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May Accredited Providers co-sponsor courses or activities?

With Accredited Provider status, presumptive accreditation extends to courses planned and offered by that provider. An Accredited Provider may not use or authorize its accreditation for courses planned and offered solely by other entities or individuals.

For purposes of the Illinois MCLE program, a course is co-sponsored if two or more parties jointly plan and offer a CLE course. In a co-sponsored course, the co-sponsors establish that arrangement before the course start date, and each co-sponsor must take an active role in planning and offering the course. Advertisements and course materials must identify all course co-sponsors.

The provider taking the lead role in planning and offering the course is responsible for Illinois CLE accreditation and requirements. This provider is known as the “Lead Provider.” 

The course’s Lead Provider has these responsibilities: 

  • Lead the course planning and offering
  • Enter the course in PCAM as a co-sponsored course with all co-sponsors entered in the co-sponsor field
  • Identify the Lead Provider and all co-sponsors on the course agenda or other promotional materials so that Illinois attorneys know who will issue CLE certificates and whom to contact with any questions about CLE credit 
  • Keep accurate attendance records and issuing attendance and teaching certificates
  • Maintain the course materials (agenda, written materials, faculty biographies), as well as records establishing its lead role in planning and offering the course for three years and
  • Report attorney attendance and pay the $0.75 per hour per Illinois attorney attendance fee. Most entities pay an attorney attendance fee.*
An entity or individual cannot assume or otherwise undertake accreditation of a course that it did not plan and offer, even if the individual or the entity’s partners, shareholders, associates, other employees or representatives speak at the course. If you have questions, please contact this office before entering the course into PCAM.

Illinois attorneys rely on the representation that Accredited Providers have achieved a designated standard under the Illinois MCLE Rules and conduct their courses within the Board’s Rules and policies. Therefore, Accredited Providers need to observe these standards. Accredited Providers who violate these standards are subject to corrective action, including termination of their Accredited Provider status.

The provider type establishes whether the provider pays an attendance fee for its courses.

An attendance fee is not due if the lead co-sponsor is:

  • a bar association or professional organization with equal to or greater than 50% Illinois attorney membership,
  • a government entity, 
  • a nonprofit offering courses or activities designed to train lawyers who have agreed to provide pro bono services, and
  • a Lawyers’ Assistance Program;
If the lead co-sponsor is not one of the entity types listed above, an attendance fee is due.

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