Continuing Education

for Psychologists in North Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions

1.       Can I complete all of the required 18 continuing education (CE) hours in Category A activities?

Yes.  While you are required to obtain only 9 CE hours in Category A activities, all 18 required CE hours may be obtained through participation in Category A activities.

2.       Must a program specifically include "psychologists" in its target audience in order to count for Category A?

Yes.  "Psychologists" must specifically be included in the target audience, although other professionals, e.g., social workers, may also be included.  For example, a program whose targeted audience is listed as "mental health professionals" is not sufficient to count for Category A.

3.        Can I count a psychology course in which I am enrolled at XYZ University, and if so, how are the hours counted?

Yes, hours associated with attending a psychology course may be counted for Category B credit, provided that the course content covers ethical and legal issues in the professional practice of psychology or the maintenance and upgrading of professional skills and competencies within the psychologist's scope of practice.  Applicable hours include classroom instruction hours and reading articles or books, related to the class.  Note, however, that these activities cannot be counted for Category A credit.

4.        How can I know for sure that the program that I am attending will count for the required 3 CE hours in the area of ethical and legal issues?

The 3 CE hours in the area of ethical and legal issues must be obtained through completion of activities which meet Category A requirements, i.e., the activity must be sponsored or co-sponsored by the Board, APA, APA approved sponsors, or NC AHECs.  Program descriptions published by sponsors should clearly state that an activity covers ethical and legal issues when applicable.

5.       I am retired, and a friend of mine who is licensed in North Carolina is living out-of-state.  Do we have to comply with continuing education requirements in order to renew our licenses?  If so, can we place our licenses on an inactive status?

Compliance with the continuing education requirements is a condition for license renewal even if you are not practicing psychology in North Carolina.  The Psychology Practice Act does not provide for an inactive license status.  Further, the Act does not authorize the Board to establish a special or separate category of licensees who would have different requirements for license renewal.

6.       How can I become an approved CE provider for psychologists in North Carolina?

If you wish to offer a program for Category A credit, you must obtain APA approval as a continuing education sponsor or you must co-sponsor the program with the APA, an AHEC, or an APA approved sponsor. Initially, the Board does not anticipate sponsoring, or co-sponsoring with an individual or organization, any continuing education programs. If the Board decides to do so in the future, guidelines for the process of sponsorship will be developed by the Board.  For Category B credit, there are no sponsor requirements.  Therefore, there is no application process to become approved as a sponsor for this category.  The topics provided for in paragraph (g) of the CE Rule remain, however, the basis for receiving credit.

7.       Does the North Carolina Psychological Association (NCPA) count as a sponsor of continuing education under the CE rules?

Yes.  The NCPA is an APA approved sponsor for continuing education.

8.       If I attend a program offered by an APA approved sponsor and certificates are not automatically provided, do I need to have a certificate or will my own documentation of attendance be sufficient for Category A credit?

Certificates must be maintained from Category A programs, and if not shown on the certificate, additional documentation must be maintained to show the date of the program, number of contact hours, name of sponsor or program, title of program, and location of program. 

9.        What kinds of documentation, records, or content are needed for Category B?

Documentation which must be kept is listed in detail under paragraph (l) of the CE Rule. The information listed in the Rule will be required to be entered on a form designed by the Board.  This form is available from the Board office and on the Board's web site.

10.      For Category B activities, how much time would need to be spent in actually attending a meeting or presentation and how would these hours be transformed into CE units?

It is essential first to be aware that there is a difference between CE hours and CE units.  In North Carolina, the Board Rule requires the completion of a specified number of contact hours.  There is no requirement to complete a specific number of units.  A CE hour is defined as one hour of instructional or contact time.  One CE hour is credited for each hour of participation in Category B activities.  For example, if you spend one hour in reading an (applicable) article, you receive one hour of CE credit in Category B. 

11.     Should I send in documentation to the Board of a continuing education activity as soon as I complete it?

No.  You should not submit documentation of CE hours to the Board unless directed to do so by the Board.  You must retain documentation of CE hours for a minimum of seven years and submit all required documentation within 30 days after receiving a written request for the documentation from the Board.  Any documentation materials submitted to the Board that have not been specifically requested by the Board will be returned to you.