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Introduction

Effective January 1, 2017, New York State Education Law requires each licensed creative arts therapist  (LCAT) to complete 36 hours of acceptable formal continuing education during each three-year registration period. However, there is a phase-in period for this requirement for licensees whose next registration period starts during the first three years after January 1, 2017. These licensees will have to complete one hour of acceptable formal continuing education for each month in their registration period after January 1, 2017. Please refer to the chart below in Question #8 for the continuing education hours required during this initial phase-in period.

The statute and regulations that apply to these requirements are available on this site.

This document is designed to respond to frequently asked questions regarding the mandatory continuing education requirements. It is not a substitute for reading the relevant provisions of law, rule or regulation.

General Information
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Yes. In New York, upon satisfying the licensure eligibility requirements, a "license" is awarded. Licensure is for life unless suspended, revoked or annulled for reasons of misconduct. 

In order to both practice as a licensed creative arts therapist in New York and use the restricted titles, “licensed creative arts therapist” or “creative arts therapist” a licensee must be currently "registered". Registration is for a three-year period, except for the first registration renewal after licensure, which is pro-rated to move licensees to month of birth renewal. See Question #9 below for information about periods other than 36 months. 

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You can find the end date for your current registration on the green registration certificate that was issued when you registered to practice. You can also find the end of your current registration period on our verification site: /verification-searchPlease note that your license number is the six-digit number; the -1 is not part of the license number.

Continuing Education Requirements
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Yes. Every licensed creative arts therapist practicing with his or her New York license must complete the required acceptable formal continuing education in order to register, except in the first registration period after initial licensure (see Question #4) As a practicing licensed creative arts therapist, you are required to complete 36 hours of acceptable formal continuing education during each three-year registration period. However, during the initial phase-in period, starting January 1, 2017, the number of hours necessary will be pro-rated at the rate of one hour per month for each month of the registration period. 

If you are returning to practice as a licensed creative arts therapist in New York, you may have to complete pro-rated hours of continuing education. This calculation will depend on whether or not you were practicing the creative arts therapy profession in New York and/or another state before you apply to re-register in New York. 

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You are not required to complete continuing education during your initial three-year registration period. However, you will need to complete a pro-rated number of hours based on the length of your second registration period which is adjusted based on your birth month.
 

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No, the law provides an exemption from the continuing education requirement for the first three-year registration period in which one is licensed as a licensed creative arts therapist.
 

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You must complete continuing education from a Department-approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists after January 1, 2017 in order for it to be acceptable under the law and regulations. Courses or activities taken prior to the January 1, 2017 effective date of the law are not acceptable for satisfying the triennial registration continuing education requirements.
 

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You will receive your registration renewal notice about 4 months before the end of your current registration period. You have the option of registering online or by mail. However, you should not file your registration application until you have met the continuing education requirement. If you indicate you have not met the requirement, your registration will be placed on hold until you submit verification to the State Board.

If you will not meet the continuing education requirement by the end of your registration period, then you may apply for a conditional registration (see Question 37 below)
 

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Licensees whose first re-registration date following January 1, 2017, occurs less than three years from that date, but on or after January 1, 2017, will have to complete one hour of acceptable formal continuing education for each month in the period beginning January 1, 2017. Licensees must attest to whether or not they have met the requirement as part of the registration application for the next three-year period. 

If you are renewing the registration of your license on or after January 1, 2017, the number of continuing education hours you will be required to complete will vary depending on when your current registration expires. Please see the chart below in order to determine the required number of hours you need to complete prior to your registration renewal date. 

