Webinar CE can be great for business when done correctly. Through our experience of helping our clients develop and run their webinars, we’re finding that state polling requirements are causing some confusion. To help clear this up, we’re breaking down five important polling facts that you should be aware of before hosting your next Webinar CE event.

Polling Questions Should be Treated Like Pop Quizzes

Polling questions are to be unannounced to determine participant attentiveness. Before the webinar begins, you may inform attendees that participation in polling questions in required to earn credit, however, you cannot announce when polling questions are being launched during the presentation. Similarly, you cannot announce that you are waiting for attendees to answer the polling question, before closing the poll. At Quest CE, we have noticed an uptick in state audits focusing singularly on this unannounced delivery, so make sure your instructors are paying attention to this detail.

One Credit Hour = Three Polling Questions

To receive continuing education (CE) credit, webinar attendees are required to answer three polling questions throughout the presentation, per credit hour. That means, if you are conducting a webinar event for two-credits of continuing education, you will likely need six polling questions total, throughout the presentation (three in the first hour, three in the second hour).

Designation Credit Only? You’re Off the Hook

A common misconception is that polling is required for both insurance CE and designation CE. The truth is, while we recommend always including polling questions, it is not mandatory for many designation credits, such as CIMA or CFP. Therefore, if your current webinar hosting platform doesn’t allow for polling, or it’s simply something your firm wants to avoid, your best bet is to stick to offering designation credits that don’t have a polling requirement.

Give Credit Where Credit’s Due

If an attendee shows up late, or simply forgets to answer the required polling questions, they will be unquailed to earn credit for that webinar event. It is equally as important that attendees be logged in for the duration of the webinar. The point of this requirement is to ensure attendees are actively engaged throughout the presentation, so attendance is key. It’s recommend during registration that attendees login 10-15 minutes early to give themselves ample time to troubleshoot any login delays or issues.

Are your Attendees Paying Attention?

While it’s not a bad idea to have the polling questions based on the content being presented, it’s not a requirement. Again, the whole point of polling questions is to ensure attendees are actively engaged with the presentation (i.e. have the screen up and not hiding behind several other browser windows). This means you can ask your participants anything – from their favorite color to whether they’re a dog or cat person.