Accreditation Requirements

A CLE course is accredited in Illinois in one of two ways: through an individual (per course) application, or because it is offered by an Accredited Provider (whose courses are presumptively approved). Most providers who offer quality legal education fall into the first category; larger and/or more experienced providers generally fall into the second. An individual provider may apply to become an Accredited Provider after accrediting 10 or more courses in our online system, but should be aware of the responsibilities involved as they consider it.

Individual provider requirements

Thank you for your interest in individual course provider requirements. The below items are required of all individual providers:

 

  • There is a strict 60 day course submission deadline. The application and correct fee must be received by the Illinois MCLE Board using PCAM (see Item B) no later than 60 calendar (not business) days after the course start date. A $25.00 late fee is added to applications submitted after the course start date. This deadline, in effect since March 2008, is critical to ensure that attorneys know a course's Illinois MCLE status within a reasonable time. Given that, this deadline is not waived for any reason. You must submit your application in PCAM and get payment to the Board no later than 60 calendar days after the course start date.
  • All courses must be submitted through PCAM. PCAM, short for Provider Course Accreditation Management system, is the online system used to exchange information and documents during the accreditation process – from submitting course materials for our review through entering required information after a course. Thus, every course provider needs to access PCAM.
Individual course provider responsibilities

An individual course provider has many responsibilities, which begin with submitting a course and continue well after the course is held. Please see the following document, which summarizes the responsibilities of an individual course provider:

Individual Course Provider Course Checklist and Responsibilities

Individual provider fees

Individual course providers pay individual application fees, which are $20, $30 or $50. A late fee of $25 is added when the application and fee is received after the course start date. Course application and late fees are not refundable when a course is denied or submitted more than 60 days after the course start date.


They also pay an hourly attendance fee; Click here to learn more


For more information about individual provider fees, see the Court's fee schedule: Fee Schedule PDF

Accredited Provider requirements

Unlike individual providers, who submit each individual course for approval, Accredited Providers’ courses are presumptively approved during the accreditation year – except for professional responsibility hours, which are reviewed by the Commission on Professionalism.


Because attorneys rely on Accredited Provider status to plan their CLE activities, the status comes with critical responsibilities beyond those of an individual provider. These include but are not limited to:

  • Enter all courses eligible for CLE into PCAM, regardless of course location, delivery method, or Illinois attorney participation
  • Submit an Annual Report and correct annual fee at the end of each accreditation year
  • Hold courses only up to the assigned fee category limit or pay the difference in annual fees
  • Issue CLE credit only for courses which meet the standards of Rule 795(a)
  • Obtain pre-approval for six hour Basic Skills courses

Because Accredited Providers’ programs are presumptively approved and Illinois attorneys earn CLE in many places, every course offered for CLE must be entered into PCAM, regardless of its location, delivery method, or audience. As provider size increases, so does this task.


An Accredited Provider should build its course list over the entire accreditation year (1/1 to 12/31 or 7/1 to 6/30), which makes the required tasks of reporting quarterly attendance and completing your annual report more manageable. 7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013 Annual Report Reminder emailed 5/31/2013.


Attendance reports and applicable fees, also done in PCAM, are due on the 15th of the month after each calendar quarter’s end (April, July, October, and January), and require a complete course list.


Your course list also makes up much of your annual report, due one month after the year ends. Waiting until the end to enter all your courses makes it harder to meet this deadline, which delays your accreditation decision for the next year.


Last, Basic Skills courses must be submitted in PCAM for approval prior to offering them. For Accredited Providers, these are the only courses not presumptively approved.

Accredited Provider responsibilities

An Accredited Provider has many responsibilities, which begin when you offer a course and continue well after the course is held. Please see the following documents, which summarize the responsibilities of an Accredited Provider:

Accredited Provider Checklist and Responsibilities

Accredited Provider fees

Accredited CLE Providers pay an annual fee based on number of courses presented during the accreditation year and whether attorneys are charged to attend. They also pay an hourly attendance fee;  Click here to learn more


For more information about individual provider fees, see the Court's fee schedule here: Fee Schedule PDF


An individual provider who has accredited at least 10 courses in PCAM may apply to be an Accredited Provider. The application must be submitted and the annual accreditation fee received by May 15 for a July 1st start date, and by November 15 for a January 1st start date.

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FAQs
What are the standards for course accreditation?

These are found in the MCLE Rules, specifically Rule 795(a), and explained further in the "Questions and Forms" section ...

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What are the general requirements for an individual course application?

First, you must have access to the Board’s online system called PCAM. If you do not, please learn more by ...

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What items must be submitted when completing an individual course application?

An application for each proposed course or activity must include all these items ...

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As an Accredited Provider, how do I complete the required Annual Report?

We strongly encourage making your annual report easier by working on it during the accreditation year simply by entering courses and reporting attendance at least quarterly ...

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What are a provider’s responsibilities after accrediting a course?

Illinois is a self-reporting state. Attorneys maintain their own records of MCLE compliance and rely solely on attendance and/or teaching certificates from the provider ...

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