Effective 10/20/20, Georgia’s Composite Board of Professional Counselors Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists has implemented a rule change. You are now allowed to obtain more hours through distance methods. In an unprecedented move, ethics hours in Georgia may now be obtained through webinars. They must be live interactive with real-time interaction with the presenter and active question/answer sessions.
Here’s what you need to know:
Summary of Continuing Education Requirements
It’s wise to choose from a variety of affordable quality LPC continuing education– ethics, telemental health, supervision. In Georgia, LPCs can satisfy all of their 35 hours with ethics live webinars. Theoretically, you could obtain all 35 of your hours in ethics.
Georgia’s Composite Board requires 35 CE hours per biennial license renewal period. Renewal occurs on even years. So renewal deadlines are 9/30/22, 9/30/24 and so on.
If you are a LPC supervisor, LPCA of GA requires those hours for renewal of your CPCS.
Historically, electronic or distance continuing education training was limited to 10 hours plus 5 hours of independent study that many completed on the web. The board rule 135-9 Continuing Education now distinguishes all interactive activities from self-guided non-interactive (“online”). The terms defined in the new rule are Synchronous and Asynchronous.
There are minor changes in forms of activities accepted by the board. It is important you read those thoroughly from the text of the new rule. Select Laws, Policies and Rules from the top menu. Select “Board Rules”.
History of Chapter 135-9 Rule Change
Georgia’s Composite Board of PC, SW and MFT had been writing and revising this rule change for nearly two years. Some trainers objected believing it would negatively impact their business. Others supported the change as a step into the future. The primary purposes of the change were to:
- Address shortage and bring high quality ethics workshops to rural Georgia mental health professionals.
- Acknowledge advances in internet technology that have become effective means of delivering education.
- Align Georgia board continuing education requirements with other states.
Continuing Education Rules Enforcement
The rule change becomes effective 10/20/20, however the board rule covers the entire 2020 renewal period. For example, if you obtained your 5 hours of ethics via webinar on 10/1/20 these continuing education hours should be accepted by the board for 2022 renewal.
Also important to note is your core hours can be obtained via interactive means or webinars (Synchronous).
An Example of Acceptable CEs for the 2024 License Renewal
10 Ethics Hours Via Webinar (Synchronous. Ethics are interchangeable with Core Hours provided they meet all other approval requirements.)
10 Hours of Self- Guided Online Workshops (Asynchronous)
10 Core Hours Via Webinar (Synchronous)
5 Independent Study Hours (Asynchronous)
Got it? Don’t forget to read the new rules thoroughly at the link I provided above. -eric