ICEA Contact Hour Guidelines
The contact hour requirement for ICEA certification programs is designed to provide exposure to ICEA’s goals and philosophy of “freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives” as presented at approved workshops, conferences and conventions. The contact hour requirement is a minimum exposure to this philosophy.
Contact Hour Definition
An “ICEA contact hour” is a specific amount of time spent participating in an educational program. Contact hours are computed as sixty minutes of education equals one contact hour. Similar to US nursing continuing education units (CEs), ICEA contact hours are offered by workshops or programs that have been reviewed and approved by ICEA. ICEA contact hours are approved for traditional, face-to-face learning situations and are reviewed on the basis of program content and faculty qualifications. Each program will verify the attendance of the participants. Participants must attend all sessions in order to receive the maximum number of contact hours offered. Contact hours will be given for whole hours only, not partial hours.
Alternate Contact Hours
Alternate contact hours may be approved for learning formats such as on-line courses, video and audio clips. Electronic presentations must be specifically designed as an educational program and approved by ICEA as an alternate contact hour program. Alternate contact hours must be applied for by the program sponsor and approval must be given prior to use by the candidate or ICCE.
How to Obtain Contact Hours
All ICEA conferences, ICEA Professional Training Workshops, and other ICEA events will have awarded contact hours. ICEA has established criteria for and will evaluate programs presented by groups or individuals who apply for ICEA contact hour approval.
A current calendar listing approved events and alternate contact hours is available at the ICEA website. This calendar is up-dated as applications are approved for contact hours. An updated calendar of events may be requested from the ICEA Main Office. The International Journal of Childbirth Education contains a list of programs approved prior to the publication deadline. However, it is never as current or complete as the website calendar of events.
It is the responsibility of the candidate or ICCE to confirm whether ICEA contact hours have been approved prior to attending a program or event.
Retroactive Contact Hours
Retroactive contact hours may be requested by the candidate or ICCE for face-to-face educational programs that did not apply for ICEA contact hours. The responsibility lies with the individual to provide ICEA with the information needed to review the program. The individual must also pay a processing fee. For further information, please request the Retroactive Contact Hours Guidelines and Application from the ICEA Main Office.
ICEA has an application available for a candidate or ICCE who is applying for retroactive contact hours for college courses.
Contact Hour Requirements for Certification and Recertification
Each candidate for ICEA certification must obtain a minimum of ICEA contact hours. ICEA encourages candidates to acquire more than the minimum number of hours. ICEA provides the opportunity to obtain up to one-half of the required contact hours for certification through alternate hours. ICCEs must acquire a minimum of twenty-four ICEA contact hours for recertification. Of these, one-half may be alternate hours. Candidates and ICCEs may use either traditional contact hours or retroactive contact hours to satisfy the face-to-face requirement.
Verification of Contact Hours
All ICEA events will provide a verification of attendance stating the number of ICEA contact hours earned. Other ICEA approved programs should provide a verification of attendance that includes the ICEA approval number as well as the number of contact hours earned.
Time Limit for Contact Hours
For ICEA Certification candidates, contact hours are valid for two years. Contact hours may be earned prior to enrolling in the ICEA Certification program as long as the candidate applies for the certification examination within two years of enrolling in the ICEA Certification program or acquiring the ICEA contact hours, whichever comes first. Contact hours for recertification must be earned during the three year period of ICEA Certification.
Because the contact hour requirement is designed to provide exposure to ICEA’s goals and philosophy, CEs obtained from other organizations may not be used to fulfill the contact hour requirement. Candidates or ICCEs who attend a program that did not apply for ICEA contact hours may apply for retroactive hours if they believe the program reflected “freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives.”