|GAL Form 23||Continuing Education Process|
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|GAL Form 16||Request for Approval of Continuing Education Activity not listed in 403.03|
|GAL Form 17||Request for Alteration of Time to Complete Continuing Education Activity|
|GAL Form 18||Petition for Approval of Training as Qualifying Continuing Education Activity|
|GAL Form 19||Excerpt from Rules 403.02 Nature of Continuing Education Activity|
|GAL Form 24||Notification of Completion of Experience and or Continuing Education Requirements per one time waiver|
|GAL Form 25||Notification of Completion of Continuing Education pursuant to alteration of time|
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Section I Section II Section III Section IV
The following information is provided only as a synopsis of selected Guardian ad Litem Board rules relating to continuing education. It is not a verbatim recitation of those rules. Persons interested in information concerning continuing education should consult the rule provisions at issue, since it is those provisions that are controlling.
I. General Continuing Education Requirement for Renewals. Back to top of page.
The Guardian ad Litem seeking to renew an existing certification will be required to complete at least 30 continuing education credits within the expiring period of certification. Accordingly, GALs seeking to renew their certification will be required to have completed a total of 30 continuing education credits in the 3 years before the certification expires.
Continuing education requirements that are different from the foregoing apply to GALs who have allowed their certification to expire, who are involved in a settlement or agreement with the Board, who have been suspended, or who have had their certification revoked. Persons in those circumstances should consult the rules of the Board for specific requirements.
II. Activity Qualifying for Continuing Education; Amount of Credit. Back to top of page.
Persons seeking to renew an existing certification will be required to complete 30 continuing education credits of the particular types specified by the Board in Gal 403.03. Generally, activities qualifying for credit include:
(a) Attendance at a GAL certification course described in Gal 303.02 (b) (1) or (c), in addition to the training taken to obtain initial certification (qualifies for a number of credits equivalent to the actual number of hours, or portion of an hour, of attendance);
(b) Attendance at a review course sponsored by the Board, as described in Gal 403.07 (qualifies for a number of credits equivalent to the actual number of hours, or portion of an hour, of attendance);
(c) Participation in a training session approved by the Board according to Gal 403.04 (qualifies for a number of credits equivalent to the actual number of hours, or portion of an hour, of attendance. Note: Persons wishing to seek general approval of a particular training session for credit that may be utilized by all GALs in attendance may ask the board for such approval, as described in Section IV B below);
(d) Instructing a course or training listed in (a), (b) or (c) above (qualifies for a number of credits 2 times the number of hours, or portion of an hour, spent in actual classroom instruction);
(e) Instructing or mentoring supplemental training, supervised training or supplemental education described at Gal 402.01 (qualifies for a number of credits 2 times the number of hours, or portion of an hour, spent in actual instruction or mentoring activity);
(f) Participating in an activity approved under Supreme Court Rule 53 [i.e., continuing legal education] that meets certain requirements (qualifies for a number of credits that is equivalent to the number of credit hours that would be allowed if submitted by an attorney for the purposes of continuing legal education);
(g) Instructing an activity approved under Supreme Court Rule 53 [continuing legal education] that meets certain requirements (qualifies for a number of credits that is equivalent to the number of credit hours that would be allowed if submitted by an attorney for the purposes of continuing legal education);
(h) Attending a college or university class or course that meets certain requirements and in which applicant received a grade of "B" or better (qualifies for a number of credits equivalent to the number of hours, or portion of an hour, of actual attendance in the class or course);
(i) Instructing a college or university class or course that meets certain requirements (qualifies for a number of credits equivalent to 2 times the number of hours, or portion of an hour, spent in actual classroom instruction); and
(j) Serving as a presiding officer or investigator for matter before the Board (qualifies for 10 continuing education credits for each matter assigned);
Under Gal 403.02, all continuing education activity claimed for credit must:
(1) Relate to activities undertaken by GALs in New Hampshire;
(2) Unless allowed for the purposes of continuing legal education under (f) and (g) above, not simply involve independent reading or study;
(3) Not merely introduce members of the general public to the activities of GALs;
(4) Not simply involve the experience of actual service as a GAL; and
(5) Accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
i. Update or enhance the professional knowledge, skill or competence of the GAL; or
ii. Provide the GAL with opportunities for professional growth and development specifically related to GAL practice.
III. Documentation of Continuing Education. Back to top of page.
A GAL seeking renewal will record his or her continuing education activity on the "Continuing Education Activity" attachment that is part of the Board's Application for Renewal, Reinstatement or Certification form. In most circumstances, and for most approved activities described above, the GAL will not be required to submit additional documentation of continuing education, although the Board may request further documentation if it has questions regarding the activity or number of credits claimed. See Gal 403.08. Persons claiming credit for activities offered by or through the Board itself will normally be required to submit certificates of attendance at those classes at the time they apply for renewal. See Gal 401.09 (u).
Additional documentation of participation in continuing education activities will usually be required when the GAL has allowed his or her certification to lapse, has been suspended, is subject to a settlement or agreement with the Board or has had his or her certification revoked. Persons in these circumstances should consult the rules of the Board applicable to their particular situation.
