May Providers co-sponsor courses or activities?

An Accredited Provider may not use or authorize its presumptive accreditation for courses planned and offered solely by other entities or individuals. A Per Course Provider may not apply for accreditation of courses planned and offered solely by other entities or individuals.

Neither an Accredited Provider nor a Per Course Provider can 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.

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.

At the outset of planning the co-sponsored course, the co-sponsors must select which provider will be the “Lead Provider.” The Lead Provider takes the lead role in planning and offering the course and is responsible for Illinois CLE accreditation and requirements. 

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;
  • If the Lead Provider is a Per Course Provider, the Lead Provider must pay the course application fee;
  • 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 issue 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.* The Lead Provider is also responsible for any attorney attendance late fees.

Failure to follow the Board’s Rules and policies may result in a denial of the Per Course Provider’s application to accredit the course. There is no refund of a Per Course Provider’s application fee.  

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 Lead Provider pays an attendance fee for its courses.

An attendance fee is not due if the Lead Provider 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, or
  • a Lawyers’ Assistance Program.

If the Lead Provider is not one of the entity types listed above, an attendance fee is due.

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