Meeting IL Licensing Education Requirements

Effective January 2023, all healthcare professionals who hold a license with the state of Illinois must complete continuing education (CE) on the following topics for each licensure period:

  1. Sexual Harassment Prevention: 1 hour
  2. Safe Opioid Prescribing: 3 hours (for all prescribers with a Controlled Substances Registration)
  3. (NEW) Implicit Bias: 1 hour
  4. (NEW) Recognizing Dementia: 1 hour (for all who see adults age 26 or older)
  5. (NEW) Reporting Child Abuse: 1 hour (for all who see children; required once every 6 years)

These special requirements count towards the number of regular CE hours required for licensure renewal, which varies by profession (e.g., 150 hours/3-year renewal cycle for physicians, 20 hours/2-year renewal cycle for RNs, 80 hours/2-year renewal cycle for APRNs, 100 hours/2-year renewal cycle for PAs). Please check the IDFPR website or the IL state society for your profession if you are unsure of your renewal cycle.

Note that the requirement for Sexual Harassment Prevention, Recognizing Dementia, and Implicit Bias training do not apply for those renewing an IL license for the first time. This means that if you first got your IL license in 2022 or 2023, you do not need to complete this education until your subsequent license renewal in 2024-2026. However, for practitioners with a controlled substances registration, there is no such waiver for the Safe Opioid Prescribing requirement for first-time license renewers—this is required of all.

The WU CME office is working to ensure availability of free or low cost options for WU employees to meet these requirements and minimize duplication of effort in meeting other WU compliance requirements.  

  • Sexual Harassment Prevention
    • All WU employees who are assigned an IL work location, who manage IL employees, or who hold an IL health professions license are assigned Harassment Prevention for Illinois Employees or Harassment Prevention for Illinois Managers in Learn@Work.
    • This module satisfies both the State of IL and the WU compliance requirements. 
    • The certificate of completion available in Learn@Work is sufficient for the State of IL.
    • Additionally, AMA/ANCC credit will be available for free on the WU CME website for WU physicians, nurses, and PAs who complete a short evaluation. You will receive additional information from the CME office regarding how to claim credit within 2 weeks of completion.
  • Safe Opioid Prescribing
    • Pain Management and Opioids is available at NEJM, offering free AMA (up to 10.25 credits), MOC part II, AAPA, AANP, and ACPE credit. This was renewed with a new termination date of April 14, 2024. It involves 63 vignette-based multiple-choice questions. There is no recorded presentation to watch. Credit is based on the number of questions answered correctly by the end of module completion, and any questions answered incorrectly are re-presented with an opportunity to update your answers. 
    • AMA Ed Hub has many courses totaling 36.5 free credits on opioids/substance abuse.
    • MedIQ offers complimentary courses for WU employees since we have insurance coverage through their company, and they have 2 courses addressing opioids and pain management totaling 2.25 credits.
      • Addiction Management: Opioids and Alternatives
      • Refreshing Our Approach to Opioids: Alternatives, Benzos, and Risky Behavior
    • The CDC offers free opioid education, but as of June 2023, there is just 1 CDC course available, which is worth 1 AMA credit for completing 4 modules
  • Implicit Bias Awareness
    • Free option #1: SAFE modules
      • A 5th SAFE module is now available that, in conjunction with SAFE modules 1-4, meets the IL requirement for 1 hour of Implicit Bias education.
      • Access the course via WashU Extended Learning at https://mycanvas.wustl.edu/washu-extended-learning/. Click Login with WUSTL Email (SSO) and enter your wustl.edu email followed by wustlkey and password. If you have trouble getting back into the course, contact MedExtendedLearning@wustl.edu. If you have questions about credit, contact cme@wustl.edu.
      • Once you login, you can view which modules you have already completed via the Grades button.
      • A certificate of completion will be available via Canvas for those who complete all 5 modules and evaluation. AMA/ANCC credit will also be available for free for WU physicians, nurses, and PAs. You will receive additional information from the CME office regarding how to claim credit within 2 weeks of completion.
      • Note that, currently, only SAFE Modules 1-4 are required by WashU. Therefore, if you have already met the state of IL Implicit Bias education requirement by alternative means (e.g., by attending the DEI office's training WUSM 2.0 - Examining Unconscious Bias), you are not required to complete Module 5.
    • Free option #2: WUSM 2.0 – Examining Unconscious Bias
      • 1-hour in-person or virtual training session offered monthly by the DEI office. No CE credit available for this activity but the DEI office will offer a certificate through Saba (which is sufficient for the state of IL). If you completed this training and do not see it recorded there, you may request a certificate from https://diversity.med.wustl.edu/training/training-tracking-form/ or contact the DEI office for more information. (Note: this is the only DEI office-provided training session that specifically meets the IL licensing requirement—WUMS 1.0, 3.0, and 4.0 do not.)
  • Recognizing Dementia
    • A 1-hour online module is available for WU employees in WashU Extended Learning (Canvas).
    • Access the course via this self-enrollment link. Click Login with WUSTL Email (SSO) and enter your wustl.edu email followed by wustlkey and password. Click Enroll in Course, then Go to Course. If you have trouble getting started, contact MedExtendedLearning@wustl.edu. If you have questions about credit, contact cme@wustl.edu.
    • The certificate of completion available via Canvas is sufficient for the state of IL.
    • Additionally, AMA/ANCC credit will be available for free for WU physicians, nurses, and PAs. You will receive additional information from the CME office regarding how to claim credit within 2 weeks of completion.
  • Reporting Child Abuse

