While requirements vary by state, most states require that in order to maintain a valid license to practice, psychologists engage in some sort of approved continuing education regularly. Continuing education for psychologists, then, is important and valuable, although you may have many questions about why it is required and what counts towards continuing education units for those practicing as psychologists.

What is the Definition of “Continuing Education” for Psychologists?

The term “continuing education” refers to the process of formal learning activities or classes that do several things. In order to count towards continuing education, these activities should be relevant to the practice, theory and science of psychology; these activities should support practicing psychologists in developing their competencies in order to improve the services they offer; these activities should allow psychologists to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field. Overall, the goal of continuing education for psychologists is to allow them to stay updated on new developments in their field while becoming stronger practitioners.

Can Continuing Education Credits or Units Be Taken Online? What Are the Benefits of Online Courses?

There are a number of online programs that offer continuing education units or credits for psychologists. It is recommended that you check with your state licensing board, however, before enrolling in any particular course. While face-to-face courses offer their own sets of benefits, there are many benefits to taking online courses as well.

The first and most obvious benefit to taking a course for continuing education for psychologists online is that online courses offer flexibility. In many cases, you can complete course work at your own pace, at times that are convenient for your schedule. This is often not the case with more traditional face-to-face courses.

The overall goal of any continuing education course—and this remains true for online courses—is to extend your knowledge and practical skills beyond what has been gleaned in the classroom when you pursued your initial degree. In short, online continuing education courses may make you a more knowledgeable, stronger practitioner.

Another clear benefit of online continuing education courses for psychologists is that they can help you to meet the state requirements to maintain your license and continue to practice. While requirements vary, most states do require some sort of continuing education for psychologists, and online courses are often a convenient but still helpful way to meet these requirements. Consider the benefits of online courses for the continuing education of psychologists.