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CE Authorization by The Collaborative
The Collaborative of NASW, Boston College, and Simmons College Schools of Social Work authorizes social work continuing education credits for courses, workshops, and educational programs that meet the criteria outlined in 258 CMR of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Workers. Each program submitted to the Collaborative is reviewed by our volunteer board of LICSWs. Once approved, these courses may be used by social workers to meet their continuing education requirements for license renewal.

The Collaborative is administered by NASW, and utilizes a volunteer review board of LICSWs. If you wish to apply for CE accreditation for your program through The Collaborative, follow the instructions below and submit one of the applications to your right. With questions, please contact Tori Davis, Collaborative Coordinator, at collaborative@naswma.org or (617) 227-9635 x24. 


Review the Application Instructions and Information
to the right before submitting your applications.

Submit an application:


Pay for Online Application Form(s)
Application Instructions & Information

Promotion and Advertising
Program Types
Eligibility
Fees and Payment Methods
Submitting the Application
Submission Results
Sponsor's Responsibilities
Frequently Asked Questions

 


Promotion and Advertising


When advertising your program, you are required to use the following language.

 


If an authorization number HAS been issued at the time of advertising, appropriate wording is:

“This program has been approved for ___ Social Work Continuing Education hours for relicensure, in accordance with 258 CMR. Collaborative of NASW and the Boston College and Simmons Schools of Social Work Authorization Number _______.”


If an authorization number HAS NOT been secured at the time of printing, appropriate wording is:

“Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact us at (your organization’s phone number/email/website/etc.) for the status of social work CE accreditation.”


DO NOT print that credits are “pending.”
DO NOT TELL REGISTRANTS TO CONTACT THE COLLABORATIVE OR NASW.


NASW offers three methods of paid advertising for CE programs:  The FOCUS Newsletter, the NASW-MA website, and our mailing lists. (Click here for information about advertising in FOCUS or the NASW-MA website. Click here to purchase use of our mailing list.)
 


Program Types


Please read the following program types to determine which application you should use:

Standard Programs
are presented on specific dates and are usually held live or can be presented on a specific date via the internet. Standard programs are initially approved for one presentation only, but may be repeated during the approved licensing cycle by submitting Notice of Repeat Use. Standard program approvals expire at the end of the approved licensing cycle.

Distance Learning Programs provide program information to participants who complete the coursework on their own schedule and do not take place on specific dates. These programs are often based on books/articles, CDs, podcasts, or internet resources. Distance Learning approvals do not expire until the content or structure of the course is altered. If there are any changes, the course must be reapplied for.

Grand Rounds:  Hospitals submitting Grand Rounds series (including Schwartz Center Rounds) have two options:
  1. Submit Standard Program applications for each Grand Rounds session in advance. This method is useful if only a small number of sessions are relevant to social work practice. Each approved session will receive a unique CE authorization number.

    ~OR~

  2. Submit a Grand Rounds application, which allows you to send in Grand Rounds Short Forms over the course of the series. Only submit those Grand Rounds sessions that are relevant to social work. This process will receive one authorization number for the entire series while still allowing participants to earn credit per individual session.

Refer to the “Fees and Payment Method” section to see which application method is best for your Grand Rounds. Grand Rounds are only approved for the social work licensing cycle in which the sessions are held.





Sponsor & Program Eligibility


Sponsors must be one of the following: an agency, hospital, clinic, department of social work, college/university, professional organization or other similar body. An individual may also become a sponsor (see additional requirements on application).
 

Program Eligibility:

  • Programs must take place within the current licensing period in order to qualify for CE accreditation. Applications that are received one year or more after the program date will not be reviewed.
  • Program content must be relevant to social work practice.
  • Supervision, general staff meetings, orientations, agency/organization improvement, and committee meetings are NOT eligible.
  • Self-help or self-improvement programs are NOT eligible.
  • In-service training, defined as meetings geared specifically to a particular setting's functions and management, are NOT eligible. Staff development programs, defined as information/learning that can be transferred from one social work setting to another, are eligible.
     


