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.

Effective July 1, 2015 - Individual Course Application Deadlines and Fees

The Illinois Supreme Court has changed course provider fees and deadlines. These changes apply to courses offered July 1, 2015 and after, as well as to courses entered in PCAM July 1, 2015 or after.


Item Description Deadline to Submit in PCAM and Pay Fee
Course Application On or before course start date $50.00
30-day course late fee 1-30 days after course start date $125.00 (plus $50 course application fee)
Two-year course late fee 31-730 days after course start date $500.00 (plus $50 course application fee and $125.00 30-day course late fee)

Example: to apply on August 5, 2015 to accredit a June 20, 2014 course, the provider will pay application and late fees of $675.00.


Monthly Attendance Reporting Requirements

Item Description Deadline Fee
Attendance report (entity types: (1) Bar associations and professional organizations with greater than 50% Illinois attorney members, (2) government entities, (3) nonprofits offering courses designed to train lawyers who have agreed to provide pro bono services, and (4) Lawyers' Assistance Program Last day of the month following the month in which (1) the live course eneded or (2) the recorded course was listed in PCAM as credit eligible $0.00
Attendance report (entity types: (Bar associations and professional organizations with less than 50% Illinois attorney members, (2) all other CLE providers) Last day of the month following the month in which (1) the live course eneded or (2) the recorded course was listed in PCAM as credit eligible $0.75 per accredited hour for each attorney issued Illinois MCEL credit
Attendance late fee Late fee added for attendance data entered or fee paid after the last day of the month following the month in which (1) the live course ended or (2) the recorded course was listed in PCAM as credit eligible $25.00
Expiring June 30, 2015 - Individual Course Application Deadlines and Fees

The fees and deadlines below will expire June 30, 2015.


Expiring June 30, 2015:
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.


There is a strict 60 day course submission deadline. The application and correct fee must be received by the Illinois MCLE Board using PCAM 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 through June 30, 2015, 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. Course application and late fees are not refundable when a course is denied or submitted more than 60 days after the course start date.


Through June 30, 2015, attendance reporting is due quarterly. Providers are required to report attendance and pay an hourly attendance fee of $1.00 per hour, per Illinois attorney charged to attend a course. The last deadline to report quarterly attendance will be Q2 2015, attendance due July 15, 2015.


For more information about individual provider fees, see the Court's fee schedule expiring June 30, 2015: Fee Schedule PDF

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:

Expires June 30, 2015 Individual Course Provider Course Checklist and Responsibilities

Coming soon . . . New Individual Course Provider Checklist addressing Fee Schedule changes and deadlines effective July 1, 2015.

Effective July 1, 2015 - Accredited Provider Fees and Deadlines

Accredited Providers will pay an annual fee based on its entity type only. The annual fee will not be based on the number of courses held or whether or not attorneys are charged a fee to attend courses.

Entity Type Annual Fee
  • Bar Associations and Professional Organizations with equal to or greater than 50% Illinois licensed attorney membership,
  • Government entities,
  • Nonprofits offering courses or activities designed to train lawyers who have agreed to provide pro bono services, and
  • Lawyers' Assistance Program
$300.00
Bar Associations and Professional Organization with less than 50% Illinois licensed attorney membership $2,000.00
All other CLE Providers $3,000.00

For more information about individual provider fees effective July 1, 2015, see the Court's fee schedule here: Fee Schedule PDF

An individual provider who has accredited at least 10 courses in PCAM (within the past 12 months) may request an application to be an Accredited Provider (effective March 1, 2015). 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.

Expiring June 30, 2015 - Accredited Provider requirements

The fees and deadlines below will expire June 30, 2015.

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.


Through June 30, 2015, attendance reporting is due quarterly. Providers are required to report attendance and pay an hourly attendance fee of $1.00 per hour, per Illinois attorney charged to attend a course. The last deadline to report quarterly attendance will be Q2 2015, attendance due July 15, 2015.


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:

Expires June 30, 2015 Accredited Provider Checklist and Responsibilities.

Coming soon . . . New Accredited Provider Checklist addressing Fee Schedule changes and deadlines effective July 1, 2015

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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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