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Chapter 135-9 CONTINUING EDUCATION

Rule 135-9-.01 Requirements

(1) Thirty five (35) clock hours of continuing education are required biennially to renew each license.
(2) A minimum of five (5) of the thirty-five (35) hours shall be specifically designated as continuing education in professional ethics relating to any of the specialties of Professional Counseling, Social Work, or Marriage and Family Therapy. Ethics hours may be obtained from any of the sources listed in paragraphs (5) and (6) (a) - (d) below. Continuing education hours in professional ethics cannot be obtained through independent study, or online. Independent study is defined in paragraph (7) below.
(3) Of the remaining thirty (30) hours, a minimum of fifteen (15) shall be core hours and not more than fifteen (15) shall be related hours.
(4) A maximum of ten (10) hours of continuing education may be obtained online for each two-year renewal period.
(5) Core hours are continuing education hours acquired in activities in the specialty in which the license is held; e.g. PC core hours must reflect PC content, SW core hours must reflect SW content and MFT core hours must reflect MFT content. Core hours may be obtained through graduate level education, conferences, workshops, seminars, or on-line courses approved for continuing education by organizations authorized to offer continuing education credit. Such activities shall be sponsored, co-sponsored or approved by:
(a) a professional association in the specialty in which the license is held; or
(b) an academic department in the specialty in which the license is held:
1. Graduate level coursework will meet continuing education requirements only when offered by an academic department in the specialty in which the license is held and when the department is in an education institution accredited by a body acceptable to the Board. Graduate level coursework listed on the transcript as "independent studies" must be well documented in order to be accepted by the Composite Board. Documentation can include, but is not limited to, a contract signed by the instructor of record.
2. One (1) academic semester hour of graduate level coursework shall be equivalent to fifteen (15) hours of continuing education, and an one (1) academic quarter hour of course credit shall be equivalent to ten (10) clock hours of continuing education, or
(c) a licensing or certification board in another jurisdiction which regulates the specialty in which the license is held. If the board is a composite board, the activity must be specifically approved for continuing education in the specialty in which the license is held.
(6) Related hours are continuing education hours acquired in activities in a specialty other than the one in which the license is held or in the allied professions of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, or Pastoral Counseling. Related hours may be obtained from:
(a) activities sponsored, co-sponsored, or approved by professional associations in the specialties of Professional Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or the allied professions for Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, Pastoral Counseling, or allied health specialties, or
(b) activities sponsored, co-sponsored, or approved by an academic department in the specialties of Professional Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or the allied professions of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, or Pastoral Counseling.
1. Graduate level coursework will meet continuing education requirements only when offered by an academic department in the specialties of Professional Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or the allied professions of Psychiatry, Psychiatry Nursing, Psychology, or Pastoral Counseling and the department is in an education institution accredited by a body acceptable to the Board.
2. One (1) academic semester hour of graduate level coursework shall be equivalent of fifteen (15) clock hours of continuing education, and an one (1) academic quarter hour of course credit shall be equivalent to ten (10) clock hours of continuing education; or
(c) activities sponsored, co-sponsored, or approved by a licensing or certification board in another jurisdiction which regulates the specialties of Professional Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy or the allied professions of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Nursing, Psychology, or Pastoral Counseling; or
(d) activities sponsored by federal, state, or local government agencies, public school systems and licensed hospitals; or
(7) Independent Study is limited to five (5) hours in activities such as: teaching a course, presenting a lecture, or conducting a workshop for the first time; listening to audiotapes; viewing videotapes; reading books or articles which may contain exit quizzes; editing or writing professional books or articles; and conducting professional research. The licensee shall submit an affidavit attesting to number of hours of independent study completed. No more than five (5) hours of continuing education shall be in independent study. Ethics hours may not be obtained through independent study, or online. Core hours may not be obtained through independent study.
(8) The professional association, academic department, licensing or certification board, state, or local government agency, public school system or licensed hospital that sponsors, co-sponsors or approves the continuing education activity shall certify the number of clock hours of education content in each activity.
(9) A Standards Committee may, in its discretion, accept continuing education hours obtained from sources substantially similar to those listed in (5) and (6) above.
(10) No more than twenty (20) hours of continuing education shall be from any one course, workshop, or presentation. This limit does not apply to professional conferences which offer multiple presentations.
(11) Any continuing education hour may be applied towards the renewal of a license in more than one specialty, provided that the continuing education hour meets the requirements set out in (5) or (6) above.
(12) Continuing education hours earned in professional ethics exceeding the five required for renewal may be applied to meet requirements for core or related hours when they meet the requirements set out in (5) or (6) above.
(13) If, at the Board's request, a licensee completes a peer review of an alleged violation of the law or the Board's Rules, the licensee shall satisfy the five (5) hours of continuing education required in professional ethics. Such a review must be submitted as a written report to the Board.
(14) When the license is initially issued during the second year of the renewal period after October 1 of the odd numbered year the continuing education requirements are deemed, by the Board, to impose an undue hardship upon the licensee: therefore, no continuing education is required for renewal. At the next renewal cycle the licensee must comply with all continuing education requirements specified in the Board Rules, Chapter 135-9.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-9-.01
Authority: O.C.G.A. §§ 43-1-25, 43-10A-5, and 43-10A-16.
History. Original Rule entitled "Requirements" adopted. F. July 27, 1988; eff. Aug. 16, 1988.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Sept. 5, 1989; eff. Sept. 25, 1989.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Aug. 10, 1992; eff. Aug. 30, 1992.
Amended: F. Dec. 3, 1992; eff. Dec. 23, 1992.
Repealed: New Rule, same title, adopted. F. Apr. 10, 1996; eff. Apr. 30, 1996.
Amended: F. Dec. 9, 1997; eff. Dec. 29, 1997.
Amended: F. Jan. 5, 2001; eff. Jan. 25, 2001.
Amended: F. May 18, 2001; eff. June 7, 2001.
Amended: F. Aug 10, 2011; eff. Aug. 30, 2011.
Amended: F. Jan. 14, 2014; eff. Feb. 3, 2014.

