These CECs are:
- a tracking mechanism that allows individuals to document their involvement in varied professional development activities.
- often compatible with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that are often used by other professional certification programs such as teaching or healthcare.
- representative of the number of hours of engaged learning (1 CEC = 1 hour of learning).
- easily tracked by ACA members through their ACA educational history and the individualized professional development portfolio.
- valuable to providers of educational content who may be interested in ACA educational endorsement.
Individuals will likely want to develop their own professional development plan that helps them move along their desired career path. This plan can reside in the person’s professional portfolio along with many other types of evidence of professional development (i.e., CECs, descriptions of work/volunteer experiences, samples of work projects, examples of learning activities, etc.). CECs are the common mechanism that shows progress toward personal benchmarks and professional goals set by the person. They are also evidence used in more structured educational experiences related to certificates of added qualification, specialty certificates, and other professional certification programs.
- CECs are a part of the Educational Endorsement Program (EEP).
- An individual can request that another professional association accept ACA CECs. This process is typically referred to as “petitioning for credit” and is managed by the individual.
- Documentation is completed by the individual.
- ACA members are provided with automatic tracking of CECs from educational experiences that meet the endorsement guidelines. This tracking happens through the member’s ACA educational history record.
Some people may be curious how a CEC is calculated. ACA follows a commonly accepted protocol for CEC in that 1 contact hour of education equals 1 CEC. All ACA endorsed educational experiences award continuing education credits (with a minimum of .25 CECs for 15 minutes of contact).
Examples of CECs and how calculated:
- A conference offers educational sessions that are 75 minutes and 2 hours in length. The learner receives 1.25 CECs for the 75 minute session and 2 CECs for the 2 hour session.
- A meeting has a 90 minute lunch with a keynote speaker for 30 of the minutes. A learner receives .5 CEC for the keynote.
- A workshop has a 60 minute instruction time followed by 30 minutes of individual practice. A learner receives 1.5 CECs for the workshop.
- A conference has a 90 minute Open Forum Discussion. The learner receives no CEC because there is no set learning experience from the discussion even though it might be informative.
- A webinar lasts 45 minutes. The learner earns .75 CEC.