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Illinois Occupational Therapy Continuing Education

How many continuing education hours are required during a reporting period?

Occupational therapists licensed in Illinois must complete twenty-four (24) contact hours every two (2) years.

Occupational therapy assistants licensed in Illinois must complete twenty-four (24) contact hours every two (2) years.

New Licensees

A renewal applicant is not required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal following the original issuance of the license.

How is contact hour defined?

A CE contact hour equals fifty (50) minutes. After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be given in one-half hour increments.

Twenty-four (24) contact hours of CE is equivalent to twelve (12) units of Continued Competency Activities (CCA) (2 contact hours = 1 unit).

How long is the reporting period?

The pre-renewal period is the twenty-four (24) months preceding December 31 in the year of the renewal.

Can credits be carried over into the next reporting period?


Are there any specific courses that must be taken?

 In each renewal period, one (1) contact hour shall include a course in ethics.

What types of activities can be used for the continuing education requirements?




Accredited College or University Courses

Courses that are part of the curriculum of an accredited university, college or other educational institution.

Official transcript.

Allotted CE credit at the rate of fifteen (15) CE hours for each semester hour or ten (10) CE hours for each quarter hour of school credit awarded.

Independent Study

Independent study activities include, but are not limited to, reading books or journal articles.

Documentation shall include title, author, publisher, time spent, and date of completion. A licensee shall include a statement that describes how the activity relates to a licensee's current or anticipated roles and responsibilities.

CE contact hour equals fifty (50) minutes. After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be given in one-half hour increments.

Maximum: Four (4) contact hours per renewal period.

Professional Study Group

Participating in a professional study group or online study group designed to advance knowledge through active participation.

Documentation shall include goals and objectives, summary of the discussion, and dates, times and results of the study group.

CE contact hour equals fifty (50) minutes. After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be given in one-half hour increments.

Maximum: Twelve (12) contact hours per renewal period.

Mentorship/Participation as a Mentor/Mentee

Participation in a formalized mentorship agreement with a mentor as defined by a signed contract between the mentor and mentee that outlines specific goals and objectives and designates the plan of activities that are to be met by the mentee.

Documentation shall include name of mentor and mentee, copy of signed contract, dates, hours spent in and focus of mentorship activities, and outcomes of mentorship agreement.

A mentor/mentee may earn contact hours spent in activities directly related to achievement of goals and objectives.

Maximum: Eight (8) contact hours per renewal period.

Fieldwork Supervision

Participation as the primary clinical fieldwork educator for a Level I/Level II OT or OTA fieldwork student. 

Documentation shall include verification provided by the school to the fieldwork educator with the name of student, school, and dates of fieldwork or the signature page of the completed student evaluation form.  Evaluation scores and comments should be deleted or blocked out.

A licensee, as the primary clinical fieldwork educator for a Level I/Level II OT or OTA fieldwork student may earn one (1) contact hour per week of supervision for each student supervised. 

Maximum: Twelve (12) contact hours for student supervision per renewal period.

Professional Writing

First time publication of a professional or non-professional book, chapter, or article. 

Documentation shall consist of full reference for publication including: title, author, editor, and date of publication, or copy of acceptance letter if not yet published.

Eighteen (18) hours as an author of a book.

Maximum: Eighteen (18) hours as an author of a book.

Twelve (12) hours as an author of a chapter.

Maximum: Twelve (12) hours as an author of a chapter.

Twelve (12) hours as an author of an article in a professional publication.

Maximum: Twelve (12) hours as an author of an article in a professional publication.

Six (6) hours as an author of an article in a non-professional publication.

Maximum: Six (6) hours as an author of an article in a non-professional publication.

Twelve (12) hours as an editor of a book.

Maximum: Twelve (12) hours as an editor of a book.

Presentation and Instruction

First time or significantly revised presentation of an academic course or workshop, seminar, in-service, electronic or Web-based course. 

Speeches made at luncheons or banquets or any other presentation not within the guidelines of this Part are not eligible for CE credit.

Documentation shall include a copy of official program/schedule/ syllabus, including presentation title, date, hours of presentation, and type of audience, or verification of the presentation signed by the sponsor.

