June 2013

What are Continuing Education Audit Options?

This month AECredentialing.com continues to raise awareness concerning the fundamental benefits of credentials management with the following  article from Guest Author Thom Lowther, Ed. S., Associate, Regional Learning & Development - Americas, ARUP. 

There are a variety of approaches to providing continuing education quality assurance (QA) or compliance audits of members/staff.  There are similar approaches to compliance audits that may be used regardless of whether the intent is to meet internal organizational education requirements, state mandatory continuing education (MCE) licenses related requirements, or continuing education requirements to maintain a specific skill certification.  Below I will outline three approaches to conducting such audits or reviews from the auditing organization's perspective.  

1.     Professional Member Solely Responsible 

The simplest approach for an organization is to place full responsibility of compliance on the individual member.  The member's responsibilities would start from taking and completing the appropriate coursework and obtaining proof of passing the course requirements successfully at an acceptable level and in a timely manner.  The responsibility of maintaining accurate records and reporting results to meet related requirements also becomes the full responsibility of the individual.  Like taxes, there is generally a compliance time period that all records need to be maintained. 

In this model the organization only requests documentation from the individual member under extreme situations.  Examples may include but not be limited to a complaint or charge of fraud or incompetence by a client or customer.  Another example, the individual member might be charged with a related legal violation or a professional ethics violation.  Request of the individual's related continuing professional education documentation may be a required part of their defense.  In this model a special review panel may be appointed to review and verify documentation. 

2.      Blended Responsibility Model

Another approach would still require that the individual member be responsible for maintaining all continuing professional education documentation related to their meeting the organization's license MCE and/or certification requirements.

This model requires commitment and dedicated resources on the part of the organization as they take a more systematic approach.  This model requires that a small percentage of the members be audited on a regular pre-determined basis (5-20%).  The organization needs to commit to at least a part-time dedicated reviewer that will be responsible for and/or appointed to review and verify documentation.  A special audit/review task group should be appointed to establish guidelines and a review process policy.  They should also act as a final decision making body for all disputed audits outside of a legal system.  The established review process needs to be published and made available to all participants.

3.      Organizational Commitment Model

An extensive organizational commitment approach should include a blended approach to records maintenance.  While the responsibility of compliance falls on the individual member, course content and delivery should be a role that the organization is at least involved with supporting and monitoring.  The recordkeeping in this model becomes a shared approach and may include an outsourced professional credentials management service. 

Through an automated system it would be possible to offer a full menu of services.  This could include a selection of courses from pre-approved course content providers or listed options of alternate externally approved methods of obtaining the appropriate skills and knowledge.  An automated records system can be monitored by the organization.  Records for individuals would include the appropriate completed coursework that is maintained and monitored during the compliance time period.  This approach also allows the organization to provide an ongoing audit and review process towards a 100% compliance rate. 

Similar to the Blended Responsibility Model an audit/review standing committee should be appointed to establish guidelines and a review process policy.  They should also act as a final decision making body for all disputed audits outside of a legal system. 

Depending upon the size of the organization and the number of members involved, this model would require full time staff dedicated as reviewers responsible to review and verify the documentation.  And depending upon the commitment of using an automated system, the service could be either in-house or contracted out.  Appropriate staff to support either effort would be required.

License Renewal Dates

Jurisdiction License Renewal Due Date - 06/2013

Georgia,  Iowa - L-Z initial last name odd year,  Kansas - M-Z initial last name odd year, Kentucky,  Maine,  Montana, North Carolina,  North Dakota, Oklahoma,  Oregon - odd license number,  Pennsylvania, South Carolina,  West Virginia

Engineers: Jurisdiction License Renewal Due Date - 06/2013

Delaware,  Kentucky - A -K initial last name odd year,  Nevada - depends on last name,  Oregon - G-K initial last name odd year,  Rhode Island,  Texas,  West Virginia

Landscape Architects:
License Renewal Due Date -

Iowa,  Kentucky,  Maine,  Montana,  North Carolina (7/1),  North Dakota,  Nevada,   New Mexico,  Oklahoma,  Rhode Island,  West Virginia (7/1)

If your license renews on your date of birth this month, or by state requirement when your license origination occurred, it's time to renew. 



Remember the Free Falling "MathCounts®" quiz from May 2013?  When did Felix deploy his parachute falling 120 mph from 120,000 ft? 

Answer:  Determine how long it took Felix to fall from an altitude of 120,000 ft to 2,000 ft, a distance of 118,000 ft.  We were given a rate in mph.  Converting 118,000 ft divided by 5,280 ft = 22.348 miles.  At a rate of 120 mph it will take Felix 22.348 divided by 120 = 0,186237 hours to fall this distance.  Convert hours to minutes - multiply 0.186237 times 60 = 11.1742 (rounded 11 minutes). 

Editorial Summary

Professional continuing education compliance and quality assurance for architects, engineers, landscape architects, etc. currently is non universal and evolving. The variables could include individual needs associated with a custom personal professional career path. Individual professional development strategies correspond with credentials maintenance. Recordkeeping in itself is uniquely detailed, not to mention the myriad of methods (self, administrative, technology outsourcing). Pursuing a carefully planned professional development course of action requires attentive credentials management. 

A credentials management service offers professional development guidance and security. A comprehensive credentials management service understands, develops and provides a complete custom designed recordkeeping, management and reporting requirements solution for each client ensuring protection and preservation of your most valuable assets--your credentials. Visit AECredentialing.com for more information.

Housekeeping Note:
  If your address, phone number  or email
address has changed please notify your credentials agencies. 

Contact Details: 

LS Credentialing Services, WBE Certified, P.O. Box 91, Olathe, KS 66051


Join us in our efforts to go "green".  Think before you print.