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Policy – Accreditation of Continuing Education Activities

SUBJECT – ACCREDITATION


POLICY – ACCREDITATION OF CONTINUING EDUCATION ACTIVITIES

PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to outline for providers of continuing education activities and registrants the policy, principles and procedure that the Quality Assurance (QA) Committee of the Opticians of Manitoba (OOM) or its designate shall use in evaluating applications for the accreditation from Maintenance of Competency (MOC) providers and registrants.

OVERVIEW OF THE MAINTENANCE OF COMPETENCY PROGRAM

The OOM currently administers a Maintenance of Competency Program mandated through its bylaws. It is a formal system of assessing, monitoring and reporting on the continuing competency of registrants to ensure that, in the interest of the public, practicing opticians have maintained the required knowledge, skill and judgement to practice competently, safely and ethically.

The OOM program is currently credit based and registrants are required to accumulate a specific number and type of credit hours in a three year cycle. Educational activities are only eligible for credit hours however if, prior to being offered to registrants, the activity has received accreditation by the National Association of Canadian Optician Regulators (NACOR) or by the Opticians of Manitoba.

In the future however the Maintenance of Competency Program will be geared towards self directed learning. This will require registrants to focus on the competencies included in the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians that they need to strengthen based on their results from an online self- assessment. Self directed learning will require each registrant to develop a learning plan which will include their specific learning goals i.e. the goals that they need to achieve in order to address any weaknesses which were identified from their self assessment and the activities and resources that they plan to use to achieve their goals. The activities and resources they select must be eligible for accreditation by NACOR or the OOM.

PRINCIPLES OF ACCREDITATION

The QA Committee will be guided by the following four principles in approving MOC activities for accreditation. These principles will be applied fairly and consistently in reviewing all applications for accreditation.

Principle 1 – Learning Outcomes are Consistent with the requirements stated in the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians
The learning objectives of the materials or activities must be directly aligned with meeting the competencies included in the National Competencies for Canadian Opticians (3rd edition).

Principle 2 – Learning is accessible and interactive
Diverse activities will be considered for accreditation in order to provide options for registrants in terms of costs, formats and delivery method (in person and online).

Principle 3 – The activity is relevant to practice and continuing competency
The learning outcomes, content and course design must be relevant to the targeted competency.

Principle 4 – Information provided to participants is evidence based, objective, current and relevant.
Information used is evidence based i.e. based on credible research. Sources of information/references are clearly cited by the provider and easily accessible if registrants wish to find more information directly from the source.

EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS FOR ACCREDITATION OF EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES

All activities submitted for accreditation will be evaluated using the accreditation principles included above. In order to be considered for accreditation, a submission must be noticeably different from any previous submission from the same provider.

The category and number of credits to be assigned will be determined using the evaluation criteria in Appendix A and every submission will be initially considered for 1credit. Additional credits will be awarded if a submission meets the requirements for additional credits included in Appendix B.

PAYMENT OF FEES FOR ACCREDITATION

The OOM is under no obligation to accredit, except under the conditions outlined within this policy. The payment of the fee for accreditation guarantees a review of the activity by the QA Committee. It does not however guarantee that the activity will receive credits.

If the OOM returns an application to the provider for revision, the provider will not be charged a fee again provided the revised application is returned to the OOM within 15 days of the date that they were notified that changes were required to their initial application.

RENEWAL OF ACCREDITATION

Accreditation will be effective for three (3) years from the date of approval.

PUBLICATION OF ACCREDITED ACTIVITIES

A list of all new and updated accredited activities will be published on the OOM website

ELIGIBLE PROVIDERS include but are not limited to:

  • Regulatory bodies, including the OOM
  • Registrants
  • Professional associations with in the eye care industry
  • Industry stakeholders
  • Teaching/training institutions
  • Eye health related organizations

CATEGORIES OF ACTIVITIES THAT MAY BE SUBMITTED FOR ACCREDITATION

Activities may include but are not limited to:

  • Live presentations (seminar, lecture or workshop)
  • Webinars
  • Self-directed online distance learning
  • Self- organized study groups
  • Mentorship or optician related work training
  • Research projects (either conduced or participated in by registrants)
  • Volunteer optical work
  • Practicum
  • Scholastic (Educational Institution Course)
  • Tours (laboratory, manufacturing)

PREREQUISITES FOR ACTIVITIES

Providers may require pre- requisites for certain activities and industry providers may specify whether activities they are offering are open to all registrants or are limited to their optician employees.

