Frequently Asked Questions About Continuing Education Providers

Provider Application Questions

1. I want to apply to become a continuing education provider, what do I need to do?
2. What do I list for the #10 “Background Qualifications” on the continuing education provider application form?
3. Am I required to submit a “business plan” and what do I address?
4. Do I have to register with the Department to become a continuing education provider?
5. There are rules that continuing education providers must abide by, where can I find them?
6. How much is my continuing education provider application fee?
7. Are schools, such as community colleges, required to pay the provider application fee?
8. Is my continuing education provider application fee refundable?
9. What address do I use for the provider’s physical address if I have several offices around the state?
10. If my mailing address is the same as the physical address, can I write “Same” for the contact person mailing address?
11. If my provider information changes, such as a mailing address, email address, contact person, phone number, do I need to let the Department know of the changes?
12. How do I know which “Provider Type” to select for my continuing education business?
13. Can my contact person have multiple e-mail addresses?
14. When I fill out the continuing education provider application section on background/qualifications, do I have to list the qualifications of each instructor?
15. I need instructors, does TDLR have a list to choose from?
16. If my course instructor is sick, and can’t teach a scheduled course, can another teacher substitute?
17. Do my continuing education course instructors need a certain license rank in order to teach?
18. Do I also have to be approved as a provider by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)?
19. If I want to be a continuing education provider and offer classes for several different programs, must I submit a separate continuing education provider registration for each occupation (electrician, auctioneer, air conditioning and refrigeration, etc.)?
20. How soon will I be notified that I am a registered continuing education provider?
21. I sent a continuing education provider application and I received an RFI letter. What is an RFI?
22. Will my provider application be reviewed more quickly if I deliver it by hand, or send it overnight?
23. As soon as I respond with the additional information, will my provider application be approved ASAP?
24. When will I be notified that I need to renew my provider registration?
25. How long is my provider registration valid?
26. My provider registration has expired. Do my courses expire too?
27. What must be included in my provider’s advertisements?
28. How is my provider compliance determined?
29. How soon must I issue a participant a course completion certificate, and what must that certificate contain?
30. How soon must I submit a course completion report to the Department?
31. How do I submit a course completion report electronically?
32. What is a PIN? How do I locate my PIN? I lost my PIN, what do I do?
33. What information must I be able to give the participant?
34. What information must I be able to give to the Department?
35. Where do I go to see the list of approved providers and courses?
36. I am a cosmetology continuing education provider, what is the $5.00 fee that is required by the Department?

1. I want to apply to become a continuing education provider, what do I need to do?
To become a TDLR approved continuing education provider, complete the Department’s provider application and submit it along with the required application fee. Please make sure that application is complete and includes all items listed under # 10 “Background Qualifications” in the provider application instructions before submitting to the Department.

2. What do I list for the #10 “Background Qualifications” on the continuing education provider application form?
Provide the department a brief summary of how you will develop and deliver consistent, quality education. You should be able to demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement and excellence in continuing education.

3. Am I required to submit a “business plan” and what do I address?
The business plan should say what the provider will do if there is a question about refunds, bad weather, instructor “no shows”, canceling a class, and policies regarding conduct, attendance and enrollment, etc. If the provider has business activities in addition to continuing education, the business plan only needs to address the continuing education portion of the business.

4. Do I have to register with the Department to become a continuing education provider?
Yes. You must submit your request on department-approved forms along with the required fees, description of capability and business plan.

5. There are rules that continuing education providers must abide by, where can I find them?
The Continuing Education Providers Administrative Rules Chapter 59 are located at http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ce/cerules.htm. Note that each license type has its own CE rules usually found in section number 25 of that occupations rules.

6. How much is my continuing education provider application fee?
The provider application fee is $250.00. This fee is set by rule in Chapter 59.80.

7. Are schools, such as community colleges, required to pay the provider application fee?
Yes. All those intending to be a provider for continuing education must pay the provider application fee.

8. Is my continuing education provider application fee refundable?
No. The fee is paid to process the application and is non-refundable.

9. What address do I use for the provider’s physical address if I have several offices around the state?
The provider should choose the headquarters office, and use that address for the provider application. The address should be the actual business location of the provider where all records will be kept for auditing purposes.

