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Volume 3, No. 5 - May 2014

Education Central

- Things to know about your continuing education

Three Important Tips for Remaining CE Compliant

You're in the insurance business to help people protect their dreams, livelihood, and the well being of their loved ones. It took you time, energy, and money to qualify for the license allowing you to do that. You want to be sure that non-compliance with continuing education never denies you the right to continue on this journey.

Below are three tips to help you:

Tip #1: Review Your Transcript Regularly

Have you ever found you were denied credit for a course because you took it twice within a three year period? Have you ever questioned if an education provider reported your course completion to the Department? You may have even invested time and money forwarding certificates of completion to the Department just to make sure the course is reported.

We have news for you. You can save that time and money, erase those questions from your mind, and prevent possible credit denial by continually reviewing your transcript.

You can review your transcript by logging in to your MyProfile account and clicking the blue 'CE Status' button. The transcript is a running log of all the courses you have ever completed with related information pertaining to each one, including name and dates.

Before you sign up for a course, check to make sure you have not already taken the course within the last three years. After you complete a course, check your transcript to verify it has been reported. Education providers have 21 days from the date of completion to report the course; however, the majority are reported within 10 days. Keep the certificates of completion for your own records.

Tip #2: Monitor Your CE Compliance Evaluation Screen

Now that you know where all your completed courses are recorded, find out how they are applying to your requirements for continuing education. In your MyProfile CE Status page you should see the option to view your current and previous cycles of continuing education requirements.

This screen will give you a breakdown of the total hours due and the specific breakdown of those requirements. Depending on your license and the specific cycle(s) you need to satisfy, you may have to take an ethics, mitigation, suitability or even a 5-hour Law and Ethics Update course.

You will also see which requirements you have satisfied and which are still deficient. If you are deficient in any area, be sure to take courses that will satisfy that specific requirement. Lastly, check that date showing just above the requirement table to know when you must complete your courses. The date usually reflects the last day of your birth month.

Tip #3: Ask Questions

You are now educated on what you have completed, what you still need to complete, and the deadline. Go take those courses. To make sure you take the right ones, ask questions!

Unfortunately, there are people who do not have your best interest at heart and may try to offer you a course that is not approved by the Department (see below on how to find those). Therefore get necessary information from anyone advertising courses that will satisfy your CE requirement.

Here are some good questions to ask:

Are you an approved CE provider and what is your approved number with the State of Florida?

Is this course approved and what is the approved course number with the State of Florida?

Will I get credit for this course?

How many hours is the course approved for? Are those hours split between multiple requirements?

Will this course apply to the specific requirements I need?

Are You Compliant with Your CE or Not?

If you have ever felt confused about what it means to be continuing education (CE) compliant, you are not alone. That's why we are continuously finding and implementing ways to help you with this. To be CE compliant requires more than just taking CE courses. Below are a few often overlooked suggestions for remaining CE compliant.

  • CE requirements change. You should regularly review your CE status through your MyProfile account. Your total hours have specific allocation requirements that must be met. Be sure to take all the right categories of CE courses.
  • Check for late hours. Hours taken after your due date will still post on your compliance evaluation screen, but they will be noted as "Late". Though your hours requirement may have been met, late completion of your continuing education requirement will result in penalties. The statutory penalty for failure to complete CE is the cancellation of all your appointments, however you may be given the option of paying a $250 fine instead. Regardless of the penalty assessed, you are still required to complete past due CE requirements.
  • Check past evaluation periods. Always check previous compliance periods to make sure you are not delinquent for a prior period. Be sure to click on VIEW ENFORCEMENT NOTICE just below the Not Compliant text to check for any outstanding fines.
  • Check your transcript. The same course cannot be taken with the same provider within a three-year period and receive credit. This is noted on your transcript as a duplicate course. You will need to take a different course to meet your CE requirement.

We wish you success in completing your hours to remain knowledgeable in an ever-changing insurance market. And remember, your CE compliance date is your DUE date, not your DO date.

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: Important Notice Regarding Course Offering Applications

In an effort to reduce the use of instructors' social security numbers, the Department amended what information is required on a course offering application. Course offering applications no longer require the entry of an instructor's social security number, but instead require the instructor's state-issued Instructor ID. This change occurred on Wednesday, May 21. Each instructor is now provided his or her Instructor ID at the time of their approval with the Department. You can find the Instructor ID for all instructors that are affiliated with your provider by logging into the MyProfile system. Once logged in, click the 'Instructor List' found under the 'Maintenance' menu. For instructors that are unaffiliated or independent, you may request the Instructor ID from the instructor directly, or you may search all currently approved instructors using the list found at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents/Licensure/Education.