Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Activity Credits by iva20935

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									Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional
Activity Credits (PACs)
Recertification by the continuing education pathway is based on acquiring specific numbers of
continuing education credits. Continuing education credits may consist of defined numbers of
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Activity Credits (PACs). Continuing
education credits used toward recertification must be earned during the current period of
certification. Continuing education credits earned during this time period may not be applied to
later recertification cycles.

The genetic counseling profession and the roles of individual counselors have expanded and
diversified as the field of human genetics has evolved. Thus, the continuing education needs of
the professionals in this field will vary. The ABGC will continue to investigate additional options
that enable genetic counselors to meet the requirements for accruing continuing education
credits and obtaining recertification.


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are credits awarded for attendance at educational
programs that have been approved by the ABGC prior to April 1, 2008, or by the National
Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. (NSGC) on or after April 1, 2008. The credits awarded are
based on the total number of contact hours provided by the sponsoring organization. One CEU
credit is awarded for every ten contact hours. One contact hour is equivalent to 60 minutes in
length.

The expanding roles of genetic counselors require a diverse and multi-disciplinary scope of
educational activities. In addition to national conferences, there are a variety of local or
specialized educational opportunities important to the continuing education of diplomates. CEUs
are designated as either Category 1 or Category 2.

Category 1 CEUs: Contact hours that have been approved by ABGC (prior to April 1, 2008) or
by NSGC (on or after April 1, 2008) in advance of the educational
program at the request of the program organizer are defined as Category 1. Examples include
the National Society of Genetic Counselors’ (NSGC) Annual Education Conference, and the
annual meetings of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and the American
College of Medical Genetics (ACMG). Beginning October 1, 1997, genetic counselors were first
able to earn Category 1 CEUs. For programs approved by ABGC prior to April 1, 2008, credits
for Category 1 CEUs were administered and granted by the American Counseling Association
(ACA), and certificates documenting the number of CEUs earned were provided to d iplomates
by ACA . Beginning April 1, 2008, NSGC assumed administration of the CEU program for
genetic counselors and now grants Category 1 CEUs for NSGC-approved educational
programs. Certificates documenting the number of CEUs earned for attendance at these
programs are provided to diplomates by NSGC.

Category 2 CEUs: Contact hours approved by other organizations with ACCME approval to
offer CEUs or continuing medical education (CME) credits can be used by genetic counselors
as Category 2 CEUs. On February 1, 1999, genetic counselors were first able to earn Category
2 CEUs that could be applied toward recertification. Category 2 CEUs will not awarded for
programs that offer Category 1 CEUs. ABGC diplomates may apply to request Category 2
CEUs for contact hours earned at programs
approved by other organizations for CEUs or continuing medical education (CME) credits.
Review of applications for Category 2 CEU approval of programs was conducted by ABGC until
April 1, 2008. If Category 2 CEUs were approved for a program, ABGC sent a letter to the
diplomate verifying the number of CEUS awarded. Beginning April 1, 2008, NSGC assumed
responsibility for review and approval of Category 2 CEU applications. As of April 1, 2008,
applications for Category 2 CEUs should be submitted to NSGC according to requirements
detailed on the NSGC.org website.

A maximum of 40% of the total CEUs required for recertification may come from
Category 2 programs. For diplomates with ten year certificates, no more than 10 CEUs of the
total required (25) continuing education credits may come from Category 2 programs. For
diplomates with five year certificates, no more than 5 CEUs of the total required (12.5)
continuing education credits may come from Category 2 programs.

Verification of CEUs Earned
Diplomates who are completing an application for recertification but have lost their original
Category 1 certificates or Category 2 letters documenting CEUs awarded may contact NSGC
beginning January 1, 2009 for verification of credits awarded by ABGC or NSGC. This
documentation does not need to be submitted to ABGC with the application for recertification,
but will be required in the event of an audit.




Professional Activity Credits (PACs) are credits awarded for participation in a variety of
activities determined by the ABGC to promote professional development. Certified genetic
counselors could begin earning PACs as of September 1, 2003. There is no administrative fee
for Professional Activity Credits.

PACs can be used for up to 20% of the total credits required for recertification. PACs can be
substituted for Category 1 CEUs for up to 20% of the total credits required for recertification.
Diplomates who have ten-year certificates may use up to 5 PACs out of the total of 25
continuing education credits required for recertification. Diplomates who have five-year
certificates may use up to 2.5 PACs out of the total of 12.5 continuing education credits required
for recertification.

Activities which have been approved for PACs are continually updated. View descriptions of
approved PAC activities, date approved for use, amount of credit awarded and documentation
required for each activity on the Approved PAC Activities and Summary Table page.
Summary Table of CEU and PAC Requirements for Recertification


Date of Most       Certification   Total # of   Minimum # of   Maximum # of     Maximum # of
Recent             Period          credits      Category 1     PACs that may    Category 2
Certification or                   required     CEUs           be substituted   CEUs
Recertification                                                for Category 1
                                                               CEUs

On or after        5 years         12.5         7.5            2.5              5
January 1, 2010


1999 to            10 years        25           15             5                10
December 31,
2009

Voluntary          10 years        25           15             5                10
Recertification
awarded January
1, 2007 (2006
recertification
cycle)

Voluntary          5 years         12.5         7.5            2.5              5
Recertification
awarded January
1, 2010 (2009
recertification
cycle) or later

Former ABGC        5 years         12.5         7.5            2.5              5
Diplomates Who
Restore ABGC
Certification
October 1, 2009
or later

								
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