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MCMT Quality Standards

Hands-On Seminars always aims to achieve and maintain high standards of continuing education.

What methods do we use to achieve and maintain our high quality standards?

  • Hands-On Seminars has designed its courses based on the "Standards of Quality for Continuing Education Offerings" document authored by the American Physical Therapy Association. (see below)
  • Hands-On Seminars has designed its courses based on the "Guidelines for Evaluating Continuing Education Programs" document authored by the American Physical Therapy Association. (see below)
  • Hands-On Seminars offers to our course participants an online detailed course evaluation which we analyze and utilize in our frequent course development sessions. We read and analyze every participant comment and we make changes that improve our course constantly.
  • All of Hands-On Seminars courses utilize data from evidence based practice for our treatment approaches.

Standards of Quality for Continuing Education Offerings (APTA)

Continuing education (CE) offerings for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants should meet the following minimal standards of quality:

  • Each CE offering adheres to APTA's policies and positions including the APTA's Code of Ethics, Standards of Practice, and should reflect the language and content of the Guide to Physical Therapist Practice, Second Edition (Phys Ther 2001 81:9-744).
  • Each CE offering is planned in response to needs identified for a particular group of physical therapists and/or the physical therapist assistants.
  • Each CE offering has specific written learning outcomes (objectives) based on identified needs.
  • Each CE offering is planned and conducted by qualified individuals.
  • Each CE offering must be based on referenced scientific evidence, reflect evidence in practice and clearly label personal experience or hypotheses.
  • Each CE offering provides program content and instructional methods based on the specified learning outcomes.
  • Each CE offering includes methods to evaluate a participant's attainment of the specified learning outcomes.
  • The provider of a CE offering furnishes information to potential participants on a CE offering that includes a course description, a course outline specifying the amount of time designated to each content area, a list of course presenters, the number of contact hours or continuing education units (CEUs), the target audience for the CE offering, and the requirements for successful completion of the CE offering.
  • The provider of a CE offering furnishes a supportive learning environment and learning resources.
  • 10.The provider of a CE offering has an established process for developing and administering programs. This process ensures adherence to the Standards of Quality.
  • The provider of a CE offering issues certificates of completion to and records the participation of each individual who qualifies for the award of continuing education units (CEUs).

Guidelines for Evaluating Continuing Education Programs (APTA)

Prior to enrolling in a continuing education program, determine your educational and professional goals and needs. Review promotional materials and brochures, which should contain the following elements:

  • Clearly defined rationale for the program
  • Clearly identified target audience
  • Clearly identified instructional level*
  • Stated learning outcomes
  • Reasonable objectives, based on the length of the program
  • Clearly delineated program description or outline
  • Content is described based on best available evidence in practice
  • Specified limit to the maximum number of participants for a demonstration course
  • Clearly identified faculty qualifications
  • Clearly identified instructional methods that are appropriate to the content
  • Clearly identified source and number of CEUs
  • Reasonable fee compared with other programs
  • Continuing education provider's address and telephone number
  • Clearly identified statement about the provider's fees and cancellation policy
  • Course title that adequately represents the program content
  • Attendee endorsements of the program

During a continuing education program, consider the following components of a high-quality continuing education program:

The Handout Materials:

  • Were comprehensive and up-to-date
  • Contained bibliographic references and original peer reviewed research appropriate to the program content.

The Instructor(s):

  • Established rapport with the audience
  • Reviewed the program objectives
  • Were knowledgeable and provided up-to-date content, including citing scientific sources and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the scientific evidence relevant to the topic.
  • Used appropriate teaching methods for the stated learning outcomes
  • Were open to questions and discussion
  • Showed enthusiasm and generated curiosity for the content
  • Were genuinely interested in the needs and concerns of the audience
  • Used teaching strategies that engaged participants in active learning
  • Used a variety of instructional methods
  • Instructed at a pace that allowed the participants to process the content
  • Maintained a teaching pace that was appropriate for the majority of the audience
  • Occasionally summarized the content, reemphasizing key points
  • Provided feedback to participants and appropriately responded to questions from the audience

Course Assessment Tools:

  • Were available for use by participants to evaluate the program
  • Assessed the achievement of the learning outcomes

The Environment:

  • Was conducive to learning and met the physical needs of the participants
  • Allowed for participant interaction
  • Provided accommodations to individuals with special needs

Instructional Level*:

  • Basic (1) - This level assumes that participants have little information within the areas to be covered so that the focus of the activity is a general orientation and increased awareness.
  • Intermediate (2) - This level assumes that the participants have a general familiarity with the topic, so it focuses on increased understanding and application.
  • Advanced (3) - This level assumes thorough familiarity with the topic and focuses on advanced techniques, recent advances, and future directions.
  • Various (0) - This category indicates that a single level cannot be determined. It is intended for programs in which the instructional level may vary.

SS: An important component of any continuing education offering should be its emphasis on evidence-based practice. Methods of evaluating the inclusion of evidence throughout the course and its advertising will assist members in choosing courses wisely.

UPDATED 6/8/2010

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