RULES AND REGULATIONS
STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
[49 PA. CODE CH. 11]
Continuing Education Program Sponsors
[31 Pa.B. 151]
The State Board of Accountancy (Board), by this order, amends Chapter 11, to read as set forth in Annex A, by revising §§ 11.1, 11.4, 11.64, 11.65, 11.71 and 11.72; by adding § 11.69a and 11.71a; and by deleting § 11.70.
The amendments revise the Board's regulatory scheme for approving sponsors of continuing education programs for certified public accountants and public accountants. Specifically, the amendments: (1) require previously approved program sponsors to apply for and obtain reapproval to maintain their eligibility to offer continuing education programs after April 30, 2001; (2) require program sponsors to biennially renew their approval beginning January 1, 2004; (3) modify procedures for program sponsor approval and withdrawal of approval; (4) require program sponsors to be responsible for the development of continuing education programs as well as their presentation; (5) provide for comprehensive offsite reviews of selected program sponsors to ensure compliance with continuing education standards; (6) establish fees for program sponsor approval/reapproval and biennial renewal of approval; and (7) exempt program sponsors registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) from having to meet Board approval requirements.
Summary of Comments and Responses to Proposed Rulemaking
The Board published a notice of proposed rulemaking at 30 Pa.B. 888 (February 19, 2000), following which the Board entertained public comment for 30 days. The Board received comments from the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), which supported the proposed amendments, and the Governor's Office of the Budget, which raised concerns about some of the proposed amendments.
The Board received comments from the House Professional Licensure Committee (House Committee) on March 21, 2000, and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) on April 20, 2000, as part of their review of the proposed regulations under the Regulatory Review Act. The Board did not receive comments from the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure (Senate Committee), which also reviewed the proposed regulations under the Regulatory Review Act.
Following is a summary of the comments that the Board received during proposed rulemaking and of the changes the Board has made to the proposed amendments in response to the comments.
§ 11.4 (Fees)
Proposed § 11.4 established fees of $145 for approval of a program sponsor and $120 for biennial renewal of program sponsor approval. As more fully discussed in this Preamble, the Board has extended the implementation date of the new regulatory scheme from January 1, 2001, to May 1, 2001, and has simplified the reapproval procedure for previously approved program sponsors who apply for reapproval prior to May 1, 2001. The revised approval procedure eliminates the need for Board review of timely filed applications of previously approved program sponsors; accordingly, the Board has reduced the reapproval fee for those previously approved program sponsors from $145 to $120 to reflect the decreased expense. New program sponsor applicants and previously approved program sponsor applicants that submit their reapproval applications after April 30, 2001, will pay the $145 fee. The $120 renewal fee, which will be biennially assessed upon all approved program sponsors beginning with the biennial period commencing January 1, 2004, remains unchanged.
§ 11.64 (Sources of continuing education credit)
Proposed § 11.64 set forth the various sources of continuing education credit and provided that continuing education credit will be awarded only for program sponsors approved as of the effective date in § 11.69a (relating to approval of program sponsor). IRRC noted that § 11.64 misstated § 11.69a's proposed effective date as May 1, 2000, instead of January 1, 2001. The Board has amended § 11.64 to reflect the revised effective date of May 1, 200l.
§ 11.69a (Approval of program sponsor)
1. Deadline for reapproval of previously approved program sponsors. Proposed § 11.69a(a) provided that, except for those exempt as NASBA-registered program sponsors under § 11.69a(b), parties desiring to offer continuing education programs after December 31, 2000, must obtain approval under this section; the Board's approximately 2,000 previously approved program sponsors would have to apply for reapproval if they desire to offer continuing education programs after December 31, 2000. In its notice of proposed rulemaking, the Board estimated that about 1,000 of the previously approved program sponsors are still offering continuing education programs to licensees.
The House Committee and IRRC questioned whether the December 31, 2000, deadline affords sufficient time for previously approved program sponsors to apply for reapproval and for the Board to process the applications.
In response to these concerns, the Board has extended the deadline for reapproval from December 31, 2000, to April 30, 2001, and has streamlined the procedures for reapproval under § 11.69a. The Board anticipates that final approval of the amendments under the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. §§ 745.1--745.15) will occur by mid-December 2000. Immediately upon final approval of the amendments, the Board will send applications for program sponsor reapproval to all previously approved program sponsors. The only information that will be required on the application is the sponsor's name and address, the title and source of continuing education credit as set forth in § 11.64, and a list of current or planned program offerings. The applications will be routinely processed by Board staff, and will not require review or evaluation by the Board. The Board has revised § 11.69a(a) to provide that qualifying applications for reapproval that are postmarked by April 30, 2001, but not processed by Board staff until after April 30, 2001, will be considered timely filed. The Board has further revised § 11.69a(a) to provide that the Board will not deny continuing education credit to licensees who take courses after April 30, 2001, from previously approved programs sponsors whose timely filed qualifying applications for reapproval are being processed by Board staff.
