CERP Provider Newsletter—2016 Edition Two
Revising the ADA CERP Recognition Standards
Message from the Chair
In the last newsletter, I reported that the Commission is moving forward with a comprehensive review of the CERP Recognition Standards. As part of that process, in March CCEPR circulated a validity and reliability survey to gather input from stakeholders on the CERP criteria considered relevant to a provider’s ability to deliver effective continuing education. The survey was sent to all CERP recognized providers, state dental associations, state dental boards and a random sampling of actively practicing dentists.
On behalf of the Commission, I wish to thank those who completed the survey. The response rate among CERP recognized providers was 22%. Over 90% of all survey respondents strongly agreed that the Eligibility Criteria and six of the Standards are relevant, while over 80% strongly agreed that the remaining eight Standards are relevant. The survey also yielded useful comments on specific criteria considered less relevant, or that may need modification.
This feedback will be considered by the Commission as it works to simplify the Standards by reducing the number and prescriptiveness of criteria and to emphasize those supportive of the delivery of innovative and relevant CE. To this end, at its meeting in March, the Commission supported the concept of consolidating the Standards into categories emphasizing CE providers’ key responsibilities. The working list includes:
• Purpose and mission
• Content of CE activities
• Delivery of CE activities
• Managing commercial conflicts of interest
• Assessment of learning
A draft of the revised Standards will be posted on ADA.org/CCEPR later this year, and stakeholders will be invited to comment.
The Commission is committed to establishing standards for continuing dental education that addresses professional educational needs, is scientifically sound, non-commercial, and that supports professionals’ ability to provide the best possible care, improves outcomes, and protects patient safety.
Thank you for your ongoing support of quality continuing dental education.
Paul R. Leary, D.M.D., 2016 Chair
CERP Standard XIII. Patient Protection Criteria Revised
At its March 31-April 1, 2016 meeting, the Commission adopted revisions to CERP Standard XIII. Patient Protection, pertaining to courses in which patients are treated. The changes were made in response to an identified need for clarification of certain requirements for these types of courses. Revisions to Standard XIII have been incorporated in the April 2016 ADA CERP Recognition Standards.
Providers that offer CE activities in which patients are treated, either by the instructor or course participants, should review the criteria and make any necessary changes to ensure program compliance. Providers will be assessed for compliance with the revised patient protection criteria set forth in Standard XIII beginning with the Fall 2017 ADA CERP application (providers with a recognition term ending December 2017 and later). Read more about the specific changes to Standard XIII here.
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CERP Provider Workshop Scheduled for October 20 in Denver
Members of the Commission will present an informational session for continuing dental education providers in conjunction with ADA 2016—America’s Dental Meeting. The workshop will review key CERP Recognition Standards and the application self-assessment process. The session will be held Thursday, October 20, from 9:15 am–12:15 pm in Denver, Colorado. Register for ADA 2016, session # 5101, at ADA.org/meeting.
Managing Commercial Influence in CE Activities: Focus on Standard V
A fundamental requirement for continuing dental education providers is to present education that has scientific integrity, and that is free of commercial influence that could bias content and compromise objective clinical decision making. CERP Standard V.2 states that CE activities must promote improvements in oral healthcare, not specific goods and services of commercial entities. The remaining criteria in Standard V outline steps CE providers must take to minimize commercial bias and manage potential commercial conflicts of interest. The criteria are based on the principles of independence from commercial interest, transparency regarding any potential conflicts of interest, and separation of marketing and promotional activities from CE activities, described more fully below.
It is important to emphasize that CE providers may accept support for CE activities from commercial interests (defined in the CERP Glossary as any entity producing, marketing, re-selling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients). However, any commercial support—financial support, products and other resources contributed by a commercial interest in support of a CE activity—must meet specific requirements of independence and transparency.
CE providers may also offer advertising opportunities in conjunction with, but physically separated from, CE activities. These include ads, for example in journals or meeting programs, and exhibits. Exhibits, ads, and presentations designed to promote products or services are not considered commercial support: they are paid marketing opportunities. As such, they must be physically separated from CE activities, and may not be designated for CE credit.
When evaluating compliance with Standard V, the Commission requests documentation of a provider’s policies and procedures for minimizing commercial influence in its CE activities.
- Independence: CE activities must be developed and conducted independent of commercial influence. Any support for CE activities from commercial interests must be unrestricted, in that the supporting company may not influence or direct the course content or instructor (refer to CERP criteria V.1, V.5, V.8, V.11). In evaluating whether a provider meets these criteria, the Commission will review the provider’s policies regarding the development of CE, procedure manuals, correspondence or guidelines for instructors, and policies and guidelines regarding the acceptance of commercial support.
If a provider accepts external support, the support must be documented in a letter of agreement between the commercial supporter and the CE provider stating what is being given (for example, the dollar amount of a grant, or items to be supplied as in-kind support), how it is to be used (for example, to support a meal, or a speaker’s honorarium), and the supporting company’s agreement not to influence or direct the content or instructor. (V.7) Documentation that a provider meets this requirement would include a letter of agreement for a specific CE activity including the information described above, and signed by representatives of both the provider and the supporting company.
