Go here for a list of NASW-CO Approved Continuing Education Opportunities.
is information on the DORA Continued Professional Development
requirement of licensure. Please read through all information here
carefully and thoroughly. You are strongly encouraged to follow the DORA links to review important information on
DORA's website on the CPD program. In addition, you should also review the webpage for specific info on HPPP, which is an additional requirement of licensure.
The Chapter offers a CPD Tracking Workbook available on the My Member Benefits section of this website.
DORA CPD Website
DORA Social Work Continuing Professional Competency - Offers a variety of information including a Resources section that provides info on the Learning Plan, Deem Status, and links to the CPC Program Manual and the Chart of accepted Professional Development Activities for Social Workers.
Licensees should complete a Professional Practice Rubric and Self-Assessment, a Learning Plan, and document CPD hours. You are required
to keep these items in your personal files electronically or on paper.
For more info go here.
Highlights of the CPD Program:
- It is tied to licensure and applies to LCSWs and LSWs
- It is overseen by DORA
- The model has three main
components: reflective practice, developing a learning plan, and
completing professional development activities
- It requires 40 professional development hours be earned every 2 years. It does not require pre-approval for CEs or other activities by the DORA Board or NASW
- It allows a variety of professional development activities:
volunteer service, consultation, supervision, presenting, coursework
(workshops, conferences, online classes), publication, and independent
- However, these activities count only to the degree there is new, professional-level learning
- Documentation is kept by the
licensee and is not sent to DORA unless specifically requested; by
statute there will be an audit of 5% of licensees
- Licensees who are not currently
practicing in the state but who want to keep a license may put it on
"Inactive Status" and will NOT need to fulfill CPD requirements while
- First-time licensees
have the required CPD hours prorated. The prorated formula is 1.66
PDHs for every month a license is held until the cycle ends. If the
license is held for any part of a month, count the month in the
formula. First time licensees includes new LSWs and those who
transferred their LCSW from another state at some point in the middle of
the 2-year license cycle. This formula is also used when a license is
Overview of the CPD Program
The following is an overview of the
DORA Continuing Professional Development program and requirements. This
is not a complete review of all aspects of the program, so please be
sure to attend a Chapter informational session or read the rules and
resources on the DORA website.
The DORA CPD program technically went
into effect by law on January 1st, 2011. However, not all aspects of
the program applied on that date, because the requirement is tied to
licensure renewal which occurs every two years. The first “deadline” was
at the August 2011 license renewal when licensees were required to
comply with only the first two aspects of the program (reflective
practice and learning plan). It was the 2011-2013 license cycle that
licensees first complied with the third aspect of the program to
complete professional development activities/hours. Thereafter
“deadlines” will occur every two years when you renew your license.
The Continued Competency requirement
is tied to licensure and applies to LCSWs and LSWs (as well as other
licensed mental health professionals). The program is overseen by DORA
and managed through a software program accessed via a DORA portal on the
internet. Licensees will access the DORA portal and sign in to their
account with a password.
The DORA program does not require
only CEC/CEU, nor does it require pre-approval of any kind by DORA.
CEC/CEU coursework certainly may count toward PHDs earned, but is not
required for coursework to count toward PDHs. DORA will not require you to send documentation of PDHs earned upon license renewal. Documentation is kept by the licensee and not sent to DORA unless specifically requested. Such requests by DORA are by audit or because of a lapsed license or grievance.
The Continuing Competency model has
three main components: reflective practice, developing a learning plan,
and completing professional development activities.
Continuing Professional Competence
– is the ongoing ability of a licensee to learn, integrate and
apply the knowledge, skill and judgment to practice according to
generally accepted industry standards and professional ethical standards
in a designated role and setting.
Continuing Professional Development
– will be an online instructional guide available
on the DORA website. It is a comprehensive reference tool that provides
many examples and in depth information about all aspects of the program.
You may want to think of it as a resource to pick and choose what and
when you find it helpful.
Professional Development Hours (PDH) –
are clock hours of learning activities. Forty (40) PDH’s are required
every two years in order to renew your license. A maximum of twenty (20)
PDH’s may be credited in a single professional development activity. If
you completed more than 40 PDH’s during a renewal cycle, you may carry
over to the next renewal cycle a maximum of 5 PDH’s earned within 6
months of license expiration.
Professional Development Activities
– provide new knowledge, skills or attitudes and sharpen or expand
existing skills. There are a variety of activities allowed: volunteer
service, consultation, supervision, presenting, coursework (workshops,
conferences, online classes, etc), publication, and independent
learning. DORA does not require pre-approval or CEC approval for these
activities, though documentation is required.
Reflective Practice – involves
evaluating your professional skill and aspirations to identify new
learning opportunities. The DORA program provides two on-line tools to
assist in reflective practice, the Professional Practice Rubric (Rubric)
and the Practice Description worksheet. The Rubric identifies seven
competency dimensions that are common to all social work practice
settings. The Rubric must be submitted on line to DORA to renew your
Personal Learning Plan (Learning Plan)
– is an online document to outline and record your professional
learning activities (PDAs) for each two-year license renewal cycle. The
plan may be modified on-line any time throughout the two year cycle up
until the set renewal deadline date. DORA will not audit, evaluate or
review the content of your PDAs. The Learning Plan must be submitted on
line to DORA to renew your license.
Documentation of PDH – You will need
to retain records to document the PDH’s accrued. The type of
documentation required is explained in the Portfolio. Documentation must
be retained for 5 years and may be audited by DORA during this time.
Documentation should not be sent to DORA unless specifically requested.
Deem Status – Some licensees working
in certain settings may be deemed to have met the requirements of this
program and in effect be exempted from completing additional PDAs. To be
eligible you must work for a State agency or contractor that has a CPC
program that meets DORA requirements. Licensees are still subject to a
DORA audit. It is strongly recommending that licensees keep their own
documentation in case they leave the agency or an agency changes status
with the State.
History & Background - Continued Competence
more than 10 years, the Chapter has been working to include a continuing
education component in our licensure statute. The Department of
Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and the Governor’s office historically had
been opposed to continuing education, citing studies that indicate
continuing education does not contribute to public protection, DORA’s
primary function. In 2008, however, Governor Ritter asked DORA to
consider a competency model that would address learning goals for all
professions regulated by DORA. DORA approached the Chapter, and the
other licensed mental health professionals, and asked if we would agree
to submit a bill for a continuing competency requirement. We agreed, as
did LPCs, LMFTs and CACs.
Legislative Committee and the Practice Standards Committee, University
of Denver GSSW, and the Clinical Society, along with DORA began working
together to draft a bill that was introduced in the state legislature in
January 2009. Anne McGihon in the House and Betty Boyd in the Senate
sponsored the bill - House Bill 1086. It required the above-mentioned
professionals “to maintain continuing professional competency in order
to obtain renewal or reinstatement of a license or certificate to
practice their respective profession in Colorado.” The statute mandates
that the Social Work Board of Examiners at DORA adopt rules that would
contain the following elements.
the summer of 2010, representatives from the Chapter participated in a
Stakeholders Group at DORA that designed specifics of the social work
Continuing Competency program. These program specifics were approved by
the DORA Social Work Board in a rule making hearing in November 2010.
HB 1086 was signed into law on June 4, 2009 by Governor Ritter.
In attendance at the bill signing by Gov. Ritter are the bill sponsors, Rep. Gwyn Greene and Sen. Betty Boyd, and NASWCO (then) Executive Director, Renee Rivera, and (then) Legislative Chair, Jean Greenberg.