The primary purpose for reapproval is to determine which of the program sponsors that the Board has approved since 1979 are still active providers. All reapproved program sponsors, as well as all program sponsors whose initial approval occurs after April 30, 2001, will be subject to offsite reviews of their continuing education programs under § 11.71a (relating to offsite review of program sponsor) to ensure their compliance with Board regulations.
2. Contents of approval application. Proposed § 11.69a(c) required applications for program sponsor approval to include the following information: name and address of program sponsor; title and source of continuing education credit; names, titles and degrees of instructors; dates, locations and schedules of programs; program outlines and objectives; instruction and evaluation methods; admission requirements; and attendance certification methods. This information would assist the Board in making informed assessments about the qualifications of prospective program sponsors. IRRC observed that some of the required information--such as program dates, locations and schedules and the names and credentials of instructors--might be unknown or subject to change at the time of application, and suggested that the Board consider allowing approved program sponsors to submit any changes, deletions or amendments to the information required in § 11.69a(c) as they occur. The Office of the Budget, which is an approved program sponsor and offers a wide array of continuing education programs for auditors in various Commonwealth agencies, also commented that specific program offerings, dates, locations and instructors may not be known at the time of application for reapproval.
As noted, the Board has reconsidered the necessity of requiring all the information in proposed § 11.69a(c) from previously approved program sponsors at the time of application for reapproval. To minimize delays in the reapproval process and to lessen potential disruptions to licensees who have scheduled courses after April 30, 2001, with previously approved program sponsors, the Board will require previously approved program sponsors who submit their reapproval applications by April 30, 2001, to provide only basic identifying information plus a list of current program offerings or planned program offerings, if known. New program sponsor applicants and previously approved program sponsor applicants that submit reapproval applications after April 30, 2001, will have to provide the more detailed information. As a result of the concerns raised by IRRC and the Office of the Budget, the Board has eliminated the requirement that program sponsor applicants provide the specific dates, locations, schedules and faculty for each current or planned program offering; this information will be requested only of those approved program sponsors that are selected for offsite reviews under § 11.71a.
3. Board review of application. Proposed § 11.69a(e) provided that applications for approval under this section would be reviewed by the Board's Continuing Education Committee (CEC), which would make recommendations to the full Board for approval or disapproval. Disapproved applicants would receive written notification of the grounds for disapproval and would be afforded an opportunity to submit revised applications.
Consistent with its desire to simplify the reapproval process, the Board does not consider it is necessary to have either the full Board or the CEC participate in the review of applications for reapproval of previously approved program sponsors who submit their applications by April 30, 2001, and therefore has modified § 11.69a(e) accordingly. New program sponsor applicants and previously approved program sponsor applicants who submit reapproval applications after April 30, 2001, will continue to be evaluated by the full Board based on the CEC's review.
IRRC recommended that the Board provide time frames for the CEC's review of program sponsor applications and for the submission of revised applications by disapproved applicants. The Board does not believe time frames are required. The CEC and the full Board have not experienced any difficulties in timely evaluating the 50-75 program sponsor applications that have been submitted annually in recent years; nor has any program sponsor applicant ever raised concerns about not receiving a timely decision on its application. The Board also does not believe it is necessary to establish a deadline for disapproved applicants to submit revised applications; applicants should be afforded as much time as is necessary to make the necessary changes to submit qualifying applications.
§ 11.71. (Responsibilities of program sponsor)
Proposed § 11.71 prescribed the responsibilities of program sponsors in the areas of disclosures to prospective participants, selection and evaluation of instructors, limitations on program enrollments, adequacy of facilities, program evaluation, retention of records, certificates of completion and promotional materials. Proposed § 11.71 also imposed on program sponsors new responsibilities relating to the development of programs.
The Office of the Budget expressed concerns about its ability to satisfy the enhanced duties of program sponsors. The Office of the Budget relies on nearly 2 dozen prequalified vendors to develop program materials and to select instructors for its many program offerings. As the Board noted in its proposed rulemaking, while the regulations charge program sponsors with the ultimate responsibility for ensuring compliance with program requirements, program sponsors are not prevented from contracting with other parties for technical assistance in complying with these requirements.
