NEW COPE Provider Accreditation Process
(beginning January 1, 2017)
COPE's Provider Accreditation Process is an opportunity for optometric CE providers to demonstrate that their practice of CE is in compliance with COPE's accreditation requirements through three sources of data:
Performance in Practice Review
STEP 1: Submit Pre-Application
Prior to starting the provider accreditation process, CE providers are required to fill out a pre-application online to determine their eligibility to become a COPE Accredited Provider. The pre-application will determine whether the organization is a commercial interest. Commercial interests are not eligible to become a provider of COPE Accredited CE. NOTE: CE Providers that are already approved COPE Administrators in 2016 will not have to submit a new pre-application.
A provider Pre-Application Fee is charged by COPE and must be paid prior to COPE making the determination of commercial interest status. If the applicant is found not to be a commercial interest, then the payment of that Pre-Application Fee is credited against that applicant's subsequent accreditation fee.
The provider will also be asked to report the demographics (number and types of activities) of a typical one year CE cycle. These demographics will be utilized by COPE to recommend the number of activities from which examples of evidence must be submitted to supplement the Self-Study Report.
All providers seeking COPE accreditation are required to submit a self-study report. The self-study process provides an opportunity for the applicant to reflect on its CE program. Each provider must submit a detailed explanation of the approach the organization utilizes to meet each of the accreditation criteria. Each provider will also be required to demonstrate their execution of the criteria via submission of specific evidence which shows the utilization of the accreditation criteria within the organization and planning of one or more continuing education activities. Accreditation is dependent on the provider not only declaring that they know what to do, but that they are also able to demonstrate that knowledge in action.
COPE uses the review of an applicant's performance in practice, as seen in materials from CE activities, to verify that the applicant meets COPE's expectations. Typically, applicants will select two educational activities completed within the last 24 months for performance in practice review. The applicant is expected to provide evidence that will demonstrate compliance with COPE's accreditation criteria and applicable policies.
STEP 3: Accreditation Interview
Applicants for COPE provider accreditation must participate in a phone interview with members of the Accreditation Review Committee. The interview provides an opportunity for your organization to discuss your CE program and your policies and practices to ensure compliance with COPE's Accreditation Criteria, Standards for Commercial Support, and policies. Applicants are responsible for the costs associated with the accreditation interview.
Accreditation Decision Making Process
After the phone interview, the full Accreditation Review Committee will make a recommendation regarding the accreditation application. The Accreditation Review Committee will give its accreditation decision in writing to the ARBO Board of Directors for final ratification. Upon the Board's ratification, the provider will be sent a letter confirming the accreditation determination.
If the provider is successful in demonstrating they have all the necessary tools and implementation processes in place to adhere to the COPE Accreditation Criteria, they will be deemed provisionally accredited for a period of 2 years. COPE may require periodic progress reports including submission of evidence for any concerns that arise during the application process. At the end of the two year term of provisional accreditation, providers will be eligible for reaccreditation (with a four year term).