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How to Evaluate Continuing Education Programs
By: Susanne S. Warfield
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Continuing education opportunities are often available at conferences and trade shows, such as Face & Body® Midwest (www.FaceandBody.com/midwest) in Chicago, which offers continuing education units for those with Illinois esthetic licenses. The 2012 Advanced Education Conference Program kicked off with a panel discussing industry regulations and featured: from left: Terri Wojak,True University Esthetics; Lynn Maestro, Cirepil & Escential Perron Rigot/IBSG llc.; Alex Thiersch, Thiersch & Associates; and Irena Brown of YG Laboratories.
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A. A faculty disclosure form is required by most continuing education unit-granting organizations and state regulatory boards. All participating faculty must disclose to attendees any real or apparent conflicts of interest that have bearing on the educational activity matter, or pertain to commercial relationships, such as support for the activity or materials presented. These include the following.
- Commercial support. This includes financial contributions given by commercial interests that have been used to pay for all—or part of—the continuing education activity.
- Conflicts of interest. This occurs when the faculty member has commercial interest in the content of the continuing education program.
- Financial interest. This occurs when the faculty member benefits from teaching the class by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria or ownership.
Q. Does the continuing education program have liability coverage for the hands-on portion of the program?
A. The program would likely be liable for any special, consequential or exemplary damages resulting, in whole or in part, from the attendee’s use of, or reliance upon, educational material contained in a continuing education program activity. It’s important to know for a practical design program if additional liability insurance would be required by the participant.
Q. Does the provider offer an evaluation form, or make additional comments available from past programs?
A. Evaluation forms are important for the approved provider to review in order to ensure delivery of the stated objectives.
Q. Are continuing education units recognized in my state?
A. If your state regulatory board requires continuing education units for re-licensure but pre-approves them, you will need to maintain documentation of the individual credits you have earned. This is usually in the form of continuing education certificates or transcripts offered by the class provider.
Q. How can I find out if my state licensure requires continuing education units?
A. Your state regulatory board will be able to provide you with the most up-to-date requirements for your licensure renewal. Log on to www.SkinInc.com/education/statelicensing to access full contact information for the state regulatory boards in the United States.