Help! I Need CE!
Georgia-registered neutrals must complete 3 hours of continuing education (CE) in order to renew their registrations each year. Excess CE hours cannot be carried over to the next renewal period. The CE must be taken during the renewal year and cannot be carried over from prior years.
According to the Supreme Court ADR Rules, for a course to qualify for neutral CE, “There must be a nexus between the continuing education attended and enhancement of the neutral’s skill, substantive knowledge and/or professionalism as a neutral. Live seminars, as well as video and online seminars, are acceptable as continuing education, as long as their agendas, curricula, and speaker qualifications meet the approval of the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.”
So, there are several ways for registered neutrals to earn CE:
First, any legitimate seminar or training that is obviously related to dispute resolution is likely to be approved for CE. Your local court ADR program may occasionally sponsor a CE course. Also, the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution maintains a list of Georgia seminars, talks and trainings that it has been alerted to and pre-approved for CE. See our calendar;
Second, once you are a registered neutral, any approved training that leads to registration in another category can also count toward your CE requirement. For example, if you are registered in General Civil Mediation, and you take an approved 6-hour course in Arbitration, that 6-hour course not only can register you in Arbitration, but it also counts as 6 hours of CE. (Please be aware that observations and co-mediations do not count as CE.);
Third, if you must take courses to fulfill CE requirements in another profession, such as law, judiciary, medicine, nursing, social work, or accounting, you can count those courses toward your neutral CE requirements as well, as long as you can attest that the course enhanced your skill, substantive knowledge and/or professionalism as a neutral;
Fourth, online and video seminars are now acceptable for neutral CE, subject to the same Supreme Court requirements stated above. Many professions and professional associations offer online and video courses, and one can usually take them without being a member of that profession. For example, Georgia's Institute for Continuing Legal Education offers many online and video replays of its legal seminars, several of them on dispute resolution, that are available for rental by the public. Also, some of our approved trainers offer online and video materials and seminars that are appropriate for CE;
Fifth, if you have served as a trainer, instructor, coach or speaker in an ADR-related seminar or training, you can claim double your actual instruction time as CE. For example, in a 6-hour seminar, you gave an hour-long talk on mediator ethics, you can claim 2 hours of CE on your next renewal.
If a seminar you are claiming for CE is not directly related to dispute resolution, it would help us if you would include a brief explanation of why you feel it is appropriate according to the rule above.
And please know that we cannot accept for CE or for registration any video or online instruction that purports to substitute for the core registration courses -- General Civil Mediation, Domestic Relations Mediation, Specialized Domestic Violence, Arbitration, Early Neutral Evaluation, and the practicums -- which must always be taken live.
If you have any questions regarding CE, feel free to e-mail GODR at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-463-3808.