When it comes to renewing your professional license, stay focused. Those of us who have licenses to practice, such as:
- counselors, marriage and family therapists or social workers; or
- allied professions like psychology, nursing, etc…
…cannot afford to let licensure renewal requirements to slip past us without the attention it deserves.
I know many of you already have tried and true practices and strategies. I’m sure you could contribute sound advice on this matter. Below are some of my tips for developing and maintaining good licensure renewal practices.
Licensure Renewal Tips
- Keep up with your CE certificates. Have a hard file folder that you put your certificates in as soon as you obtain them. Also, scan your certificates and store them in a cloud drive. Losing CE certificates can cost you time and money.
- Keep your CE’s indefinitely. You never know how those CE’s might support certification or in some cases count as a replacement for a graduate educational requirement for a certification.
- Start planning your CE events early. Start planning your CE’s for the next cycle before the current cycle ends. Consider what type of events you would like to attend based on what you want to learn. Include considerations for what you have to renew and maintain. I like to attend events within the first 6 months to year of the next renewal cycle. I may have a few hours left to do at the end (but not many) with this strategy.
- Your CE’s can count toward multiple licenses or certifications. In many cases, if you have more than one license, your CE’s can support those other licenses. If you are an LPC, SW or MFT in Georgia, pay attention to core and related hours to meet all of your renewal standards.
- Set aside funds for your CE’s and your licensure and certification renewals. You know that these expenses are cyclical. Do what you can reasonably do to set aside funds.
- Know your requirements. It is up to you to know the CE requirements for your license(s) and certifications. Others can support you and point you in the right direction, but make sure you read the rules for your license.
- Renew after you obtain all required CE’s. When you renew you are attesting to following the guidelines. If you get audited and it is found that you renewed and didn’t have all of the CE’s by that date of renewal, this can call your ethics into question.
- Don’t Wait! Don’t wait until the last 3 months prior to renewal deadline to try to collect all of your CE’s. It is super stressful and you may end of attending events that hold little or no interest for you. Even worse, you may not find CE’s being offered at a time that you can attend.
- What to do if you waited. If you did wait for whatever reason, don’t be embarrassed. Don’t hide. Most of your colleagues can tell you about events to attend if they know you are looking.
- Get on lists. Get on the mailing lists for CE events. This is most commonly achieved by joining professional associations both state and national. Join therapist e-mail listservs.
- Manage your calendar. Be intentional about your schedule including your days off and your client days etc…most CE events are offered during the weekdays (specifically Fridays). Your options are limited if you need weekend CE’s exclusively.
- Set Reminders. Set reminders for yourself throughout the year. As each quarter approaches, take a conscious look at where you are in obtaining your CE’s.
- Commit to your professional development. No one can do it for you. It is important to commit to your professional development. Like your license, your development is your responsibility. Your employer or supervisor or practice partners or friends/colleagues may encourage you and support you. However, it is your responsibility.
- Consult if you need to consult. Consult with a colleague who has been licensed or certified longer than you if you are struggling with tasks related to licensure renewal. We’ve all been there.
- Execute. Last but not least, just like getting anything else done, licensure renewal is about executing the task. Licensure renewal is urgent and important. For many of us our livelihood depends on it. Treat it with the importance that it deserves.
Copyright © 2018 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.
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