Exploring the impact of continuing education mandates: A longitudinal look.

Recent cross-sectional research has suggested that continuing education (CE) mandates are associated with higher levels of participation in CE. The current study provides a longitudinal assessment of CE participation across a nearly 10-year period of time during which CE mandates were implemented in the state of Illinois. The results of this study, conducted with an average of 132 psychologists per year (from 2008 through 2017), provide the strongest evidence to date regarding the significant impact of CE mandates on levels of CE participation as well as the range of positive outcomes that were perceived to be related to them. χ2 tests, ANOVAs, and bivariate correlations were utilized to explore the impact of the mandates. Over the course of the implementation of the mandates, levels of CE participation increased and the number of CE minimalists decreased significantly. Moreover, across time, participants reported increases in their overall learning and their overall effectiveness as practitioners, suggesting the potential value of the CE mandates. The limitations and implications of these findings are discussed in relation to evidence-based continuing education and ongoing professional competency literatures and the increasing alignment between the 2 movements. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)