Once educators earn their certification, they are required to complete fifty hours of Continuing Education (CE) every five years in order to maintain an active status within the program. Once submitted and approved, the educator’s certification will be renewed and certification will remain active for the next five years. There are some misconceptions about CE credits, so please read carefully:
Anything that counts as Certification Program Criteria I or II, or instructor-led seminars, lectures or conference sessions related to environmental education can be documented towards the 50 hours using an EE Form . Webinars or online courses related to environmental education can also be used. If you wish, you may also take workshops, classes, etc. that you took during your EE Certification process use them for CE credit. Some enrollees do this if it has been some time since they last took the workshop or class or if revisions have been made to it.
To ensure a varied portfolio, all CE credits are capped at 10 hours per experience.
What Doesn't Count
Activities that would be considered "site visits" under Criteria III do not count as continuing education credit. Also, teaching or volunteer hours cannot be used--credit hours must be some type of activity in which you received direct instruction or training.
The first five-year renewal cycle begins the day of the individual’s official certification date. For example, if Jane Smith was certified on 1/1/2020, she has until 1/1/2025 to complete her 50 hours of continuing education credits. Her next renewal cycle would begin on 1/1/2025 and end 1/1/2030, and so on. These renewal cycles are recorded on the individual's certification account page. Activities must occur after the individual's certification date to be used for CE credit.
When you complete the continuing education requirements, your certification will be renewed for another five years. The continuing education requirement must be completed every five years in order to remain active in the program. To view your certification information at any time, click on the “My Account” tab at the top of any Office of EE Web page and then click “My EE Certification status.”
I finished my CE early. Can I start my next renewal hours now? The program does not allow for "banking" of hours toward your next CE cycle. For example, Jane Smith completes her 50 hours in advance of her 1/1/2025 renewal cycle end date. She would not need to submit any more EE Forms until after 1/1/2025. On 1/1/2025, her account will reset and show a "5 Year" CE badge. Then, Jane can submit EE Forms for qualifying experiences she does on or after 1/1/2025 toward her next renewal.
Submitting EE Forms for CE
Please submit your EE Forms for all continuing education activities by emailing them to EEcertificationNC@lists.deq.nc.gov or mailing them to the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs, 1601 MSC, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601.