Providers are required to identify any pre- requisites if applicable, for participants to access and participate in the activity offered.

Industry providers may specify whether activities they are offering are open to all registrants or are limited to their optician employees. The OOM recognizes that employers may develop professional development activities for their employees and may not be able to offer the same activities to all opticians due to intellectual property rights.

TOPICS AND FOCUS OF EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES

In addition to addressing continuing competencies, the accredited activities will feature topics that address emerging and current vision care needs of the public. Examples include patient- entered care practices, inter professional collaboration among eye care professionals and vision services for the aging demographic. The OOM will also publish priority areas for emerging and current vision care needs of the public on its website.

The focus of the activity will be information about the benefits of the product or technology rather than endorsement of company products or services. Such benefits will have been confirmed by research and not based solely on personal endorsement of the presenter. Information presented will not focus on personal opinions or direct advertising of particular brands.

Providers may mention their product or technology as long as there is also mention of similar technology and products from other companies. Derogatory or discriminatory statements made against any organization, its products and technology will not be allowed. Comparisons of technology and products may be warranted however if information is based on research conducted by a neutral party.

CONTENT AND INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED TO REGISTRANTS

The content must be relevant, i.e. directly linked to continuing competencies for Canadian
Opticians and only current information is to be presented i.e. there is no updated version of the information that contradicts the evidence presented.

REGISTRANTS’ FEEDBACK

Providers are required to submit participants’ feedback for review by the QA Committee and in order to maintain accreditation of their activities.

Providers must submit a planned strategy which will enable them to obtain feedback following each activity from instructors, presenters and registrants. The plan should include:

  • an opportunity for registrants to assess the activity they have participated in for the purpose of improving the content, design and presentation.
  • collecting feedback as far as practicable, immediately following the activity
  • providing registrants with the option to submit their comments anonymously

Providers must demonstrate to the committee following the activity that they have considered and acted upon on participants’ feedback to improve content and delivery.

MEETING THE STATED LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Providers are required to provide evidence following the activity that accredited activities have met the learning objectives stated in the provider’s application for accreditation of an activity.

VERIFICATION OF REGISTRANT PARTICIPATION

Providers must submit a plan for verifying of completion of an activity to each participant which includes the following information:

  • Participant’s full name and license number
  • Title of the activity
  • Date of completion of the activity
  • Accreditation code provided by the accrediting organization (OOM or NACOR)

The provider must provide the OOM with an electronic list of registrants who completed each activity.

PROMOTION AND ADVERTISING OF AN ACCREDITED ACTIVITY

Adequate advance information must be provided by the sponsor/host to prospective participants in order to enable them to be well informed about continuing education programs.

DOCUMENTATION OF THE DECISION OF THE QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMITTEE AND RECORD KEEPING

Approval or the rejection of an application for accreditation by the QA Committee must be documented on the Application for Accreditation form (Appendix C). Records of participation and credits awarded should be kept by the OOM for a minimum of 5 years

MONITORING

With advance notice, the Opticians of Manitoba reserves the right to send a representative to attend any accredited course or presentation for the purpose of reviewing the quality of the presentation and the accuracy of the information on the application for accreditation for the activity. The review consists of ensuring that the course is taking place at the time and location included on the application for accreditation and is presented as described in the application and that the accompanying examination is relevant and applicable to the material presented.

If there are any inconsistencies between the submission and the presentation, the OOM will
ask the provider/sponsor to rectify the inconsistencies. The OOM reserves the right to suspend the accreditation granted until the provider /sponsor addresses the inconsistencies and they may be required to submit an application to renew the accreditation of the activity.

SUSPENSION OF ACCREDITATION

Accreditation of an activity may be suspended for the following reasons:

  1. There are significant inconsistencies between the materials presented during the actual course or presentation compared to what was submitted to the OOM with the application for accreditation. For example, the content has been changed. Minor inconsistencies such as a change in the order in which the information is presented will not result in suspension.
  2. The activity received unsatisfactory feedback from participants. For example, a majority of participants provided feedback that the activity failed to meet the stated learning objectives.
  3. The presenters were unable to effectively communicate the information to the participants.
  4. The activity no longer meets the accreditation principles. For example, new research information has been published which makes the materials contained in a lecture or course outdated.

NOTIFICATION OF A SUSPENSION OF ACCREDITATION

The OOM will advise the provider in writing if the accreditation of an activity has been suspended and the reasons for the suspension. If an accreditation is suspended for reasons under 1 or 3 above the applicant will have to submit a new application for accreditation.

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