Volume 3, No. 3 - March 2014

Education Central

- Things to know about your continuing education

CE Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

Since continuing education requirements are the law of the land, it would be wise to know the possible pitfalls that might jeopardize your CE compliant status with the state of Florida. In this article we will cover four (4) mistakes you should avoid. They may be common mistakes, but they don't need to be yours.

Mistake #1: Waiting until the last minute to complete CE requirements.

We remind you that your CE due date is not your CE do date. There is too much risk in waiting until the last month, week, or even day to complete your continuing education requirement.

The class you want to complete may get canceled or even rescheduled. You might find yourself in the middle of a self study exam and unable to complete and pass it before the clock strikes midnight. You might even find that you completed the wrong course.

Should any of the above happen, you will want to build a buffer so you can make up the hours and still complete your CE requirements on time.

Mistake #2: Assuming all credits are reported.

It would be nice to place full trust in the CE provider to make sure your hours are documented with the Department. After all, it is the provider's responsibility, and the Department asks that you wait the allowed 21-day period after course completion for rosters to be uploaded. All that is true, but in the end, it is your CE requirement and you want to be sure that the CE providers you work with are fulfilling their responsibilities.

Always secure and maintain your own copy of a certificate of completion in the event the provider doesn't report you on a roster within the required 21 days. This will help you verify your attendance to the Department if requested.

Check your MyProfile account to make certain each credit you completed has been posted to your transcript.

Mistake #3: Trusting an advertisement that a course is approved for CE.

Do you remember the saying "a wolf wrapped in sheep's clothing?" Unfortunately, there are false advertisements made by unscrupulous companies promising you something that is not true. When you find an advertisement for a course as being approved for Florida CE, locate the listed course approval number and verify it with the Department's "Find a CE Course" search database online at https://dice.fldfs.com/public/pb_srch_adv.asp.

Secondly, if the course is approved, you'll want to make sure that it is the correct course to meet your requirements. Some CE requirements can only be satisfied by taking a specific course. For example, the 5-hour law and ethics update requirement can only be satisfied by completing a 5-hour law and ethics update course specific to a license you currently hold.

Mistake #4: Ignoring notifications from the Department.

Notifications from the Department contain important information regarding the requirements of your license.

Maintain an active email address with the Department as it is required by law. Be sure to carefully read each email and make certain they are not automatically being forwarded to your SPAM folder. Department emails will notify you each time a completed course is posted to your transcript. They will also make you aware of any ineligible courses you may have completed. Email notifications can also make you aware of other important updates made to your MyProfile account.

Make it a routine habit to check your MyProfile account. There you can stay abreast of your CE status and monitor your transcript. The Department posts CE related communications and other information in your MyProfile account that may impact the status of your license or appointments.

Finally, read this Insurance Insights newsletter to receive first hand any important information regarding possible changes to CE. Since you are reading this article, pass the information to your friends and colleagues.

As always send any comments or questions about CE to Education@MyFloridaCFO.com.

How to Search for Approved CE Courses

Looking for continuing education (CE) courses to be sure you get all your hours completed? Our online course search can easily help you by listing those courses approved by the Department.

  1. Go to our website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents.
  2. Click on MyProfile on the left panel and log in to your account.
  3. Once in your MyProfile inbox, click on Locate at the top left. Then click on Future Course Offerings.
  4. Select the Course Authority for the type of license held or course you need to take.
  5. You can also make other choices, like Study Method and Location, to narrow your search results.
  6. If you click on Perform an Advanced Search, you will have additional options to narrow your search results, such as Course Date and Course Level.

Because many factors may affect your continuing education requirement (e.g. licenses held, number of years licensed, etc.), we encourage you to periodically check your MyProfile account to determine your individual continuing education compliance requirements and status. You will also be able to find more approved CE courses after logging in to your MyProfile account versus the public search option, which limits the results to the first 100 course offerings.

Education Providers: A Note on Proposed Legislation for CE Courses

As the 2014 Legislative Session is ramping up, much remains in the air in terms of the legal and regulatory implications from the bills that may be signed into law.

The Department believes it is important to inform our licensed and registered insurance representatives of all changes that impact the legal requirements for transacting insurance and adjusting claims in the state of Florida.

Continuing education is an active tool to communicate such information. Many of our education providers in the past have prepared curriculum solely for the purpose of updating licensees on new law changes. In addition, the 5-hour law and update CE course requirement, effective October 1, 2014, is designed for the purpose of updating licensees on the same.

We want to advise all providers who will be preparing curriculum for any type of course that any material submitted must be based on the most current law and policy.

Therefore, no bill proposal that has not been signed into law by the Governor or enacted into law through legislative procedure will be given consideration for CE course approval.

It is important to wait until a bill has been signed into law before including it in your course. Once that has happened, we will approve it for instruction even if the effective date is in the future.