10. If my mailing address is the same as the physical address, can I write “Same” for the contact person mailing address?
Yes. However, remember that the physical address can’t be a post office box address.

11. If my provider information changes, such as a mailing address, email address, contact person, phone number, do I need to let the Department know of the changes?
Yes. All the information requested on the application must be kept current. Please submit changes in writing, e-mail to ce@tdlr.texas.gov or by fax at 512-463-1512. Make sure that all pertinent information is included, such as provider name, license number, etc.

12. How do I know which “Provider Type” to select for my continuing education business?
If your company is solely in the business of providing education, select “School.” If your company is in business and also provides education, select “Private Business.” If your organization is an association and also provides education, select “Association.”

13. Can my contact person have multiple e-mail addresses?
No. The email address provided will be the one that will receive the email confirmations when posting a CE roster.

14. When I fill out the continuing education provider application section on background/qualifications, do I have to list the qualifications of each instructor?
No.

15. I need instructors, does TDLR have a list to choose from?
No. It is up to the approved continuing education provider to hire competent, knowledgeable instructors. A continuing education provider must ensure that instructors possess both the subject matter knowledge they are teaching as well as the teaching ability required to impart the information. 

16. If my course instructor is sick, and can’t teach a scheduled course, can another teacher substitute?
Yes. The department’s rules only require instructors to know the subject they teach and to have the ability to teach that subject. The continuing education provider is responsible for ensuring all courses are taught in a manner conducive to learning.

17. Do my continuing education course instructors need a certain license rank in order to teach?
No. The department’s rules only require instructors to know the subject they teach and to have the ability to teach that subject.

18. Do I also have to be approved as a provider by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)?
You should review TWC requirements to see if you require approval to operate in the State of Texas, or if you qualify for an exemption. You may wish to check Chapter 132 section 132.002 of the Education Code, as well as “The Approval Process” and “Career Schools and Colleges” Form PS-017. You may wish to call 512-936-3100 for TWC’s Proprietary School program.

19. If I want to be a continuing education provider and offer classes for several different programs, must I submit a separate continuing education provider registration for each occupation (electrician, auctioneer, air conditioning and refrigeration, etc.)?
Yes. Separate continuing education provider applications and fees are required.

20. How soon will I be notified that I am a registered continuing education provider?
You will receive a certificate of registration as soon as you are approved. You may also wish to view TDLR's License Search page and perform a search under “Continuing Education Providers” to see if you are listed as a registered provider.

21. I sent a continuing education provider application and I received an RFI letter. What is an RFI?
“RFI” stands for “Request For Information”. If the Department needs additional information, you will receive notification of items needed in order to approve a provider registration and/or course application.

22. Will my provider application be reviewed more quickly if I deliver it by hand, or send it overnight?
No. Although the application will arrive sooner, it will take its place in the “review” queue of pending applications.

23. As soon as I respond with the additional information, will my provider application be approved ASAP?
Processing time will depend on the workload at the time the information is received.  

24. When will I be notified that I need to renew my provider registration?
Approximately 90 days prior to expiration, TDLR will mail a renewal application notice to the address of record for the provider. You will need to complete this application and submit it with the renewal fee. However, please note the renewal notice is a courtesy only; it is the provider’s responsibility to renew in a timely manner.

25. How long is my provider registration valid?
Provider registrations are valid for one yearfrom the date of issuance and may be renewed at the end of each registration period. To renew a registration, a provider must submit to the Department a completed renewal application form with the required fee.

26. My provider registration has expired. Do my courses expire too?
Yes. If a provider’s registration expires, all course approvals for that provider expire upon the expiration of the registration. And provider information will not be available on the website.

27. What must be included in my provider’s advertisements?
You should include your provider number and course number assigned by the Department. Your web page announcements about courses are considered advertisements. You should not publish false or misleading advertisements. Any advertisement which lists a fee should show all course fees in the same place in the advertisement, and with the same size and type of print. If you require participants to buy course materials which are not included in the course fees, those extra fees must be listed in the advertisement.

28. How is my provider compliance determined?
Department employees and representatives may audit your business and any continuing education courses you offer. Audits may be conducted without prior notice. Department employees and representatives are not required to pay fees for attending a course they are auditing.

