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Section V:

Human Resources


Employee Management & Development


Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Award Process

Current Effective Date:


Revision History:


Original Effective Date:




The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) may approve Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for programs offered by its constituent divisions/facilities/schools, provided they meet DHHS requirements.


The CEU is a recognized standard used to quantify continuing education/training into a uniform unit of measure. The CEU is also a means to validate training quality and to document participants’ hours in training.


The CEU process is administrated by the Manager of the Employee and Management Development Section (EMDS) or designee. Authority to grant CEUs is given through the Office of Education Services, a state licensed educational agency.

CEU programs must be thoroughly planned, include qualified instructors, be evaluated by a peer review committee, and meet reporting requirements for attendance.

Individual divisions/facilities/schools shall appoint an agency coordinator, usually the staff development coordinator, to coordinate the local CEU process.

  1. Participation - Individual divisions/facilities/schools voluntarily elect to participate in the CEU process. They also determine the course for which CEUs credits will be sought. Participating agencies pay an equal share of the IACET membership fee.

  2. Credit Hours - One (1) CEU credit is awarded for each 10 hours of instruction. CEUs are not awarded for academic credit, committee meetings, work experience, or independent study.

  3. Review Process - Quality assurance is provided through a peer review process. The EMDS distributes applications among members for review. At least three (3) agency coordinators from participating agencies review an application.

  4. Application Process:

    1. The CEU Application Form and CEU Worksheet shall be completed in full and submitted via email or hard copy to EMDS. Completed email applications must be submitted 10 working days prior to the program start date (45 days for hard copies).

    2. The program coordinator posts a receipt date; assigns a program number; and forwards the application, CEU review form, instructor's credential sheet, CEU planning worksheets, attachments, and review form (see attached) within one (1) work day of receiving a complete email application to the reviewers. The program coordinator notifies the sponsor that the application has been received and forwarded to the reviewers.

    3. The reviewers evaluate the program and complete and return the review form to EMDS within three (3) workdays. For approval, two (2) of the three (3) reviewers must conclude that the submitted program meets established DHHS criteria.

    4. The EMDS notifies the applicant of CEU approval or application deficiencies within one (1) workday. When CEU criteria are not met, reviewer comments and suggested alternatives are shared with the sponsor for revision.

    5. The sponsoring agency must then amend and return the application to the CEU Coordinator within three (3) workdays.

    6. Final program approval is granted by the EMDS within one (1) workday.
  5. Criteria for CEU Approval - Participating agencies’ requirements:

    1. Have an identifiable continuing education or training unit or group with assigned responsibility for administering continuing education and/or training activities, courses, or programs.

    2. Ensure certification criteria are followed by participating agencies.

    3. Have a system in place to identify learners who meet requirements for satisfactory completion.

    4. Maintain a complete, permanent (at least 7 years) record of each learner’s participation and provide a copy of that record upon request.

    5. Provide a learning environment and support services appropriate to the continuing education or training goals and learning outcomes.
  6. Program Development

    1. Each activity, course, or program is planned in response to identified needs of a target audience.

    2. The agency sponsor has a clear and concise written statement of intended learning outcomes (e.g., behavioral or performance objectives) based on identified needs for each continuing education and training activity, course, or program.

    3. Qualified instructors are involved in planning and conducting each activity, course, and program.

    4. Content and instructional methods are appropriate for the learning outcomes of each activity, course, or program.
  7. Evaluation Activities

    1. Procedures established during activity, course, or program planning are used to assess achievement of the learning outcomes.

    2. The agency member assures that satisfactory completion requirements are established for each activity, course, or program and are based on the purpose and learning outcomes.

    3. Each learning activity, course, or program is evaluated.
  8. CEU Application Renewals

    1. Program approval is valid for a maximum of three (3) years. The sponsoring agency must initiate another application if the program content changes significantly or the original three (3) year approval expires.

    2. Renewals will be treated as initial applications.
  9. Defining Continuing Education Units

    1. Ten instructional contact hours are required for one (1) CEU.

    2. An hour is defined as a typical 60-minute classroom instructional session and/or 120 minutes of supervised clinical practicum, which is designed to meet educational objectives.

