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What is a CEU?

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are a way of assigning learning credits for education or training that does not have college credit but provides the participant with advanced or post-high school training. One CEU is defined as ten contact hours of qualified instruction. Only programs which are a significant educational experience and for which a permanent record will be maintained would be awarded CEUs.

Who uses CEUs?

The CEU record can provide a current or prospective employer with information about an individual's continuing education and training experiences. This document can also be used by registration and certification boards and occupational societies which require continuing education to maintain or increase professional competence as a requirement to renew a certificate.

Will all courses assigned CEUs satisfy professional growth requirements for my license or certification?

While many courses qualify for CEUs, not all subject matter is acceptable to specific professional licensing and certification programs and you should check with your licensing or certification program to ensure that a particular course will be acceptable. OESAC has an agreement with the Department of Human Services, Drinking Water Program to determine the relevance of training for Water System Operator professional growth requirements and will make that determination at the time of the evaluation so that individuals can rely on that when selecting a particular training event.

What is ESAC and how is it involved in awarding CEUs?

The Oregon Environmental Services Advisory Council assists the Oregon Departments of Education, Energy, Environmental Quality, and Department Human Services, Drinking Water Program in environmental training coordination. The ESAC Continuing Education Committee evaluates programs and maintains records of courses presented in Oregon meeting CEU criteria in the area of environmental technology.

How are CEUs evaluated by the CEU committee?

The sponsor of the educational program requests evaluation of a course for CEUs. The CEU committee uses the standards of the International Association for Continuing Education and Training(IACET) to determine if the program meets standards and determines the maximum number of CEUs to be awarded for full program attendance. The CEU committee also determines if the course meets the relevancy criteria for professional growth for water system operators in Oregon (Attachment A). Courses which are approved are assigned an OESAC identification number and the maximum number of CEUs that can be earned and if appropriate, denoted as relevant to water system operators. The CEU approval is valid for three (3) years from the date of the original CEU assignment.

Who can award CEUs?

Continuing Education Units may be awarded by a college, association, company, trainer, agency, or other organization in the area of environmental technology and which will be recognized in Oregon, provided they have received approval from OESAC and they follow these standards.

How many CEUs can be awarded for a program?

One CEU can be awarded for each ten hours of general or technical instruction applicable to a position in the field of environmental technology. The CEU is designed so that each hour of instruction can be recognized. That is, 8 contact hours of instruction can be recorded as 0.8 CEUs. Only complete hours are considered in assigning CEUs. For example, 1.7 CEUs are assigned for a learning experience with a total of 17, 17.50 or 17.75 contact hours. Only actual instruction time is counted, not breaks, lunch, additional reading or study outside of the classroom.

Who keeps records of CEUs awarded?

The institution or organization sponsoring the program must keep permanent records of individual CEU awards in a format that can be accessed should a participant need documentation or a record must be verified. OESAC maintains records of courses offered in Oregon.

An Overview for Sponsors Requesting CEU Evaluation by ESAC

CEUs may be awarded where OESAC approved procedures are used and the education program meets international CEU criteria. The program sponsor must demonstrate a program's educational need, learning outcome, course content and the qualification of instructors. The sponsor or organizer of each program is responsible for selecting qualified instructors. Instructors must have specialized experience or be considered knowledgeable by their peers in the subject.

When submitting a course for evaluation by OESAC, the program sponsor should complete the Evaluation Request form and provide a course outline, detailed schedule, list of all instructor names, titles, employers, along with a brief description of their qualifying experience and the evaluation fee of $75 for the first ten (10) hours of instruction plus an additional $10 an hour for hours of instruction in excess of ten (10). If the course is intended to meet professional growth requirements for water system operators, the sponsor should indicate how the topic meets the relevancy criteria in Attachment A.

During the educational program, the sponsor is responsible for monitoring class attendance and course content.

After the educational program, the sponsor awards CEUs based on actual individual attendance. One CEU may be awarded for each ten hours of instruction rounded down to the nearest hour. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to issue a certificate or letter to participants detailing the course title, OESAC number, date and CEUs earned. Permanent records must be maintained of CEUs earned by individuals.

To allow OESAC to evaluate the availability of training in various subjects and locations around the state, the sponsor is asked to submit a copy of the participant roster to the Drinking Water Service of the Oregon Health Authority or DEQ (both contacts may be found on the OESAC home page), CEUs awarded and the date and location of the training. This report can also serve as a backup to the sponsors records. It is not necessary to submit a course each time it is offered during the 3 year period provided the content, schedule and instructors remain the same.

It is important to trainees when selecting a course to know if it has been approved for CEUs and if those CEUs will apply to their professional growth requirements. To insure that this information is available to potential trainees, OESAC meets monthly to facilitate timely CEU evaluations. If an application is received before the first of any given month in which the training occurs, it will be evaluated in that month. Notification regarding approval/non-approval will be mailed to the sponsor and approved training will be posted on the web (www.oesac.org) . Failure to submit a course for evaluation by the first of the month prior to the month in which the training starts will result in double the fee and may result in delay of approval.