A licensee who serves as an instructor, speaker or discussion leader of a CE program will be allowed CE course credit for actual presentation time, plus actual preparation time of up to two (2) hours for each hour of presentation.  Preparation time shall not be allowed for presentations of the same course and will only be allowed for additional study or research.

Maximum:  Twelve (12) hours during any renewal period.


Development of or participation in a research project or development of an evidence based project.

Documentation includes verification from the primary investigator indicating the name of the research project or evidence based project, dates of participation, major hypotheses or objectives of the project, and licensee's role in the project.

A licensee may earn credit for hours spent working on a research project or evidence based project.

Maximum: Twelve (12) hours per renewal period.


Development of a grant proposal.

Documentation includes name of grant proposal, name of grant source, purpose and objectives of the project, and verification from the grant author regarding licensee's role in the development of the grant if not the author.

A licensee may earn credit for hours working on a grant proposal.

Maximum: Twelve (12) hours per renewal period.

Professional Meetings and Activities

Participation in board or committee work with agencies or organizations in professionally related community based programs to promote and enhance the practice of occupational therapy.

Documentation includes name of committee or board, name of agency or organization, purpose of service, and description of licensee's role.  Participation must be validated by an officer or representative of the organization or committee.

A licensee may earn two (2) contact hours per appointment on a committee or board for one (1) year.

Maximum: Eight (8) hours per renewal period.

Volunteer Service

Provide volunteer services that utilize occupational therapy skills and experiences to enhance and/or better the lives of organizations, populations, communities or individuals.

Documentation includes the name of the agency or organization, purpose of the service, and a description of the licensee's role with dates, hours and outcomes of volunteer service. Participation must be validated by an officer or representative of the organization or agency.

A licensee may earn two (2) contact hours per five (5) hours of volunteer service.

Maximum: Twelve (12) hours per renewal period.

Advanced Competence Recognition/Specialty Certification

Advanced recognition and/or specialty certification from a nationally recognized certifying body or approved provider.

Documentation includes certificate of completion or other documentation that identifies satisfactory completion of requirements for obtaining advanced competence or specialty certification.

A licensee may earn twelve (12) contact hours for each advanced competence recognition or specialty certification credential earned during a renewal period.

A licensee may earn one (1) contact hour for every two (2) hours spent in a clinical residency or fellowship.

What type of approval is needed for the courses?

Approved sponsors:

    • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and its affiliates;
    • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the Illinois Physical Therapy Association (IPTA);
    • AOTA approved sponsors;
    • American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Illinois Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA);
    • American Medical Association (AMA) and the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) and their affiliates;
    • Colleges, universities, community colleges or institutions with occupational therapy or occupational therapy assistant education programs accredited by the American Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
    • Regionally accredited colleges and universities;
    • American Society of Hand Therapists;
    • Licensed hospitals;
    • State agencies;
    • Educational institutions that provide occupational therapy services, including, but not limited to, public or private primary and secondary schools;
    • Any other person, firm, association, corporation, or group that has been approved and authorized by the Division upon the recommendation of the Board to coordinate and present CE courses or programs.

What are the reporting requirements?

Certification of Compliance with CE Requirements

    • Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with CE requirements.
    • The Division may require additional evidence demonstrating compliance with the CE requirements.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.
    • When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant will be notified and may request an interview with the Board, at which time the Board may recommend that steps be taken to begin formal disciplinary proceedings.

Is there a way to waive CE requirements?

If the Division, upon the written recommendation of the Board, finds from the affidavit or any other evidence submitted that good cause has been shown for granting a waiver, the Division shall waive enforcement of these requirements for the renewal period for which the applicant has applied.

Good cause shall be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable pre-renewal period because of:

    • Full-time service in the armed forces of the United States of America during a substantial part of such period; or
    • Extreme hardship, which shall be determined on an individual basis by the Board and shall be limited to documentation of:
      • An incapacitating illness documented by a currently licensed physician;
      • A physical inability to travel to the sites of approved programs; or
      • Any other similar extenuating circumstances.

If an interview with the Board is requested at the time the request for the waiver is filed with the Division, the renewal applicant shall be given at least twenty (20) days written notice of the date, time and place of the interview by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Any renewal applicant who submits a request for waiver shall be deemed to be in good standing until the Division's final decision on the application has been made.


Ill. Admin. Code § 1315.145

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