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CE Activity Development Guidance

The Defense Health Agency J-7 Continuing Education Program Office (DHA J-7 CEPO) is the accredited continuing education provider for health care professionals who support/care for U.S. active duty service members, reservists, military veterans, and their families. This guidance is provided to assist you in developing continuing education (CE)/continuing medical education (CME) and Certificate of Attendance (CA) educational activities.

CE Accreditation: Interdisciplinary Audience

The activity will provide accredited CE for the health professions listed below. When developing content for an interdisciplinary audience of health professionals, please keep in mind the multi-disciplinary nature of the participants and consider content that would be applicable to all. Whenever possible, the education should focus on the team and their relationships to affect patient care.

  • CE for health care professionals consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a health care professional uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CE is the body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the scope of practice.
  • CE for health care professionals assist in carrying out their responsibilities more effectively and efficiently.
  • Each CE activity should address certain key principles as delineated below. These principles are designed to enhance the awareness, knowledge and skills that a clinician needs to provide quality services to patients.

BRIDGE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE GAPS

MEET EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

ACHIEVE IMPROVED RESULTS

Fair Balance

The content or format of a CE activity or its related materials must promote improvements of quality in health care and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest. A product or service must be presented in a fair and balanced manner with other similar products or services. Presentations must give a balanced view of therapeutic options. Presenting Faculty should use scientific or generic names in referring to products in their lectures or enduring materials. Should it be necessary to use a trade name, then the trade names of all similar products within a class should be used. Presentations that promote a brand, device, treatment, or trade name over others in a category cannot be accredited for CE.

Conflict of Interest

Conflicts of Interests (COIs) are situations where personal or financial considerations compromise judgment, or where the situation may appear to provide the potential for professional judgment to be compromised. COIs may arise in CE/CME since the potential exists for professional judgment and practice to be biased by an economic interest in, or personal benefit from, professionally related commercial enterprises.  

NOTE: CEPO is unable to provide CE/CME accreditation support for an activity that is simultaneously receiving CE/CME accreditation support with another CE/CME provider.  

Activity Content

Content must be:

  • Evidence-based
  • Presented without promotion or bias
  • No less than 60 minutes in duration
    • This may include a question and answer (Q&A) portion
  • Team focused
  • Applicable to practice

Special Note for Enduring (also known as Home Study) Activities
For any non J-7 hosted enduring activities, the course content will not be stored within CEPO’s CE Management System (CMS). The content must be hosted on another source; learners will then complete their posttest and course evaluation within the CMS.

Special Note for Clinical Communities Speaker Series (CCSS) Live Event Unanswered Q&A Questions
Presenting faculty that presented at a live CCSS event, may provide responses to the unanswered questions post-activity. CEPO will submit the responses to DHA public affairs office (PAO) for approval. The approved responses will be included in CEPO's CMS as an additional resource for the enduring activity.

Content Validation

  1. Information addressing clinical medicine in a CE activity are based on evidence that is within the profession’s scope of practice.
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported or used in CE in support or justification of a patient care recommendation should conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.

Activity Evaluation

In accordance with accreditation guidelines, learners must complete a post-activity evaluation to earn CE/CME credits. These evaluations measure how effective the educational activity was in closing the identified learning gaps, improving competence, performance, and patient care practices. This information enables planners to identify shortcomings in the educational activity or barriers to implementing changes that learners experienced and to address these in future CE/CME activities.

Learners will be asked to evaluate effectiveness of the activity in achieving its educational purpose and objectives. Every identified learning objective will be evaluated separately, e.g., eight learning objectives will result in eight evaluation questions. All identified presenting faculty and authors will be evaluated separately. 