IRRC questioned the need for the requirements, in § 11.71(9) and (10), that program sponsors retain attendance records and course outlines for 5 years. A 5-year record retention period is necessary that licensees who undergo a Board audit of their continuing education hours will have access to records that corroborate the continuing education information provided to the Board at the time of license renewal. Because of due process requirements, audit procedures that result in the filing of disciplinary charges may not be concluded for up to 3 years after the end of the 2-year continuing education reporting period that is the subject of the audit.
Proposed § 11.71(4) required program sponsors to review their program materials periodically to ensure that the materials reflect currently accepted practice standards. IRRC recommended that the Board establish a more specific time frame for this review. The Board has revised § 11.71(4) to require program sponsors to review their program materials annually.
IRRC also recommended editorial changes to proposed § 11.71(1) and (6), to improve understanding and readability. The Board has revised § 11.71(1) and (6) to include those changes.
§ 11.71a (Offsite review of program sponsor)
Proposed § 11.71a provided that program sponsors are subject to offsite reviews of their continuing education programs to ensure compliance with Board regulations. An offsite review involves an in-depth audit of all program materials, documents and records maintained by the program sponsor under Board regulations. The Board has revised § 11.71a to clarify that the type of information that must be furnished includes, but is not limited to, the information in § 11.69a(c) as well as program dates, locations and schedules and the names and credentials of instructors.
§ 11.72 (Withdrawal of approval of program sponsor)
Proposed § 11.72 set forth the grounds on which the Board may withdraw the approval of program sponsors. IRRC recommended that the Board make clear in the regulation that the Board's withdrawal of a program sponsor's approval does not affect the continuing education credits earned by licensees for completing programs offered by the program sponsor prior to the withdrawal of its approval. The Board has revised § 11.72 to reflect that clarification.
Section 3(10) of the CPA Law (63 P. S. § 9.3(10)), empowers the Board to promulgate regulations relating to continuing education, including the qualifications of program sponsors. Section 6 of the CPA Law (63 P. S. § 9.6) empowers the Board to fix fees by regulation.
Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements
The amendments will require previously approved program sponsors that submit their reapproval applications by April 30, 2001, to pay a reapproval of fee of $120. The Board estimates that about 1,000 previously approved program sponsors will submit reapproval applications by April 30, 2001. The amendments will require new program sponsor applicants and previously approved program sponsors that submit their reapproval applications after April 30, 2001, to pay an approval/ reapproval fee of $145. Beginning May 1, 2001, the Board expects to receive at least 50 applications each year from new or previously approved program sponsors. The amendments will require approved program sponsors to pay a biennial renewal fee of $120 starting with the biennial period that begins January 1, 2004.
The amendments will cause the Board to incur costs in conducting offsite reviews of selected program sponsors. These costs will be defrayed by the fees for approval/reapproval and biennial renewal of approval. The amendments will not have a fiscal impact on the Commonwealth's other agencies or political subdivisions, or other segments of the private sector.
The amendments will require program sponsors selected for offsite reviews to provide detailed documentation to the Board of their continuing education programs. The amendments will require the Board to revise its forms for program sponsor approval. The amendments will not create additional paperwork requirements for the Commonwealth's other agencies, this Commonwealth's political subdivisions or other segments of the private sector.
Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1
In accordance with Executive Order 1996-1 (relating to regulatory review and promulgation), the Board, in developing the amendments, solicited comments from the PICPA and the Pennsylvania Society of Public Accountants, the major professional associations representing the public accounting profession in this Commonwealth and of its largest continuing education sponsors. The Board also published a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin seeking preproposal comments for other currently approved program sponsors as well as prospective program sponsors.
On February 7, 2000, as required by section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), the Board submitted copies of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 30 Pa.B. 888, to IRRC and the House and Senate Committees for review and comment.
In adopting the final-form amendments, the Board considered comments from IRRC, the House Committee and the general public. The Board did not receive comments from the Senate Committee.
On October 30, 2000, the Board submitted final-form amendments to IRRC and the House and Senate Committees. Under authority of section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), the amendments were approved by the House Committee on November 13, 2000, and deemed approved by the Senate Committee on November 20, 2000. IRRC met on December 14, 2000, and approved the final-form regulations under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act.
