What exactly is an Audit? Why does CES perform Audits?
Nikitia Forest, MA Manager, Continuing Education Quality Programs
The mission of the AIA/CES Quality Assurance Audit is to identify and promote honest, efficient, effective and fully accountable CES Providers. The program is designed to help Providers accomplish their objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating and improving their effectiveness in the areas of administration, delivery, content development and promotion.
The AIA CES Team strives to:
determine whether the Provider is meeting our administrative standards,
ensure timely attendance reporting for AIA members,
determine if the Provider’s delivery of continuing educational courses complies with AIA/CES policies and procedures,
determine the honesty and accuracy of promotional materials and
recommend necessary improvements in each of the above areas.
Reasons for Audits
All AIA/CES Registered Providers agree to quality checks by AIA/CES. The goal of AIA/CES is to audit or monitor all Providers at least once every five years. Providers to be audited may be chosen by:
1. Random selection;
2. When a complaint has reached AIA/CES staff from members or other Providers;
3. By request of a state licensing board who may ask for a quality assurance audit; or
4. By request of a Continuing Education Committee member.
The State’s Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) requirement, in order to maintain a license, increases each year. The AIA and state licensing boards work closely to identify ways to ensure that the quality and integrity of approved continuing education courses are maintained. AIA/CES must therefore, provide assurance to the states that the CES Registered Providers offer quality continuing education courses. AIA/CES efforts to ensure the continuing education content and soundness of the courses, whether proactive or reactive, are what are referred to as quality assurance.
All Provider procedures, policies, and quality assurance guidelines are located in the CES Provider Manual and on CES Discovery under the Resources tab.
Below are some key “Quality Red Flags” that may cause a Provider or course to be audited:
Product endorsement (demonstrations or sales presentations) offering CES credit
Company or product identification during the education portion of a course
Unregistered or incorrectly registered courses
Failure to report AIA member attendance within 10 business days
Failure to issue certificates to non-members and requesting members
Misrepresentation of Learning Units to be awarded
False or misleading advertisements
Policy and procedure infractions
Failure to get all speakers to sign the Speaker Agreement
Failure to use course evaluations
Failure to use the Quality Assurance slides
Knowingly allowing non-providers to use your provider number
Be proactive in following AIA/CES approved provider policies. Compliance with the AIA/CES Provider program requirements allows you to remain a Provider in good standing and builds your reputation as a leader in continuing education by allowing you to maintain the AIA/CES approval.
For more information on AIA CES Audits please review the AIA CES Audit Guide 2012.