This webpage provides background on psychology continuing education (CE) and information on how to get your learning activity approved for CE credit by the Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP), an American Psychological Association (APA) Approved Psychology CE Sponsor.
Background on Psychology CEs, APA, and SCP
Like all licensed mental health professionals, licensed psychologists must earn continuing education (CE) credits to maintain licensure in the state where they practice. Psychology CEs can be earned in a variety of ways, which vary state by state. A common way to earn psychology CEs is to participate in a CE activity (e.g., presentation, workshop, program, webinar, audiovisual or text homestudy) offered by a qualified psychology CE sponsor. Each state psychology licensing board has different criteria and processes for designating an organization as a qualified psychology CE sponsor. However, state psychology licensing boards tend to recognize the American Psychological Association (APA) as a qualified psychology CE sponsor.
In addition to being a qualified CE sponsor itself, APA sponsors individual organizations as Approved Psychology CE Sponsors. Sponsors are authorized by APA to offer psychology CEs to any professional who wants psychology CEs. Typically only licensed psychology professionals are interested in obtaining such CEs, but there are exceptions (e.g., Licensed Clinical Social Workers whose state social work licensing board permits Licensed Clinical Social Workers to count earned psychology CEs toward their social work CE requirements for licensure renewal). One can always attend a CE event for the learning experience, even if one does not need to obtain CE credit for having done so. CE events may or may not cost money to attend and/or earn CE credit for.
Approved Psychology CE Sponsors have been vetted by APA to ensure that any psychology CE activities sponsored by those organizations are of sufficient quality. APA Division 17, Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP) is approved by APA to sponsor CE for psychologists. SCP maintains responsibility for all CE programs (including their planning, management, delivery, and evaluation) sponsored by SCP. Because SCP is an Approved Psychology CE Sponsor, the CE activities that SCP sponsors are generally accepted by state psychology licensing boards as legitimate. However, it remains the individual licensed psychologist’s responsibility to verify with their state psychology licensing board that a given CE program sponsored by SCP will be accepted for continuing education purposes. SCP works with organizations and individuals connected to SCP and/or our psychological specialty of Counseling Psychology to offer CE activities. The Committee, in consultation with SCP Leadership, maintains discretion around who may be authorized to offer psychology CEs sponsored by SCP.
How to Submit an Application to Offer Psychology CE’s sponsored by SCP for Attending Your Learning Activity
Counseling Psychologists who wish to offer a learning activity (e.g., presentation, workshop, program, webinar, audiovisual or text homestudy) sponsored by SCP for psychology CEs must submit an application to the SCP Continuing Education Committee. If you wish to offer multiple CEs as a part of a larger multi-activity workshop or conference, please review the SCP CE Application and then email the SCP CE Committee Chair for consultation before starting to complete a SCP CE Application.
At this time, SCP only sponsors learning activities that are synchronous (presenter and audience interacting in real time). We plan to sponsor asychronous learning activities (e.g., homestudy, recorded webinars) in the future.
Offering psychology CEs sponsored by SCP is a five step process:
- STEP 1: At least 6 weeks prior to the date of the CE program, please submit a completed SCP CE Application (revised 9/11/20) Word document via email to the CE Committee Chair. Please review the Application now to see what information is required.
- STEP 2: Be patient as the CE Committee reviews your proposal. We like to have these returned to you within about two weeks. It is likely that you will be asked to make revisions for clarity and to adhere to the APA CESA Standard and Criteria.
- STEP 3: Make revisions and re-submit to the CE Committee Chair. Often, unless significant revisions are necessary, the Chair can determine that all requested changes have been made and provide approval within one week.
- STEP 4: Offer the CE program. Whether the program is online or face-to-face, the following are required to be submitted within 2 weeks of the CE program being offered.
- Attendance: Please keep a record of all attendees. Provide to the CE Committee Chair a PDF Attendance List with attendees’ names, city/state, email, and whether the attendee is a psychologist (yes/no). Download and use this Attendance List Template.
- Evaluation: Anyone who receives CE must complete an evaluation of the program. Download and customize this Evaluation Template, whether you plan to collect the evaluation data via paper or online survey. It includes required items and scaling. Provide to the CE Committee Chair a one-page PDF Evaluation Summary of the evaluation data (NOT raw data) with mean scores for each item.
- Advertisement: Provide the CE Committee Chair with a single Advertising PDF containing all promotional materials (e.g., brochures, pamphlets, emails, web pages) you used to advertise the CE program. You may download these sample promotional materials: Example A and Example B. APA CESA has strict guidelines regarding CE icons and statements in promotional material: this “APA Approved Sponsor” icon plus approval statement must be used in all advertising of the SCP-sponsored CE activities, cannot be modified, and the icon cannot be used by itself without the accompanying text. Thus, whenever your promotional materials talk about the fact that psychologists can earn CE by attending, please make sure this icon+statement is displayed.
- STEP 5: Attendees should be provided a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the CE program. Work with the CE Committee Chair to develop a certificate of completion. The certificate should abide by APA CESA and SCP CE Committee guidelines, including specific language, logo, and a signature line for the CE Committee Chair.
SCP CE Committee
Joseph H. Hammer, PhD (Chair; 2020-2023)
Elizabeth Terrazas-Carrillo, PhD (2020-2022)
Ellen Vaughan, PhD (2019-2021)
Zachary Dschaak (2020-2022)