  • Government/military personnel must be the sponsor of the planned CE/CME activity. 
  • Obtain Content Reviewers (Reviewers should be Subject Matter Experts who are independent from the planned educational activity). 
  • One Content Review per presentation is required.
  • Content Reviews are only accepted from the 16 disciplines that DHA, J-7, CEPO is accredited to award CE/CME (i.e. DHA, J-7, CEPO is not an accredited CE/CME provider for Respiratory Therapists; therefore, submitting a Content Review completed by a Respiratory Therapist will not satisfy this requirement). 
  • For multi-session activities with a target audience that includes medical (i.e., Physician, Nurses, Pharmacist) and mental health professionals (i.e., Psychologist, Counselor, Social Worker), content review from both medical and mental health disciplines are required (i.e. If your event has two presentations and the target audience includes physicians, nurses, and psychologists; you can choose for a physician to review one presentation and a psychologists to review the other.). Please diversify the content review to reflect your target audience.
  • In addition, all Planning Committee Members, reviewers, presenting faculty***, or other contributors must set up an account in CEPO’s CMS *.  Also, they must complete and provide:
  • Signed Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest **

*NOTE:   All presenting faculty must set up an account in the CMS to submit required info & forms 

**NOTE:   For all those involved (i.e. content developers, reviewers, moderators, etc.)

***NOTE:  For events with more than 10 presenting faculty, the CE/CME Event POC is required to maintain current CE/CME documentation on all presenting faculty that teach in their facility and maintain the records for 1 year following the course’s completion date. Records must be provided to CEPO within 24 hours of the notification of the request.  

  • For live events only, return sign-in sheets within 24 business hours after conclusion of the event. 
  • Planning Committee Members are required to attend the Monthly Interprofessional Continuing Education Planning Meeting.  If they are unable to attend a meeting, a representative must attend on their behalf. 
  • Methods for submitting presentation materials:
  • If presenting faculty are using Power Point slides for their presentation, please follow the guidance below. For large files, please submit presentation slides through https://safe.apps.mil.
  • If presenting faculty does not have a Common Access Card (CAC), please request that DHA, J-7, CEPO sends a “Request a Drop-off” via Department of Defense (DoD) SAFE. Files are automatically deleted from DoD SAFE 7 days following upload.

CE/CME Events POC Responsibilities

  • Government/military personnel must be the sponsor of the planned CE/CME activity. 
    • Contractors who are presenting materials must work with a Government/Military Lead presenter.
  • Obtain Content Reviewers (Reviewers should be Subject Matter Experts who are independent from the planned educational activity).
  • One Content Review per presentation is required.
  • Content Reviews are only accepted from the 16 disciplines that DHA, J-7, CEPO is accredited to award CE/CME (i.e. DHA, J-7, CEPO is not an accredited CE/CME provider for Respiratory Therapists; therefore, submitting a Content Review completed by a Respiratory Therapist will not satisfy this requirement).
  • For multi-session activities with a target audience that includes medical (i.e., Physician, Nurses, Pharmacist) and mental health professionals (i.e., Psychologist, Counselor, Social Worker), content review from both medical and mental health disciplines are required (i.e. If your event has two presentations and the target audience includes physicians, nurses, and psychologists; you can choose for a physician to review one presentation and a psychologists to review the other.). Please diversify the content review to reflect your target audience. 
  • In addition, all Planning Committee Members, reviewers, presenting faculty, or other contributors must set up an account in CEPO’s CMS * to complete and provide:
    • Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest **
  • In addition, all presenting faculty are required to provide (file name should be saved with event name, document type, and presenting faculty last name, i.e. CCSS AUG_Disclosure Form_Smith):***
    • Current Curriculum Vitae or professional résumé **
    • Signed Continuing Education Agreement **
    • Signed Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest **

* NOTE: All presenting faculty must set up an account in the CMS to submit required info & forms

**NOTE: For all those involved (i.e. content developers, reviewers, moderators, etc.)

***NOTE: For events with more than 10 presenting faculty, the CE Event POC is required to maintain current CE documentation on all presenting faculty that teach in their facility and maintain the records for 1 year following the course’s completion date. Records must be provided to CEPO within 24 hours of the notification of the request.

  • For live events only, return sign-in sheets within 24 business hours post event
  • Planning Committee Members are required to attend the Biweekly Interprofessional Continuing Education Planning Meeting. If they are unable to attend a meeting, a representative must attend on their behalf.
  • Methods for submitting presentation materials:
    • If presenting faculty are using Power Point slides for their presentation, please follow the guidance below. For large files, please submit presentation slides through https://safe.apps.mil.
    • If presenting faculty does not have a Common Access Card (CAC), please request that DHA J-7 CEPO sends a “Request a Drop-off” via Department of Defense (DoD) SAFE. Files are automatically deleted from DoD SAFE 7 days following upload.

