California Chiropractors Continuing Education (C.E.) Requirements


A question that is often heard at Chiropractic seminars is, “How many hours of CE do DCs need annually to renew their license to practice chiropractic in California?”


For renewals beginning June 1, 2013 and after, 24 hours of CE are required.

6 of the 24 hours are mandatory from within the following categories:

2 hours Ethics and Law

4 hours in any one of or combination of the following topics:
– Chiropractic Adjustive or Manipulation Technique
– History Taking and Physical Examination Procedures
– Proper and Ethical Billing and Coding

See “What’s Required to Renew Your Chiropractic License” for more details. The “at a glance” chart makes the changes easy to understand.

Can a doctor earn continuing education through online courses?

Yes, doctors may earn CE credit through distance learning or online courses.  Beginning June 2013, 12 hours of CE credit may be earned through distance learning.

How does the year begin and end for license renewal?

California chiropractic licenses expire annually on the last day of the doctor’s birth month.  All CE hours must be completed by the end of the doctor’s birth month.  The BCE does not allow a grace period for taking CE courses and recommends that license renewals be returned with payment at least 60 days prior to expiration.

If a doctor takes more than the required  hours of CE credit, can the extra credits be carried over into the next year?

No.  Regulations specifically state that CE courses must be taken in the last 12 months prior to the last date of the doctor’s birth month.

How are CE credits tracked?

New BCE regulations require sign in sheets in all approved CE classes. Make sure you sign in and sign out for every class you attend. Certificates of completion are to be provided by the CE provider. For most of CCA’s seminars, the CCA CE Certificate form is a two-part document that is completed and torn in half.  CCA keeps one part, and the doctor retains the other. The doctor must return CCA’s portion of the CE Certificate form at the end of the seminar in order for CCA to keep the form on file. Other types of Certificates of Completion will be issued for distance learning and special CE courses. It is the doctor’s responsibility to keep Certificates of Completion in a safe place. Should proof of attendance be required by the BCE, the doctor must submit a copy of his/her portion of the CE Certificate form directly to the BCE. CCA cannot submit forms on behalf of doctors per the BCE.

What if a doctor loses his/her CE form?

Copies of CE certificate forms issued by CCA for CE credits are available from CCA’s Conventions & Seminars Department.  A request may be made using the Special Services Form which is available on-line at as well as by calling 916.648.2727, ext. 120 or e-mailing The doctor must indicate the date, location, and title of the seminar CE form requested. For members, the fee is $5 per seminar requested. For nonmembers, the fee is $25 per seminar requested.

How does a doctor know if a program has been approved for CE?

The California Board of Chiropractic Examiner’s Web site at features a CE section that lists all approved CE courses.  Please note that it is the doctor’s responsibility to ensure the course is a BCE approved course.  All CE providers must have BCE approval or indicate that the program has been submitted for BCE approval prior to advertising the program.

Is CPR required for license renewal?

No. The requirement for doctors of chiropractic to complete training and maintain current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic life support (BLS) as a condition to renew a license to practice was repealed by the Board of Chiropractic Examiners effective beginning with chiropractic licenses that expired in May 2007.

Remember – Renew Your Chiropractic License Early

It’s always a good practice to renew your license early. The Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ Web site,, is the primary vehicle used by patients, MCOs and carriers to verify licensure. The sooner your license is renewed, the sooner the Web site may be updated to reflect renewal.

Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME)

What is a QME?

The Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) is an appointed position trough the State of California.  The organization that regulated QMEs is the DWC.  Doctors interested in appointment as a QME must pass the QME Competency Examination.  The QME exam is offered two times a year– in March and September.  Historically, the exam is administered by the DWC in both Northern and Southern California.  Interested parties should contact the DWC to request a copy of the QME Competency Examination packet by calling 800.794.6900.

What are the requirements to renew a QME?

For renewal, QMEs must take 12 hours of DWC approved QME continuing education every two years.

For more information contact the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Workers’ Compensation, DWC Medical Unit at or 800.794.6900.


What are the continuing education requirements for x-ray permit holders?

The state Radiologic Health Branch (“RHB”), a division of the State Department of Health Services that licenses operators of x-ray equipment, adopted continuing education requirements for x-ray permit holders. Beginning with 2003 permit renewals, chiropractors will be required to show that they have obtained 10 hours of approved continuing education (note: for licentiates renewing in 2003, the continuing education requirement was prorated to five hours; commencing with permit renewals on and after January 1, 2004, the continuing education requirement is 10 hours). The continuing education may also be approved by the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners for chiropractic continuing education credit.  Most chiropractic uses of x-ray equipment require a “radiography supervisor and operator permit,” which requires the passing of an RHB-approved exam.

To renew a permit, licentiates must do the following: 1) at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of the permit, submit to the RHB a complete application for renewal consisting of the applicant’s name, mailing address, telephone number and certificate or permit type and number, 2) submit to the RHB for each approved continuing education credit the identity of the group that accepted the credit, i.e., the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners; the provider of the instruction; the title, if any, of the instruction; the date(s) of the instruction; ad the location of the instruction.  Each permit holder is required to maintain documented evidence of having earned the approved continuing education credits for five years following the dates the credits were earned.  In addition, the permit holder shall pay a fee.

For more information contact the California Department of Public Health / Radiologic Health Branch at or 916.327.5106.


Source: California Chiropractic Association