Individuals who desire additional information about the amendments are invited to submit inquiries to Steven Wennberg, Counsel, State Board of Accountancy, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649.
The Board finds that:
(1) Public notice of the Board's intention to amend Chapter 11, by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) The amendments adopted by this order are necessary and appropriate for the administration of the CPA Law.
The Board, acting under its authorizing statute, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Board, 49 Pa. Code Chapter 11, are amended by deleting § 11.70, by adding §§ 11.69a and 11.71a, and by amending §§ 11.1, 11.4, 11.64, 11.65, 11.71 and 11.72, to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulations.
(b) The Board shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel for approval as required by law.
(c) The Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) The amendments shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
THOMAS J. BAUMGARTNER, CPA
(Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 30 Pa.B. 6964 (December 30, 2000).)
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 16A-555 remains valid for the adoption of the subject regulations.
TITLE 49. PROFESSIONAL AND VOCATIONAL STANDARDS
PART I. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Subpart A. PROFESSIONAL AND OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS
CHAPTER 11. STATE BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY
§ 11.1. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * * * *
Professor--An instructor who teaches courses in continuing education subject areas at an accredited university or college.
Program sponsor--A party who has assumed the responsibility for presenting continuing education programs.
Public communication--A communication made in identical form to multiple persons as to the world at large, such as by television, radio, motion picture, newspaper, pamphlet, mass mailing, letterhead, business card or directory.
SSARS--Statement of Standards on Accounting and Review Services.
§ 11.4. Fees.
(a) Following is the schedule of fees charged by the Board:
Application for certification $45 Biennial renewal for certified public accountants,
public accountants, partnerships, professional
corporations and professional associations
$45 Certification of examination scores $15 Initial approval of program sponsor or
reapproval of previously approved program
sponsor when application is submitted
after April 30, 2001
$145 Reapproval of previously approved program
sponsor when application is submitted by
April 30, 2001
$120 Biennial renewal of approval of program sponsor
beginning January 1, 2004
$120 Verification of licensure $10
(b) Upon implementation, these fees will have retroactive effect to February 1, 1990.
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
§ 11.64. Sources of continuing education credit.
The following continuing education programs will be given 1 credit hour of continuing education credit for each 50-minutes of participation if they are in the subject areas in § 11.63 (relating to continuing education subject areas) and, beginning May 1, 2001, they are offered by approved program sponsors under § 11.69a (relating to approval of program sponsors):
(1) Continuing education programs of National or State accounting organizations.
(2) University or college courses.
(i) Credit courses. Applicants will receive 15 credit hours of continuing education credit for each semester credit hour earned and 10 credit hours for each quarter credit hour earned.
(ii) Noncredit courses. Applicants will be given 1 credit hour of continuing education credit for each 50 minutes of in-class participation.
(3) In-house educational programs.
(4) Individual study programs.
(i) Noninteractive individual study programs shall be given credit based upon 1/2 the average completion time calculated by the sponsor. The Board will make a final determination based upon the recommendation of the program sponsor.
(ii) Interactive individual study programs will be given 1 credit hour of continuing education credit for each 50 minutes of participation.
(iii) Credit for individual study programs will only be given in the renewal period in which the certificate of completion is dated.
(iv) Maximum continuing education credit per biennium will be 50% of the biennial requirement.
(5) Programs offered by other qualified organizations. The number of credits will be based upon the nature of the program being offered and which of the categories in paragraphs (1)--(4) it most closely fits.
(6) Committee meetings. Credit will be given if the meeting is structured as a continuing education program.
(7) Service as a lecturer, discussion leader, speaker or professor. Continuing education credit will be awarded for each 50-minute period if the discussion is one which meets the continuing subject area requirements of § 11.63.
(i) Two additional credit hours will be awarded as preparation time for each credit hour of instruction.
(ii) Credit will not be awarded for subsequent sessions unless in a subsequent session the subject matter has substantially changed.
(iii) The maximum continuing education credit will be 50% of the biennial requirement.
(iv) A professor will be awarded credit for teaching undergraduate courses in auditing, intermediate accounting, cost accounting, income taxation and advanced accounting, and all graduate courses to the extent that the course contributes to the student's professional competence and the professor has not previously claimed credit for the courses or unless the professor can demonstrate that there was a substantial change in the subject matter. Entry level accounting courses are excluded from eligibility for continuing professional education credit.
(8) Publications, articles, books and continuing professional education courses. Credit may be claimed by the author of the work if the work contributes to the professional competence of a licensee.