29. How soon must I issue a participant a course completion certificate, and what must that certificate contain?
You must issue each participant who attended an entire course a course completion certificate no later than 15 days after the course completion date. The certificate must include the course name and TDLR course number, course completion date, provider name and TDLR provider number, number of approved hours of continuing education credit, signature of the provider representative and name, license type and license number of the participant who attended.

30. How soon must I submit a course completion report to the Department?
You must file electronically a course completion report no later than seven days after the course completion date. The report must include the TDLR number of the course, course completion date, TDLR provider number, the location where the course was taught, the number of participants to whom a certificate was issued, and the license number of each participant to whom a certificate of completion was issued. The provider must keep participant course completion records for a period of two years after completion of the course.

31. How do I submit a course completion report electronically?
You willneed to access TDLR’s Continuing Education provider web page by using your license number and PIN, click on “Post CE Rosters” from the column on the right, and enter the requested information. Instructions can be printed from the link “Operations Manual” at the bottom of the “Continuing Education Completion Reporting Site.”

32. What is a PIN? How do I locate my PIN? I lost my PIN, what do I do?
After you have been registered as a provider, you will receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your registration certificate in the mail.
If you lose your PIN, contact TDLR at ce@tdlr.texas.gov or fax your inquiry to 512-463-1512. Include provider name and TDLR assigned license number and contact person.

33. What information must I be able to give the participant?
If requested by a participant, a provider shall provide copies of the participant’s records to the participant within 10 days of the request. A reasonable fee to cover copying costs may be charged to the participant.

34. What information must I be able to give to the Department?
If requested by the Department, a provider shall provide to the Department all specified records within 10 days of the date of request.

35. Where do I go to see the list of approved providers and courses?
You can go to http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ce/ce.htm and click on to the appropriate program. You will be directed to the list of approved providers and courses.

36. I am a cosmetology continuing education provider, what is the $5.00 fee that is required by the Department?

A cosmetology continuing education provider shall pay to the department a continuing education record fee of $5 for each licensee who completes a course for continuing education credit, as per Chapter 83.25 (j). A provider’s failure to pay the record fee for courses completed on or after February 1, 2006 may result in disciplinary action against the provider, up to and including revocation of the provider’s registration under Chapter 59 of this title.
Course Application Questions

1. I am an approved TDLR continuing education provider and want to offer continuing education courses, what do I do?
2. If I want to hold a continuing education course for license renewal, does my course have to be approved by TDLR?
3. Can I provide approved continuing education courses without submitting a provider application and being approved as a provider?
4. How much is my course application fee?
5. Can my course be advertised as a course approved by TDLR before the approval letter is received by the provider?
6. How long are my course approvals valid?
7. Can I submit the same course year after year?
8. What is an RFI?
9. As soon as I respond with the additional information, will my course be approved ASAP?
10. How soon will I be notified that my course has been approved?
11. How do I fill out the field for “TDLR Provider Number” if I haven’t been assigned a number?
12. Can the instructor of my approved course change the amount of time spent on a section for different presentations of the same course?
13. Can the instructor of my approved course change the course content?
14. My instructor had to leave, can another instructor take over?
15. Can instructors co-teach?
16. Can my timed subject matter outline be very general?
17. If I offer the same course for different occupations (electrician, auctioneer, etc.), is a separate course application required for each occupation?
18. If I offer the same course in different languages (English, Spanish, etc.), is a separate course application required for each language?
19. I would like a separate course number with it’s own expiration date even though I just submitted the same one in English, in this case, would I submit another application with fee?
20. Can I offer continuing education course credits for topics other than the required codes, required laws and rules, and other required subjects?
21. Can I provide an approved continuing education course at different locations under the same course number?
22. Can I present a course which was approved for a different provider?
23. Are my courses required to be open to enrollment so the public may attend?
24. Are continuing education hours the same as CEUs?
25. How do I determine the course length?
26. Can I give a course which takes more than one hour in segments of one hour each (for example, give a six hour course so that one hour is taught each week for a period of six weeks)?
27. What is the difference between a computer-based course and a course that is given over the internet?
28. Can I get a course approved that has text only, with no graphics?
29. Am I required to verify the licensee participated in an internet course for the full amount of time specified in the course application?
30. Can my course completion certificates be the same for both licensees and for other attendees, such as building officials?
31. Are courses promoting a manufacturer’s product acceptable for credit?
32. Are my course materials required to be submitted along with the course application?
33. Can course materials submitted with the course application be returned?
34. Are my course materials required to have any specific characteristics?
35. How are my continuing education credit hours determined?
36. What is the required minimum instruction time required for an hour of continuing education credit from my course?
37. What are my course delivery requirements?
38. Am I allowed to use different course delivery methods?
39. How does the Department make sure that I am meeting Department requirements?
40. Can my course be updated during the year to reflect rule or law changes or other content changes?
41. I want to change the name of my course, what do I do?
42. I want to change the amount of hours and or content, what do I do?
43. We are required to keep up to date with the rules and laws, isn’t this changing the course content?
44. Where do I go to see the list of approved courses?
45. If I go to a hair show, can I count that as CE hours?


