Alexa Zaledonis on the new NCBTMB Board Approved Continuing Education Provider Program
by Alexa Zaledonis
Have you ever had a formal dinner party for friends only to find out that suddenly six of the twelve people either have food allergies, are vegan, vegetarian or just really hate mushrooms? Well, the dinner is still amazing and made with great care; you just have to step back, organize the meal a bit, whip up some of Aunt Mabel’s mashed cauliflower and pour some more wine.
Many carefully planned recipes are tweaked after preparation. By listening, by communicating and by evolving based on feedback, before you know it, the recipe is better than it was originally.
That’s how I feel about the new Board Approved Provider Program. Sure, we may make a tweak after we all sit down and dig in…but overall I’m certain we’ve carefully prepared a great program.
The profession identified a need.
The start of the process began May 2011 during the Massage Approved Provider Panel meeting held in Chicago. Industry leaders, approved providers, state regulators and schools got together to discuss the issues and needs surrounding quality continuing education. NCB continued the discussion with many of the individuals throughout the process of defining the new Board Approved Provider Program.
The industry said time and time again, “The CE program needs a major overhaul. We have to come up with a way to validate all continuing education. We need a program with guts—to set guidelines to separate the quality CE from the not-so-much.” Many wise industry leaders contributed to the development of the program, helping create and define the new program, right down to the application and vetting procedures.
CE providers helped.
Continuing Ed providers, both those who teach online and offline, helped us refine the application to make it as user friendly as possible. Even the creation of the rubrics used to evaluate online courses was a shared process with respected leaders in the profession.
Paperwork is never fun, so we got rid of the paper.
Ok, so the application still exists, but at least it’s paperless. You’ll find our forms and applications for all the programs are now paperless via our new website.
We look forward to adding even more to the program in the coming year--student online evaluations, the possible use of video, streamlined audit techniques and more.
Program Details are listed on our site
You’ll find more information online, including information pertaining to the following:
- Background Checks
- Approval process
Many have requested to see the online, paperless application. As one program comes to a close and the new program begins, the corresponding form will be available on our new website. The application was made with simplicity of providing information and was reviewed by several providers and industry professionals. Until it goes live you can review the qualifications here.
If you own or operate a school or seminar company, we understand your concerns regarding the phasing out of organizational status. We’re actively talking to many of you to glean insights and determine any appropriate steps. Stay tuned, as this is something we are working on over the next few weeks as we continue to gain input from you.
So, got a great idea to share? Send me an email or comment below. We’re listening, discussing, and reviewing. And pouring. (Please, have a glass.)
Below are answers to a few questions that you have recently asked. For more Q&A, click here.
Q: Why does NCB need to approve the course material from CE Providers?
A: This new program is in response to complaints about the quality of continuing education. In order to properly assess the quality of the class and the qualifications of the instructor, we are requesting additional information. The new process will allow each person to upload courses and all supporting documents directly from their computer. In many instances, if you are using a common text book for your courses, we may currently have the text book on file already. If you have created your own textbook, you will be asked to submit the portions that you are using for your courses.
Q: How & why is NCB conducting background checks?
A: NCBTMB will perform background checks on all Board Certificants and Board Approved Continuing Education Providers. This is to ensure the safety of the public. In today’s market, this step is invaluable in providing the public, students and customers independent verification of your credibility. NCBTMB has partnered with an outside agency to conduct all background checks. If you have passed a background check as a Certificant covering the same period, an additional background check will not be required for this program.
Q: What does it cost to have a course evaluated?
A: NCB will vet every course and charge a $25 vetting fee for these reviews, per course. If you teach a specific course for different amounts of CEs, only the course with the highest number of CE hours needs to be submitted.
Q: How is this new program different than the current Approved Provider Program?
A: The current program requires an instructor to submit minimal qualifications to teach and a brief description of only one course. Currently, organizations need only submit the qualifications of only one of their instructors. The review afforded by the current program is not meeting the needs of the profession.
Under the new program, more detailed information needs to be submitted for every instructor and each course—the level of review is fundamentally different and more thorough. Each course taught by each instructor needs to be reviewed and the instructor’s qualification to teach each course needs to be reviewed.