There are other options to meet these education requirements. For example, the IL state medical society provides education on all the topics that is free for members and $75 per 1-hour module for non-members. Live or online education by an accredited CE provider or another University can also be used to meet the requirements, and online modules from different institutions are sometimes made available for free.

Q&A

Q. When does education need to be completed in order to remain compliant?

A. You will need to attest to having completed the required education by the date of your license renewal. IL license renewal deadlines differ by specialty. For example, nursing licenses expire on May 31 of even numbered years; physician licenses expire on July 31 of every third year (2023, 2026,...) . To check when your license expires, enter your name and license type at https://online-dfpr.micropact.com/lookup/licenselookup.aspx.

Q. Are the special education requirements one time only?

A. No. Training in Safe Opioid Prescribing, Sexual Harassment Prevention, and Recognizing Dementia (for those who see adults) needs to be completed once every license renewal cycle. Identifying and Reporting Child Abuse training (for those who see children) must be completed once every 6 years.

Q. Where do I upload the proof of completion of education?

A. You will only be asked to attest to meeting the training/CE requirements when you complete your license renewal application. You will not be asked to upload certificates with the application, but you should keep them in your records in the event of audit. You should maintain records of all CE for at least 1 full licensure cycle after the cycle in which credits were earned.There is nobody at WU that you need to share completion data with—anything WU needs (harassment prevention and the first 4 SAFE modules) is already recorded in Learn@Work and Canvas.

Q. Who is ensuring we complete all these requirements?

A. As with general CE requirements for board certification, hospital appointments, and MO state licensure, ensuring completion of the special CE requirements for the state of IL is the responsibility of the individual practitioner. Your department may have a credentialing coordinator who can help. If you're not sure, reach out to your department's business office. If you want to keep the certificates electronically with your WU CME transcripts so everything is in one place, you can upload them to the "My External Certificates" tab under My Account on the WU CME website. Login with your wustlkey and look for it under the list of tabs on the right.

Q. Do these requirements apply to NPs and PAs?

A. Yes, as well as to nearly all other healthcare professionals with an IL license. Links to the IL statutes addressing the education requirements are provided at the bottom of this page. These detail the professions affected, but if you have further questions, contact IDFPR or the IL state society for your profession.

