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What Are Continuing Education Units or CEUs?

  /  Education   /  What Are Continuing Education Units or CEUs?

What Are Continuing Education Units or CEUs?

What Are Continuing Education Units or CEUs? 

CEUs are pursued by professionals that sign up for accredited continuing education programs to sharpen their skills and upon completion receive certificates or licenses that will allow them to continue to practice their services. CEUs are important for professionals related to professions like educators, lawyers , nurses, architects, engineers, financial planners, mental health professionals etc. who are often required by their accrediting body or institution to earn a certain number of CEU credits every so often.

The Continuing Education Unit or CEU was created and defined in 1970 after IACET and the U.S. Department of Education task force studied the measurement of non-credit continuing education activities. The continuing education unit (CEU) was designed to:

  • Provide a standard unit of measurement for continuing education and training,
  • Quantify continuing education and training (CE/T) activities, and
  • Accommodate for the diversity of providers, activities, and purposes in adult education.

The Unit of Measure

The IACET and U.S. Department of Education task force defined the CEU standard of measurement as:

1 CEU = 10 contact hours of participation in an organized CE/T experience, delivered under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction. CEUs can often be converted into other measurements, such as Professional Development Hours or Continuing Education Credits, depending on the organization and/or regulating body.

Who Can Award Official CEUs?

Colleges, universities, or any association, company, or organization that is willing and able to meet the IACET standards established for a particular industry may be accredited to award official CEUs.

Professional Requirements

Certain professions require that practitioners earn a specific number of CEUs per year to ensure that they are up-to-date with current practices in their field. Proof of credits earned is necessary in order to renew a license to practice. The number of credits required varies by industry and state.Generally, certificates are issued as proof that a practitioner has completed the required continuing education units.

Improve Marketability

Even in the most uncertain economic conditions, employees who have completed continuing education credits will likely improve their marketability as a professional. Since continuing education programs provide specific career related training, employers recognize the value of CEUs and are more likely to hire candidates that been accredited over non accredited candidates.

Personal Development

Professionals who decide to continue their education are establishing a commitment to their profession that will likely have them re-evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and look honestly at where they are and where they’d like to be. Employees who pursue continuing education credits may enhance their self-image in the process as they have a positive effect on how employers and other professionals perceive them.

Access New E-Learning Opportunities

Continuous learning is critical to the information age as there are constant updates on technology and companies want to make sure their employees are ready for these changes. Luckily, professionals can stress less and spend less on travel costs by looking into obtaining CEU credits through E-learning opportunities that may allow them to earn these CEU credits from the comfort of their home.

CEUs are typically not awarded to:

  • Any program for which academic credit is received.
  • Orientation or on-the-job training programs.
  • A program that leads to high school credit.
  • Individual, self-directed studies or independent learning experiences not subject to verification by testing.




  • oprolevorter
    July 19, 2019

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