(a)  Continuing education for certification or licensure renewal shall be required to maintain professional knowledge and technical competency.  Renewal of certification or licensure shall require 40 contact hours of continuing education credits approved by the Board within each two year renewal cycle.  If a certification or licensure is for less than a full two-year period, then 30 contact hours of continuing education credits shall be required.  Continuing education credits shall be awarded as follows:

(1)           Continuing education units awarded that do not reflect contact hours or clock hours of instruction shall be awarded at the rate of one contact hour of credit for each continuing education unit;

(2)           One academic course hour of credit shall be equal to 15 contact hours; and

(3)           Credit for auditing an academic course shall be for clock hours of instruction attended with one clock hour equal to one contact hour of credit.

(b)  During each renewal period all certified and licensed social workers shall engage in a minimum of four contact hours of continuing education focused on ethics related to social work practice and ethical decision-making.

(c)  The following activities shall be approved for continuing education:

(1)           Academic social work courses taken for credit or audit;

(2)           Agency-based staff development, seminars, institutes, workshops, mini courses or conferences oriented to social work practice, values, skills and knowledge;

(3)           Cross-disciplinary offerings from medicine, law and the behavioral/social sciences or other disciplines, if such offerings are related to social work practice, values, skills and knowledge;

(4)           Distance learning activities including online courses and home study courses that have been pre-approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) or the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NC).  A list of approved distance learning courses and providers are available online at and  The maximum continuing education credit granted for distance learning activities is one half of the required hours, up to a maximum of 20 contact hours per renewal period.  Live synchronous audio-video broadcasts allowing for real time interaction between the instructor and participants attending through electronic means shall not be considered distance learning activities; and 

(5)           A group of professionals within the health and human services or related fields organized to come together to study a particular topic focusing on social work practice provided the following can be documented:

(A)          study topic;

(B)          study material;

(C)          facilitator; and

(D)          date and hours of attendance.

(d)  Continuing education focusing on practitioner self-care and well-being shall not exceed six contact hours of credit during a single renewal cycle.

(e)  Up to five contact hours of credit shall be granted per renewal cycle for presenting a training focused on social work practice provided that:

(1)           The Board receives confirmation from the organization for which the licensee presented that identifies the licensee as the presenter, confirms the title and date of the presentation, the length of the presentation, and number of attendees; and

(2)           the dates of the presentation occur within the renewal cycle;

(f)  Credit shall not be granted for:

(1)           identical programs completed within the same renewal period;

(2)           job orientation or training directed at procedural mandates such as health and safety practices, new hire training, and compliance training; or

(3)           supervision and case consultation.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 90B-6; 90B-9;

Eff. August 1, 1987;

Amended Eff. September 1, 1993;

Temporary Amendment Eff. October 1, 1999;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2009; September 1, 2005; April 1, 2001;

Readopted Eff. February 1, 2017.