, best practices, and the needs of social workers.
Standard 4.2 – Bibliography. The CE provider creates a bibliography, also called a reference list, that includes all source material used, consulted, referenced, or quoted for each course or conference session.
Standard 4.3 – Learning objectives. The CE provider offers courses with measurable learning objectives—clear and concise written statements defining the knowledge, skills, and abilities a learner should be able to demonstrate following the learning experience—that the provider can evaluate and use to assess and improve future learning and course quality.
Standard 4.4 – Content level. The CE provider accurately identifies content level as beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Standard 4.5 – Instructor qualifications. The CE provider offers courses taught by instructors or presenters with appropriate professional qualifications.
Standard 4.6 – Instructional materials. The CE provider uses appropriate, high-quality instructional materials.
Standard 4.7 – Avoiding commercial bias. The CE provider does not show commercial bias or promote commercial interests during CE activities.
Standard 4.8 – Calculating CE credit. The CE provider follows ACE requirements for determining CE credit.
Standard 4.9 – Pilot testing. The CE provider uses pilot testing before delivering a course via distance learning to determine credit hours and ensure course quality and effectiveness.
Standard 4.10 – Posttesting. The CE provider uses posttesting as required to assess participant learning and course quality and effectiveness.
5. Delivering learning experiences
Standard 5.1 – Course delivery. The CE provider delivers in-person or distance learning courses for CE credit to social workers only in the format(s) for which the course or provider have been approved.
Standard 5.2 – Distance learning communication. The CE provider ensures the availability of communication between participants and instructors when delivering courses via distance learning formats.
Standard 5.3 – Cosponsorship. The CE provider may cosponsor courses and conferences under specified conditions. Individual course or conference approval is required when any cosponsor is not an ACE provider.
Standard 5.4 – Conferences. The CE provider has specific conference approval for events defined as conferences by ACE.
6. Promoting and advertising
Standard 6.1 – Promotional materials. The CE provider uses promotional materials that provide adequate information and follow social work ethical conduct and core values.
Standard 6.2 – ACE approval statement. The CE provider displays the correct ACE approval statement and, when needed, the provider number on promotional materials and certificates of credit.
7. Administering the CE program and courses
Standard 7.1 – Online security. The CE provider ensures the online security of participant information.
Standard 7.2 – Addressing grievances. The CE provider has a written grievance policy that guides its response in a timely and ethical manner to complaints received by the provider, a regulatory board, or ASWB.
Standard 7.3 – Record keeping. The CE provider collects and maintains important records.
Standard 7.4 – Course evaluation. The CE provider requires participants to evaluate courses.
Standard 7.5 – Attendance documentation. The CE provider accurately documents attendance at in-person and synchronous distance learning (live) events and participation in asynchronous distance learning (self-paced) educational activities and issues certificates of credit to participants who complete courses.