If you’ve looked through a recent Duke Learning & Organization Development course catalog, underneath the description of most courses, you will see a notation for “CEU Credits.”
While plenty of Duke employees may be familiar with Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits, many of you likely haven’t heard of them. Either way, the fact that Duke’s professional development organization can offer CEU credits benefits everyone.
“It holds us accountable for quality training on our end,” said Dinetta Richardson, assistant director for Organizational Development for L&OD. “For the customer, it lets them know that they are getting continuing education credits based on a very thorough process that ensures that we’re transferring knowledge.”
L&OD earned the ability to give CEU credits by completing a certification process with the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), the organization that developed the CEU system. The system gives employers and licensing boards a standardized way to gauge an employee’s commitment to professional development. CEU credits can be earned by completing coursework from IACET-certified teaching organizations or attending IACET-approved conferences.
In order to gain certification, Richardson spearheaded a yearlong review of L&OD’s course structure. She gathered information on how courses are taught and how their effectiveness is gauged.
Along the way, Richardson and her colleagues found areas for improvement. As a result of the review, L&OD went from a paper course evaluation system into an easier-to-use and quicker-to-process online system. The Learning Management System – the online tool used by employees to organize their professional development activities – was streamlined.
And in order to create greater consistency in how the courses are taught, Richardson helped develop a standard of practice manual, showing the preferred way courses should be executed.
“It’s something where somebody could come in and know what to do, from assessing the needs of a client all the way through evaluation, they know step-by-step what to do,” Richardson said.
After completing the review and earning IACET certification, L&OD courses began carrying CEU credits in January 2017.
Rita Winsor has long known the importance of CEU credits. As Divisional Chief Human Resources Officer for Duke University Health System Clinical Labs, she works with colleagues who, like many employees in the health system, must accrue a certain number of CEU credits over time in order to keep their certification with in their case, the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
The earning of CEU credits – on both technical subjects and soft skills – is also occasionally incorporated into performance reviews as a way to ensure staff members grow into roles and stay up-to-date on the latest technology, or changes in a field.
“That’s why the CEUs are so important,” Winsor said. “It’s a way to encourage staff to stay current and continue their development.”