(i) Credit will be given for each 50-minute period of preparation time on a self-declaration basis up to 25% of the biennial requirement. A copy of the publication shall be submitted to the Board with the biennial renewal application.
(ii) In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may request additional credit by submitting a copy of the publication to the Board with an explanation of the circumstances which the applicant believes justifies an award of greater credit. Credit hours awarded will be determined by the Board on a case-by-case basis based upon the complexity of subject matter.
(iii) The maximum credit for publications may not exceed 50% of the continuing education requirement for any biennium.
§ 11.65. Criteria for continuing education programs.
To qualify as a continuing education program, a program shall:
(1) Be a program of learning which contributes directly to the maintenance of professional competence of a certified public accountant or public accountant.
(2) Be at least 1 credit hour in length.
(3) Be conducted by a qualified instructor or discussion leader.
(4) Offer subject matter enumerated in § 11.63 (relating to continuing education subject matter).
§ 11.69a. Approval of program sponsor.
(a) Approval requirement. Except as provided in subsection (b), any individual or entity desiring to offer a program for continuing education credit under this chapter shall apply to the Board for approval as a program sponsor. The approval of a previously approved program sponsor will expire April 30, 2001, unless the program sponsor submits a qualifying application under subsection (c) that is postmarked by April 30, 2001. The Board will not deny course credit to any licensee who completes a program from a program sponsor that submitted a qualifying application by April 30, 2001, and is awaiting approval of its application.
(b) Exemption from approval. An individual or entity that is a member in good standing of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy's National Registry of Continuing Professional Education Sponsors is deemed an approved program sponsor and is not required to submit an application for approval to the Board.
(c) Contents of application for approval. An application for approval shall contain the following information, except that an application from a previously approved program sponsor that is postmarked by April 30, 2001, need only contain the information in paragraphs (1)--(3):
(1) The name and address of the sponsor.
(2) The title and source of continuing education credit as specified in § 11.64 (relating to sources of continuing education credit).
(3) A list of existing or planned program offerings, if known.
(4) The total number of credit hours requested for each program.
(5) The attendance certification method.
(6) The program objectives.
(7) The admission requirements.
(8) The program outlines.
(9) The instruction and evaluation methods.
(d) Sworn statements. Statements made in an application shall be sworn to be true and correct to the best of the applicant's knowledge.
(e) Board review of application for approval. Except for an application from a previously approved program sponsor that is postmarked by April 30, 2001, an application will be reviewed by the Board's Continuing Education Committee, which will make recommendations to the Board for approval or disapproval. If an application is disapproved, the Board will provide the applicant with written notification of its reasons for disapproval. An applicant may submit a revised application to address the Board's concerns. No Board member will review or vote upon an application in which he has a vested interest.
(f) Approval number. Upon approval by the Board, an applicant will be assigned a program sponsor number.
(g) Biennial renewal of approval. An approved program sponsor shall renew its approval by January 1 of each even-numbered year, beginning with January 1, 2004. A renewal application shall list the program sponsor's planned program offerings for the upcoming renewal period.
§ 11.70. (Reserved).
§ 11.71. Responsibilities of program sponsor.
In addition to meeting the requirements in § 11.69a (relating to approval of program sponsor), a program sponsor shall comply with the following:
(1) Program level of difficulty. A program sponsor shall specify the level of knowledge to be imparted under the program. The levels of knowledge may be expressed in a variety of ways, all of which should be informative to potential participants. For example, a program may be described as having the objective of imparting technical knowledge at levels such as basic, intermediate, advanced or overview, which might be defined as follows:
(i) A basic level program teaches fundamental principles or skills to participants having no prior exposure to the subject area.
(ii) An intermediate level program builds on a basic level program in order to relate fundamental principles or skills to practical situations and extend them to a broader range of applications.
(iii) An advanced level program teaches participants to deal with complex situations.
(iv) An overview program enables participants to develop perspective as to how a subject area relates to the broader aspects of accounting or brings participants up-to-date on new developments in the subject area.
(2) Recommendation of education and experience prerequisites. A program sponsor shall clearly identify what prerequisites are suggested for enrollment. If no prerequisite is necessary, a statement to that effect should be made. Prerequisites should be specified in precise language so potential participants can readily ascertain whether the program would be beneficial to them or whether the program is above or below their level of knowledge or skill.
