How many hours of continuing education are required for CCHP recertification?
Eighteen contact hours of continuing education are required annually. There are two categories of continuing education activities:
- Category 1. A minimum of 6 hours is required. A category 1 activity is any continuing education activity specific to correctional health care, including any activity with health-related topics that is conducted in the correctional setting or with topics that address providing health services in a correctional setting.
- Category 2. A category 2 activity is any continuing education activity that is pertinent to your profession. These activities might include treatment updates at a hospital or health department, business management classes at a college or computer software seminars offered by private education companies. There is no minimum requirement for Category 2. If you submit 18 hours from Category 1, the recertification requirement will be met.
If I attend a 6-hour educational activity on a topic such as domestic violence, and the instructor spends 2 hours discussing this topic in relation to the treatment of inmates, may I use this toward the Category 1 requirement?
Yes, you may claim 2 hours toward Category 1 and 4 hours toward Category 2.
What is a contact hour?
A contact hour is the amount of time spent participating in a continuing education activity. If you attend an in-service from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., you earn 4 contact hours of continuing education toward recertification.
Do the continuing education activities need to take place during a specific time period?
Yes. The 18 hours must be obtained during the one-year certification period that is expiring. For example, if your certificate is dated January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, you must obtain at least 18 hours of continuing education between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016, in order to renew your certification for 2017.
Do I need formally approved CEUs or CMEs?
No. Many valuable continuing education activities are conducted without formal CEUs or CMEs—for example, attending an in-service, writing an article for publication or presenting an educational program at a regional meeting. Time spent serving as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Correctional Health Care and other journals also counts. (Click here for information on becoming a JCHC peer reviewer.)
May I use continuing education credits earned from self-learning programs?
That depends. Continuing education credits earned from self-learning programs that have been approved by a professional association such as the AMA, ANA, ADA, AAPA, NCCHC, etc., are eligible toward recertification. Individual, nonsupervised self-learning programs are not eligible. NCCHC offers a self-learning program through the Journal of Correctional Health Care that will provide at least 12 hours of Category 1 continuing education credits each year.
In my state, I’m only required to renew my license every other year. Do I still have to renew my CCHP certification every year?
Yes. The recertification policies of the CCHP program are determined by the CCHP Board of Trustees and are not related to state licensure requirements. In some cases, the CCHP recertification requirement may be less than your state requires; in other cases, it may be more.
Do I need to submit documentation or copies of certificates from my continuing education activities?
No. To make recertification easier, the CCHP Board of Trustees has eliminated the requirement for documentation of your continuing education activities (e.g., copies of certificates or sign-in sheets). Instead, you must sign a statement on the application for continuing certification verifying the accuracy of the information provided and your continued eligibility. All information you provide on the application for continuing certification is subject to audit, so it is highly recommended that you maintain a file of these documents in case your file comes under review.
What type of documentation do you recommend I keep on file?
Typically, you will receive certificates of attendance for each individual activity. Some facilities provide a printout of educational activities attended during the past year and these are acceptable, too. For in-services, sign-in sheets will suffice, and for college courses attended, a grade report or transcript will suffice. At a minimum, all documentation should provide the following information:
- Date of the continuing education activity
- Number of hours spent in the activity
- Title or subject of the activity
- Your name as a participant