1. I am an approved TDLR continuing education provider and want to offer continuing education courses, what do I do?
Complete the TDLR course approval application and submit it along with the required application fee and materials listed in the course application instruction sheet. Please make sure that application is complete before submitting to the Department.

2. If I want to hold a continuing education course for license renewal, does my course have to be approved by TDLR?
Yes. You will need to file a TDLR course approval application, fee, and submit the course material for each course. You may download the course application from the TDLR website. NOTE: A course may not be offered until it has been approved by TDLR.

3. Can I provide approved continuing education courses without submitting a provider application and being approved as a provider?
No. You must be a registered as a TDLR approved continuing education provider to give an approved continuing education course. However, you may submit your continuing education provider application at the same time as you submit your course approval applications.

4. How much is my course application fee?
The course application fee is $100.00, as set by rule Chapter 59.80.

5. Can my course be advertised as a course approved by TDLR before the approval letter is received by the provider?
No. Your course cannot be advertised as a TDLR approved course until the provider receives a course approval certificate, or the provider has verified approval from the Department.

6. How long are my course approvals valid?
Course approvals are valid for one year and may not be renewed. If the provider ceases to hold a registration, all courses for that provider are terminated.

7. Can I submit the same course year after year?
No. Courses are approved for one year only and cannot be renewed. A notice of expiration for the courses will be mailed 90 days prior to the expiration date. You need to submit another course application with $100.00 application fee for each course submitted to replace any expired course. New course topics may be similar to the expired courses; however, it is expected that the new course material would reflect and entail all updates and changes in procedures, law and rules, as well as improvements in the delivery of teaching based on the experience with the previous course.

8. What is an RFI?
“RFI” stands for “Request for Information”. If the Department needs additional information, you will receive notification of items needed in order to approve the course(s).

9. As soon as I respond with the additional information, will my course be approved ASAP?
Our division receives a steady amount of course applications daily. Processing time will depend on the current workload.

10. How soon will I be notified that my course has been approved?
You will receive a continuing education course certificate once the course is approved by the Department. You may also check https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ContinuingEducation/ContinuingEducationProvider.aspx to see if the approved course has been posted.

11. How do I fill out the field for “TDLR Provider Number” if I haven’t been assigned a number?
If you are sending in a course application prior to receiving your provider number, enter the word “APPLIED” in the TDLR Provider Number field.

12. Can the instructor of my approved course change the amount of time spent on a section for different presentations of the same course?
No. For example, your course is approved for one hour on “Section One.” Your instructor can not spend 15 minutes on “Section One” for a course in Dallas, and 90 minutes on “Section One” in Laredo.Courses are to be taught exactly how they were approved by the Department.

13. Can the instructor of my approved course change the course content?
No. For example, your course is approved for two hours, with an hour for “A” and an hour for “B.” Your instructor can not spend 45 minutes on “A,” 15 minutes on “B,” and add “C” for an hour. Courses are to be taught exactly how they were approved by the Department.

