ALSO® Sponsor Questions

Contacts

ALSO staff (program questions)
Email also@aafp.org
1-800-274-2237, ext. 7506

Member Resource Center (invoice, AAFP ID numbers)
1-800-274-2237
Email aafp@aafp.org

May we still hold a course in the older, two-day format?

The ALSO Provider Course is no longer available in the two-day format. That format expired May 31, 2018.

What is the cost of the ALSO Provider Course and how are we invoiced?

The sponsor will be invoiced a learner access fee of $120 for ALSO per number of times the course code was used. There is also a $94.95 course materials/application fee per course. Any other items ordered from the online catalog will be invoiced separately.

Do we need other products, in addition to what is available with online course access?

No. Although there are other items available from the online catalog, such as the mnemonic reference cards, the required materials are all found online, including the entire provider manual and slide sets. All may be downloaded.

When is the ALSO Provider Course best taught?

The ALSO Provider Course is an excellent educational tool at any stage of maternity care training. Many hospitals utilize it as a standardized evidence-based method to orient new staff in addressing obstetric emergencies. Residency programs use the ALSO course to prepare their residents at the beginning of their first year to help prepare new residents to care for their first maternity care patients. Other residency programs teach the course after the first year, allowing residents to learn the basics of childbirth before focusing on urgencies and emergencies.

What can I expect from the ALSO staff?

ALSO staff is available to assist you with course preparation, identifying advisory faculty and approved instructors when needed, approving the course, completing the course after you submit your post-course dashboard. ALSO staff work with you to resolve unexpected issues with the course. Please give us a call or send us an email. Our contact information is at the top of the page in a call-out box.

Why do we need to know the faculty’s AAFP identification (ID) numbers and how do we obtain them?

The automated system is dependent on the AAFP ID numbers for learners and faculty. The dashboard autopopulates the learner ID numbers when they access the online course, but sponsors must add the ID numbers of all faculty before submitting to the dashboard after the course. Coordinators should begin by asking each faculty for their ID numbers. If they do not know or have forgotten their number, they may call the AAFP Member Resources Center at 1-800-274-2237 for assistance. The course coordinator should keep these ID numbers on file for future courses.

How do I apply for an ALSO Provider Course and how long does it take for approval?

Visit the AAFP’s Hold an ALSO Provider Course webpage each time you are applying for a course. The page offers a four-step application process, along with other helpful information. After you apply for continuing medical education (CME) credit (step 3), you will receive an ALSO course approval email within 24 hours. The email includes your specific course code to share with learners and a link for the course director and coordinator to access the course materials webpage.

How many CME credits should I request on the CME application for the ALSO Provider Course?

For the live course, you should estimate and request credits only for the live portion of your course: one credit equals one hour of learning. Note: the welcome/overview and breaks/lunch are not to be included in your time. The online portion of the ALSO course has already been approved for a set number of credits separately by the AAFP. The approved credit amount will be indicated on the letter of participation that learners receive after completing all required online course elements.

What is the course dashboard and who has access to it?

The course dashboard records all course activity. As your learners access the online course with your course code, their name appears on your course dashboard as ‘incomplete.’ When they complete their online course, they will show as ‘complete.’ It is the sponsors responsibility to contact those who do not yet appear and those who show as ‘incomplete’ two to five days prior to the course. Those who do not show as ‘complete’ have not met the requirements to attend the live course. After the course, sponsors must be sure to select an occupation and pass, fail, or no show for all learners. Add all the instructors (approved or not), course director,  and advisory faculty (if applicable) by entering their AAFP ID numbers and selecting, ‘recommend for advisory faculty or approved instructor.’ Finally, upload the course roster with signatures of every learner and instructor.

How does the AAFP handle instructor and advisory faculty candidates?

A current advisory faculty must be present at the course to observe both instructor candidates and advisory faculty candidates. The advisory faculty must complete the appropriate evaluation form found on the course materials webpage. The sponsor will keep these evaluations on file for two years (do not send to the AAFP). The sponsor will select either ‘recommend for approved instructor’ (with current status of instructor candidate) or ‘recommend for advisory faculty’ (with current status of approved instructor) on their post-course dashboard before submitting. The current status next to the candidate’s name must be correct before submitting for the approval to process appropriately. If it is not, please call ALSO staff at 1-800-274-2237, ext. 7506, before submitting.

Is the letter of participation still required to show completion?

No. The proof of completion is now indicated by ‘complete’ next to the learners name on your dashboard.

What is the process for getting the letters of participation and wallet cards?

After the sponsor submits the post-course dashboard, it is marked as complete within 24 hours. At that point, the learners get an automated email stating their letters and wallet card are available in their AAFP accounts. If the sponsor needs copies, they should ask the learners to download their letter and/or wallet card and email to them if it is necessary for them to keep a copy on file.

What are the requirements to become a provider, approved instructor, and advisory faculty?

Anyone providing obstetrical care can become a provider, approved instructor, or advisory faculty, including residents, nurses, midwives, nurse practitioners, paramedics, physician assistants, and physicians. Requirements are described below for each position:

  • Provider status (three-year status): After successful completion of the ALSO Provider Course, learners are considered ALSO providers with a three-year status. To maintain that status, they must attend another ALSO Provider Course or ALSO Instructor Course before their three-year expiration date.

