ALSO Course Directors must have successfully completed an ALSO Provider Course. It is also beneficial if he or she has previously participated as faculty in a provider course.
The course director oversees and manages all aspects of implementing the course. He or she is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the course meets all course requirements. The course director must also remain on-site during the entire course, including longitudinal courses (those completed over several weeks / months in smaller segments).
The AAFP utilizes an established procedure for identifying and analyzing continuing medical educational needs and interests of prospective participants. Each course director is required to:
- Determine if there is an identified need in his/her local community to offer the ALSO Provider Course. The course director should describe the need and the mechanism used to determine this need, and submit this information on the Course Request/Authorization Form(2 page DOC).
- Select appropriate faculty. Currently, the faculty must consist of one ALSO Advisory Faculty member and at least 50 percent ALSO Approved Instructors (see subsequent pages for faculty definitions and responsibilities). Currently, the 50 percent requirement may include ALSO Approved Instructors or ALSO Instructor Candidates. The remainder of the faculty may include additional qualified health professionals who are comfortable with the goals and objectives of the course, and who agree to utilize standard course methods and materials. The optimal faculty-participant ratio is 1:5, no more than 1:6.
- Involve the advisory faculty member in all aspects of the planning and development of the course to ensure that quality and consistency are maintained.
- When AAFP Prescribed Credit or continuing nursing contact hours are offered (see CME Credit Approval), the course director is responsible for ensuring that all course faculty complete the required faculty conflict of interest / disclosure forms in compliance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education and maintain copies for each faculty member in the course sponsor's file. The ALSO staff can provide sample documents of these forms. If a conflict of interest is revealed, the conflict of interest must be resolved prior to allowing the faculty to participate in the course. It is required that all conflicts of interest or unapproved products be disclosed to the participants prior to the course. This may be done verbally, in a slide or in a handout.
Required conflict of interest / disclosure forms are to be kept on file by the course sponsor:
- Continuing Medical Education Disclosure Policy on Faculty and Provider Relationships
- Disclosure on Discussion of Unapproved Uses of Products
The course director is responsible for returning course reporting forms to the AAFP within two weeks following course completion.
Summary of Director's Activities
A brief summary of activities that require the course director’s involvement when conducting a course include the following:
- Strictly adhering to the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education
- Strictly adhering to Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN) operational requirements for commercial support
- Involving the AAFP with the planning and developing of the course
- Involving the advisory faculty member in all stages of the planning and development of the course
- Organizing a faculty meeting prior to the course
- Organizing equipment and meeting rooms
- Presenting opening announcements and introductions
- Being available for questions from faculty and participants
- Ensuring that the course runs smoothly and according to schedule
There must be at least one approved ALSO Advisory Faculty member for each ALSO Provider Course. Individuals who wish to be designated as advisory faculty must:
- Have served as a course director for an ALSO Provider Course.
- Have achieved ALSO Approved Instructor status.
- Have completed and submitted an application form, along with a letter of recommendation from a current advisory faculty member.
- Receive final approval from the ALSO Advisory Board.
The primary responsibility of an advisory faculty member is to maintain the integrity and consistency of the ALSO Program. This can be achieved by:
- Ensuring that the course director adheres to all AAFP requirements for conducting an ALSO Provider Course.
- Ensuring that the course director adheres to the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.
- Actively assisting the course director with the planning and coordination of the provider course, including faculty selection.
- Advising the course director on-site during the course and suggesting possible solutions if problems occur.
- Observing and evaluating instructor candidates teaching at provider courses, using the ALSO Instructor Candidate Evaluation Form(1 page PDF), and submitting the forms to the ALSO staff. The advisory faculty member must discuss the evaluation with the instructor candidate.
- Serving as a liaison to an international entity only if appointed by the ALSO Advisory Board.
- Remaining on-site during the entire provider course.
A minimum of 50 percent of the faculty at each provider course must be ALSO Approved Instructors or ALSO Instructor Candidates. An individual who wishes to achieve ALSO Approved Instructor status must:
- Be a licensed physician, certified nurse midwife, or registered nurse and
- Achieve successful completion of the ALSO Instructor Course to gain designation as an “ALSO” Instructor Candidate.”
- Have his/her teaching performance observed and evaluated within one year by an advisory faculty member. If the evaluation does not occur within a year, the Instructor Candidate’s status reverts back to provider status. The advisory faculty member must complete and sign an Instructor Candidate Evaluation Form(1 page PDF) and submit it to the AAFP. Only then will a wallet card be issued designating the individual as an ALSO Approved Instructor.
The responsibilities of the instructor candidates and the approved instructors include all of the following:
- Willingness and ability to assist the course director and advisory faculty with maintaining the consistency and integrity of the ALSO Program by ensuring the course adheres to all AAFP requirements for conducting a provider course.
- Willingness and ability to assist the advisory faculty member and course director with answering participants’ questions regarding course content.
- Willingness and ability to function as effective team leaders, to exhibit good leadership skills and to be able to convey a sense of order while role-playing in the workstations.
- Willingness and ability to remain on-site during the entire course.
Maintenance of Status
The ALSO Approved Instructor status may be maintained by teaching in three ALSO courses within a five year time period. Valid teaching experiences include teaching in provider, refresher or instructor courses. Instructors must also maintain an active maternity care practice, either personally, or through the supervision of residents. As long as an approved instructor maintains active status, retaking the ALSO Provider Course is not necessary.
Other individuals who wish to serve as faculty for the provider course are selected by the course director. Individuals may include qualified healthcare professionals who are comfortable with the goals and objectives of the course and who agree to use standard course methods.
Responsibilities of additional faculty include:
- Adherence to all AAFP requirements for conducting a provider course
- Familiarity with all slides associated with the topic he / she is presenting
- Consultation with the course director and advisory faculty to answer any questions regarding content or how material should be presented
- Arrival at the course 30 minutes prior to his / her presentation
- Participation in the pre-course faculty meeting
- Presentation of his / her topic(s) in a manner consistent with the course materials