New continuing professional education requirement for CEBS holders

30 hours of education required every 2 years

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans has announced a new continuing professional education (CPE) requirement for all individuals holding the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) credential. The requirement applies to all graduates of both the United States and Canadian programs.

Each CEBS graduate will be required to meet 30 hours of continuing education credit every two years. The first reporting period spans the calendar years of 2013-14.

“The CPE requirement will affirm the level of professionalism and ensures the CEBS designation remains relevant, competitive and viable in today’s marketplace,” said Michael Wilson, CEO of the International Foundation.

Since its founding, the CEBS Principles of Conduct have stated that, “a CEBS shall continually strive to maintain and improve the knowledge, skills and competence needed for effective performance in the profession… it requires continued learning and development.”

The new CPE requirement formalizes this standard.

“Given developments with health-care reform, benefits and the economy in general, and looking at what many other professional programs have done, we said it’s time to have a continuing education program as a requirement,” said Jerry Rosenbloom, senior CEBS academic advisor.

Provided the educational content is directly related to the elements of the CEBS curriculum, designees will have numerous options to fulfill the CPE requirement, including:

• attendance at educational programs

• undergraduate or graduate coursework

• courses taken to earn or maintain other designation or licenses

• an annual update course/exam designed for CEBS graduates.

“Think about participating in activities that will deepen or expand your competence in areas of interest and areas that will support your career development goals,” advised Ann O’Neill, academic director of the Canadian CEBS program at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

The CEBS designation was established in 1976 by the International Foundation and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as the academic partner. In 1985, the Foundation expanded the program to Canada, selecting Dalhousie University as the academic partner. The CEBS designation is earned by successfully completing eight courses covering a comprehensive curriculum in employee benefits.

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