14. My instructor had to leave, can another instructor take over?
Yes.

15. Can instructors co-teach?
Yes, provided they are following the timed outline set for the course.

16. Can my timed subject matter outline be very general?
No. The timed subject matter outline should be specific. It must show the amount of time spent on each topic and page #’s to references. If different delivery methods are used, each should be included on the application and stated on the timed outline.

Note: Please remember that one hour of continuing education credit equals 50 minutes of actual instruction time. Additional time spent on registration, attendance verification, pre-course announcements, completion of the course roster and evaluations should not be included when calculating the classroom time for purposes of determining the number of classroom hours.

17. If I offer the same course for different occupations (electrician, auctioneer, etc.), is a separate course application required for each occupation?
Yes. You are required to submit separate applications and fees. You must register as a provider for each type of occupation, and also get each course approved for each provider type.

18. If I offer the same course in different languages (English, Spanish, etc.), is a separate course application required for each language?
No. If the same course is given in different languages, separate applications and fees are not required. However, course documentation for each language must be submitted in the same way as the original course. This includes timed topic outline and or any reference material.

19. I would like a separate course number with it’s own expiration date even though I just submitted the same one in English, in this case, would I submit another application with fee?
Yes.

20. Can I offer continuing education course credits for topics other than the required codes, required laws and rules, and other required subjects?
No. Only the required codes, TDLR laws and rules, and specified subject matter will get continuing education credit. Non-required courses may be taught, but will not receive TDLR continuing education credit.

21. Can I provide an approved continuing education course at different locations under the same course number?
Yes, you can provide approved courses at different locations under one course registration number. Note: Keep in mind that courses must be taught in the same manner at all locations.

22. Can I present a course which was approved for a different provider?
No. You may only present your approved courses.

23. Are my courses required to be open to enrollment so the public may attend?
No. However, if your courses are open to the public and non-licensed individuals attend, do not file attendance records for those non-licensees.

24. Are continuing education hours the same as CEUs?
No. The Department is concerned only with continuing education hours. One hour of continuing education credit is equal to 50 minutes of actual instruction time.

25. How do I determine the course length?
Although the final course length is determined by the Department, your timed subject matter outline and course materials help establish the course length. For example, if your course application lists six hours continuing education credit, and both your course material and your timed subject matter outline have five and one half hours of required code or other program material, and one half hour of state laws and rules, your course will receive six hours credit. This assumes that upon review the material did take six hours to complete.

26. Can I give a course which takes more than one hour in segments of one hour each (for example, give a six hour course so that one hour is taught each week for a period of six weeks)?
Yes. However, you are responsible for documenting completed attendance. Licensees may not be given partial continuing education credits. For example, a person who completes five out of six sections of a six hour course will not get any credit for the course. The provider may allow such a person to complete the missing section in the provider’s next class.

27. What is the difference between a computer-based course and a course that is given over the internet?
If you download a course from an internet site, and then install it on your computer in order to take the course, that is a computer based course. If you go to an internet site and take the course at that site, the course is an internet course.

28. Can I get a course approved that has text only, with no graphics?
No. Chapter 59.30(g) (2) requires “appropriate illustrations and graphics to show concepts not easily explained in words.” A text only presentation will not be “conducive to learning” as required by Administrative Rule §59.51(a).

29. Am I required to verify the licensee participated in an internet course for the full amount of time specified in the course application?
Yes. Providers are held responsible for ensuring that students attend courses for the number of hours specified on the course application. The provider must be able to verify course attendance (such as a computer time clock to monitor an internet course) to ensure participation as required by Administrative Rule §59.51(l).

30. Can my course completion certificates be the same for both licensees and for other attendees, such as building officials?
Yes. Course completion certificates can be the same.

31. Are courses promoting a manufacturer’s product acceptable for credit?
No.

32. Are my course materials required to be submitted along with the course application?
Yes. Course materials include items such as textbooks, videos, tapes, handouts, study material, a sample course completion certificate and any additional documentation such as an instructor manual, educational objectives, and pre- and post-assessments. Standard materials such as national codes do not have to be submitted if it can be determined that the TDLR continuing education staff already has a copy.

33. Can course materials submitted with the course application be returned?
Yes. Although timed course outlines and instructor manuals will not be returned, other materials may be returned if a pre-paid package or delivery account number and written request are sent with the application materials. Please note that the U.S. Postal Service requires items weighing more than one pound to be handled by postal clerks, and that TDLR can not accommodate this special delivery requirement.