Required Faculty Credentials

Presenting faculty and content reviewers must hold the academic credentials and commensurate experience in their profession in order to conduct and review educational activities accredited for CE/CME. Essentially, presenting faculty and content reviewers, i.e. deliverers of the activity, must have documented experience, education, and training to allow learners to meet the activity objectives. The expertise and competence must be demonstrated by some combination of the following: relevant educational experience such as holding a doctoral degree in their field, previous teaching experiences, years of clinical experience and publications in areas relevant to the content being presented. Presenting faculty must demonstrate high standards of professional conduct to include not discriminating against learners on the basis of gender, age, socioeconomic or ethnic background, sexual orientation, or disability, in accordance with their respective professional code of conduct.  

Presenting faculty/content reviewer qualifications and criteria: 

  • Education:  
    • Presenting faculty and Content Reviewers: Masters required, Doctorate preferred 
    • All others: Bachelors required and at least 20 years of relevant experience 
      Training: At least five years’ experience in the field of expertise (please secure a co-presenter that meets the educational/training requirements if you do not have a minimum of five years of relevant experience) 

Required Presenting Faculty and Content Reviewer Credentials

The following items are required and should be submitted via CEPO’s CMS:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae or professional résumé * ***
  • Signed Continuing Education Agreement ****
  • Signed Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest *** ****
  • Professional Photo (Active Military members must submit a professional photo in uniform) **
  • Biographical Statement (150-word maximum, and should include at a minimum, the faculty’s full name, credentials, and three to five statements regarding relevant experience and training) **

*NOTE: All faculty, whether presenting faculty, moderators, planners, and/or application submission POCs, must set up an account in CEPO’s CMS and submit the items listed above.

**NOTE: Only for events that CEPO provides logistical support

*** NOTE: Required for all content reviewers 

****NOTE: All presenting faculty should save documents: file name should be saved with event name, document type, and presenting faculty last name, i.e. CCSS AUG_Disclosure Form_Smith. 

CE/CME Material Requirements

All CE/CME Materials are due 45 calendar days prior to the date of the activity, unless it’s for a two or more day Conference, then CE/CME Materials are due 60 calendar days prior to the first activity date.

Presenting faculty must:

  • Obtain legal permissions required to present content that is not your own, including citations and resources to use copyrighted photos, graphics, charts, or tables. *
  • Obtain DHA Public Affairs Office approval before public release - including local public affairs office (PAO) approval if necessary. *
  • The requirement is for a U.S. government public affairs officer from the MHS to approve the brief/educational material prior to public release. **
  • Written documentation is required that demonstrates PAO approval.
  • * Must make updates/edits to presentation at least 7 days prior to event.

* NOTE: The MHS U.S. government public affairs officer’s review looks for specific things, i.e. implied US Government endorsement, branding, copyright violations, etc. When health-related topics are discussed, many times a review by MHS subject-matter experts is required to ensure the briefings fit within MHS/DHA policy/procedures.

**NOTE: For Public Release means anything that is intended or may be released in the public domain (such as a publically accessible website, an adobe webinar, etc.).

Summary/Key Takeaways

  • Three to five bulleted statements containing the most important information the audience will take away from the activity.

Posttest questions

  • Questions should have only one correct answer
  • Questions cannot be opinions or subjective assessments
  • No more than 10% true/false or yes/no response questions are permitted (one per 60-min)
  • For multiple choice questions, please provide four answer choices only.
  • Construct questions directly from the information presented: learners should be able to find the correct answer within the slides, article, or video segment
  • Please indicate the correct answer with an (*) or highlight
  • In-person/Virtual/hybrid activities require a minimum of 10 questions per day.
  • Enduring activities require a minimum of 10 questions.
  • Multi-session (a la carte) activities require a minimum of 2 questions per session.
  • NOTE: Learners must score at least an 80% or higher on the posttest to earn CE/CME credit.