  • Instructor candidate status (one-year status): If learners choose to attend an ALSO Instructor Course before their provider expiration date and upon completion of the ALSO Instructor Course, the learner is considered an instructor candidate. The learner will need to be observed teaching an ALSO Provider Course within one year of their ALSO Instructor Course date by a current advisory faculty.

  • Approved instructor status (three-year status): After the instructor candidate has been observed and evaluation completed by an advisory faculty, the sponsor will select ‘recommend for approved instructor’ on the post-course dashboard next to their name. They will then receive an approval email and instructions to access their wallet card in their AAFP account.

  • Advisory faculty status (same as approved instructor expiration): If a current approved instructor chooses to become an advisory faculty, they will complete the first page of the advisory faculty application and the second page will need to be completed by a current advisory faculty after observing the candidate directing a course. The candidate will also provide the sponsor their CV and a letter of interest for this new status. All documents will be kept on file by the sponsor for two years. The sponsor will select ‘recommend for advisory faculty’ on the post-course dashboard next to their name. They will then receive an approval email and instructions to access their wallet card in their AAFP account.

What are the minimum requirements to conduct an ALSO Provider Course?

  • One course director (must have an ALSO approved instructor or provider status)
  • One advisory faculty (only necessary if instructor or advisory facutly candidates need to be evaluated)
  • One instructor for every five to six learners (at least 50% of faculty must be ALSO approved instructors)
  • One manikin for every five to six learners. ALSO offers a manikin rental program. You may indicate quantity on the product order form found on the course materials webpage.
  • One room to fit six to eight people with table, chairs, audio/visual equipment, and workstation materials
  • Course materials (link included in the course approval email)

Please refer to the ALSO Instructor Manual for more guidance on course logistics.

How do I find instructors for our course, and how many do we need?

Determine the number of learners your facility can hold. Plan for at least one instructor for every five to six learners. ALSO staff can provide a list of ALSO approved instructors in your area if you need assistance in finding qualified individuals to teach.

Funding is limited in our program and we may not be able to pay instructors. Are there other arrangements that can be made?

Payment is not always required, but it is recommended. The budget and arrangements for any course are up to the individual course director. If you will be using instructors from outside of your institution, appropriate compensation for time and travel is common. However, compensation can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis. When there are multiple courses in the same area, some course sponsors have formed an ALSO instructor consortium of local instructors who donate their time and trade off teaching at one another’s courses. Another option to increase the number of available instructors in your organization is to send individuals to the ALSO Instructor Course. If there is a shortage of ALSO instructors in your area, you may also consider holding a local ALSO Instructor Course to increase your local pool of ALSO approved instructors.

How can we ensure learners do their part by completing the online portion of the blended course?

As with any other professional online course, the course sponsor is responsible for clearly communicating the deadline when all online, pre-course work should be completed. If learners do not successfully complete the required online elements prior to the start of the course, they will not be admitted into the live portion. Sponsors track in their course dashboard who has accessed the online course and who has completed it. It is the sponsor’s responsibility to contact learners who show as incomplete days before the live course until all learners show as ‘complete’ prior to the live course.

What if a learner registered for the ALSO Live Course, but can’t make it?

Although, it is expected that learners attend the ALSO Live Course on the date(s) they registered for, we realize emergencies happen. The ALSO Online Course is an ALSO product (includes the entire provider manual). If a person purchases it, it cannot be ‘returned.’ The sponsor will see them on the dashboard and if they do not complete/show for the live course, they are marked as a ‘no show’ on the dashboard before submission. Most sponsors have a cancellation policy, but here are a couple of options:

  • Since the learner will remain on the invoice and have an access code, you can collect $120 from them to pay for the online product they can access. The learner is subject to additional expenses when signing up with another sponsor.

  • The learner can select another ALSO Live Course to attend and the AAFP can transfer their purchase to another course. They must register for the course first, then they must contact the AAFP to switch the codes prior to the live course date. If they switch dates, the new course date must be before June 1 of the curriculum revision year. This will ensure that the online portion of their course will match the curriculum of the live portion. For example, the ALSO curriculum is revised and launched every two years. The next revision is available to courses dated on or after 6/1/19. The learner purchases the ALSO Online Course on 9/1/18 and their live course date is 11/20/18. Prior to 11/20/18, they discover they cannot make the 11/20/18 course date, but want to take one at a later time. They must find a course with a date prior to 5/31/19.

Are there evaluations? Do all learners have the same evaluation, regardless of their discipline?

Yes. The online portion has its own evaluation. The live portion has one evaluation for all learners. This evaluation is available to sponsors on the course materials webpage. Evaluations are kept on file by the sponsor for two years. Please do not mail evaluations to the AAFP.

If we sponsor a course, do I have to invite the public to participate?

No. Course sponsors are not required to advertise their courses to the public. However, we do encourage all efforts to hold multidisciplinary team-based learning. Inviting a variety of disciplines and professions (i.e., private family medicine physicians, OB/GYN physicians, midwives, maternity care nurses, etc.) to your course is an excellent way to build relationships and to incorporate ALSO firmly into your culture. Additionally, practicing physicians, midwives, and nurses often bring their own rich history and experiences to the course that makes the learning environment more robust and creates a more realistic team experience. Many course directors have reported that by opening course registration to the public, they have supplemented their educational budgets by bringing in additional income from outside learners.

Contacts

ALSO staff (program questions)
Email also@aafp.org
1-800-274-2237, ext. 7506

Member Resource Center (invoice, AAFP ID numbers)
1-800-274-2237
Email aafp@aafp.org