Normally this blog is strictly informative. I try to dispel common misconceptions and provide tutorials on various CE Broker functions and services. Here I am taking a different approach. I will still attempt to clarify some misconceptions about the continuing education system in Florida, but I will also write persuasively. Our CE system in Florida is different from all other states, and I am arguing superior to all other states. CE Broker was designed to simplify the process and make life easier for licensees. The functions of our system benefit all of Florida’s healthcare professionals, yet few are shouldering the costs. Subscribers pay and receive the benefits of a subscription, yet all reap additional rewards of having the CE Broker system in place. Here I will compare FL to the other states and demonstrate that for the sake of equity, to reduce disciplinary action, and to eventually lower the costs for all, every licensee should voluntarily subscribe to CE Broker.
All of the other states with CE requirements have similar systems. Boards legislate requirements, post them on their website, and leave them to the licensees to figure out their requirements. The rules regarding your profession’s requirements often appear simple, but when you delve further into them, you will find a plethora of complicated stipulations and conditions.
There are exceptions for everyone. Are you licensed by exam or by endorsement? Are you in your first license cycle or perhaps your fifth cycle? Do you have multiple licenses? May you take courses from a State Board-approved provider, or can it be from a nationally approved Board? Do you have a national certification? What if you get your national certification in the middle of a license cycle? Do you have any specialties or extra certifications, and do they affect your CE requirements? The list goes on and on.
If you call the Boards, you may get different answers from different people. You may have your call forwarded from office to office and be left a little frustrated.
When State Boards conduct their audits, they select licensees at random and demand proof of CE compliance. You must collect your continuing education certificates, make copies, and send them to the Board. If you cannot find your certificates, you must immediately contact the educational provider who offered the course and hopes that they have a digital copy or duplicate of your certificate. Then you can only pray that you did not overlook any fine print and that the courses you took actually qualify for your personal requirements. If they do not, you will likely be fined and have to pay for and attend additional CE courses.
The Florida CE system
The Florida Department of Health uses CE Broker as its official tracking system. This means that we track the continuing education status and progress of every healthcare professional in the state. We dedicated years to designing and programming the CE Broker system. No detail could be overlooked. Our experts had to account for every exception for every profession. Still, the Boards make changes that must be configured into our current software. Our CE experts dutifully monitor the Boards’ websites for changes to continuing education requirements and maintain a Help Desk so that licensees can get answers with minimal wait time. We have invested incalculable time and resources into creating and maintaining a system that works efficiently for Florida’s healthcare professionals. Meanwhile, CE Broker does not receive funding from the Department of Health.
And all benefits! If your continuing education transcripts are complete in CE Broker, you will be exempt from the Dept of Health’s audit even if you are not a subscriber. You will not have to worry about finding and submitting your certificates, being fined, or paying for and attending additional CE courses. Unlike other states where your compliance status has nothing to do with your eligibility to be audited, if you are diligent in completing your CEs, you will never be audited (with some exceptions – PMD, EMT, and CNA do not use CE Broker for their audits even though we do maintain their records). This applies to almost all licensees in FL, whether you are helping to fund the system or not. CE Broker supports itself with subscription services to individuals and healthcare employers, yet we serve all.
Educational providers in Florida report course completions to CE Broker so that FL’s licensees do not have to. If you are unaware of the CE Broker system but successfully manage to complete your hours with FL-approved providers, you will benefit from the audit shield while subscribers fund this unique system. Again other states do not offer this luxury to their licensees.
So in order to maintain the CE Broker system, it is only fair that all contribute and shoulder their fair share of the costs. However, CE Broker has always been opposed to forcing all licensees in Florida to contribute and pay for an account (even though this idea was once considered in our formative years). We believe there is enough value in our subscriptions that a sufficient number of licensees will understand the benefits and voluntarily subscribe.
Many do not understand how complex Florida’s CE requirements are and how much time and energy are expended to program and maintain the system for Florida’s 1 million healthcare professionals.
Our goal is to make disciplinary action against non-compliant licensees a thing of the past. Our software and CE experts can provide everything you need to fulfill your continuing education requirements and avoid the DOH audit. We believe that if every licensee purchased a subscription each year (that’s only $29/year), this goal would be entirely feasible.