Taking continuing education impacts your professional development. So, how do you go about choosing a CE provider?
Thanks to online and mobile learning, it is easier than ever to complete your national association and/or state-mandated CE requirements quickly, conveniently, and inexpensively. But with the influx of new providers coming to the market, it’s more important than ever to know what to look for. Choosing a CE provider that is unfamiliar with your license renewal requirements can result in a bad experience and unneeded stress. We’ve put together a list to help you find the best fit for your CE needs.
6 Things To Look For When Choosing a CE Provider
1. Accreditation and Approvals:
Has your regulating board approved the provider’s courses? There are strict rules and regulations that must be adhered to and a good provider will be transparent in disclosing their accreditation. Look for logos and language that plainly states “We’re legit!”. It’s also a smart idea to check with your national and state regulating bodies. Your board websites sometimes list all approved continuing education providers.
- PT/PTA CE Approvals
- OT/OTA CE Approvals
- SLP CE Approvals
- Massage Therapy CE Approvals
- Athletic Trainer CE Approvals
- Nursing CE Approvals
2. Credentialed Instructors:
When you’ve located a provider and checked out some of their courses, do a quick online search on the instructors. Make sure they are licensed healthcare professionals, experienced educators, or individuals with the appropriate credentials and specialized training in their field of instruction.
3. Large and Varied Course Selection:
Advances in medicine and documentation require that the practitioner must continually update their knowledge base. Continuing education providers should be doing the same thing. Look for one that is adding new courses to their catalog on a regular basis. Does their course catalog cover a wide spectrum of subjects that will not only keep you current but also enhance you professionally? Providers can and should offer a large selection of informative and engaging courses.
4. Production Quality:
Simply having good content isn’t enough; it should be presented in a professional format, with clean visual components and clear audio. It’s no good spending money on a video course that is blurry and hard to hear or fails to even provide any visual demonstrations. It should be easy to access, too. A few clicks of your mouse are all it should take to get to your material. You can check the provider’s website for screenshots or video samples of their courses to evaluate the value they place on production quality.
5. Clearly Understands Your Needs:
When you’re shopping for continuing education courses you should feel confident that the provider understands your needs and requirements. Any provider worth their salt will be able to help you understand the rules and regulations that govern your profession. If you’re not sure about what you need, pick up the phone and call them.
It’s always nice to save money, but be cautious of the provider with unbelievably low prices. That usually means that corners have been cut, never a good thing. Prices should be reasonable based on the amount of content provided in the course, and the production quality of the course. Some providers will offer options to combine courses together at a lower cost than buying them individually. One that offers flexibility to buy exactly what you need to meet your requirements and takes your budget into consideration can be a lifesaver, especially if you’ve left those requirements to the last minute!
It’s always smart to do your research when choosing a CE provider. For the medical professional, the fallout from a bad choice can create extra stress and unwanted complications in your life. Following these few simple tips can help you make the decisions when it comes to choosing an online continuing education provider.
*Originally published in 2012, this post is regularly updated.