34. Are my course materials required to have any specific characteristics?
Yes. They are required to have appropriate grammar, spelling and punctuation; appropriate illustrations and graphics to show concepts not easily explained in words, and a comprehensive presentation of subject matter.

35. How are my continuing education credit hours determined?
The Department reviews course applications and materials to determine the number of hours of continuing education credits to approve for a course. One hour of continuing education credit is equivalent to 50 minutes of actual instruction time. The Department may not approve courses in increments of less than one hour.

36. What is the required minimum instruction time required for an hour of continuing education credit from my course?
An hour of continuing education credit requires a minimum of 50 minutes of instruction.

37. What are my course delivery requirements?
Providers must make sure that courses are delivered in a manner conducive to learning, instructors possess the subject matter and knowledge they are teaching, and instructors have teaching ability. Providers are responsible for the conduct and administration of their courses, including the punctuality of classroom sessions, verification of participants attending, and instructor performance. Providers must also ensure their courses are presented in the same way as described on the approved course application.

38. Am I allowed to use different course delivery methods?
Yes. Classroom, internet, and computer-based courses are allowed. Classroom courses may use visual presentations to increase interest.

39. How does the Department make sure that I am meeting Department requirements?
Department employees review all applications and may conduct on-site audits of a provider and any continuing education course offered by a provider. Audits may be conducted without prior notice. Department employees and representatives conducting an audit are not required to pay a fee for attending a course.

40. Can my course be updated during the year to reflect rule or law changes or other content changes?
Yes. Courses must be updated if rules or laws change that effect the course content. Please submit the updates to TDLR for review and approval prior to instruction. Small changes in your course can be made, but major changes require a new course application and application fee.

41. I want to change the name of my course, what do I do?
Submit your request in writing stating the changes. Example: current course name to new course name, course number and provider number. Content and or timed outline cannot be changed or edited.

42. I want to change the amount of hours and or content, what do I do?
Submit course application, fees, and required material.

43. We are required to keep up to date with the rules and laws, isn’t this changing the course content?
No. Providers are expected to change and update only with what pertains with the laws and rules.

44. Where do I go to see the list of approved courses?
You can go to http://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ce/ce.htm and click on to the appropriate program. You will be directed to the list of approved courses.

45. If I go to a hair show, can I count that as CE hours?
A hair show would not count to satisfy the required CE hours. However, if a course is being offered at the hair show and that course is registered with TDLR under an approved provider then yes that course will count as CE credit.


Complaint Questions

1. How do I file a complaint?
2. What is the provider required to do when notified about a complaint or an audit?
3. Are there penalties to the provider for violations of the continuing education requirements?
4. What activities are considered violations of this chapter which may result in administrative penalties or administrative functions?

1. How do I file a complaint?

You may fill out the online Complaint Form from our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Department at 800-803-9202 ( Texas only), 512-463-6599 or complaints@license.license.state.tx.us.

2. What is the provider required to do when notified about a complaint or an audit?

A provider is required to cooperate fully with the Department, its employees and representatives in the investigation of a complaint or performance of an audit.

3. Are there penalties to the provider for violations of the continuing education requirements?

Yes. If a person violates any provision of this chapter, or any provision of the statute or rule administered by the Department, or a commission or executive directive order, the Department may assess administrative penalties pursuant to Title 2 Occupations Code, §§51.301 and 51.302 or administrative sanctions or pursuant to Title 2, Occupations Code, §51.353.

4. What activities are considered violations of this chapter which may result in administrative penalties or administrative functions?

The following activities are examples of violations of this chapter:

  • changing a program’s teaching methods or course content without the approval of the Department;
  • issuing a certificate of completion to an individual who did not complete the approved course;
  • refusing to issue a certificate of completion to an individual who has satisfactorily completed an approved course;
  • fraud or misrepresentation in an application process for provider registration or course approval;
  • fraud or misrepresentation regarding maintenance of records, teaching method, program content, or issuance of certificates or;
  • failing to cooperate with the Department in an investigation or audit.

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