Continuing Education - Information
The difference between Contact Hours, CEUs and Continuing Education Credits:
- Contact Hours – This term refers to the number of hours a person is in an instructional environment (class, workshop, etc.). In other words, if you attend a training from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., you will have two contact hours. DC, MD, VA, and other states require that licensees in their state earn a certain number of contact hours in order to renew their license. DC requires 40 hours of continuing education for license renewal for social workers every two years (July 31), which must include 6 hours of ethics education, and 3 hours of HIV/AIDS. Maryland requires 40 hours for license renewal, of which 3 hours in ethics education. Virginia requires 30 hours for two year renewal and has a 2 hour ethics requirement. Check Licensing for links to these licensing boards for social workers (which can be found under the Licensure tab)
- Continuing Education Unit - Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a trademarked term used by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). One continuing education unit (CEU) equals 10 contact hours. Therefore, .1 CEU equals one contact hour, .2 CEUs equals two contact hours, and so on. This CEU language, is frequently used interchangeably to indicate actual hours of instruction, but we have maintained the appropriate differentiation between contact hours and continuing education units.
- Continuing Education Contact Hours– The DC Metro Chapter of NASW uses this term on its certificates for program participants who are licensed in states where licensing requirements use the same formula as CEUs (10 contact hours = 1 CEU)