Continuing Education
Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Professional Development Hour?
A PDH is defined as a 50 – minute contact hour. Each hour you spend in a qualifying activity, you get 1 PDH.

When do we need to report our Professional Development Hours?
Licensees and certificate holders are required to have 24 PDHs, including 2 hours in ethics, by June 30 of even numbered years in order to renew their license or certificate.

What is a CEU and how does it relate to a PDH?
One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is generally equivalent to 10 PDHs.

Are carry-over hours allowed?
Yes, you may carryover a maximum of 12 PDHs to the next biennium for hours obtained above and beyond the required 24 PDH. You will still need to keep documentation of the activities you carryover in your files in case of an audit.

I completed 4 hours of ethics training, can I carry 2 of the hours over to cover my ethics requirement for the next renewal?
No. You must obtain 2 hours of ethics training during each reporting period; however, you may use the extra 2 hours toward your 12 PDH carryover allowance.

I am exempt from continuing education for this reporting period. Can I carryover my hours to the next period?
No. If you are exempt from continuing education, you cannot carry your hours over.

I am licensed or certified in two professions. Do I need 48 professional development hours?
No. Dual licensees or certificate holders need a total of 24 PDH, included 2 hours in ethics, to renew both licenses/certificates. One-third of the hours in the first profession, one-third in the second, and one-third can be in either.

What activities count toward PDHs?
There are many different programs and activities that count toward the continuing education requirements such as: seminars, classes, presentations, publishing articles, etc. Please see MN Statute 326.107, Subd. 2 for a complete list.

Will I get credit for self-study courses that have the answers included?
No. Any self-study course or publication with the answers in the same issue will not count toward continuing education.

Where do I find out about continuing education opportunities?
The Board does not pre-approve courses or activities so the Board office does not have a listing of continuing education opportunities. The Board does have links to professional societies and national councils from its web site. These are good places to begin your search. You can also contact your local colleges and universities.

What is the process for course approval?
The Board does NOT pre-approve any courses, activities, or vendors. It is the responsibility of each licensee or certificate holder to use their best professional judgment by reading and utilizing the statutory requirements to determine whether an activity meets the continuing education requirements. Please see the Continuing Education Assessment Form on the Board’s website.

I received an advertisement stating that a course was approved for continuing education. Is it true?
Many organizations also require continuing education for their members and some of the organizations pre-approve courses. These requirements may be different from the State’s requirements. The Board has final discretion on whether or not a course or activity meets the State’s requirements.

Will credits accepted by my professional society count toward the MN requirement?
The acceptance of continuing education credits by a professional society does not guarantee acceptance by the Board.

What is meant by non-work-related volunteer service?
Non-work-related is the conducting of services drawing upon your professional expertise to organizations outside of your place of employment (i.e. community service, nonprofit organizations, etc.).

How do we report our continuing education credits?
Report the total number of hours on your renewal form – either online or paper.

What do I need to keep for supporting documentation and when should I send it in? Examples of what you should keep in your personal file include: certificates, agendas, handouts, invitations, copies of receipts for payments of fees, etc. This information may be requested in an audit. Please do not send any supporting documentation to the Board until it is requested.

How long must I keep my continuing education records for audit purposes?
Records and supporting documentation need to be kept for a period of four years after submission to the Board.

I am no longer practicing my profession. Do I need to obtain continuing education?
The Minnesota Board does not have an “inactive” status. In order to continue to practice, you will need to renew your license/certificate every two years and comply with the continuing education requirements. If you have retired, you can inform the Board in writing and then you may continue to use your professional title preceded by the term “retired” (i.e. John Doe, Retired Architect), but you may not practice.

If I allow my license to lapse, would I need to obtain continuing education hours if I am interested in reinstating my license or certificate?
Yes, in order to reinstate your license or certificate you will need to do everything you would have done had you kept your license/certificate current during the time of your lapse (i.e. pay all back fees, late fees, and provide proof of continuing education). You will need to report up to 48 hours of continuing education, including up to 4 hours of ethics, depending on how many years your license has lapsed.

What qualifies for a continuing education exemption?

  • First biennial renewal
  • Disability or illness
  • Military duty: For a period of at least 120 consecutive days an individual who serves honorably on active duty in the military where such activity restricts participation in a continuing education program.
  • Other extenuating circumstances

How do I request an exemption from continuing education?
All exemptions, except “first biennial renewal,” need to be pre-approved by the Board. A form is available to request an exemption, or you may simply submit a letter requesting exemption along with supporting documentation.

How will I know if I am audited?
If you are selected for audit, you will be contacted and asked to submit supporting documentation of your reported activities.