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Service Credit Hours & How to Obtain Them

Three Types of Service

Three types of service can be used to complete service credit hours for the CSS Certification Program:

  1. Develop certification test questions using accepted sources at the annual Certification summit,
  2. Develop approved CSQuest articles, and
  3. Subject Matter Expert activities, such as presenting a course, attending a meeting as an SME, training staff from another office as the SME.

The participant must document service hours using the Recertification Service Credit Hour Documentation form.

If you think that your activity does not fit into one of the three types, please contact the Certification Program Manager.

What do the words for each type really mean for the re-certification participant?

Type 1: Certification Test Questions

At least one time each year a Certification Question Writing Summit is held to update questions for each assessment.  This is done to ensure that all questions are up-to-date as far as any new laws or policies, to delete questions, and to write additional questions for the bank of certification questions.

In order to be approved questions, questions must be written in a certain way.  For more information about how to write approved certification questions, you should review the CSQuest article How to Write Good Certification Questions.

Each day that you attend and participate in a Certification Question Writing Summit, your service hour credit will equal your participation credit.

Type 2: CSQuest articles

We are always looking for new subjects for CSQuest articles.  If you want to write a CSQuest article, you should review the CSQuest Writing Guide for Office Staff – October 2019

When submitting an article, please include your name and/or the name of the State Attorney, Office Manager, Managing Attorney, or Regional Administrator who vetted the content. If you want to include any graphics (screen shots, checklists, etc.) please include the originals so that they can be edited to protect our customers and staff.

Articles can be submitted either in Word in narrative form or in the CSQuest template (which is also in Word).  You should email the completed Word narrative or template to the Site Administrator.

If you are not comfortable completing the template, someone on the CPD staff will coordinate with you to help develop the article.  At any time, we may email or call you for proof-reading or clarification.

For each approved and published CSQuest article you write or coordinate with CPD staff to write, you may acquire up to five (5) service credit hours.

Type 3: Subject Matter Expert (SME) activities

This type is the most general as it could include many activities.

Note: Any SME activity must be approved by your management

Three of the most common activities would be:

  • Presenting a course or study group – this means presenting a child support-related course or leading a certification study group either in person, by Teams or Zoom.  A certification study group could be in your own office or other offices, and must include at least three people including the lead.  The leader must provide an attendance record for each study group with the date and time.
  • Attending a meeting as an SME – this means attending and participating in a consistent excellence, OK Benefits, Process Improvement Team, or similar meeting either in person, by Teams or Zoom.  The leader of the group will need to verify that your attendance and participation.
  • Training staff from another office as the SME – this means the actual training of staff in another office. This may either be in person in the other office or via Zoom or Teams. You would need to have a simple outline for the training that could be presented as proof of this activity. The office you trained will need to verify the training.

There could, of course, be other SME activities that could be included as a service credit hour.  The main thing to remember is that you are the SME in the activity, and it can be documented as such.

If you have any doubts as to whether an SME activity could be included as a service credit hour, please contact the Certification Program Manager.

The service credit hours acquired through an SME activity could vary depending on the activity.

Service hours cannot be accepted if less than one hour. If the activity takes less than an hour, it is permissible to combine activities so that the time spent is at least one hour.

Normally, each hour spent on the SME activity would equal to an hour of service credit. Preparation for the course, study group, meeting, or SME activity will also count toward service hours.

Note: Driving time will not be counted toward service hours

What if your activity doesn’t fit?

If you think that your activity does not fit into one of the three types listed but you would like to include it as a service credit, first discuss it with your management, and then contact the Certification Program Manager prior to including it on the service credit hour form.

Documenting Your Service Credit Hours

You must document service hours using the 03GN553E Recertification Service Credit Hour Documentation Form.

The form can be submitted at any time during the two years prior to your recertification date but must be submitted at least one month prior to your recertification date.

Since you have two years to complete 20 service credit hours, the form may be submitted more than once—possibly you would want to submit it on a quarterly or every six months basis.  Each time you submit the form, please include any required verification from sources mentioned above in the service type explanations.

Note: Remember to keep a copy of your completed forms for your own records.

If you have any questions about service credit hours or need help completing the Documentation form, please contact the Certification Program Manager.