In recognition of Harriet Whelihan, CFM, LEED AP BD+C, UPS
In Fall, 2010 IFMA Atlanta was notified that our international organization would no longer support continuing education units (CEUs). In early 2011, the Chapter Board of Directors voted to pursue CEU accreditation from the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Because the IACET standard focuses on how learning programs are developed, not what they cover, it provides a framework of best practices that can be applied across disciplines and industries. The value to our membership is that each of our programs will qualify for CEU credit and be internationally recognized as meeting proven, rigorous, third-party independent standards.
This accreditation is an ANSI/IACET Standard that measures all aspects of a Continuing Education provider’s program development across ten nationally recognized categories:
- Continuing Education and Training Organization
- Responsibility and Control
- The Learning Environment and Support Systems
- Learning Event Planning
- Learning Outcomes
- Planning and Instructional Personnel
- Content and Instructional Methods
- Assessment of Learning Outcomes
- System for Awarding CEUs and Maintaining Learner Records
- Program Evaluation
Obtaining the accreditation has proven to be a very big challenge since it is usually a program that colleges and universities implement. Therefore our non-profit organization is breaking new ground.
Here is a brief timeline of Harriet’s volunteer efforts and our progress to date (as of September, 2012):
- February – March 2011 – Research to find out what costs were involved.
- March 2011 – Reviewed the application outline and all requirements with the then current board members; including costs and needed documentation for supporting information.
- Spring 2011 – Initial sign-up for four (4) required training courses to learn what was involved and how to prepare the application. Each session was a webinar that included testing in order to pass that section and move on to the next section. This required a bit of reading and study time, usually after hours at night and on weekends.
- Spring 2011 – Conducted three interviews with the IFMA International staff for guidance and to learn how they had successfully implemented some of the practices.
- July 13th, 2011 to July 12th, 2012 – Time to complete the application- 1 year. This involved reading through the chapter documentation, board meeting notes, and charters to fill in the required information. Several pieces of information had to be adjusted since we are a non-profit professional association and do not have paid staff teachers, nor set classroom style learning events.
- July 2012 – The completed application was submitted. The application was 300 pages in length and included details about the chapter’s processes for planning and administering monthly meetings and workshops for the chapter’s educational events.
- August 8, 2012 – We were notified that the application was received.
The application is currently under consideration with initial review comments expected in October