In this criteria review, we discuss the ANCC's EDP3, which measures change in knowledge, skills, and/or practices of the target audience.

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Review: Educational Design Process 3 (EDP3)

Whether you are an accredited provider such as i3 Health or you are an educational partner working with an accredited provider, it’s still important to understand the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) criteria that underlie nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) activities. This is part of a periodic series of posts looking at what each criterion means in general and what it might mean for you.

The third set of ANCC accreditation criteria focus on the educational design process (EDP) of the activities within an NCPD program. Educational design includes the planning, design, assessment, and evaluation of each activity. There are seven (7) criteria within this section. EDP1 and EDP2 focus on practice gaps and educational needs and were covered in earlier posts in this series.

Criterion EDP3 states:

How the Accredited Provider Program Director identifies and measures change in knowledge, skills, and/or practices of the target audience that are expected to occur as a result of participation in the educational activity.

We have identified our gap and the educational needs that underly it. We are creating an educational activity to address those needs. Somehow we need to determine the impact that activity had. How will we know if our attendees have actually learned something and are using what they learned in their practice? How will we know if our educational activity has changed that practice gap?

Criterion EDP3 asks the question of how the activity will be evaluated. There is no set rule. Different educational activities may be better suited to different forms of evaluation. This criterion asks the provider to describe how they determine what evaluation method will be used.

It is also important to note that this selection must be identified within the activity file. It is possible that your activities are similar enough that you will always use a post-test and self-reported evaluation form. But if you offer a mix of activities, you will likely find that you want to tailor your evaluation method to the activity. A didactic lecture doesn’t call for the same sort of assessment that a hands-on skills lab does.

The key thing is to make sure that the evaluation method aligns with the practice gap, educational needs, and desired learner outcomes. If you are choosing to measure a change in knowledge when you’ve identified that the educational need is that learners are lacking a skill, your evaluation method is not going to align with the goals of the activity.

We have a habit of thinking of the evaluation as something that comes at the end of the activity. This criterion reminds us that in order to properly evaluate an activity, the evaluation design must be part of the planning process. What we do with the information we gather is covered in a separate criterion. First we must finish the planning process, and those next steps will be in the next post in this series.

Other Posts in This Series

Educational Design Process 1 (EDP1)

Educational Design Process 2 (EDP2)


ACCME (2022). Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Available at: 

ANCC (2021). Writing to the ANCC NCPD Accreditation Criteria Self-Learning Guide. Available at:

ANCC (2021). ANCC NCPD Accredited Provider Applicant Journey Guide. Available at:


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