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Earn Continuing Education Online Credits

written by: Mary White•edited by: Sylvia Cochran•updated: 7/22/2010

Do you want to complete continuing education online credits to maintain your license or certification credential? Before you register for a class, be sure that the online courses you'd like to take meet the requirements established by the organization that grants your license or credential.

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    Meeting Course Requirements for Online Continuing Education Credits

    Are you looking to obtain certification or license-specific continuing education credit online? Are you searching out online courses that promise continuing education credit, but you wonder if they really apply to your particular need? Many companies and schools provide online courses of interest to certified or licensed professionals in a variety of fields. Of course, if your primary goal in seeking online courses is to meet your continuing education licensure and certification requirements, you must verify that any continuing education credits you take via online courses are actually approved for credit by the association or state agency through which you are credentialed.

    Is Online CE Acceptable for Your Credential?

    As you are reviewing the many entities advertising a continuing education online, remember that the fact that these online courses are marketed as offering continuing education units does not necessarily mean that they will count for your particular certification or licensure! Instead, the only way you can be certain if a particular class will count for continuing education credits specific to your credential, is to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the agency or association that grants your license or certification.

    Moreover, some licensing or credentialing entities place limits on the number of hours that can be earned with online courses. Verify the validity of continuing education credits prior to signing up for a continuing education online. Search your agency’s or organization’s website, scour your mail for recertification or relicensing information and – if all else fails – contact the credentialing agency by phone or email.

    Fortunately, a good many of them publish a list of approved courses and/or continuing education providers on their websites. For example, the Human Resources Certification Institute publishes details about acceptable recertification credits and a searchable directory of live and online recertification courses at www.hrci.org. On the flipside, some continuing education providers, such as Career Web School, an online real estate course provider, publish state approvals with respect to continuing education credits on their own websites.

    Verfiy CE Requirements for Your Profession and State

    As a licensee or professional certification holder, it is your responsibility to make sure that you know how many continuing education hours you need to take and when they are due. Keep in mind that you cannot assume that a class that is approved by an agency -- other than the organization that grants your credential -- will count for your particular continuing education requirements. Even online classes that are approved for professionals who hold the same credential as you -- but which has been granted by a different state -- may not meet the requirements defined by your state. Check and double check that any continuing education class – online or otherwise -- you take will count for your credential.