Fees and Payment Methods



ONLINE APPLICATIONS:
The following fees are for ONLINE applications submitted through our website. For paper application fees, see "PAPER APPLICATIONS" below.

Standard Programs*
       • 1 application - $50
       • 2-5 applications** - $40 each, all must be submitted within 24 hours
       • 6-10 applications** - $30 each, all must be submitted within 2 business days
       • 11-20 applications** - $20 each, all must be submitted within 5 business days

* In addition to the application fee, there is a $25 late fee for each application submitted on or after the original date of the program. If your application lists multiple dates, the final date will be used to determine late status.

** When submitting multiple standard programs for the discounted rate, the applications will not be reviewed until ALL have been received. Bulk submissions are limited to 20 applications maximum. Sponsors looking to submit more than 20 applications must make multiple submissions.

Distance Learning Programs
       • Each application - $400

Grand Rounds Programs
       • Series containing up to 20 sessions - $150
       • Series containing 21-40 sessions - $200
       • Series containing over 40 sessions - $250



PAPER APPLICATIONS:
The process and fees for paper applications differ from online applications. Download the paper application instructions and fee schedule.


NOTICE OF REPEAT USE: 
There is a $10 fee for each Notice of Repeat Use form submitted, regardless of how many dates are listed on the form.


PAYMENT METHODS: 
Online application fees can be paid using a credit card or mailed check. Application(s) will NOT be reviewed until payment has been received by the Collaborative.  The Collaborative online accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. Checks can be made out to "The Collaborative at NASW."  Please include a note with your mailing stating what the payment is for. 


Submitting the Application



ONLINE APPLICATIONS:
  • Applications will not be reviewed unless all payment and requested information is received. Bulk submissions will not be reviewed until ALL applications have been received.
  • In order to qualify for bulk discounts, multiple on-line applications must be submitted within the stated timeframe.  
  • Applications are processed on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • Please allow four weeks for online applications to be processed. DO NOT call to check on the status before four to six weeks has passed. DO NOT tell registrants to contact the Collaborative or NASW for application status and information.
  • The Collaborative cannot guarantee review of programs by the October 1st licensing renewal deadline if an application is received after September 1st of that year.


PAPER APPLICATIONS:

The process and fees for paper applications differ from online applications.  Download the paper application instructions and fee schedule.  Paper versions of the applications are available for downloads as Microsoft Word documents:

            •  Standard Program Application
            •  Notice of Repeat Use Form  (for use only after a Standard Program Application has been approved)
            •  Distance Learning Program
            •  Grand Rounds Program
            •  Grand Rounds Short Form

Paper applications should be mailed to:

          The Collaborative at NASWMA
          14 Beacon Street, Suite #409
          Boston, MA 02108
 


Submission Results


The Collaborative will contact you directly if further information is required for review. You will be notified of the submission results via email. Please update your junk email settings to allow emails from collaborative@naswma.org.

If approved, you will receive a unique authorization number and notification of how many credits have been awarded, along with a list of your responsibilities as a CE provider.

If rejected, you will receive a detailed letter stating the reason. You may appeal the decision by writing a letter to the Collaborative giving any additional information that should be considered. Sponsors always have a final recourse to the Massachusetts Board of Registration.
 


Sponsor's Responsibilities After Receiving an Authorization Number


Sponsors of approved programs are required to do the following:
  • Create and distribute certificates of attendance to participants who achieve 100% attendance as required by the MA Board of Registration (there may be extenuating circumstances which would allow for 80% attendance).
  • Keep attendance, evaluation, and program records for 4 years (two licensing cycles).

For more information, please read our Sponsor Responsibilities Sheet.
 



Frequently Asked Questions




What are CEs and how are they issued? 

What is a social work licensing period?

What’s a sponsor?

What if I don’t know the date of my program yet?

My program has many sessions and/or spans multiple days. How many applications should I submit?

My program crosses licensing cycles. Which cycle will it be approved for?

