One IACET Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as 10 contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.
The primary purpose of the CEU is to provide a permanent record of the educational accomplishments of an individual who has completed one or more significant non-credit educational experiences. Awarding the IACET CEU also provides a quality indicator for your continuing education and training programs because it means that you have been reviewed and approved as complying with the internationally recognized standard.
The IACET CEU may be awarded only by organizations that have been reviewed and approved as Authorized Providers. Note that awarding the IACET CEU requires that a record be established for each individual to whom CEUs are awarded and that a transcript of that record be made available to participants upon request.
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) is the caretaker of the IACET CEU. IACET assumes responsibility for refining and disseminating information about the CEU. Through its programs, publications, research, and technical assistance, IACET assists organizations in correctly using the Standard.
The generic CEU is in the public domain. Use of the generic CEU is voluntary, and no permission or approval is required. However, there are organizations that award CEUs that do not adhere to the Standard developed by IACET. This has led to consumer misunderstanding and distrust of the value of the CEU in general. Therefore, IACET has taken steps to ensure the credibility of the IACET CEU.
No. A participant must successfully complete the entire event or program before any IACET CEUs can be offered.
One CEU is awarded for every 10 contact hours (60 minutes) of instruction in a planned learning activity. Instructional hours do not include time involved in coffee breaks, meals, social activities, or business and committee meetings.
Acceptance of IACET CEUs for college credit is at the discretion of the college or university.
Just like college credits that are given at one university and transferred to another, any organization has the right to accept or reject IACET CEUs. IACET is a well-known organization that is recognized as upholding standards of excellence when it comes to continuing education, and therefore many organizations will accept IACET CEUs. If you are concerned about whether particular organizations or associations will accept IACET CEUs, we recommend that you contact them directly.
CEUs are different from college credits; thus, IACET cannot assure you that they are accepted by any specific organization. CEUs were originally designed for professionals who had already attained a certain level of education and needed to take a certain amount of continuing education and training per year to renew their license or certification—such as engineers, nurses and other health-care-related professionals, teachers, early childhood educators, human resource professionals, etc. Most colleges will not directly accept CEUs for college or graduate credit. However, some colleges and universities will look at an individual’s portfolio that includes work experience and continuing education and training offerings (measured by CEUs). The Council on Adult and Experiential Learning helps universities set up programs to turn work experience and continuing education and training activities into college credits, and it may have a list of institutions that have such programs. Also, the American College Advisory Service helps individuals turn CEUs into undergraduate and graduate credit for a fee.
IACET does not have an official position on this matter. It has traditionally opposed the awarding of such credits under the assumption that the instructor already knows the material.
The maintenance of permanent records is the responsibility of the institution or organization sponsoring the program and awarding the IACET CEUs.
The provider should establish a standard number of contact hours based on an average number of hours required by several representative learners to complete the distance learning program. A provider desiring to introduce a new self-paced learning program, for example, might select a representative sample from the intended audience to complete the learning program. Each member of the sample records the actual amount of time spent completing the learning program. The number of hours spent by all members of the sample is totaled, averaged, and divided by 10 to determine the appropriate number of CEUs for that program.
The definition of a CEU says that it measures “participation in organized continuing education/training experience under responsible, qualified direction and instruction” (emphasis added). Any type of self-study must be part of a planned learning activity. There must be monitoring of the learner’s progress and some form of feedback provided to the learner. This definition applies for face-to-face interaction as well as for distance learning programs.