A continuing education unit (CEU) or continuing education credit (CEC) is a measure used in continuing education programs to assist the professional to maintain his or her license in their profession. Continuing education or professional development is required in many fields, including teachers, insurance professionals, interior designers/interior architects, lighting designers, architects, engineers, emergency management professionals, school administrators, educators, nurses, mental health professionals, psychologists and social workers. The continuing education unit is described as ten hours of participation in an education program.
The term CEU is not a trademarked term; therefore, any educational institution may use it to describe their courses. In this regard, there are no requirements for educator qualifications that are attached to each institutions courses when offering CEUs. There have been some bodies created which are attempting to standardize and accredit institutions using the term CEU, the International Association for Continuing Education and Training being one of them; however, professions and industries usually regulate their approved continuing education within their bylaws and not one institute or accrediting body has become a standard to accept in this regard. Professionals should always consult their Association or regulating body prior to embarking on continuing education and not assume a CEU will be accepted as part of their professional development.