If you are due to register for the period beginning:

You will be required to complete the following number of hours of continuing education:

January 1, 2017

0

February 1, 2017

1

March 1, 2017

2

April 1, 2017

3

May 1, 2017

4

June 1, 2017

5

July 1, 2017

6

August 1, 2017

7

September 1, 2017

8

October 1, 2017

9

November 1, 2017

10

December 1, 2017

11

January 1, 2018

12

February 1, 2018

13

March 1, 2018

14

April 1, 2018

15

May 1, 2018

16

June 1, 2018

17

July 1, 2018

18

August 1, 2018

19

September 1, 2018

20

October 1, 2018

21

November 1, 2018

22

December 1, 2018

23

January 1, 2019

24

February 1, 2019

25

March 1, 2019

26

April 1, 2019

27

May 1, 2019

28

June 1, 2019

29

July 1, 2019

30

August 1, 2019

31

September 1, 2019

32

October 1, 2019

33

November 1, 2019

34

December 1, 2019

35

January 1, 2020

36


Licensees whose registrations are due to be renewed on or after January 1, 2020, must complete 1.0 hour of acceptable continuing education for each month of their registration periods (see Question 9).

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I just received my registration certificate and notice that the registration period is less than three years. Am I required to complete a total of 36 hours of continuing education for this period? 

No. Registration periods may be adjusted so that subsequent renewals will occur during a licensee's month of birth. If your registration period is less than three years, count the number of months of the registration period to determine the number of continuing education hours required. You must complete one hour of continuing education for each month. For example, if your registration period is from January 1, 2018 to June 30, 2020, this is a 30-month registration period; therefore, you are required to complete 30 hours of acceptable continuing education during it. 

If you are required to re-register after January 1, 2017, you will be required to complete the number of hours outlined in the chart above.

Continuing Education Hours
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A minimum of 50 minutes equals one continuing education contact hour. Courses must be offered in terms of contact hours; no other time measurement is acceptable.  

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No. Under Education Law §8412(2), continuing education hours may not be carried over to a subsequent registration period.
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No. The required continuing education may be completed anytime during the current registration period. Thus, licensed creative arts therapists have the flexibility to select and schedule the continuing education activities that are most appropriate for their professional practice.
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No. You may take all courses in one year, if you wish. However, you must complete the required number of hours prior to the expiration date of your registration.
Compliance
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There are three possible options that may be available to you, if there are circumstances that make it impossible for you to comply with the continuing education requirements in a timely manner. However, you must submit the Registration Remittance Addendum with your Registration Renewal Document before your request for one of the options listed below can be considered.

Inactive Status 

A registration may be placed on inactive status if the licensee will not be practicing in New York. There is no time limit placed on an inactive registration, but you will have to complete continuing education hours in order to return to practice (see Questions 15 & 16).

Adjustment 

The Department may grant an adjustment to the continuing education requirements for the current registration period if the licensee documents and the Department determines that there is good cause that prevents compliance. The Department may grant an adjustment for the following reasons:
 

  • poor health or a specific physical or mental disability certified by an appropriate health care professional(s);
  • extended active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States; or
  • other good cause beyond the licensee’s control, which in the Department’s judgment, makes it impossible for the licensee to comply with the continuing education requirements in a timely manner.


For more information regarding an adjustment to this requirement, please contact the Office of the State Board for Mental Health Practitioners by email at mhpbd@nysed.gov.  

Conditional Registration 

A conditional registration will allow a licensee to continue working while making up the deficiencies in the continuing education requirement from the previous registration period. If granted, a conditional registration is valid for one year and cannot be renewed or extended. See Question 37 for more information about this option.

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If you have notified the Department that you are not practicing the profession, your registration will be placed on "inactive" status. You do not have to complete any continuing education hours during the period that you are on "inactive" status. Please see Question 14 for information on requesting an inactive status.
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Yes. If you wish to return to practice after January 1, 2017, you will have to complete the number of continuing education hours that would have been due, if you were actively practicing at the time of your current registration. For example, since the law is effective on January 1, 2017, a licensee who was inactive prior to that date and who wishes to return to practice on June 1, 2021 would be required to complete 41 hours of acceptable continuing education hours, which would be the total number of months from January 1, 2017 to May 31, 2021, the period during which the licensee was inactive. In order to register to practice during the period starting June 1, 2021, the licensee would have to complete the 41 hours before the Department will register the licensee to practice.
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As of January 1, 2017, in order to reactivate your registration in New York when you have been practicing creative arts therapy in another state, you will need to complete at least one hour of acceptable continuing education for each month your registration was inactive. The Department will not reactivate your registration until you make up the continuing education requirement deficiency that you accrued during the period your registration was on "inactive" status. 

