In 2003 CE Broker launched its electronic continuing education tracking system to meet the needs of a Florida Department of Health. This tracking system has since helped the Department to increase CE/CME compliance while greatly reducing audit-related expenses. After a decade of success, CE Broker began identifying the need for better compliance management and auditing software throughout the regulatory community. Boards, commissions and agencies across the country are experiencing the same CE management struggles experienced by Florida boards before they partnered with CE Broker. These CE struggles are regardless of the type of profession they regulate. Out of that visible need, CE Broker for Boards was established to begin offering our unique, public-private partnership found in Florida to all professional licensing regulators, free of cost.
What is a continuing education tracking system?
Whether your organization requires mandatory continuing education, continuing competency or continuing professional development, a tracking system and its purpose remains the same. A comprehensive tracking system is designed to streamline all compliance processes into an easy, electronic workflow within a centralized database.
How does it help?
For licensed professionals, managing continuing education is about as tedious and time consuming as managing their taxes. Just like tax management, CE management is a necessary component of compliance. The difference though is that the use of comprehensive technology is much less common within licensee compliance. A continuing education tracking system like CE Broker can help bridge that gap, and transform archaic methods of compliance to user-friendly, electronic workflows. Below are the top three pain points for which we’ve seen a CE tracking system provide solutions.
- High manual hours & cost inefficiency – “Time is money,” says the old adage. This remains to be true and can be easily observed within compliance audits where a lack of technology can cause seemingly simple tasks to absorb massive amounts of time. Many old processes are outdated and cause for unnecessary expenses, all while producing lackluster audit rates. Many boards consider themselves lucky if they have the available resources (time, budget, etc.) to audit an uninspiring 3% of their population.
In traditional CE audits, board staff are required to spend countless hours preparing and mailing audit letters to their audited population. When the flood of audit paperwork starts to appear at the board, the staff must then meticulously sort and organize that mountain of paperwork into something manageable. Many times the CE documents that licensees submit are either unacceptable or represent an incomplete CE portfolio which is not even realized until late in the auditing process.
After what seems an eternity, and ALL information has been gathered and sorted, board staff can finally verify which licensees are in compliance. After the battlefield of incoming paper work is over and the dust is settled, the work is still not done. Many times Attorney’s and enforcement need to spend huge amounts of time to prepare and process failed files which only adds onto the large time sink of traditional audits.
The Florida Department of Health has saved an estimated $515,000 annually from using CE Broker’s no-cost tracking system. Staff hours, postage, fax/phone expenses, printing, office supplies, enforcement and compliance monitoring are just some of the estimated values of that large savings. With CE Broker, staff can turn audits from messy, cluttered paperwork into quick, accurate verifications of compliance. All expenses associated with auditing can be eliminated by routing communication, uploading documentation, auditing and enforcement through the tracking system.
- Decentralized data & unclear workflows – It is common for organizations to struggle with decentralized data and unclear workflows. Regulators experience these issues in a similar way. With manual audit methods, board staff do not have any formalized tracking of data for licensee CE status, educational provider applications or reactivating licenses. Data can be in numerous places without an easy or clear way for staff to retrieve it. Without a comprehensive system to handle all compliance exchanges, there will always be room for mistakes and delays to happen.
In addition to decentralized data, it is common for functions of the board to route to many different staff members. For instance, educational provider applications and approvals can exchange two or three hands before having the correct approval. Mistakes and errors are bound to happen with this kind of unclear workflow.
Electronic CE tracking systems are not just cost efficient and time savers, they are also an invaluable tool to streamline workflows for all compliance processes and bring staff together into a single, centralized database. Helping to clearly lay out approval processes, verifications and communication with a few points and clicks of the mouse, CE Broker has helped regulators clarify workflows and centralize data for over 12 years.
- Licensee Procrastination- It’s not a surprise why much of the licensee population is unenthusiastic about continuing education or compliance. Despite offering numerous resources, licensing authorities find that much of their licensee population is either misinformed of CE requirements and/or grossly confused on the topic of CE in general. It’s not uncommon for these licensees to procrastinate until the last minute to do their continuing education, and often times do not verify what CE is required/approved. In fact, many completely disregard CE until they are within last months of license expiration. During those months, board phone lines are ringing off the hook with all different types of compliance questions.
Licensed professionals are driven to learn through both professional experience and continuing education. Stressing about CE requirements for renewal shouldn’t be part of their job. A tracking system like CE Broker empowers licensees to master their compliance and become pros at managing it. The system can lift the burden off of the licensee, and give them the tools that convert data into a clear list of what they’ve done, what they need, and when it’s required all year round. If they have any compliance questions, they can always reach CE Broker’s support center where they can speak with a CE expert which helps to keep them informed. Offering a fully-hosted CE tracking system isn’t just for board staff, but to empower licensed professionals with the absolute best web & mobile apps available.
CE Broker is the full package for streamlining your continuing education process, from beginning to end. We leave no stone unturned and ensure that everyone is on the same page for what is expected in regards to licensure and continuing education requirements. Our experience in Florida as the official CE management tool over the past 12 years has really helped us gain confidence as experts in the field. If you want to cut costs associated with CE audits, increase compliance of your licensees and improve communications across the board; CE Broker is the answer!