Many professionals need continuing education in order to keep their skills up to date. This continuing education is generally measured in continuing education units, or CEUs. The number of CEUs that are required and how they can be earned varies greatly based on the profession or certification and the location. For example, realtors need to earn CEUs in order to keep their license, but the requirements for doing this are different in every state.
Employees are often a company’s greatest asset and it is far more efficient to grow and develop the employees you have than it is to hire and train new people. In the past, we have written about how professional development can boost your career as an employee. Now, we will give you some tips for helping your employees develop and stay up to date by earning CEUs.
Help Employees Keep Track of CEUs
A great way to show your employees how important their development is to you is to help them track their CEUs and plan further professional development. Sit down with each employee and figure out how many CEUs they need to earn in order to keep up to date with their current qualifications and/or certifications. You can also encourage them to further develop themselves by taking courses to learn new skills.
During this planning process, it can be helpful to have employees fill out a template that allows them to list and track their goals and decide how they will reach them. Use the findcourses Professional Development Plan Template, or tweak our ideas to make your own template that is better suited for your organization's needs.
"One of the best ways that you can help your employees earn CEUs is by putting your money where your mouth is."
Offer Financial Incentives
One of the best ways that you can help your employees earn CEUs is by putting your money where your mouth is. The very least you should do to support employees in their development is to offer tuition reimbursement. You don’t necessarily need to pay for a new master’s degree, but if you want your employee to take a course that will earn them CEUs that they need for their job you should cover the cost partially or fully.
Don’t forget that the IRS will allow you to deduct up to $5,250 per year for every employee provided that you have an approved educational assistance program in place.
Pay for Employee Training Outright
The next level of financial incentive is paying for the training outright. This is an especially good idea when your employees have to earn CEUs as part of their profession. They can’t do the job you hired them to without continuing education, and you will benefit them and yourself when you make it as easy and painless as possible for them to receive training.
Compensate Employees for their Time
When questioned about best financial practices regarding employees who are required to take courses to keep up with the most current practices in patient care, the California Dental Association replied that not only should the cost of the course be covered, but the employee should be paid overtime if taking the course goes over their work hours.
Employers do not need to pay employees for the time it takes to attend non-required courses, but they recommend that you err on the side of caution and pay employees for their time spent taking courses voluntarily it if is of benefit to the business.
"Find out how many CEUS each employee must earn every year and let them know what options exist for earning these."
Put a CEU Program in Place
Set up a CEU program and policy for your employees so that they know exactly what is available to them and what kind of help they can expect from the company. Some things to think about are:
How Much Professional Development is Required?
What kind of development do your employees need? If you are in an industry that requires CEUs of its professionals you should know what these are. Find out how many CEUS each employee must earn every year and let them know what options exist for earning these.
Does Your Company Need On-Site Training?
Can you bring training in-house? If many of your employees need the same type of training, then you should think about setting up a relationship with a training company who can come to your employees once or twice a year so that they can easily earn their required CEUs.
What Financial Incentives Can Your Company Offer?
What kind of financial incentives can you offer for earning CEUs? How much of the course can you pay for? Before deciding on this, you should do some research into how much it usually costs to get the number of CEUs you would like your employees to earn. If you are serious about your employees getting this development, we strongly suggest that your company cover the full amount for the training.