High Priority Actions for CE Providers

Changes must be in place by July 1, 2025. Use this checklist [PDF] to assess your organization's readiness.

The updated Standards for ASHA CE Providers and ASHA CE Policies include both new requirements for Providers and changes to existing requirements. The information below highlights areas in which Providers may need to make changes to existing policies and procedures. Each item includes:

  • the action that must be taken or option available to Providers
  • the relevant Standards and/or Policies
  • a rationale explaining the change

Topic Area:

Assessing Outcomes and Determining Satisfactory Completion

ACTION: Update your learner assessment procedures to measure knowledge, skills, competencies, and/or intent-to-change. (Standard 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.3, 6.1.4)

Rationale: Providers must work with planners and instructors to determine the most appropriate assessment method, based on the course learning outcomes. Providers should consider when it might be appropriate to assess the impact of learning on learner performance outside of the course, patient/client outcomes, and service delivery.

ACTION: Review your process for creating satisfactory completion requirements to include assessment of learning outcomes. (Standard 7.1.2)

Rationale: While attendance may be included as one aspect of satisfactory completion of courses, it alone cannot determine if the education is effective. Therefore, attendance is no longer accepted as the sole satisfactory completion requirement. Acceptable satisfactory completion requirements may include quizzes and tests, self-assessment, skill demonstration, case studies, explanation of intent-to-change, and more. This assessment should be something all learners engage in but does not have to be graded.

Content Creation

ACTION: Establish a system to assess how those involved in developing course content remain current in their field. (Standard 4.1.3)

Rationale: The Standard has been updated to reflect that Providers must ensure that those involved in course content creation have appropriate knowledge and expertise and engage in ongoing professional development. Professional development may include taking continuing education courses, engaging in research, mentoring, on-the-job training, and more.

ACTION: Review and update your course creation expectations to include (1) providing learners a balanced view of potential benefits and risks of a treatment or technique and (2) disclosing levels and type of evidence (when applicable). (Standard 4.1.5, 4.1.6)

Rationale: The standard now requires that the learner is provided with the levels and type of evidence behind clinical recommendations presented. All content must inform the learners about potential benefits and risks.

Cooperative Offerings

ACTION: Review and revise your cooperative offering processes and agreements to reflect that you must be significantly and directly involved in course development, as well as implementation and reporting. (Standard 1.2.8)

Rationale: Providers are responsible for complying with all Standards for ASHA CE Providers and ASHA CE Policies when engaging in a cooperative offering. The CEA or other designated individual must be included in all aspects of the course, from course planning through implementation and reporting. The CEA remains the primary point of contact for the cooperative offering and must be able to respond to questions from ASHA CE.

Course Evaluation/Program Improvement

ACTION: Review your program improvement procedures and consider if evaluating every course is useful or if another evaluation approach will better meet the organization’s needs. (Standard 1.2.2)

Rationale: Providers should strive to continuously improve their CE processes and procedures to ensure the provision of high-quality courses. We have removed the requirement that every course needs to be evaluated; however, Providers should determine an appropriate process and timeline for reviewing available needs assessment, learner assessment, and course evaluation data that meets their unique program needs.

ACTION: Ensure that you are sharing feedback with all involved in a course—including planners, instructors, instructional and graphic designers, marketing professionals, and customer service staff. (Course Personnel Feedback; Standard 1.2.2)

Rationale: Feedback from learners and other stakeholders should be collected and shared with all personnel involved, when appropriate. Feedback about not only the course content and instruction but also the course design, website functionality, marketing efforts, and more should be considered. This allows for changes that support the organization’s ongoing program improvement efforts.

Course Promotion

ACTION: Submit your primary promotional materials (those items that learners will see when registering for the course) in the CE Portal. (Primary Promotional Materials)

Rationale: The updated policy clarifies the definition of “primary” promotional materials to be what informs learners about the course and what gives them the immediate ability to register. When submitting courses, it is acceptable to provide a link to a web page that is not yet live or to provide document uploads—as long as the information is complete and accurately reflects what the learner will see. Providers do not need to wait until a course is registered with ASHA CE to start advertising.

ACTION: Communicate to learners—prior to the course—how to indicate special needs. (Special Needs)

Rationale: To best accommodate learner needs, Providers must know about these needs ahead of the start of the course. Learners should be given instructions on how to indicate special needs in promotional materials, during registration, or on other information shared before the course starts. These needs may include hearing or vision support, closed captioning, dietary or facility access needs, and more.

Course Reporting

ACTION: Ask learners if they wish to earn ASHA CEUs. Communicate that when they do this, their information will be sent to ASHA CE. Report only those participants who request that their information be sent. (Standard 7.1.3; Intent to Earn; Record Retention; Verifying Satisfactory Completion)

Rationale: Prior to this change, Providers were not required to get a participant’s permission to transmit their data to ASHA CE. Due to data privacy and security concerns, Providers must now document if a participant intends to earn ASHA CEUs and if that participant wants their information (e.g., name, ASHA ID, address, email, course completion) submitted to ASHA CE. This documentation must be kept along with all other course and participant information.

