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A continuing education unit (CEU) or continuing education credit (CEC) is a meas

ure used in continuing education programs, particularly those required in a lice

nsed profession, for the professional to maintain the license. Examples of peopl
e who need CEUs include teachers, interior designers/interior architects, lighti
ng designers, architects, engineers, emergency management professionals, school
administrators, educators, nurses, mental health professionals, and social worke
rs. Generally, a CEU is defined as ten hours of participation in a recognized co
ntinuing education program, with qualified instruction and sponsorship. CEU reco
rds are widely used to provide evidence of completion of continuing education re
quirements mandated by certification bodies, professional societies, or governme
ntal licensing boards. The records also provide employers with information on tr
aining pertinent to particular occupations.
The term CEU is in the public domain. Any organization may award a traditional C
EU without requiring any accreditation. With a traditional CEU an employer or ot
her organization must decide on an individual basis whether to honor the CEU fro
m training providers.
Due to certain CEU providers not adhering to high standards and the lack of stan
dards for specific fields, there is sometimes a distrust of the value of a CEU.
Accrediting organizations have been created to standardize what a CEU means.[1]
Of these, the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (I
ACET) offers the accreditation of CEUs for the most industries.[citation needed]
Specific industries, such as nursing, health, etc., have their own accrediting
processes for CEUs. Any accredited CEU generally has a preface of the accreditin
g body. For instance, training institutions accredited by the IACET can offer IA
About the CEU

It is important for learners to pursue continuing education and professional tra

ining programs in order to keep up with the constantly evolving nature of the pr
ofessional world. But how can organizations deliver C and adult learners receive
- the continuing education required to maintain professional memberships, certif
ication or licensing? How can records of these educational experiences be effect
ively accumulated, updated and transferred?
The continuing education unit (CEU) was created to address these questions and m
ore. CEUs:
?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 e
What are CEU credits?
One CEU equals ten contact hours of participation in an organized CE/T experienc
e, delivered under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified inst
Learn how to calculate the CEU.
Ownership of a Higher StandardThe International Association for Continuing Educa
tion and Training (IACET) developed the continuing education unit (CEU) in 1970
and is the caretaker of the CEU. IACET assumes responsibility for refining and d
isseminating information about the CEU through its programs, publications and re

The CEU created by IACET is used by thousands of organizations. Only CE/T provid
ers that go through the Authorized Provider accreditation process and get approv
ed are allowed to issue IACET CEUs.
Recognition of CE/T ExcellenceTo ensure quality in all continuing education and
training programs, and to increase consumer confidence in organizations that adh
ere to the ANSI/IACET Standard for Continuing Education and Training, IACET esta
blished its Authorized Provider program in 1991. This program recognizes organiz
ations that have proven that the policies and processes of their continuing educ
ation and training programs meet all elements of the ANSI/IACET Standard.
Not all CEUs are created equal. The term CEU is in the public domain and can be used
by organizations that are not IACET Authorized Providers. Thats why it is importa
nt to look for IACET CEUs so that individuals seeking high quality courses can d
ifferentiate between continuing education that has been reviewed by a third part
IACET CEUs are recognized by learners, instructors, regulators and employers wor
ldwide and can only be awarded by IACET Authorized Providers. This distinction a
ssures employers, credentialing associations, licensing bodies and others that a
learner has completed a quality program that meets the national standard for co
ntinuing education and training.


How do you know an engineer has completed the adequate level of training for the
job at hand? Or that a child development associate adheres to the standards of
his or her profession?
The answer: through licensing and certification, made possible for many organiza
tions through IACET.
The Standard Behind a Seal of ApprovalIACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs) pr
ovide the foundation for licensing, and certification programs worldwide; enhanc
ing quality, safety, efficiency and professionalism across all sectors of the ec
With CEUs, organizations, professional associations, agencies and others are abl
e to more effectively monitor and enforce the standards that help them meet regu
latory mandates and earn the trust of the people they serve. All IACET Authorize
d Providers develop and deliver their programs in accordance with ANSI/IACET Sta
ndard for Continuing Education and Training
Empowering Individuals and IndustriesFrom health care to education to engineerin
g and construction, IACET CEUs play a vital and multifaceted role.
At the individual level, the CEU is an essential tool for professional developme
nt and certification or recertification. At the industry level, certification a
nd licensing programs that use CEUs help industries strengthen their credibility
, institutionalize their best practices and cultivate the next generation of pra
Find a list of organizations and agencies that recognize and accept IACET CEUs.
Who Accepts the IACET CEU

