New cosponsorship policy reminder
New cosponsorship policies went into effect for all ACE providers on June 1, 2019. ACE defines cosponsorship as more than one organization working together in the development, distribution, and presentation of a continuing education training that offers continuing education credit to social workers. ACE does not consider organizations serving only as financial sponsors of an event to be cosponsors.
Continuing education providers wishing to offer courses or conferences developed with other organizations must submit them for individual course or conference approval unless all organizations working together on the continuing education event are current ASWB ACE providers. Applications for cosponsored training approvals must include a copy of the cosponsorship agreement, signed by each cosponsor organization’s CE director or other recognized authority. The cosponsorship agreement outlines each party’s responsibilities.
The importance of using licensed instructors
ASWB is an organization whose membership consists of the boards that regulate social work in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to provide support and services to the social work regulatory community to advance safe, competent, and ethical practices to strengthen public protection. We have an unwavering commitment to educate our stakeholders about the importance of licensure and its role in ensuring ongoing competency and public protection.
With ASWB’s focus on licensure for the social work profession, ACE requires CE providers approved by ACE to use licensed instructors who are in good standing with their professional regulatory board. Program requirements for Standard 4.5 – Instructor qualifications are summarized here. Refer to the ACE Handbook for more information.
- The CE provider offers courses taught by instructors or presenters with appropriate professional qualifications.
- With few exceptions, instructors must be members of a licensed profession such as social work, psychology, nursing, medicine, or law.
- Individuals who are not currently licensed in a profession are usually not considered acceptable instructors for social work CE courses unless the provider can provide justification, accepted by ACE, for the use of an unlicensed instructor.
- Courses or conference sessions submitted for individual approval are unlikely to be approved if the instructor is not a currently licensed member of a profession.
- Applicants submitting courses or conference sessions for individual approval should include additional details on the application explaining why they believe an unlicensed instructor should be allowed to teach the course or conference session.
- To ensure compliance with ACE standards, ACE providers who wish to use an unlicensed instructor to present a course for social work CE credit using their ACE provider approval must contact ACE for a determination before the course is offered.
Sample documents offer a helping hand
If your organization is just getting started with ACE or if you have new staff members who are learning how to meet ACE standards, ACE has you covered! The ACE Handbook is always the place to start, and some of the most helpful information is linked to the appendices at the end of the handbook. If you’ve read the handbook and still aren’t exactly sure how to create an evaluation, attendance log, certificate of credit, or promotional materials that will meet ACE standards, see the ACE provider appendix or the ACE individual course approval appendix for a variety of sample documents. Our staff created these samples to make it easier for your organization to provide high-quality CE for social workers. You’re welcome!
Continuing education advice for social workers
Does your organization respond to calls from social workers who are trying to determine what courses meet their license renewal requirements? ASWB’s licensees page is an excellent resource. From there, social workers can easily find their licensing board’s website, contact information, and rules and regulations. They can also review ASWB’s informative continuing competence article. It explains what they should be looking for and who they should call if they have any questions. (Hint: It’s their individual state or province’s licensing board.) If, after talking to you and the licensing board, a licensee still has questions, feel free to refer the individual to ACE. We will be happy to direct the licensee to the appropriate resource.