My program is being held less than six weeks from now. Can I still submit an application?

My program has already taken place. Can I apply retroactively?

My program has been cancelled/the date of my program has changed. What do I do?

Does the program instructor have to be a social worker in order to get approved?

I am an individual sponsor who has been approved by the Collaborative in the past. Do I need to send in 2 letters of reference and a resume each time I apply?

Are there paper versions of the Collaborative forms?

Is there a way to save my application online and come back to it later?



What are CEs and how are they issued?

CEs are units of credit received when attending an approved continuing education program. A CE hour is equal to one hour of instruction. This does not include breaks, lunches, registration, etc.

 
What is a social work licensing period?

A licensing period is a two-year time frame in which licensed social workers in Massachusetts need to obtain continuing education credits. This period begins on October 1st, and ends on September 30th of even years (e.g. the present period started on 10/1/10 and will end on 9/30/12).


What’s a sponsor?

The "sponsor" of a program is the organization (or individual) producing the program and applying for CE accreditation through The Collaborative.


What if I don’t know the date of my program yet?

A program date is required for your application to be processed. DO NOT submit an application without a program date.
 

My program has many sessions and/or spans multiple days. How many applications should I submit?

Participants must attend 100% of the approved program. If participants are required to attend all dates, you may submit one application for the program. If you have a two day program and wish people to receive credit for each day (without having to attend both days) you will need to submit an application for each day.  If you have a multi-day program with many sessions and participants can pick and choose which sessions to attend (meaning people could have completed a variety of hours), then you will have to devise a method for verifying attendance at each session and a CE form to confirm that. Contact NASW for further information on how to do this.

 

My program crosses licensing cycles. Which cycle will it be approved for?

For Standard Programs, the final program date will determine the approved licensing cycle. For Grand Rounds, each session will be approved for the cycle in which it falls.

 

My program is being held less than six weeks from now. Can I still submit an application?

Yes, though the review might not be completed before the program date. This requires you to keep strict attendance records with names and addresses of participants who attend 100% of the program in order to later mail CE certificates.
 
 



My program has already taken place. Can I apply retroactively?

Yes*, if it meets the following three conditions:
  1. The program date falls within the current licensing cycle.
  2. The Collaborative receives the application no more than one year after the original program date.
  3. You have kept strict attendance records of those who have attended 100% of the program and are able to send CE certificates to participants.

    *Please see Fees and Payment Methods for applicable late fees when submitting retroactively.

 

My program has been cancelled/the date of my program has changed. What do I do?

If you need to reschedule a program that has already been approved, please email, mail, or fax a letter to the Collaborative noting the following:
  1. The sponsoring organization
  2. Program title
  3. Authorization number
  4. Original program dates/times
  5. Reason for rescheduling
  6. New program dates/times

The rescheduled program must follow the exact same timeline and course content as originally planned in order to use the original authorization number. If there are any changes to the program structure or content, you must reapply.

If the program has been cancelled with no rescheduled date, no action is needed.

 


Does the program instructor have to be a social worker in order to get approved?

No. The instructor must only have the relevant experience and knowledge to teach the program’s topic.

 

I am an individual sponsor who has been approved by the Collaborative in the past. Do I need to submit 2 letters of reference and a resume each time I apply?

If you are an individual sponsoring a program independently of any organization and this is your FIRST time applying since April 1st, 2011, you must submit a resume and two letters of reference regarding your qualifications and relevant experience.

 

Are there paper versions of the Collaborative forms?

Yes. See “Submitting the Application” for links to download the paper application forms, fee schedule and instructions.
The fee schedule for paper applications is different from the online application fees.

 

Is there a way to save my application online and come back to it later?

No. Applications cannot be saved through the website and must be filled out in one sitting. It is advisable to wait until you have gathered all the necessary information before beginning the online form.

 

National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
14 Beacon Street, Suite 409, Boston MA 02108
tel: (617)227-9635 fax: (617)227-9877 email: chapter@naswma.org
Copyright 2001, NASWMA. All rights reserved.

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