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CE Authorization by The Collaborative

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.

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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. Licensing periods begin on October 1st and end on September 30th of even years (e.g. the present period started on 10/1/14 and will end on 9/30/16).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How do I advertise social work CEs?

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.”

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