As the official standard for continuing education and training (CE/T), IACET Con
tinuing Education Units (CEUs) are recognized by a wide range of organizations,
including professional associations, regulatory boards, corporations and univers
IACET CEUs are transferable; however, it is up to each organization to choose wh
ether or not it will accept the CEUs. For this reason, it is strongly advised th
at individuals and/or organizations confirm in advance if a particular body acce
pts IACET CEUs before taking a particular training course.
See a list of the organizations that accept IACET CEUs
A Pivotal Professional Development RoleIn 1968, a group of individuals in the Un
ited States recognized that no standard means existed to quantify continuing edu
cation and training, one of the fastest growing segments of education in the wor
Adult learners participating in seminars, conferences, workshops, short courses
and other programs found it difficult to accumulate, update and transfer CE/T re
cords.This was of particular concern to those in occupational fields that requir
ed such educational experiences to maintain membership, certification, licensing
or other recognition of professional achievement.
A task force formed to identify a uniform, nationally accepted unit of measureme
nt that could be used to quantify CE/T activities. This unit, the continuing edu
cation unit (CEU), serves the same purpose for CE/T programs as the credit hour
does for higher education coursework.
CEUs and College CreditMost colleges and universities will not directly accept C
ontinuing Education Units for college or graduate credit. However, those who hav
e the ability to assess prior CE/T learning activities as part of an overall por
tfolio of work experience, credentials and certifications may consider the CEU.
For more information about how CEUs can be translated into college credit, visit
?The Council on Adult and Experiential Learning?The American College Advisory Se
rviceAdd To Our List IACET Authorized Providers undergo the rigorous IACET accre
ditation process to be among the best CE/T providers in the world.To deliver the
se providers the value of IACET AP recognition and tell the IACET story to more educ
ational organizations, IACET is compiling a continuously updated list of certify
ing/licensing organizations that accept the IACET CEU.
If you know of any organizations that accept the IACET CEU, please share this in
formation through the online form.
Standard & AP Application

The journey to IACET accreditation, permission to grant IACET Continuing Educati

on Units (CEUs), stronger learning programs and differentiation in the marketpla
ce begins with a single step: purchasing the ANSI/IACET Standard and application
A Complete PackageThis package gives you the core building blocks for IACET Auth
orized Provider accreditation and reaccreditation as well as the IACET applicati
on process. This includes the ANSI/IACET Standard document that serves as the fo
undation of the AP application.

The AP application process offers your organization the opportunity to undergo a

self study, document its processes and receive a full evaluation by IACETs Commis
sion. The Standard encompasses the entire training development process, from the
time someone first asks, "What do people need to learn?" all the way to the poi
nt when someone actually measures, "Did people learn what they needed?" Consisti
ng of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation (ADDIE), the
Standard applies a systematic approach to instructional design and forms a roadm
ap for an entire training program.
How does the ANSI/IACET Standard relate to the ADDIE Model? Find out here.
File for Future ReferenceThe value of the ANSI/IACET Standard package lasts far
beyond your site visit and the final determination of IACET Authorized Provider
accreditation or reaccreditation. IACET Authorized Providers find it an indispen
sible guide for:
?Establishing an appropriate responsibility and control system
?Taking an analytic approach to identifying and analyzing learning needs
?Designing, planning and executing a quality learning event
?Establishing appropriate assessment criteria based on learning outcomes
?Monitoring and improving the learning process in order to achieve its objective
?Gaining Strength with Supporting Materials
Gain Strength with Supporting MaterialsFor organizations seeking accreditation o
r reaccreditation, IACET augments the preparation process with:
?AP Application Project Plan Template?Authorized Provider Accreditation Self-Ass
essment Checklist?Application workshops?eLearning?Monthly webinars?Publications
and eNewsletters?Access to the resources used in the development and maintenance
of the ANSI/IACET Standard

Looking for ways to make blended learning work for you? Curious about the backgr
ound and evolution of the classic training frameworks like the Kirkpatrick Model
Here in the Publications section of the IACET online store, youve come to the righ
t place to find answers.
Resources to Hone Your Edge As the industry's leading continuing education and t
raining (CE/T) accrediting body, we augment our accreditation process and suppor
t Authorized Providers and individual members with a virtual bookstore of compre
hensive resources.
From historic research to the latest insights and best practices in continuing e
ducation and training, IACET publications help you become and remain a best-in-c
lass CE/T provider.
A One-Stop ShopFind everything easily and in one place, including:
?Expert guides for trainers on learning theories, field CE/U assessments and mor
?Reports by practitioners and researchers in the field
?White papers by members of the IACET Council on Standards Development
?A comprehensive and continuously evolving list of references used in the develo
pment and maintenance of the ANSI/IACET Standard for Continuing Education and Tr
ainingStart shoppingand building your organizations CE/T knowledge basetoday.

Free Authorized Provider Accreditation Guide

Free Authorized Provider Accreditation Self-Assessment Checklist
Connotative Learning: The Trainer's Guide to Learning Theories
Practical Handbook for Assessing Learning Outcomes in CE/T
The Continuing Education Guide C 2nd Edition