Promotional Material

  What is promotional material? Promotional material is any combination of media that provides participants with descriptive information regarding the learning activity. Materials can include brochures, email announcements, website and direct mail, to name a few. Standard No. 9 differentiates requirements of promotional materials between courses marketed to an external audience and courses for internal training only.

According to Standard No. 9, the promotional materials generally include learning objectives, prerequisites, statements regarding prerequisites and advanced preparation, the delivery method, recommended CPE credits and recommended field of study.  There are additional considerations and requirements for each audience type and Standard No. 9 should be consulted.  

We have provided sample promotional material for internal audiences and sample promotional material for external audiences for your reference.

Do all of these requirements have to appear on one piece of promotional material? No, sponsors are welcome to use a combination of materials to provide features of their programs. These materials should be provided to participants in advance of the program.

A few of the most common mistakes revealed by our audit process are as follows:

  • Learning objectives not clearly identified
  • Program level category misclassified
  • Prerequisite and advanced preparation statement omitted
  • Complaint contact information omitted
  • Clear statement of delivery method omitted

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are the building blocks of every program. These objectives should be easily identified in the promotional materials and clearly state what skills or knowledge a participant should be able to take away from the program. Think S.M.A.R.T. when you are developing learning objectives:

S = Specific (Do the objectives avoid vague action verbs such as “understand” and “know”?)

M = Measurable (Is the learning outcome measurable? If so, how can it be measured?)

A = Alignment (Do the objectives align with the sponsor’s vision and values?)

R = Realistic (Is it a reasonable and feasible outcome?)

T = Time – oriented (Can the objectives be accomplished in the amount of time provided?)

Once the learning objectives are provided for the participant, sponsors should ensure that the course content itself is centered on the learning objectives. The Registry Team reviews content and compares the content to the stated learning objectives. If learning objectives are not apparent in the course content, the sponsor may fail the desk audit.

Program Level Categories

Once learning objectives are identified, the sponsor should determine the appropriate program knowledge level. Typically, there should be one program level assigned for each program. For programs in which there are multiple sessions, the program level should be assigned for each session. Standard No. 2 prescribes the use of the following program knowledge levels: basic; intermediate; advanced; overview; and update. These terms are defined in Article I-Definitions of the Statement on Standards for Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Programs (2012) (Standards).

Prerequisites and Advanced Preparation

Intermediate, advanced and update program knowledge levels require a prerequisite as these programs inherently build upon previous education or experience. The prerequisite should be written in precise language and must clearly identify the education, experience and/or advanced preparation that is needed by the participant in order to qualify for the program. Advanced preparation requirements explain any pre-work that must be done prior to taking the program. For basic level programs, the sponsor should state there are no prerequisites or advanced preparation in the promotional materials.

Complaint Contact Information

From time to time, sponsors may receive a complaint regarding their programs. For this reason, the Standards require sponsors to provide contact information for the appropriate contact person within the sponsor’s organization that should be contacted by a participant to discuss any type of grievance or complaint. The complaint contact information should include the name of the person or the department to contact as well as the email address and/or telephone number.

Delivery Method