The End of the PDF Certificate

End of the PDF Certificate

On November 29, Web Courseworks’ Thought Leaders webinar series will be joined by Valerie Smothers, Deputy Director at MedBiquitous. MedBiquitous is an international health organization and ANSI-accredited developer of information technology standards for healthcare education and quality improvement and a true community of practice for innovative technologists in health education. In the webinar, entitled “CME in the 21st Century,” Smothers will discuss how MedBiquitous is developing the standards that are bringing CME into the 21st century.

One example is the MedBiquitous Activity Report, a standard for continuing education and Maintenance of Certification (MoC) activity reporting. Major medical organizations have used the activity report to zap certificate information directly from providers to certification boards or organizations, ending the need for practitioners to manage self-reporting of MoC using the insecure and error-prone PDF method.

End of the PDF Certificate


The PDF certificate is disliked by all in the eLearning community – learners, designers, LMS administrators and owners. Certificates are an out-of-date method for tracking and reporting on continuing education and performance improvement. As healthcare continues to move into the 21st century, there is growing momentum for CE and certification activities to provide better quality care for patients. For medical certification boards, verifying continuing education and MoC activities is difficult because PDFs can not be easily put into a database and tracked. Clinicians also struggle with PDFs as a method for tracking their CME credits because many clinicians receive their CE credits from multiple sources and need to transfer the certificates to multiple credentialing and licensing bodies, requiring clinicians to rig up their own organizational strategies for managing this tracking and transferring.

The Activity Report creates a standard XML format for both CE and MoC certificates. Using this standard, organizations and certifying boards can collect and organize certificate data for education and performance improvement activities. This greatly reduces the administrative burden on those involved in the certification process. To hear Smothers discuss the Activity Report in more detail, listen to this interview with Dr. Andy Hicken of Web Courseworks.

To learn more about MedBiquitous, the Activity Report, and other advancing healthcare technology, register for CME in the 21st Century here.

End of the PDF Certificate