(3) Development of the program. A program sponsor shall ensure that programs are developed by individuals qualified in the subject matter and in instructional design. This subsection is not intended to require that any individual program sponsor be both technically competent and competent in instructional design. Its purpose is to ensure that both types of competency are represented in the program's development, whether one or more persons are involved in that development. Mastery of the technical knowledge or skill in instructional design may be demonstrated by appropriate experience or educational credentials.
(4) Program review. A program sponsor shall review the course materials periodically annually to ensure that they are accurate and consistent with currently accepted standards relating to the program's subject matter. Between these reviews, errata sheets should be issued when appropriate, and obsolete material should be deleted. Between the time a new pronouncement is issued and the issuance of errata sheets or removal of obsolete materials, the instructor is responsible for informing participants of changes. If, for example, a new accounting standard is issued, a program will not be considered current unless the ramifications of the new standard have been incorporated into the materials or the instructor appropriately informs the participants of the new standard.
(5) Disclosure of prospective participants. A program sponsor shall disclose in advance to prospective participants the objectives, prerequisites, experience level, content, required advanced preparation, teaching method and number of continuing education credits involved in the program.
(6) Selection and review of instructors. A program sponsor shall select and assign qualified instructors for the continuing education program. A program sponsor should evaluate the performance of the instructors at the conclusion of each program to determine their suitability for continuing to serve as instructors in the future.
(7) Number of participants and adequacy of physical facilities. A program sponsor shall ensure that the number of participants and the physical facilities are consistent with the teaching methods to be utilized. Because the learning environment is affected by the number of participants and by the quality of the physical facilities, a program sponsor has an obligation to pay serious attention to both of these factors. The maximum number of participants for a case-oriented discussion program, for example, should be considerably less than for a lecture program. The seating arrangement is also very important. For discussion presentation, learning is enhanced as seating is arranged so that participants can easily see and converse with each other. If small group sessions are an integral part of the program format, appropriate facilities should be made available to encourage communication with a small group.
(8) Program evaluation. A program sponsor shall provide a program evaluation in accordance with the following:
(i) Evaluations shall be solicited from both the participants and instructors. The objective of evaluations is to encourage the program sponsor to strive for increased program effectiveness. Programs should be evaluated to determine whether:
(A) Objectives have been met.
(B) Prerequisites were necessary or desirable.
(C) Facilities were satisfactory.
(D) Instructors were effective.
(E) Advanced preparation materials were satisfactory.
(F) The program content was timely and effective.
(ii) Evaluations may take the form of pretests for advanced preparation, posttests for effectiveness of the program, questionnaires completed at the end of the program or later, oral feedback to the instructor or sponsor, and so forth. Instructors should be informed of their performance, and the program sponsor should systematically review the evaluation process to ensure its effectiveness.
(9) Attendance records. A program sponsor shall maintain and retain accurate records of attendance for a 5-year period.
(10) Course materials. A program sponsor shall retain a written outline of course materials for a 5-year period.
(11) Certificate of completion. A program sponsor shall provide participants with a certificate of completion evidencing satisfactory completion and attendance of the program.
(12) Promotional materials. A program sponsor shall identify the subject area--see § 11.63 (relating to continuing education subject areas)--of the program in the promotional materials.
§ 11.71a. Offsite review of program sponsor.
A program sponsor shall be subject to an offsite review of its continuing education programs to ensure compliance with this chapter. The review will involve an in-depth audit of all course materials, documents and records maintained by the program sponsor under this chapter, including:
(1) The information in § 11.69a(c) (relating to approval of program sponsor).
(2) The dates and locations of programs.
(3) The program schedules (that is, title of subject, instructor, time allotted, excluding breaks and lunches).
(4) The names, titles and degrees of instructors.
§ 11.72. Withdrawal of approval of program sponsor.
(a) The Board, following notice and hearing under 2 Pa.C.S. §§ 501--508 (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies), may withdraw the approval of a program sponsor that the Board finds guilty of:
(1) Having acquired the Board's approval by misrepresentation.
(2) Failing to comply with §§ 11.65, 11.69a or 11.71 (relating to criteria for continuing education programs; approval of program sponsor and responsibilities of program sponsor).
(3) Refusing to provide information requested by the Board pursuant to an offsite review under § 11.71a (relating to offsite review of program sponsor).
(4) Indicating in any manner that it has been approved as a program sponsor prior to a program sponsor number having been issued to it.
(b) The Board's withdrawal of a program sponsor's approval will not affect the credit hours earned by persons who completed programs of the sponsor prior to the withdrawal of its approval.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-28. Filed for public inspection January 12, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]
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