ANCC defines standards for high performance in providing quality continuing nursing education and measures compliance with those standards. Every 2-3 years ANCC updates those standards to ensure continual improvement to the process of awarding contact hours for educational activities. The ANCC Commission on Accreditation has approved revised criteria and streamlined requirements for Approved Providers and Individual Activity Applicants.Revisions were based on Nurse Planner feedback to address concerns regarding documentation burden and redundancy experienced with the 2013 criteria.
Individual Activity Changes
These changes apply to both Individual Activity Applications and the activity files awarded by Approved Provider Units.
Purpose has been revised to 'learning outcome'.
Rationale: Learning outcome better reflects what the learner will be able to do as a result of participating in the activity.
What to do now: Learner outcome statements replace purpose/goal statements. It answers the question: What will the outcome for the learner be as a result of participation in this activity?
The activity "learner outcome statement" reflects the overall reason a particular educational activity is offered. They are derived from the needs assessment and the identified gap that the Planners are attempting to address with the educational activity. It is a statement of intent that describes how the activity will enrich the nurse’s contribution to quality health care and his or her pursuit of professional career goals.
The learner outcome statement: “The learner outcome of this activity is to enable the learner to…” must be provided to learners in writing prior to the start of the activity and the identical learner outcome statement(s) are used wherever it appears in activity documents i.e. disclosures, brochures, and evaluation forms.
Requirement for objectives at the individual activity session level has been removed.
Rationale: Learning outcomes better reflects the overall status of what the learner will be able to do as a result of participating in the activity. Note: Objectives at the session level may still be used if desired; however, they will not be required.
What to do now: The measurable element previously written in session objectives are now part of the learner outcome statement for the entire activity. Use Bloom's Taxonomy verbs when writing learner outcomes in measurable terms. The Planning Committee determines whether to have presenters develop objectives for their sessions that support the learner outcome statements. Objectives are not required for program approval.
For single topic activities, one learner outcome statement may be sufficient.
For programs with 3.25 contact hours or less, global learning outcomes are acceptable. Individual sessions do not require individual learner outcomes but should address the global outcome(s).
For multi-topic activities and large conferences with 3.26 contact hours or more, global and individual learning outcomes are required. Global measurable learner outcome statements cover key categories of content. Individual presenters create content based on the expected learner outcomes developed by the Planning Committee.
Requirement to document qualifications (biographical disclosure) of individuals involved in planning or presenting an educational activity is removed (Exception: requirement for biographical information maintained for Nurse Planner and content expert for individual activity applicant); no changes to documentation related to conflict of interest (COI).
Rationale: Providers can determine appropriate faculty to plan and/or present educational activities.
What to do now: The Nurse Planner is responsible for ensuring that all individuals who have the ability to control or influence the content of an educational activity disclose all relevant relationships with any commercial interest, including, but not limited to, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, and/or content reviewers.
Requirements for Joint Providership as the responsibilities inherent of the Provider awarding contact hours. Specific requirements related to delegation of tasks have been removed.
Rationale: Organizations may collaborate with other organizations (with the exception of commercial interest organizations) to plan educational activities. The responsibility of compliance with the approval criteria will rest with the Provider awarding contact hours. Specific requirements related to delegation of tasks have been removed.
What to do now: The Nurse Planner is responsible for compliance with the DNA Approval Program criteria when an activity is jointly provided. All materials related to the educational activity, including marketing materials, must clearly reflect the Provider responsible for awarding contact hours.
Learners must be informed of the Provider of the educational activity and all other organizations that participated in joint planning the activity.
The requirement that the approval statement stand on its own line of text.
Rationale: New methods of advertising and activity formatting required flexibility in placement of the approval statement.
What to do now: Use the appropriate approval statement but it may be included with other text.
All requirements related to Sponsorship have been removed.
Rationale: Support from noncommercial interest organization in the form of monetary or in-kind support can be managed appropriately by the Provider without additional documentation requirements.
What to do now: A Sponsorship agreement will not be required; however, may be prudent business practice to utilize one.
Reduced the total number of criteria narratives for Self-Study from 37 items to 24 items
Approved Provider Changes
Activity revisions apply also for Approved Provider activity documentation.
- Organizational Overview: 12 items to 11 items
- Structural Capacity: 7 items to 3 items
- Educational Design Process: 13 items to 7 items
- Quality Outcomes: 5 items to 3 items
Rationale: Items removed from criteria include those deemed redundant with existing criteria and those for which evidence did not demonstrably relate to the quality of education provided by the Approved Provider applicant.
What to do now: Use the DNA Approved Provider Application 2015 Criteria when renewing or applying as an Approved Provider.
"Key personnel” are no longer required to be defined as members of an Approved Provider Unit.
Rationale: Responsibility for compliance of an approved organization rests with the Primary Nurse Planner and its Nurse Planners. While key personnel may play valuable roles in organizational operations, the focus of approval criteria reflects the Nurse Planner functions.
What to do now: Complete a DNA Approved Provider Demographic Information Form with the DNA Approved Provider Application 2015 Criteria.