- Transparency: Any commercial support received for a CE activity must be disclosed to course participants in publicity and course materials. (V.6) Documentation that a provider meets this requirement includes brochures, web pages and other course materials including published acknowledgement of commercial support.
In addition, providers must collect information from all those in a position to control the content of CE (including instructors and planners) regarding any relevant financial relationships they or their immediate family may have had in the previous 12 months. Any conflicts of interest identified through this process should be avoided or resolved. (V.12, V.13). Relevant financial relationships that do not create a conflict of interest must be published in publicity and course materials. Published disclosure must include the individual’s name, the name of the commercial interest, and the nature of the financial relationship. Published disclosures may not contain product or trade names. Verbal disclosure alone does not meet this requirement. (V.14)
Evidence that a provider meets these requirements may include, but is not limited to, signed disclosure forms for course instructors listing any relevant financial relationships they or their family members may have had in the previous 12 months, plus documentation that disclosed information was published for course participants in program guides, introductory slides, or other course materials.
- Separation: Sales, marketing and promotional activities, such as advertisements and exhibit booths, must be physically separated from CE activities. Activities designed to promote proprietary products may not be designated for CE credits. (V.3, V.4)
- Providers offering live, in-person CE activities may not permit sales representatives or other commercial interests to give marketing or promotional presentations, or conduct sales activities, during the CE activity or in the room in which it is held. Documentation of a provider’s compliance might include guidelines for instructors, exhibitor agreements and the provider’s policy and procedure manual.
- Course presentations must use generic names whenever possible, and educational materials that are part of a CE activity, such as slides and handouts, must not include trade names or product messages. Similarly, advertisements or marketing materials may not be distributed in CE courses, or included in course materials. However, ads may be placed in program schedules, guides with course descriptions, and other publications that do not contain educational materials. Documentation of compliance with this requirement might include the provider’s policies, manuals, and guidelines for instructors and planners.
- Commercial exhibits must be physically separated from the space used for CE. It is not appropriate to offer CE credit for commercial exhibit sessions. Documentation of compliance might include the provider’s exhibitor prospectus and published program guides.
- Video-based CE activities may not include commercial breaks; print-based CE may not have ads interspersed within the CE content, or on the same page as the course content.
Providers are encouraged to review Standard V and evaluate their current policies and procedures for ensuring that CE activities offered are independent of commercial influence, transparent with respect to commercial relationships, and separate from activities designed to promote goods or services. Sample documents related to managing commercial conflicts of interest are available under Provider Resources on ADA.org/CCEPR. CCEPR staff are also available to answer questions.
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CCEPR Recognition Actions—April 2016
At its meeting March 31-April 1, 2016, the Commission considered 14 new applications for recognition and 55 applications for continued recognition. The Commission granted recognition or continued recognition to a total of 65 providers of continuing dental education, including 12 new applicants. Recognition was withdrawn from five providers for failure to meet program requirements. The Commission discontinued recognition of four providers at the request of the providers. Including the Commission’s April 2016 actions on recognition, 445 CE providers are ADA CERP recognized. The official list of CERP recognized providers and the unofficial report of major actions from the meeting are posted on ADA.org/CCEPR.
Congratulations to the following providers that were awarded ADA CERP recognition for four and three years!
American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
California Dental Association
Center for Esthetic Excellence
Clinical Research Foundation
DDS On-line, Inc.
Dental Studies Institute
FDI World Dental Federation
iCON Articulation, LLC
International Congress of Oral Implantologists
Laser Education International
LSU Health New Orleans Continuing Dental Education
Ordre des Dentistes du Quebec
Professionals Advocate Insurance Company
The Forsyth Institute
A2Z Dental Company
American Academy of Implant Dentistry
American College of Prosthodontists
American Orthodontics, Corp.
Atlanta Institute for Advanced Education
Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico
Delaware State Dental Society
Indiana Dental Association
Institute for Facial Esthetics
ITI Foundation for the Promotion of Oral Implantology
L'Academie, Centre de Perfectionnement
Marotta Dental Studio, Inc.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Ohio Academy of Interdisciplinary Dentofacial Therapy
Periodontal Specialists of Grand Blanc and Clarkston
Rocky Mountain Orthodontics
Salmon Creek Dental Hygiene Study Club
Success in Endodontics
University of British Columbia - Faculty of Dentistry
University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
Victoria and District Dental Society
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List Your Courses on ADA.org/cerpcourselistings
CERP recognized providers are encouraged to post information about their courses on the CCEPR web site. Dental professionals anywhere in the world can access the CERP Course Listing and search for courses by date, location, provider, or category. The course listing is advertised periodically in ADA publications. For information on how to login and post course information, contact CCEPR staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Dates for 2016-2017
Applications for continued recognition are due on June 24, 2016 for providers with recognition terms ending this December. Providers with recognition terms ending June 2017 must submit applications for continued recognition by January 13, 2017; application materials for this cohort will be emailed in early July of this year. To ensure timely receipt of re-application materials, please notify CCEPR staff of any personnel changes.
Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition
Commission staff are available to assist you.