Please be aware that in addition to making up the deficiency that you accrued during the period that your registration was on "inactive" status, you will have to complete the continuing education hours that would be otherwise due for the new registration period. 

For example, a licensee who practiced in another state from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2019 and returns to practice in New York on January 1, 2020 would be required to complete 24 hours of acceptable continuing education for the period from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2019, before the licensee could be registered to practice in New York. The licensee would also have to complete 36 hours of acceptable continuing education for the period that ends on December 31, 2022, which would be the end of the licensee’s three-year registration period, after his or her registration is reactivated.
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If you were not practicing in another jurisdiction during the period when your New York registration was on "inactive" status, you may count continuing education hours that you completed with a Department-approved provider of creative arts therapy continuing education within the 12 months prior to the beginning of your new registration period. In other words, you must satisfy the deficiency before you can re-register to practice in New York. 

If you were practicing in another jurisdiction, you may use acceptable continuing education hours that were accrued from a Department-approved provider of creative arts therapy continuing education up to 36 months prior to the beginning of your new registration period.
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If the continuing education activities completed in another jurisdiction were offered by a provider of creative arts therapy continuing education who was approved by the Department at the time you completed the continuing education hours in subject areas that are acceptable in New York, the Department may award you credit for such continuing education.

Courses and Providers of Continuing Education
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To be acceptable the courses must be administered:

  • by a New York State Education Department-approved provider; and
  • in an approved subject area (see Question 25 for a listing of approved subject areas)

Also, continuing education hours may be earned by:

  • preparing and teaching a course offered by a Department-approved provider of creative arts therapy continuing education, provided that the course being taught has not been presented on more than one occasion without presenting new or revised material;
  • preparing and teaching a course, acceptable to the Department, at a higher education institution or a psychotherapy institute, as defined in section 79-11.8(a)(2) and (3) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, relating to the practice of licensed creative arts therapy, provided that the course has not been taught by the licensee on more than one occasion without presenting new or revised material;
  • making a technical presentation at a professional conference sponsored by an organization that is a Department-approved provider of licensed creative arts therapy continuing education, provided that the presentation has not been offered on more than one occasion without presenting new or revised material;
  • completing a self-study program, offered by a Department-approved provider, provided that self-study hours do not comprise more than twelve hours in any three-year registration period or one-third of the hours for a registration period other than three years;
  • authoring a first-time article in the practice of creative arts therapy published in a peer-reviewed journal or a chapter in a published book;
  • authoring a first-time book in the practice of licensed creative arts therapy; and
  • participating in a juried art show or performance activity, including engaging in dance, movement, drama, music or poetry performances and/or art installations, which is a competition in which participants’ works are judged by a person or panel of persons convened specifically to judge the participants’ efforts, either by the competition’s stated rubric or theme or by a subjective set of criteria dependent upon the nature of the competition or the judges themselves, provided that the amount of continuing education credit awarded for such show or activity shall be no more than two hours per year or six hours in a triennial registration period.
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Each Department-approved provider determines the length of the course to be offered and then will determine the hours according to the following: the awarding of continuing education hours is based on a contact hour which is equivalent to 50 minutes of an organized learning activity and a 10 minute break. Thus, a program of two clock hours would be awarded 2.0 continuing education hours. 

Other activities such as those listed in the following chart may be approved for the amount of hours indicated. 

 

 

Acceptable Activities

Continuing Education Hours

Successful completion of a credit- or non-credit bearing course at a higher education institution, that is related to the practice of creative arts therapy and is offered by a provider approved by the Department to offer continuing education to licensed creative arts therapists; and in a subject area that is acceptable to the Department.

