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State Regulator: Continuing Education Tracking Affords Safe Harbor to Licensees

News Release – Monday, February 29, 2016

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) is encouraging licensees in the fields of Pharmacy and Optometry to avoid audits and stay in compliance by taking part in the recently launched voluntary continuing education (CE) tracking program. Qualified licensed professionals who utilize an IDFPR recognized online tracking service, and demonstrate compliance, will be granted safe harbor from CE audits. The move aims to save licensees the time involved in an audit, while allowing the state to avoid expending resources on individuals known to be in compliance.

“As our state’s regulatory agency, IDFPR is charged with safeguarding the public by ensuring that licensure qualifications and standards for professionals are properly evaluated, applied and enforced,” said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. “By utilizing an existing third-party service, we will be able to gain an enhanced view of how continuing education is carried out by our licensed professionals, without increasing staff workload. Ultimately, the continuing education tracking services help licensed professionals stay compliant, while allowing for better protection of the public’s health and safety through more effective oversight.”

IDFPR’s online CE tracking program begins on March 1, 2016. IDFPR currently recognizes tracking services offered through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry, Inc. IDFPR chose the industries of Pharmacy and Optometry to take part in the voluntary CE tracking program because these professions currently utilize CE tracking services to assist their own members. IDFPR anticipates expanding the online CE tracking program to additional licensed professionals in the future.

“NABP is pleased to partner with IDFPR, the parent agency of the Illinois Board of Pharmacy, and believes that the CPE Monitor service will fill an important need for the agency and its licensees,” states NABP President, Edward G. McGinley, MBA, RPh. “CPE Monitor is a collaborative effort between NABP, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and ACPE-accredited providers, and is a powerful online resource that allows licensees to track their completed CPE credits as well as provides boards of pharmacy a means of ensuring licensees comply with state CPE requirements, thus furthering the mission to protect the public health.”

To learn more about the voluntary CE program, visit the IDFPR website.