Dear Dr. NAACLS,
What do NAACLS reviewers consider “continuing professional education “?
Clueless in Caledonia, MO
If you are a current Program Director, or have worked alongside a retiring Program Director and are looking to assume that position, you know that there are many skills required of that position. With that in mind, our reviewers and committee members want you to have flexibility when it comes to what resources can be utilized in your development as a program director.
International, National, Regional or State meetings can be beneficial. Many times these meetings will offer a wide variety of speakers and topics that help you evolve as a Program Director. In addition, these meetings often provide valuable time to meet with peers and discuss how they approach their role as a Program Director.
Reviewers would be interested in seeing any kind of work done to develop as an educator. Student learning tactics, classroom modeling ideas, or workshops in educational methodology would be seen as ways to improve as an educator, and therefore acceptable as professional development as a Program Director.
Most Program Directors directly teach students in the areas of his/her expertise and must stay current. Continuing education that targets topics in the practice of the clinical laboratory sciences is also appropriate.
We have many Program Directors that have also engaged in furthering their personal education as a lab scientist, pursuing an advanced degree, participating in journal clubs or a structured review of journal articles related to an area in which the Program Director is engaged. If this is well documented, this is something our reviewers would see as professional development.
These are just a few, general examples. Really our reviewers want to see a Program Director interacting with others, even if only through a webinar or other nontraditional delivery systems, to encourage Program Directors to discover new, innovative techniques to use within their program. When the standards were written, NAACLS did not want to be overly prescriptive with what is required. NAACLS has a wide variety of program directors with different levels of education and experience. NAACLS intends for program directors to be able to make their own decisions as to what will add to their skill sets as Program Directors. As long as it is well documented, there are many options available.
If you have a specific question, we encourage you to reach out to your Discipline Lead Person, a committee member who is available to assist you with interpretation of the Standards.
Hope this helps!
PS –NAACLS provides at least two workshops a year, one before the CLEC in February and one in Chicago during late summer or early fall.