Course Content Disclosure (Required Practice 3.1)

What Must Be Disclosed

What: Must disclose when the course content is focused on a specific product or service and will not include information on similar or like products/services (see 3.1.b)

Who: ASHA Approved CE Provider

When: Prior to the course

How: State in all promotional efforts that the course content is focused on a specific product or service and there will be limited or no information provided about similar products or services.

Required Practice 3.1

3.1 The Provider must ensure that CE course content and the presentation focus on the science and/or contemporary practice of speech-language pathology and/or audiology. Attempts to persuade organizations and individuals involved in planning, implementing, or evaluating the course to favor, recommend, purchase, use, or promote a particular product, equipment, device, or service are not permitted. Likewise, attempts to persuade learners of the same are not permitted in courses offered for ASHA CEUs.

3.1.a The Provider must ensure that the sale or promotion of products or services are not the focus of CE course content and related materials.

Product and service promotion should not influence the following decisions:

  1. Identification of learning needs;
  2. Determination of learner outcomes;
  3. Selection and presentation of content;
  4. Selection of all persons and organizations that will be in a position to control the content of the course;
  5. Selection of educational methods;
  6. Assessment of learning outcomes;
  7. Evaluation of the course;
  8. Selection of facilities.

3.1.b Providers who offer courses about products or services or jointly plan courses with an organization that has products or services:

  1. Must provide information in a scholarly manner regarding (1) theoretical aspects related to the product or service and/or (2) the details of operation.
  2. Must disclose prior to the course that there will be limited or no information provided about similar products or services when a course is focused on a specific product or service. Conversely, when a specific product or service is not presented, the use of trade or product names from several companies will be considered.

Course Content Disclosure

The ASHA Approved CE Providers must disclose in promotional efforts when a course to be offered for ASHA CEUs is focused on a specific product or service and there will no or limited information about similar products or services.

Below is sample language that your organization may use as a template or modify to suit your needs.

Sample Disclosure Statement

The (organization) has developed and patented a licensed technology trademarked as the (insert name of product or service). Because there are no other like-kind products available, course offerings will only cover information that pertains to the effective and safe use of the above-named products.

This presentation will focus exclusively on (insert name of product or service) and will not include information on other similar or related (insert product or service).

Frequently Asked Questions About Course Content Disclosure

What is the definition of product?

A product is anything a company, organization, or individual produces or develops for use or purchase by customers.

What does an ASHA Approved CE Provider need to disclose in the case of a course around a particular device; if participants need to bring the device to the course, does that constitute recommending the purchase of that device?

If participants are required to bring a particular device to fully participate in the course, then the Provider must communicate this in the promotional materials prior to registration. Ideally, the Provider should make loaner devices available to participants who do not own the device or fail to bring the device to the course. If a company provides such loaner devices, the Provider should disclose this in-kind support to attendees. Remember to disclose that the course focuses on just one particular device in promotional materials.

If a presenter is the author of a book that he is going to discuss in the course, can the ASHA Approved CE Provider require participants to purchase the book?

If it is recommended or required that the learner purchase a product (e.g., a book) or service in order to participate in a course, this must be communicated to the learner prior to registration. If the course focuses on just that book, then this should be clearly stated in promotional materials. The presenter's disclosure statement must reference his authorship of the book and financial relationship with the publisher.

What does an ASHA Approved CE Provider need to disclose if a cohort of learners requests a presentation about a category of devices (e.g., smoke detectors for the deaf) and only equipment manufacturers are available to provide presentations on these products?

The Provider is encouraged to disclose in the promotional materials the specific devices that will be discussed; the Provider must ensure that the sale or promotion of these devices is not the focus of the presentation. Remember, if the presentation is only going to focus on one particular device, the Provider must disclose that in promotional materials.

Our company has developed and patented a licensed trademarked technology, and we are the only company permitted to sell or manufacture this product in the USA. Can we refer to our product by its specific product trademarked name as long as we disclose prior to the course that there will be no information about other products or similar products?

Yes. The Provider may refer to its product specifically by its trademarked name, but must disclose in the promotional materials that no information will be provided about similar products or services.

Some of our speakers include in their courses materials they have developed for their practice. In some cases, these materials are required for the course; in others, the materials are demonstrated or referenced in the course content and the participant decides if those materials would be beneficial for his or her practice. Would a disclaimer cover it?

If a speaker talks about a product in the course, the course promotional materials should disclose that the course will focus on that product and there will be limited or no information about similar products. The speaker must disclose financial or nonfinancial relationships to the product prior to the course in promotional materials and at the beginning of the course. If participants are required to buy the product to participate in the course, that has to be disclosed prior to registration. Marketing or sale of the materials or products cannot be part of the course.

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