15 continuing education hours per each semester course credit hour, i.e., 3 credit course = 45 continuing education hours.

Preparing and teaching a credit-bearing course in a higher education institution or psychotherapy institute approved by the Department to offer licensed creative arts therapy continuing education and is in a subject area that is acceptable to the Department; and meets the requirements of regulations, i.e., the licensee is teaching the course for the first time or is presenting new or revised material.

Continuing education hours may include the actual instruction time plus up to two additional hours for preparation time for each hour of presentation. This means that a licensee could be credited with acceptable continuing education hours for developing and presenting a three-semester hour credit course, as follows: 45 + (45 x 2) = 135 hours for a three-semester hour course.

Preparing and teaching a continuing education course for an approved provider  that is in an approved subject matter area; and meets the requirements of regulations, i.e., the licensee is teaching the course for the first time or is presenting new or revised material.

For every in-class continuing education hour, one hour of continuing education credit may be awarded plus up to two additional hours for preparation time for each hour of presentation. A licensee could be credited with 6 hours of acceptable continuing education credit for a two-hour course, i.e., 2 + (2 x 2) = 6.

Making a technical presentation at a professional conference sponsored by an organization that is an approved provider of licensed creative arts therapy continuing education that is in an approved subject matter area; and meets the requirements of regulations, i.e., the licensee is presenting the information for the first time or is presenting new or revised material.

For every presentation contact hour, one hour of continuing education credit may be awarded plus up to two additional hours for preparation time for each hour of presentation.  

Authoring a first-time article published in a peer-reviewed journal or a chapter in a published book on the practice of licensed creative arts therapy.

2 hours of continuing education.

Authoring a first-time book on the practice of licensed creative arts therapy.

5 hours of continuing education.

Completing a structured, self-study program offered by a licensed creative arts therapy provider approved by the Department that is based on audio, audio-visual, written, on-line or other media; and does not include live instruction that allows the licensee to interact with the instructor and/or other students.

One hour of continuing education credit for each 50-minute hour of instruction, as determined by the approved provider. Self-study may comprise no more than 12 continuing education hours in any three-year registration period, or one-third of the hours for a registration period other than 36 months.

Participating in a juried art show or performance activity, including engaging in dance, movement, drama, music or poetry performances and/or art installations, which is a competition in which participants’ works are judged by a person or panel of persons convened specifically to judge the participants’ efforts, either by the competition’s stated rubric or theme or by a subjective set of criteria dependent upon the nature of the competition or the judges themselves.

The amount of continuing education credit awarded for such show or activity shall be no more than two hours per year or six hours in a triennial registration period.

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In order to offer continuing education to licensed creative arts therapists, an entity must be approved by the Department, based upon an application, along with the submission of the required fee. For information about how to become an approved provider, please see: 

Requirements to become an approved provider

See here for a listing of providers that have been approved by the Department to offer licensed creative arts therapy continuing education. The listing will be updated on a regular basis, as provider applications are reviewed and approved by the State Board office.
 

 

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Courses that are taken from a provider that has not been approved by the Department cannot be used to satisfy the continuing education requirement.
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No. It is your responsibility to complete coursework in subjects that improve your knowledge, skills and abilities in the practice of licensed creative arts therapy. This provides you with the flexibility to meet your education needs in your current position or for a future position. For instance, a licensed creative arts therapist who engages in practice with the aging could take courses in his or her area of practice, such as theories of aging, the effect of dementia on families and spouses, and access to dementia services for culturally diverse clients.

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Yes. The subject matter must contribute to the professional practice of licensed creative arts therapy, as defined in section 8404 of the Education Law. Acceptable subjects may include, but are not limited to, clinical interventions and evidence-based practice and cross-disciplinary offerings from medicine, law, administration, education, behavioral and social sciences related to creative arts therapy practice, patient communications, recordkeeping, and matters relating to law and/or ethics which contribute to professional practice in creative arts therapy and the health, safety, and/or welfare of the public.