certificates and performance improvementNo one involved with continuing education—not learners, not designers, certainly not LMS product owners—likes certificates. One of our best attended webinars ever was The Certificate is Obsolete: New Ways to Track PD, CE and Certification, which covered a couple of new options for reporting on learning activities, specifically Mozilla Open Badges and xAPI. Watch that webinar (follow the link) for my complete tirade on how certificates are an out-of-date way of performing the very important job of tracking continuing education and performance improvement.

Shortly after presenting in that webinar I went to the annual meeting of MedBiquitous. MedBiq is a group of innovators who create standards for, and generally push the boundaries of, medical education technology. I learned there, to my surprise, about another effort to get past the certificate: MedBiquitous’s Activity Report standard. Major medical organizations are already zapping certificate information directly from providers to certification organizations using this technology that supports this standard.

I wanted to learn more, so I set up an interview with Valerie Smothers, Deputy Director of MedBiquitous and an expert on healthcare education, competence assessment, and quality improvement. I’m glad I did, as I learned that the Activity Report standard was created specifically for quality improvement and MOC Part IV (i.e., performance improvement) activities.

In part one of the interview, Valerie tells us about MedBiquitous, the Activity Report standard, and the problem(s) with PDF-based certificates.

In part two, we get into the guts of the Activity Report: how it works, what information it includes, and who’s using it (the American Osteopathic Association, American Board of Pediatrics, and American Board of Surgery, among others).

And in part three, we discuss the educational benefits of dumping the certificate, which include more time for learners, and more transparency.

If you’re interested in learning more about MedBiquitous and what it’s doing to continue moving continuing education in the health professions into the 21st century, we’re very excited to have Valerie slated for our Managing eLearning webinar series! Register here.

continuing medical education