Standards for the EIC Continuing Education Unit
One EIC-CEU is defined as: Ten hours of participation in a formal continuing education program organised in compliance with prescribed standards ensuring responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. One CEU is worth 10 PDHs (Professional Development Hours).
The standards described below are adapted from those of the International Association of Continuing Education and Training for the Canadian engineering community by the EIC.
Compliance is assessed by the Institute which, through its member societies, provides the necessary technical expertise for the verification of instructor credentials and effective learning activity processes.
CEU Learning Activity Program Standards
1. Each learning activity is a planned response to educational needs that have been identified for a target audience.
For example, the following steps should be considered to assess the training needs and develop a learning activity:
- determine training requirements and desired learning outcomes;
identify course provider based on skills and abilities to deliver learning outcomes;
- design course content and instructional methods based on needs analysis;
- schedule the activity based on learners’ needs, resources available for providing the learning program and the projected outcome;
- prepare a participant feedback questionnaire and a post-assessment action plan/follow-up.
2. Each activity has clear and concise written statements of learning outcomes.
This statement must specify what individuals will achieve from participating in the learning activity. The outcome objective should emerge from the needs assessment and provide the learning framework which focuses on specific goals.
3. Qualified instructional personnel are included in the planning and delivery of each activity.
Program planners, administrators and qualified instructors must co-operate to develop the best course content possible. Each has a particular role and collectively, they are responsible for:
- Needs assessment
- Selection of course instructor
- Content and instructional methods
- Course delivery
- Learner outcome verification (testing)
- Course evaluation
In the case of non-members/partners, the curriculum vitae of the instructor should accompany each course proposal in order to have a continuing education activity approved for CEU accreditation.
4. Content and instructional methods are appropriate for the intended learning outcomes.
The amount of time available for a course influences what can be accomplished. Short courses limit an instructor to little more than the provision of information. Time is needed for skill building and the processing of information in a meaningful way. In either case, the length of presentation must be balanced with content. Furthermore, the course must be tailored to the needs of the potential audience.
Instructional methods should be tailored to the learners’ needs, and to instructor requirements to meet the objectives of the course. Instructors should select and use teaching methods and strategies that prepare participants to demonstrate the projected learning outcomes at the end of the course.
5. Requirements for satisfactory completion:
The EIC requires that participants demonstrate they have attained the planned learning outcomes. How this is done should be an integral part of course planning. Where individual proficiency is a goal, the participant must demonstrate the skill or knowledge acquired in a particular course. Where individual proficiency is not a specific goal, group demonstrations may be carried out. Oral or written examinations may in some cases be the best method to adequately evaluate learning outcomes. Learning demonstrations throughout a course are recommended to keep participants actively involved.
6. Each learning activity is evaluated by the participants:
Course providers must have a systematic evaluation procedure to know if and where improvements are needed. Course evaluations should provide answers to the following questions:
- Did the learning activity accomplish what was planned?
- If not, why?
- How should the activity be redesigned if it is to be offered again?
- What was learned from the evaluations that would be useful to activity renewals?
A Learning Activity Provider is required to have an identified unit, group or individuals with clearly defined responsibilities for the development and administration of Continuing Education Activities.
These individuals are responsible for providing the EIC with the necessary information for the registry and for obtaining the necessary consent from participants to have their participation results recorded in the registry.
8. Learning Environment:
Learning activity providers are responsible for arranging the appropriate environment and support services to facilitate effective learning.