The Board's "Summary of Required Documentation for Renewals, Reinstatements and Recertifications" and "Renewal, Reinstatement and Recertification Application Checklist" will provide persons seeking renewal with a specific list of continuing education documentation required in particular circumstances.
Although a renewing GAL is not usually obligated to submit documentation of completion of continuing education, certified and formerly certified GALs are nonetheless required by the Board's "Ethical Standards and Standards of Practice" to retain in their possession documentation of the completion of continuing education activities for a period of 4 years after claiming the activity for credit. See Gal 505.01 (e); Gal 403.09. The documentation that a GAL is required to retain are such of the following items as will likely serve to verify that the activity meets continuing education requirements:
- Certificates of attendance or completion from the entity sponsoring the activity;
- Course outlines, syllabi, brochures or other descriptions of the courses, program, examination, presentation or activity from the sponsoring entity;
- Brochures or other descriptions of the organizations or entities sponsoring the course, program, examination, presentation or activity;
- Transcripts of courses attended;
- Verification of grades received;
- Verification of the duration or dates of courses, programs, examinations, presentations, seminars or meetings;
- Contracts, time sheets, billing records or other writings documenting the person's involvement in specified activity;
- Verification from the New Hampshire Bar Association or its Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board that a particular activity is accepted for the purposes of obtaining continuing legal education credit, the number of continuing legal education credits assigned to the activity or the nature of the course;
- Such other material as may document:
- The person's participation in the course, program, examination, presentation or other activity;
- The date, length or nature of the course, program, examination, presentation, seminar, meeting or other activity;
- The professional qualifications of the person(s) presenting the course, program, examination, presentation or other activity; or
- The number of credits claimed.
IV. Special Requests for Approval of Items for Continuing Education Credit. Back to top of page.
A. Special Approval of Activities Not Listed in Gal 403.03
The rules of the Board allow some activities to be claimed for continuing education credit even if not of the specific type listed in Gal 403.03. See Gal 403.05. In order for unlisted activities to be accepted for credit, however, the Board must first have approved the activity for the purposes of continuing education. GALs seeking to have an unlisted activity that they have participated in, or will participate in, approved for credit can do so by following the procedures set forth at Gal 403.06. For the convenience of GALs wishing to make such a request, a form is available from the Board entitled "Request for Approval of Continuing Education Activity Not Listed in Gal 403.03". Such approval is individual to the person requesting it and approval of an unlisted activity by the Board in this context means only that the GAL making the request may use the specific activity towards his or her continuing education requirement. There is a separate procedure for obtaining overall approval of a training session for use toward credit by all GALs in attendance. See Section IV B below.
Individual requests for approval of unlisted activities may be made before or after the activity has occurred, but should normally be submitted well in advance of actually claiming the activities for credit. Doing so will allow the Board to consider whether the activity qualifies for credit and thereby help to avoid the possibility that the item might not be accepted toward the applicant's continuing education when claimed. If you have not received approval of an unlisted activity for use as continuing education credit at the time of an application for renewal, a request for such approval must be included with the renewal application materials. See Gal 401.09 (a). Persons claiming unlisted activities at the time of renewal are asked to verify whether or not the requisite approval has been obtained. See "Other Continuing Education" form.
GALs submitting requests for approval of unlisted activities only at the time of their application for renewal run the risk that the request may not be granted, which may in turn result in a failure to meet the continuing education requirements required for renewal.
Separate requests for approval should be submitted for each unlisted activity.
B. Special Approval of Training Sessions for Continuing Education Credit (Gal 403.03 (c) and Gal 403.04).
Gal 403.03 (c) lists training sessions that have been approved by the Board as one of the types of items that a GAL may generally claim for credit. The Board's rules contain provisions for petitioning for approval of such training sessions. See Gal 403.04. A fee of $50 is required, see Gal 304.01 (g), and a form entitled "Petition for Approval of Training as Qualifying for Continuing Education Credit" is available from the Board to assist in making such requests. Once a training session has been approved by the Board under Gal 403.04, GALs who attend the session may claim it as a "listed" continuing education activity under Gal 403.03 (c).
Requests for approval of training sessions must be submitted to the Board at least 120 days before the anticipated date of the training. The training itself must be of the nature described in Gal 403.02 and the request for approval must meet certain other requirements addressed in Gal 403.04 and reflected on the Board's petition form.
B. Requests for Alterations of Time to Complete Continuing Education
In some circumstances, GALs, whether or not certified before September 15, 2007, may require an alteration of time in which to complete continuing education requirements. The circumstances in which requests for an alteration of time would be allowable are addressed in Gal 403.01 (m). A form entitled "Request for Alteration of Time in Which to Complete Continuing Education" is available from the Board.
If the request for an alteration of time is granted, a GAL is required to notify the Board when he or she has completed the continuing education requirements at issue. A form entitled "Notification of Completion of Continuing Education Pursuant to Request for Alteration of Time" is available from the Board for this purpose.
The foregoing information regarding continuing education is simply intended as a synopsis of some of the Board's continuing education requirements and processes. It is not a verbatim recitation of all applicable rules and statutes. Those interested or involved in continuing education should consult the specific laws or rules at issue.
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