PROFESSIONAL AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
GUIDELINES FOR OFFERING CEU’s
WHAT IS IACET (INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION AND TRAINING)?
IACET grew out of a National Task Force on continuing education commissioned by the Bureau of Education (now the Department of Education) in 1968. The task force included the leaders in continuing education, such as the American Medical Association and American Nursing Association. The Task Force determined the universal guidelines for continuing education and created the Continuing Education Unit (CEU). IACET was created by the task force to provide both a forum for discussion of education standards and an organizational body to promote quality standards. IACET's guidelines are based upon in-depth research on the learning process.
WHAT ARE CEU’s AND HOW ARE THEY CALCULATED?
One CEU = ten contact hours of participation in organized continuing education/ training experience under responsible, qualified direction and instruction.
Contact hour = one 60 minute clock hour of interaction between: learner and instructor OR learner and materials which have been prepared to cause learning.
This definition applies for face-to-face interaction as well as distance learning programs.
WHAT CAN BE COUNTED?
The following learning activities are examples of types of activities to include when calculating contact hours for CEU:
• classroom or meeting session time led by instructor and/or discussion leader;
• activities, in which a learner is engaged in a planned learning event in which the learner's progress is monitored and the learner receives feedback. (Examples include, but are not limited to, independent study, computer-assisted instruction, interactive video, web site learning, and planned projects.);
• field trips, projects, and assignments which are an integral part of a learning event; and/or
• learner assessment and learning event evaluations.
WHAT CANNOT BE COUNTED?
The types of learning listed below can produce worthy learning and are occasionally recognized by the professions and licensing boards; however, they do NOT meet IACET criteria and should be quantified with units of measurement other than the CEU.
The following activities are not intended to receive the CEU. These activities may be worthwhile learning experiences; however, they should be measured and documented by some form of measurement other than the CEU.
• Academic credit courses: CEU may be awarded for academic credit courses that meet the CEU criteria; however, individual participants should not receive both CEU and academic credit.
• Association membership and leadership activities: Holding membership or serving in some leadership capacity in an association or society does not qualify for the CEU.
• Committee meetings: Participation in committee meetings and activities do not qualify for the CEU.
• Entertainment and recreation: CEU may not be awarded for attendance at cultural performances, entertainment, or recreational activities unless they are an integral part of a planned course, which meets the CEU criteria.
• Individual scholarships: CEU may not be awarded for independent writing such as articles, books, research reports, or presentation of papers outside of a planned, directly supervised continuing education/training experience that fulfills the CEU criteria.
• Mass media learning events: Learning events delivered through the mass media (e.g., television, radio, newspaper) do not qualify for CEU, unless these presentations are an integral part of a planned learning event which meets the CEU criteria.
• Some meetings, conventions, exhibitions: Meetings, conventions, and exhibitions, which attract large numbers of participants, involve different activities, and are conducted primarily for information sharing purposes, generally do not qualify for the CEU. Planned learning activities within such events, which meet the criteria, are eligible for CEU.
• Travel: Travel or participation in a travel-study program does not qualify for CEU, unless the educational component of travel-study program meets the CEU criteria.
• Unsupervised study: Individual, self-directed study or other form of independent learning experience, which is not planned, directed, and supervised by a provider, does not qualify for CEU.
• Work experience: On-the-job training and other work experiences do not qualify for CEU unless the work experience is structured as part of a planned and supervised continuing education experience that meets the criteria. CEU are not to be awarded for life or previous work experience.
Breaks, lunch periods, and periods which are devoted to administrative tasks, such as student introductions and record keeping, may not be counted.
ARE THERE MINIMUM HOURS REQUIRED FOR CEU’s?
CEU should not be granted for learning events that are less than one hour in length. Sessions within an event may be of any length. An event of short duration, one or two hours, often does not warrant the degree of planning required by the criteria. Caution should be exercised with shorter length events to ensure their adherence to the criteria.
HOW DO YOU COUNT MINUTES IN THE CONTACT HOUR?
The 60-minute hour is the standard for awarding CEU.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE THE CEU?
• Determine the number of contact hours by adding all countable portions of the learning event per instructions above. (Example: A learning event has six 50-minute sessions with 10 minutes between for set-up. The number of contact hours would be computed as: 6 X 50 = 300 total minutes in organized, interactive learning / 60 = 5 contact hours.)
• Divide the number of contact hours by 10 to get the number of CEU. (For the example above: 5/10 = .5 CEU.)
• CEU may be expressed in tenths of a CEU (i.e., 17 contact hours equate to 1.7 CEU; 3 contact hours equate to .3 CEU). Do not express the CEU past the tenths place (i.e., if your calculation should be 1.78, express this as1.8 CEU).
WHO WILL MAINTAIN STUDENT RECORDS?
The provider must maintain a permanent record to show the number of IACET CEU’s earned for each learner who successfully completes an event. Cumulative records of all IACET CEU’s earned are to be available for a minimum of 7 years and are to be issued as an official permanent record upon request by the learner. IACET CEU’s must be recorded for all participants in an approved event, (i.e., the decision to record IACET CEU’s is not left up to the individual learner.)
HOW DOES IACET RELATE WITH OTHER CONTINUING EDUCATION, TRAINING, REGULATORY, AND/OR CERTIFYING ENTITIES?
Some licensing boards, certifying bodies, and regulatory agencies require providers to obtain approval from that agency before the provider's CEU will be recognized. Such approval usually involves the provider submitting learning event materials to the approving agency for review against some established criteria.
Some providers find that their CEU are more readily acceptable when recognized as an IACET Authorized Provider.
IACET continues to work with state licensing boards and other organizations that approve continuing education and training events to establish reciprocity for those organizations that follow IACET's standards. However, IACET cannot compel organizations to offer reciprocity.
LOCATING HELP IN IMPLEMENTING THE CEU
The IACET Office may be able to identify an organization that you can contact in your area that is using the CEU.
CAN CEU BE AWARDED RETROACTIVELY?
IACET CEU's CANNOT be awarded retroactively. A determination has to be made before a learning event is conducted that it meets the criteria and has been approved by the provider's internal review process.
HOW CAN CEU RECORDS BE USED?
Learning event participants who need documentation of their learning activities for submission to organizations, such as licensing boards, certification agencies, professional associations, and employers, may use the CEU records. The CEU can also be added to a professional's resume or portfolio.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CEU’S AND COLLEGE CREDIT?
The CEU was developed for learning events, usually of short duration, which are not part of an academic degree program. The CEU cannot be offered for training or education for which college credit is granted. The CEU, however, when included in an individual's portfolio along with work experience, may be evaluated by some colleges and universities who assess prior learning activities.
WHAT IS AN AUTHORIZED PROVIDER?
Many organizations offer some form of continuing education credit, but only the IACET CEU is held to the strict, research-based IACET Criteria and Guidelines for Continuing Education and Training. Only IACET Authorized Providers, who undergo a strict evaluation by continuing education peers, can award the IACET CEU. IACET Authorized Providers are required to re-apply and be reauthorized every five (5) years.
WHO IS OUR AUTHORIZED PROVIDER?
The Louisiana Technical College, Lafayette Campus is our authorized provider. Any requests to provide CEU’s must be authorized by this agency. Enclosed are detailed guidelines to request authorization to offer CEU’s.