Q. What if I don't plan to renew my IL license?

A. Please make sure to discuss your intentions with your department since if you do not maintain your IL license, you will be unable to see any patients physically located in the state of IL via telehealth. Those who are not renewing should still take the harassment prevention module for IL that was assigned by HR but can disregard the other requirements. This module takes the same amount of time as the one for non-IL employees and meets the HR requirement.

Q. How do I know if I completed the first 4 SAFE modules?

A. Once you login to WashU Extended Learning, you will be able to view which modules you have already completed via the Grades button. If you still have questions, send an email with your query to MedExtendedLearning@wustl.edu.

Q. Am I required to complete SAFE module 5 if I already participated in the DEI office's WUSM 2.0 - Examining Unconscious Bias training?

A. No, currently WashU only required SAFE Modules 1-4. Going forward, new faculty joining WashU will be required to complete all 5 modules.

Q. How does an education requirement based on hours relate to number of AMA credits available for an activity? Do we have to keep track of the number of hours we spent?

A. AMA credits count as hours regardless of how much time the person actually spends doing the activity. So at 10.25 credits, the NEJM opioid activity is worth 10.25 hours and fully satisfies both the IL ad DEA requirement. You don't have to document anything beyond saving the certificate that lists the number of credits awarded.

Q. Can I use the same opioid education to meet the requirement for both my IL license and the DEA?

A. Yes! The options listed above (as well as any other safe opioid prescribing education provided by an accredited organization) can be used for both requirements. The DEA requirement is 8 hours of education, one time only, whereas the IL requirement for physicians is for 3 hours every 3 years.

Q. How do I know if I am a mandatory reporter and need to complete Reporting Child Abuse training?

A. Effective January 1, 2023, IL added new professions to The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA), a state law requiring certain professionals to report suspected child abuse and neglect. If you interact with children as part of your job, it is highly likely you are a mandatory reporter. The following health care professionals are mandatory reporters in the state of IL: physicians/residents, nurses/advanced nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, social workers, psychologists, genetic counselors, dentists, dental hygienists, podiatrists, emergency medical technicians, certified nursing assistants, home health aides, respiratory care practitioners, as well as hospital administrators. See Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act for the full list.

Q. I was not required to complete Implicit Bias or Recognizing Dementia training because this was the first renewal of my license. If I complete them anyway, will they count for my next renewal?

A. Education needs to be completed within the license renewal cycle, so as long as you complete them after 7/31/23, they will count for your next renewal.

Q. What are the requirements for "regular" continuing education?

A. The state of IL requires licensees to complete a certain number of hours of CE per license renewal cycle. For physicians,  the requirement is 150 hours per 3-year license cycle, at least 60 hours of which must be obtained from formal accredited CME programs and 90 of which can be from either accredited CME programs or non-accredited "informal" education. The requirement for this "regular" CE is waived for the first renewal of IL licensure. Check with the IDFPR or your profession's IL state society for more information about your profession's CE requirements. 

Q. What is the difference between formal and informal CME?

A. The state of IL uses the terms "formal" and "informal" to refer to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit and AMA PRA Category 2 Credit. Category 1 or "formal" CME is continuing education that has been certified by an accredited CME provider (e.g., Rounds, national meetings). Category 2 or "informal" CME is self-designated and self-claimed for participation in non-certified educational activities such as unstructured online learning, reading authoritative medical literature, consultation with peers or medical experts, medical writing, preceptorship participation, participation in peer review or QI activities, and other self-assessment activities. Category 2 credit is not recorded by an accredited CME provider. It is your responsibility to maintain a record of your Category 2 credit and report it if you are audited. Be sure to include the approximate number of hours spent on each type of activity.

Q. What if I can't complete the CE requirements by the date of license renewal?

A. Contact the IDFPR (FPR.LMU@illinois.gov) before the date of license renewal to request a CE Waiver Request Form.

References

Updated 6/24/23



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