Rule 135-9-.02 Documentation

(1) Each licensee shall maintain for three years their own record of the continuing education activities which they have completed. The Board will not maintain continuing education files for licensees.
(2) Licensees shall attest, on their biennial license renewal application, that they have satisfied the continuing education requirements set out in Rule 135-9-.01. Documentation of these activities should be retained by the licensee and not sent to the Board. False attestation of satisfaction of the continuing education requirements on a renewal application shall subject the licensee to disciplinary action, including revocation.
(3) The Board will audit a fixed percentage of the renewal applications. Licensees whose applications are audited will be required to document their continuing education activities. Except for independent study, such documents must be in the form of a certificate of attendance, a statement signed by the provider verifying participation in the activity, or an official transcript. Documentation of independent study shall be in the form of an affidavit which includes a description of the activity, the subject material covered, the dates and numbers of hours involved.
(a) In the event an audited licensee fails to provide the Board with documentation of the hours attested to on their renewal application, the license will not be renewed.
(b) If, following the audit, the Board disqualifies any of the documented continuing education hours and the licensee no longer meets the requirements set out in Rule 135-9-.01, the license will be renewed under the condition that the licensee obtains the required continuing education hours within six months of the notice of deficiency. If the licensee does not cure the deficiency within this six month period, the license will be subject to revocation for failure to comply with the continuing education requirements.

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-9-.02
Authority: O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-7A-26, 43-1-25, 43-10A-16, 43-10A-26.
History. Original Rule entitled "Sources" adopted. F. July 27, 1988; eff. Aug. 16, 1988.
Amended: F. Sept. 5, 1989; eff. Sept. 25, 1989.
Repealed: New Rule entitled "Documentation" adopted. F. Aug. 10, 1992; eff. Aug. 30, 1992.

Rule 135-9-.03 Repealed

Cite as Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 135-9-.03
Authority: O.C.G.A. Secs. 43-7A-26, 43-1-25, 43-10A-16.
History. Original Rule entitled "Documentation" adopted. F. July 27, 1988; eff. Aug. 16, 1988.
Repealed: New Rule of same title adopted. F. Aug. 21, 1990; eff. Sept. 10, 1990.
Repealed: F. Aug. 10, 1992; eff. Aug. 30, 1992.