The Center for Continuing Professional Education
"Dedicated to insuring the quality of continuing professional education in healthcare"
The American Institute of Healthcare Professionals, Inc. (AIHCP)., offers a comprehensive service of "approval" for various types of continuing education programs and offerings in professional healthcare education. The AIHCP's division ,The Center for Continuing Professional Education," sponsors this professional service. Applicants submit a detailed proposal and completed application according to quality standards as developed by the AIHCP. Programs which meet the defined standards are then granted "approval" by the AIHCP and its Center for Continuing Professional Education. Program providers are required to print an approval statement as defined by AIHCP on each participant's certificate of completion/attendance. All program approvals are for a four year period.
Objectives of the AIHCP's Center for Continuing Professional Education:
- To provide healthcare providers of professional continuing education a mechanism to attain "approval" status of contact hours and continuing education units for participants.
- To allow providers a means to obtain program and offering approvals that is expedited, user friendly, and affordable.
- To provide a means for program and offering reviews which ensure the appropriateness, completeness, quality, applicability, and the offering of a bona fide education program to participants.
- To provide a method of education program reviews which will assist educators and providers through recommendations for revisions to meet defined standards.
- To provide a mechanism that demonstrates to employers, professional organizations, licensing boards, accreditation bodies, certification boards, etc., that participants have completed a defined program of study which provided a quality and appropriate offering to participants, based on a pre-evaluation of applicable standards.
- To provide a mechanism of consumer safety and assurance of the overall quality of the education program being offered.
Types of Program Approvals
The American Institute of Healthcare Professionals, Inc., through its division, The Center for Continuing Professional Education, provides an approval process for the following types of continuing education programs and offerings:
- Staff Inservice/education
- Video learning programs
- Skills workshops
- Distance education programs and courses
- On-line educational programs and courses
- Self-study programs and courses
- Audio cassette learning programs and courses
- Educational retreats
- University/College based courses
- Continuing Education programs offered by Universities/Colleges
Standards for Program/Offering Approval
Each submitted application for program/offering approval is reviewing by qualified educators with expertise in the content for which the program is designed. The following standards are evaluated for each submitted application:
- Course Description - there is a course description which provides an overall abstract of the proposed education program, detailing the core content to be presented, the overall hours of lecture, study, or presentation time, and the type of delivery method or system used for the program or offering.
- Type of Program - the specific type of program or offering is clearly defined as to its method of instruction, study, presentation, etc.
- Objectives - there are clearly defined core, overall objectives for the proposed program. The objectives are consistent with the defined course description and are appropriate to the defined participants, the level of subject difficulty, and the overall quality of the proposed program.
- Content - the program/offering content is clearly detailed for each one contact hour of instruction/study/learning/experience, etc. The content clearly follows the overall objectives of the proposed program/offering.
- Contact Hours - the number of contact hours is clearly defined. One contact hour is equivalent to 50 minutes of instruction, lecture, study, experience, etc.
- Method of Instruction - the method(s) of instruction are clearly defined for the proposed education program/offering. Included, but not limited to, are defined supports, resources and references used in the preparation and presentation of the program/offering. Examples include, the use of text books, articles, handouts, overheads, slides, videos, audio, etc.
- Faculty - the faculty presenting the proposed offering/program have demonstrated expertise and knowledge to present a quality, appropriate and accurate education program or offering.
- Evaluation - there is a mechanism for all participants to provide a written evaluation of the program or offering at the time of completion. The evaluation includes criteria to assess the participants evaluation of the course objectives, course content, instructor effectiveness, effectiveness of teaching/learning aids used and the facility in which the program was offered. Recommendations for additions and/or improvements are also solicited by participants.
- Instructor/Faculty Feedback - all instructors/faculty are permitted a review of program evaluations, or there is in place a mechanism for collation of the evaluations and instructors/faculty receive a written summation of the program/offering participant evaluations.
