Continuing education (CE) course information
Find out what types of CE courses you can offer, how to get your courses approved, and what you need to do to maintain them.
CE course approval
Requests for CE course and credit approval (Word, 40KB) must be submitted to the commissioner at least 20 days before the first date the course is offered for credit.
- Course credit will not apply to any course offered less than 20 days from the date the application was received by the OIC.
- Once a course is approved, the provider will receive a course-approval letter in the mail. If the course is declined, the provider will receive notification via email.
- Course applications and documents must be submitted via fax or email to the attention of "education mailbox."
- Do not send duplicate copies. If submitted via email, each course must be a separate document. If submitted via fax, each course must be faxed separately.
Note: To add a course that is already approved for another Washington state CE provider, submit a Request for Course and Credit Approval form (Word, 40KB) with the approved course number.
We approve two types of instruction for courses:
1. Lecture course presented in a class room (also see Webinar), or
2. Self-study course offered online or by correspondence.
Course topics must be direct and specific to insurance. We only approve insurance courses.
Lecture-course approval process
2. Submit a timed topic outline (this outline should be detailed with a breakdown of the number of minutes of instruction per topic included in the outline).
3. Submit an instructor resume (if known at the time of submission of the course approval).
Requests for approval of a CE course must be received by the OIC at least 20 days before the first date the course is offered for credit. Course credit will not apply to any presentation scheduled for less than 20 days from the date the course application was received by the OIC.
- There must be an attendance register, controlled by the instructor or the monitor assigned by the provider.
- Attendees must sign the register and indicate their arrival and departure times to verify completion.
- Attendees must be present for the entire presentation.
- If an attendee is more than 10 minutes late from the start of the presentation, the attendee cannot receive CE credit and should not be allowed to sign the register.
- Verification of attendance cannot be accepted by phone or computer.
- Each 50 minutes of classroom time equals one credit hour.
The same criteria as a lecture course is applicable to webinars. The attendees must be present in the classroom. There must be a monitor and the attendees must personally sign the attendance register (Excel, 22KB). We do not allow attendance by computer or phone.
Self-study course-approval process
2. Submit a table of contents with word count. If the course includes a request for ethics credit, also provide the word count for the ethics content.
3. Submit course-study materials.
4. Submit a copy of the required course final exam.
If the requested course credits are one-to-four credit hours, the exam must have a least 25 multiple-choice questions.
If the requested course credits are five credit hours or more, the exam must have at least 50 multiple-choice questions.
If the student does not pass the exam the first time, the re-take exam must not have more than 50 percent of the same questions.
5. Requests for approval of a CE course must be submitted to the commissioner at least 20 days before the first date the course is offered for credit. Course credit will not apply to any course offered less than 20 days from the date the application was received by the OIC.
Self-study course credit
The course word count is used to determine the credit hours. We use the NAIC self-study guideline. The student must complete the course and pass the course final exam with a score of 70 percent or greater to verify course completion.
NAIC self-study guideline:
The credit for a self-study course is determined based on the word count of the course. If the course has ethics content, then we must have the word count for the ethics content, since we approve ethics hours separately.
- For the basic level (9000 words per hour), we divide the word count by 180 then 50 (minutes) to arrive at the basic-level credit hours. We round-up at .5. For example: Basic level = 2.49 = 2 credit hours. 2.51 = 3 credit hours.
- For intermediate level (7000 words per hour), we multiply the basic-level result, prior to rounding up, by 1.25 to arrive at the credit hours. For example: Basic level = 2.49 x 1.25 = 3.11. This is 3 credit hours.
- For advanced level (6000 words per hour), we multiply the basic-level result, prior to rounding up, by 1.50 to arrive at the credit hours. For example: Basic level = 2.49 x 1.5 = 3.73. This is 4 credit hours.
Insurance-designation courses acknowledged by the insurance commissioner are eligible for full CE credit. A list of eligible insurance designations is available on our eligible insurance designation courses for licensees page.
A designation course is a course of study taken to achieve an insurance-professional certification, requiring passage of several standardized examinations, and granted by an insurance or professional organization or an accredited educational institution.
To submit an insurance designation program to be considered for full CE credit, the education provider must send a written request to the insurance commissioner's office. The request must include the following:
- Information about the education institution/organization offering the designation.
- Information about the board(s) that certified the designation.
- A description of the designation and why it is relevant for insurance professionals.
- Requirements to complete the designation.
- Description of each course required to complete the designation. The description should also include the instruction method and hours of study needed to complete the curriculum. Provide information about the exams, such as the number of questions, exam type, and passing grade required.
CE course renewals
A CE course is effective for two years from the date of approval.
Approximately 40 days before the month the course will expire, a renewal notice will be sent to the provider. For example, notices for courses expiring in March are mailed to the provider by January 20.
- The renewal notice letter must be completed and returned to the OIC for review.
- If the course is renewed, a new course-approval letter will be mailed.
- If the course is declined, an email notification will be sent.
- If you do not receive either, contact our office for a status before the course expires.
Courses may be renewed if the course has not changed and the course meets current standards.
If changes have been made to the course, a new course application (PDF, 16KB) is required.
The renewal notice must be received by the OIC no later than the last day of the month in which the course expires. If the notice is late, the course will not be renewed.