ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Review: Educational Design Process 2b

Educational design capacity 2b states the educational provider should incorporate competencies into educational activities to achieve desired outcomes.

The second set of Accredited Provider Distinction Criteria build on the standard Educational Design Process criteria. There are five criteria within this group, and at least two must be met for a provider to achieve “Distinction.”

The second criterion in this section (2b) states: 

Evidence demonstrates a process description and example that the Provider Unit incorporates competencies into educational activities (QSEN, IOM, IPCE, or similar) and/ or integrates selected competencies within content to achieve desired outcomes.

When designing education, we think about practice gaps and our desired outcomes. For example, we want nurses to wash their hands. If we’ve identified a gap in which nurses on an infectious disease floor are forgetting to wash their hands when moving from one patient to the next, our desired outcome is that they remember to wash their hands in these instances. This is a gap that was identified in a specific location at a specific hospital.

But practice gaps frequently fall into larger categories of best practices. This could be communication skills, patient care, or medical knowledge. And these are generally not categories that are local to one hospital or clinic. These are things identified by larger organizations such as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) or the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC), and we generally use the term “competency” to describe these qualities*.

This criterion looks for the competencies that are part of the educational design process. How do you make sure that you’re looking at the competencies and including them? Do you start with a competency and then look for a practice gap? Do you find a practice gap and then make sure that what you’re designing addresses both the practice gap and any related competencies? Neither process is wrong. What matters is that both are including competencies in the process and, therefore, making sure they are incorporated into the resulting activity and/or desired outcomes.

If you’re an organization that plans activities for multiple professions, you may find that you’re already doing this to meet the standard criteria for a different profession. In general, this is a fairly simple criterion to meet. You are likely designing activities that address nationally identified competencies, whether or not you realize it. Once you start documenting the competencies your activities address, you’ll see that you have already met the requirements for this criterion.

*In the continuing medical education (CME) world, you will also see these called “desirable physician attributes”.

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