Submitting an Application for Program/Offering Approval
All providers must submit to the AIHCP a written application for consideration of approval. An online application which can be printed may be accessed here. Providers may also call the AIHCP administrative offices to obtain an application. Completed applications can be mailed to the AIHCP or faxed to the administrative office. Applications which are incomplete will be returned to the provider with an explanation and recommendation for submitting needed information. Incomplete applications will significantly delay the review and approval process. TIME FRAME FOR APPLICATION REVIEW All applications will be reviewed by qualified members of the AIHCP, and providers will receive a written notification of the results of the review process within 14 days of the AIHCP's receipt of the application. If approved, the provider will be notified of such, and instructions regarding requirements for printing an approval statement on the participants certificates will be provided. Approved programs will also be assigned a provider number, which will be used in any future correspondence regarding the program/offering.
If program approval is denied, the provider will receive within 14 days of receipt of the completed application, a written communication detailing the reason(s) for denial. All providers will be given the option of revising applications according to specific direction by the AIHCP and re-submit the application for a second review and consideration.
All providers are required, as a mandate of approval, to provide all participants with a written statement or certificate which shall include a required statement of program approval, as well as; the title of the program, the number of contact hours received, the date of the offering, the place of the offering, and a signature of an authorized representative of the provider. The approval number assigned by the AIHCP must also be printed on the certificate. Providers are responsible for designing, completing , and disseminating all certificates.
Fees for Reviews and Approvals
The fee for program/offering review and approval is $ 50.00 for all programs and offerings up to 100 hours of instruction/study. The fee for programs/offerings over 100 contact hours is $75.00. There is no limit to the number of contact hours that may be applied for. Payment must accompany all completed applications. Checks which are returned from a bank or financial institution or denial of a credit card will cause a significant delay in the review process. Providers will be notified if a check is returned or a credit card transaction denied.
Length Of Program Approval
All programs which are approved by the AIHCP shall be deemed "approved" for a period of 4 years from the date of approval as detailed in the written letter of approval to participants. Expiration of this date means that the program is no longer approved by AIHCP and providers may not continue to advertise or promote such.
Providers who elect, may apply for re-approval of the program/offering. Providers must submit a re-approval application, obtained from the administrative office of the AIHCP. The fee schedule for re-approvals is the same as for initial review and approvals. Re-approvals shall be for another 4 year period.
Quality Audit Of Program Evaluations
The AIHCP shall promote a program of quality audit on a yearly basis. The AIHCP shall randomly select 25% of all programs/offerings which it has approved, for audit of completed evaluations. Those providers who are randomly selected for audit, shall be responsible for submitting queried, completed evaluation forms for review by the AIHCP. Those providers who are unable to produce complete evaluation forms due to violation of the standard for program/offering evaluation, shall have their approval status revoked.
Violations Of The Conditions Of Approval
Providers who violate the terms of agreement of the approval process or who are fraudulent in the advertising of a program/offering as it relates to all and any of the approval process, shall have their approval of the program/offering permanently revoked. The AIHCP reserves the right to enforce such procedure as deemed appropriate and necessary. Providers whose approval has been revoked shall have a right of appeal to the board of trustees of the AIHCP. This request for appeal is made to the Executive Director by contacting the administrative office of the AIHCP.
Failure To Achieve Approval
In the event that the AIHCP denies program approval, the participant will receive a written communication to such, as well as the reason or reasons for the denial. The participant will be refunded 50% of the submitted fee. The other 50% will be retained to cover the costs of program reviews. Participants may reapply for review and approval of any denied program. They must demonstrate evidence that deficiencies were corrected. The fees for reapplication are the same as for the initial application. There is no limit to the number of times a participant may reapply for review and program approval.
A participant may file an objection regarding denial of a program. In such case, the participant must file this objection in writing to the AIHCP, in care of the Executive Director, within 90 days of receipt of notification of the denial. Such objections will then be taken up with the Board of Trustees of the AIHCP, and a decision made. Participants have the responsibility to prove to the board that they meet all of the standards for a quality continuing education program. The decision of the Board of Trustees shall be final.
Questions Regarding The Approval Process
All questions and queries regarding the approval process for continuing professional healthcare education, should be addressed to the Executive Director of the AIHCP at the administrative office.