Mandatory Courses for California MFT Continuing Education for the First License Renewal Period
The total MFT continuing education requirements in California are 36 hours for license renewal. 13 of these hours are in mandated areas for the first license renewal while the other courses may choose according to the MFT’s practice or areas of interest.
At least six hours of the MFT CEUs accrued during a two-year cycle must focus on law and ethics applicable to the family and marriage therapist, according to the licensing board in the state of California.
The HIV and Aids requirement is 7 hours and applicable to all MFTs who are applying for their initial license renewal.
Mandatory Courses for California MFT Continuing Education after the First License Renewal Period
MFT CEU requirements for all subsequent renewals will require 36 hours of CE, including 6 hours of Laws and Ethics. The 6 hours of Laws and Ethics will be required for every renewal period. The other 30 hours of MFT continuing education courses can focus upon areas applicable to the therapist’s own practice.
A professional who has survived the educational requirements to become a licensed MFT in the state of California will often be involved in a private practice and taking time for formal on-site classes may be an issue. The demands of their client schedule as well as their personal life may leave little time for continuing education even though the necessity is acknowledged. There are multiple ways to satisfy the California MFT continuing education requirements and these methods are as varied as the therapists who practice in the state.
An individual teaching continuing education courses may claim MFT CEUs if the course is approved for CE by the State of California. Each course, although taught several times during a renewal period, can be claimed only once. Additionally work experience may apply toward MFT CEUs especially those required for the initial renewal period. However, the six hours of Laws and Ethics can’t be claimed by work experience. Although MFT CE documentation doesn’t have to be submitted with the license renewal application form, the applicant must keep documentation for a period of at least 4 years in case of an audit. In the case of an audit, the professional will be required to submit documentation of MFT continuing education courses.
Distance Learning For MFT CE in California
All 36 hours of MFT CEUs may be satisfied by state approved online coursework which is interactive or where the coursework online contains videos. Online coursework that is taken at the MFT’s leisure and where the MFT has to mail in their exam for manual processing is allowable as well but only 18 hours of the MFT continuing education requirements may be satisfied in that fashion if the interactive or video viewing requirements are not met. Even though somewhat limiting this is an improvement for the busy professional who may not have the hours to devote to structured classes at set times at set locations.
When choosing a MFT CE provider it is important to verify that these providers display a PCE number. The PCE number validates their approval by the state of California as a CE Provider for CA MFTs. Educational providers who do not have a PCE number may not have allowable courses that count toward the continuing education requirements for MFTs in the state of California. When required to submit documentation as for an audit by the licensing board, the MFT should include the course work, certificate as well as the PCE number of the provider. Online providers are mandated to issue certificates of completion for each course passed successfully. Although some providers will maintain these certificates on file, it is up to the individual MFT to keep copies of any and all documents issued so they can be provided in case of an audit.