There are many options for funeral continuing education (CE) providers and each state has different CE requirements. When choosing a continuing education company, it is important to take many factors into consideration. Every professional’s worst nightmare is missing their completion deadline, completing too many or too few credit hours, or taking the wrong courses altogether. Here are some important things to look for when completing your CE and choosing a continuing education company to avoid making mistakes:

Required Hours
One of the first steps to beginning your continuing education is understanding how many hours you need to take to fulfill your CE requirements. One way you can do this is by speaking with a representative at your state board or searching on the state board’s website. Alternatively, most CE providers give this information and often times this is an indicator of a knowledgeable and up-to-date CE provider.

Some education providers may offer bundles or packages to fulfill your CE requirements and save you money. While these bundles and packages make for convenient ordering, be sure to check that they fulfill all of your credit hour requirements and any state-specific requirements like ethics.

Course Content
Completing your continuing education hours isn’t just about checking off a box. The purpose of CE is to keep you up to date with industry standards and serve as a refresher for skills you can use to help your daily job functions. A good continuing education company will have a variety of courses you can take to enrich and grow your career.

Some states require hours in specific subjects like ethics, law, or OSHA. Before purchasing your continuing education courses, make sure the provider has approved, state-specific content for your state. This might include looking for a state provider number on their website or catalog.

Delivery Method
Not all courses are created the same way. There are different types of courses including text-based, interactive, audio, classroom-equivalent, and webinar. Some states have course-type specific requirements. Even without requirements, you may have a preference of which medium you like.

When choosing a CE provider, check to see if your state requires a specific type of course delivery. The type, of course, should be easily identifiable on their website. If you have any questions about what is required, you should contact their support services.

Reporting & Support
At any time, you may need to call support services with questions about courses or requirements. When a CE provider’s support services team is in-house, it generally means they will be more available. In-house training for a support services team lends itself to expert knowledge about the company and its products. A support services team should also be friendly, kind, and ready to help.

After you are finished with your courses, you will want to confirm how your CE credits will be reported to the state. Some CE providers will actually report your completions for you to ensure your courses are reported accurately and on time. Having your provider report your courses for you will take one less thing off your plate and is a service they provide as your trusted source. Othertimes you may need to report the credits to your state board when you send in your renewal paperwork. It will be important to check your CE provider’s listed requirements or your state board’s website.

Choosing a CE provider can seem like a daunting task, but with this checklist of items, you can be sure to find the right fit for your career. The main takeaway is to find a provider that will work with you and has your career path in mind. FBA

Ann Heinz is an attorney and product line manager for FuneralCE, a service of WebCE, Inc. She manages FuneralCE’s state-approved continuing education course catalog for funeral professionals nationwide. To connect with Ann, email her at [email protected] or give her a call at 972.616.1079.