While your education program may be a cornerstone of your organization’s value proposition, it can be unwieldy to manage. So every shortcut to save time, staff hours, and budget helps! Whether an organization is the certifying body or supplies tracked credits to credentialing boards, the CE tracking process can be time-consuming, paper intensive and at times rather frustrating for you and your members alike.
The Indiana Commercial Board of Realtors has first-hand experience with CE tracking. The organization tracks two types of CE for two different credentials at their annual conference. Up until this year, ICBR staff and volunteers managed a manual process to collect and report credits. The process involved SurveyMonkey, paper sign-ins, third-party RFID scanners, mail merges, and excel, and tied up the small staff well beyond the event. Typically, members would receive their CEU certificate approximately one to two weeks after the conference’s end.
In 2017, ICBR budgeted for a mobile app at the conference to save on print materials and increase member communication. To further their green initiative and save from a budget perspective, they dual-purposed the technology to track CEUs earned during the conference. Each member followed a simple app check-in process to earn session credits. As they earned credits, their educational transcript grew. At the end of the event, the personalized transcript was emailed to each member from the app platform. ICBR also had a record of earned credits for everyone to share with the Real Estate Commission.
This was the first year ICBR chose to use mobile technology to track credits, and the staff has plans for a few improvements to the process for 2018. There were those members who didn’t download the app prior to the event and thus stopped by registration for help. Since this was the first year using the app for continued education tracking, the ICBR staff did spend a day validating the counts prior to releasing the certificates. But when you compare to the past process, members still received their certificate much earlier. Overall, the mobile process was a hit for staff and members alike:
- 99 percent of members used the app to track their continuing education credits
- Attendees surveyed ranked the app experience to track credits at 4.5 on a 5 point scale
- Staff saved time both on the process itself and on post-event support
Allowing members to self-service the tracking process on their phones, ensured accurate records, reduced staff hours, and greatly reduced the time to deliver member transcripts.
If your association is using mobile apps for events or member communication, you may already have a mobile solution to support your education endeavors at your fingertips.