Most of you are probably very familiar with the rules in at least one jurisdiction – the one in which your organization is located or provides its primary programming. And you probably have a basic understanding of at least one or two more that surround your state. But an understanding of the rules - and how they differ from state to state - is critical to making sure that your programs will be accepted for credit in all of the jurisdictions for which you wish to apply.
I’m not going to go into the rules for each state, or to try to provide a comparison of the differences. Instead, I’ll give a bit of an overview of the main areas of which you need to be aware when studying the rules.
The rules cover key components of CLE programming and you’ll need to consider each carefully. Following are some questions to address when interested in providing credit in multiple jurisdictions:
• Credit calculations: Does the state use a 50- or 60-minute credit hour for calculating credit? This is important not only for letting attorneys know how many credits they will be earning. It is also essential to you as a provider in the planning process. If your speaker is planning a 50-minute presentation as the program is being held in New York, in how many states will you not be able to offer credit? Simply convincing your speaker to add those 10 additional minutes will greatly extend the credit opportunities you will be able to offer with the program, something that is good for both your organization, and ultimately for the speaker as well.
• Application procedure: Is an application required? Must it be submitted in advance of the event? How much in advance? What are the fees involved? What information must accompany the application? How is the application submitted? The answers to these questions will affect the timing with which you require information from your program planners and your speakers, what you need to get from these sources, and what tasks and when you will be doing them.
Other jurisdiction-specific questions to consider:
- What are the program material requirements?
- Are speakers required to have any special qualifications?
- Does the jurisdiction specifically define what specialty credits are?
- Are you restricted to addressing certain topics?
- Are there monitoring requirements?
- Are you required to submit any paperwork?
- Reporting requirements?
- Retention requirements?
Be sure to give yourself enough time to work through the complex maze of rules that vary from state to state. On my next post, I will round up some great outside resources and links that I found particularly helpful in my venture into the world of becoming a multi-state provider.