    3. A program must be a minimum of three contact hours to be eligible for CEU award.

    4. Only the number of complete instructional hours will be considered in assigning CEUs. For example, a program with 17 contact hours may award 1.7 CEUs; a program with 17.75 hours would also award 1.7 CEUs.
  10. Agency Documentation

    1. All records verifying learner participation in the agency’s program must be documented, organized and maintained for a period of seven (7) years.

    2. Documentation may consist of hard copies or a database tracking system, but must include evaluations and attendance records.

    3. Continuing Education Certificates and transcripts must also be provided upon the request of participants.

    4. The EMD Section maintains records of approved CEU Program Applications but not of program participants.

    5. Reviewers have an opportunity annually to evaluate a sample of approved applications for the purpose of quality assurance.
  11. Definitions/Glossary:

    1. Accredited: The public recognition by the professional association that the program of the sponsoring department meets certain educational standards, as determined through evaluations based on predetermined criteria.

    2. CEU Committee: Representative members of DHHS agencies participating in the CEU program.

    3. Clinical Practicum: A planned educational experience with defined objectives, content and evaluation procedure which permits the individual to apply knowledge and develop proficiency skills in a clinical setting.

    4. Clinical Session: The presentation of an original paper or papers that describe a clinical problem and ensuing intervention, as well as the implications for the improvement of nursing practice.

    5. Conference: A meeting designed to serve a varying number of persons gathered to hear viewpoints on a central theme.

    6. Contact Hour: A unit of measurement to describe 60 minutes of an approved didactic organized learning experience and/or 120 minutes of supervised clinical practicum which is designed to meet educational objectives.

    7. Continuing Education: Planned, organized learning experience.

    8. Continuing Education Unit (CEU): Ten contact hours of participation in a recognized continuing education experience under responsible providership, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

    9. Co-Sponsor: A division/facility/school, agency or department providing assistance in planning, developing, implementing, record keeping, and financing an offering in conjunction with another organization or sponsor.

    10. Course Offering: One (1) segment of a continuing education program or a series of learning experiences dealing with specific content.

    11. Criteria: Indicators by which standards are measured and evaluated.

    12. Environment: Place or setting in which learning activity takes place.

    13. Evaluation: A systematic process by which a judgment is made about consequences, results, effects, or merit of continuing education offerings or programs in order to make subsequent decisions. It includes participant response to the program's learning objectives and the instructor.

    14. Forum: A meeting which allows for instruction between a resource person(s) and the audience.

    15. Independent Study: Continuing education designed for an individual under the supervision of an educator with approved learning objectives.

    16. Needs Assessment: Process by which learner needs are assessed by research, survey, previous offering.

    17. Objectives: Criteria by which one measures the degree to which the purpose is achieved. The statements are made in terms of results to be achieved rather than methods to be used.

    18. Program: Planned effort directed toward accomplishing objectives. A program includes many segments which are described as educational offerings or courses.

    19. Seminar: A small group of people who meet under leadership and/or with resource person(s) to develop and share knowledge.

    20. Short-Term Course: An intensive sequence of learning activities offered on a regular basis over a short period of time. A short-term course frequently includes clinical experience.

    21. Sponsor: A DHHS member agency responsible for the developing, implementing, evaluating, financing and record keeping of a continuing education offering or a total continuing education program.

    22. Staff Development: A process including both formal and informal learning opportunities. The focus is on assisting individuals to perform competently in fulfillment of role expectations within a specific agency. It may occur as in-service or outside an agency.

    23. Successful Completion: When a participant finishes all of the requirements for an educational offering, either by a test, project, etc., or by a preset attendance minimum (if based on attendance only, attendance minimum is usually 80% or higher). The learner is then eligible for CEUs.

    24. Symposium: A formal meeting at which two (2) or more specialists present information or different points of view on a particular subject.

    25. Workshop: An educational offering designed to bring together individuals with a common interest to engage actively in learning experiences in order to solve common problems and/or to gain new knowledge, new skills and/or attitudes.

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact Human Resources. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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