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Continuing Education is a Requirement, not a Suggestion, for almost all Illinois Licensed Professionals

Almost any profession that requires a license with Illinois Department of Financial Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will require Continuing Education (CE) in that discipline. Things change, and the state wants professionals to keep up with the latest advancements and developments in their field! For architects, engineers and roofers, materials change, building codes change, and CE is important. For business professionals, accounting laws and regulations change, and tax codes are always being modified at the state and federal level. For cosmetologists and massage therapists, there are new techniques to learn about sanitizing chemicals and safety procedures to avoid occupational hazards.

Beyond all the policy reasons that licensees should CE classes, the most important reason is that the State of Illinois almost always requires it. 

Why Would a Licensed Professional Fail to Complete Continuing Education?

1)Financial Burden

With CE being a pillar of a person’s credentials and employment, why do so many professionals fail to complete continuing education? Several reasons are reoccurring factors in the lapse of training.

At the top of the list is money. Most professionals must shoulder the cost of continuing education by themselves.

Continuing education can be expensive. It generally costs between $50 – $85 per credit hour. Most professional licenses require between 10 and 30 hours of continuing education in a two-year period. That is a hefty financial burden for self-employed professionals and professionals whose employers do not reimburse for continuing education.

2) Not Enough Time

Finding time to attend classes can also be a deterrent to completing continuing education. That is becoming less of a burden as many colleges, universities, and for-profit colleges as offering online classes and webinars. Professionals who can attend an online or digital class in their free time, on their schedule, are more likely to meet IDFPR’s continuing education requirements.

3) Do I Still Have that License?

Some professionals end up not utilizing their license for a variety of reasons, and so they just forget to keep up with the requirements. While you may have a real-estate license, a different career opportunity may move you in a different direction, in which case you need to either surrender your license or keep up with the ongoing requirements.

Can a Professional be Fined for not Completing Continuing Education?

Professionals can be fined for failing to complete the continuing education their license requires. Some of the fines can be substantial. For veterinarians, funeral directors, and athletic trainers, the fine can be up to $10,000. Home inspectors can face fines up to $25,000. Leasing agents are looking at $750. These fines can be in conjunction with other regulatory actions, such as suspension or revocation of the license.

Fines, possible suspension of licenses, added to the fact that this disciplinary action may become part of the public record for current and future employers, customers, patients should all provide more than enough incentive for professionals to fulfill IDFPR’s continuing education requirements, but mistakes do happen.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

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