A statutory mandate of the Saskatchewan College of Paramedics (SCoP) is to assure the public of the competence of our members. This is achieved, in part, by setting standards for Continuing Medical Education (CME) and programs offered by outside organizations or by employers. SCoP monitors these programs to ensure members meet the standards. CME credits are required of each member on an annual basis in order to be eligible for licence renewal.
The College works closely with agencies to enable the delivery of approved CME courses to our members. Where an agency undertakes to provide CME opportunities or programs for staff, the agency seeks approval from the College via the CME Course Approval form. The CME Course Approval form can be completed by a representative from any agency requesting CME credit for in-house training, or an individual requesting CME credits for any seminars, conferences, or courses offered by external groups.
SCoP has a policy requiring regular audits of approved agency CME programs. In developing this policy, the following key factors were considered:
A major focus of the audit process is to raise the quality of our members practice by ensuring a high quality of CME programming for our members. The audit process allows SCoP to share best practices with agencies to help them improve their CME programs.
Accountability to the Public
SCoP is accountable to the public for ensuring that members are competent. An audit of CME activity helps the College demonstrate that members are updating their skills and knowledge in meaningful ways on an annual basis.
An audit process enables SCoP to test the quality of the CME program in the province. An audit allows the College to assess whether the programs delivered are the programs which were approved, and the CME credits awarded are verifiable.
The Agency Audit Process
The CME audit is a process to assist agencies to improve their programs by verifying that the CME courses or program meets the standards and conforms to the policies of the College. The standards used for the audit are derived from SCoP Policies and Bylaws. The criteria for the audit are drawn from the agency CME Approval Form. The findings of the audit are based on the evidence which the agency provides to the audit team regarding each of the criteria. In essence, the College is asking the agency, “Did you deliver the program that was approved, and are the CME credits which you awarded to our members verifiable?”
The audits are completed by at least two members which may include a College staff member. They will conduct a review of the agency program records and participant records to compare them with the approved program, and with the CME Reporting Forms submitted for a sample of members. The team may interview the educator at the agency and tour the agency facilities.
The agency will receive a copy of the report within 30 days following the audit. The agency will be required to sign indicating receipt of the report.