Provider Policies and Procedures

ACTION: Review and document your CE processes and procedures and retain ownership of and access to this documentation. (Process Documentation)

Rationale: Providers must have documented processes and procedures that they follow when planning, developing, and implementing courses—as well as for all post-course activities (e.g., reporting, ASHA CE rosters, instructor feedback). Accurate, clear, and accessible documentation supports not only compliance with the Standards for ASHA Continuing Education Providers and with the ASHA CE Policies but also high-quality continuing education. Such documentation provides consistency across courses, improves efficiency, and reduces the likelihood of errors. To be beneficial, documented processes and procedures must be shared with and used by all involved in the CE program. There is no expected format for this documentation; Providers should use formats and systems that best meet their unique needs. In situations where the CEA may not be an employee of the Provider organization—such as the use of management companies—the Provider must make it clear in any contracts that process and other related documentation is the property of the Provider organization.

ACTION: Update privacy and security policies to include the records and information of anyone involved in the CE program. (Standard 1.2.4)

Rationale: Standard language has been revised so that the organization’s privacy and security protections include not only learner records, but also those of planners, instructors, and other personnel (e.g., instructional designers, marketing staff). These policies should reflect all relevant laws and regulations.

ACTION: Review intellectual property policies to ensure adherence to all relevant laws and regulations. (Standard 1.2.5)

Rationale: Standard language has been revised to include adherence to relevant laws and regulations.

ACTION: Review and revise professional conduct and non-discrimination policies to ensure that they reflect (1) holding all involved in the CE program to high professional conduct standards and (2) fostering a respectful environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. (Standard 1.2.7)

Rationale: Standard language has been updated to reflect more current terminology and emphasize the need for respect and inclusion.

Provider Responsibilities

ACTION: Review and refine your methods for tracking communication from ASHA CE to ensure a response by stated deadlines. (Responsiveness)

Rationale: Prompt responses to questions from ASHA CE are necessary to ensure that ASHA CE can quickly review and register courses and promptly award ASHA CEUs to learners. Providers should establish methods to flag communications or otherwise ensure a timely review and response. The lack of response may result in a change in Provider status to Inactive.

Record Retention

ACTION: Update record retention policies and processes to keep all course planning and learner completion documentation for at least 4 years. (Standard 1.2.6; Record Retention)

Rationale: The new record retention period for course planning, implementation, and learner information ensures that records are kept for the duration of a learner’s certification maintenance cycle, plus 1 year. It also makes the record retention policy consistent across all Provider data and information. The retention period for course information starts after the end date of the last registered course offering. For learner records, the retention period starts after the end date of the offering. As a result, records may need to be kept for longer than 4 years (e.g., a course has offerings registered for the full 5-year course registration period; records would then be kept for a total of 9 years).

ACTION: Ensure that all appropriate CE personnel can access course and learner records, including documentation backups. (Record Retention)

Rationale: If the CEA is not available, it is imperative that others within the organization have access to relevant course and participant records and can respond to ASHA CE inquiries. The Provider must also ensure that backup records are available in case of data damage, loss, or other compromise. Recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and ransomware attacks, have highlighted the need for Providers to be able to access backup records when originals are not accessible.

Transparency and Disclosure

ACTION: Review course planner and instructor disclosure processes to ensure relevant relationships are identified and mitigated.

OPTION: Although instructor disclosures must still be communicated to learners, it is no longer required that they be separated into distinct financial and non-financial disclosure statements. (Standard 3.2.1; Course Planner and Instructor Disclosure)

Rationale: The updated Standards reflect a philosophical shift in how instructional personnel (including course planners, instructors, content creators, instructional designers, etc.) conflicts of interest are identified, mitigated, and disclosed. Providers should encourage thoughtful consideration and discussion of relevant associations, activities, personal and professional perspectives, and financial relationships that may influence course content and delivery. It should be made clear that only those perspectives or relationships that are relevant and may be seen as having a possible impact on the content or delivery method need to be disclosed. Since these relevant perspectives or relationships may not neatly fit into financial or non-financial descriptions, Providers no longer need to separate them when disclosing to learners. Providers are still expected to note when instructional personnel have nothing to disclose.

OPTION: Requirements 3.3 a and d have been eliminated. Providers should review their financial and in-kind support policies to determine how funds are allocated and disbursed. (Standard 3.3.1, 3.3.2)

Rationale: Payments and other fund disbursements may come from the organization(s) providing support. The following Required Practices have been removed:

3.a. The Provider must make all decisions regarding the allocation and disbursement of funds received from other organizations.

3.d. If payment for planners and instructional personnel is involved, it must come directly from the Provider or cooperative party (or parties) involved in course content development, not from the other organization(s) providing financial or in- kind support for the CE course.

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