When incorporating continuing education (CE) into your sales strategy, the fourth quarter is the perfect time to spruce up your course content. Will you be making updates? Will you need to refile, or a simply renew your updated courses? Is there any new content you want to prep for the new year? These are the types of questions that may pop-up as the end of the year inches closer. While you start thinking about closing out 2021 and prepping for the year ahead, here are some content reminders and best practices to consider.
To Refile, or Not Refile? That is the Question
When it comes to CE course content, one of the biggest questions firms have is whether or not they should refile. And the answer is, it depends. As you know from filing the course in the first place, state and designation boards have specific standards that need to be met for getting the content approved. These same standards should be considered when making updates or changes to your previously approved courses.
For instance, the timed course outline plays a major role in the approval process. Therefore, if more than 10 percent of the content is altered in anyway, meaning additional content is added large sections of content are removed that affect the timed outline, it would need to be refiled. Another example would be if the course title changed. Even if the course content is relatively the same, but the title changes from, “Retirement Planning in 2021,” to, “Retirement Planning in 2022,” the course would need to be refiled.
The Perks of Renewing Courses
So, what if you decide your course content only needs minor changes? That situation calls for a simple renewal versus a complete refiling. Some of the changes you may make to your course content that won’t require refiling include, swapping out charts, updating statistics and making minor edits that won’t affect the timed course outline.
You may be wondering, are there any perks for renewing versus refiling? Absolutely! For starters, simply renewing your evergreen content is a less time-consuming process. It doesn’t require a ton of edits on your end and it’s easy to renew courses within your CE management program. Secondly, depending on the state or designation board, renewal fees tend to be a little more cost-effective than refiling. On the other hand, refiling course also has its benefits. Since many state and designation boards put the kibosh on advisors doubling down on courses, refiling allows you to offer similar content to returning advisors while assuring they can earn the allotted CE credit.
Don’t Bog Down Your Account
The end-of-the year isn’t strictly for getting your content renewed and refiled. It’s also a great time to remove any “clutter” that may be lingering in your CE program. This could include outdated courses, or instructors that are no longer utilizing CE or who have left your firm. Retiring old courses and deactivating instructors can help free up some much-needed budget for next year’s program.
Running a successful CE program definitely takes time and requires your attention, but Quest CE is here to help you every step of the way. If you have questions on how to get your CE program cleaned up, or how to get courses refiled or renewed, please reach out to our dedicated support team, here. If you would like to explore some of the value-add CE services we offer, click here.