Promotional Materials 

  •  Promotional materials must clearly indicate how potential learners may obtain the following information prior to enrolling in a CE/CME program:
    • Educational objectives 

Educational objectives

  • A description of the target audience and the instructional level of the activity (introductory, intermediate, or advanced) 
  • Schedule 
  • Cost, including all fees and the refund/cancellation policy 
  • Presenting faculty credentials, including relevant professional degree and discipline(s)  
  • The number of CE/CME credits offered for each activity 
  • A clear indication of any activities within a program that are not offered for CE/CME credit 
  • Instructions for obtaining CE/CME credit (i.e., complete the online posttest and evaluation within 14 days of the activity) 
  • PLEASE NOTE: Learners must register in CEPO’s CMS within 24 hours after the start of the course/activity to be eligible for CE/CME credit. 
  • Must make clear to all potential learners, prior to registration, any known commercial support for CE/CME programs or presenting faculty. Any other relationships that could be reasonably construed as a conflict of interest also must be disclosed. If there is no conflict of interest or commercial support, then that should be clearly stated. 
  • Must include the following language on your promotion materials, i.e. flyers,etc. This Continuing Education (CE) activity is provided through DHA, J-7
  • If seeking Ethics CE through CCMC, the “CCMC Code of Professional Conduct for Case Managers” must be included and referenced within the body of the content and noted in the Promotional Material(s). 

Learning Objectives

  • Provide a minimum of three learning objectives per day
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are applying for APA credit for a multi-session activity, please submit at least two Learning Objectives per session.  
  • If Ethics CEs are given, make sure this is reflected in the learning objectives.
  • Learning objectives should be measurable; e.g., “the learner will be able to, differentiate, compare, explain” etc.
  • Keep the following important points in mind when writing learning objectives
  • Learning objectives should be derived from the overall purpose of the activity.
  • Learning objectives must be written with action verbs (see below).
  • Vague or easily misinterpreted verbs that should be avoided. This includes know, understand, learn, appreciate, believe, etc.
  • Learning Objectives should be enumerated, no bullets.
  • Action verbs should not be repeated.

Presenters Must Do the Following...

Summary, Take Away Points

Posttest Questions

Promotional Materials

Learning Objectives

Presentation Requirements

If you will be using PowerPoint slides for your presentation, please follow the guidance below.

  • For large files, please submit presentation slides through https://safe.apps.mil.
  • If you have a CAC, please request that DHA, J-7, CEPO sends a “Request a Drop-off” via Department of Defense (DoD) SAFE.
  • Files are automatically deleted from DoD SAFE 7 days following upload.

 

Compliance Slides

Compliance Information

If you will not use slides for your presentation, convey the following information to participants before you begin.

For PowerPoint Presentations

For Tabletop Exercise/Case Presentations

Grand Rounds Activities

Ethics Course Requirements 

508 Compliance

Electronic information should be created with people of all abilities and disabilities in mind. Presentations are required to be 508 compliant.

For electronic versions of presentations and materials to be disseminated:

  • Every slide must have a title.
  • Use an accessible font: Ariel, Calibri, Tahoma, Trebuchet or Verdana.
  • Font size should be at least 18 pt. in PowerPoint and 11 pt. in MS Word and Excel.
  • When using colored text or a colored background behind text, keep the contrast high between the two, e.g., light text on a dark background or dark text on a light background.
  • Keep backgrounds simple and images clear and crisp.
  • All images, tables, charts, and algorithms require a brief description. Enter the description in the note section for that slide, to be used in Alt-text.
  • Do not use animated transitions between slides.
  • Do not use animation on a slide, unless it is “On-Click” (the text or graphic appears quickly when you click the mouse).

Branding

DHA presenters must use the approved DHA slide presentation template. Guest speakers (all non-DHA presenters) may use their own organization’s background template; the template design must remain consistent throughout the presentation.

References and Citations

All presentations should adhere to the format, reference, and citation style of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) manual – Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition, prior to submission. Presentations that do not adhere to APA style publication manual will be returned for correction.

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