The most significant changes in the Kansas rules, announced earlier this week at the Kansas CLE Commission's Provider Conference, come in the area of "Nontraditional programming". Changes in the rules are meant to reflect the growing number of new formats now available - formats that were not even contemplated when the Kansas MCLE rules were first adopted in 1985.
A Nontraditional program is defined by the rules (KS SCR 802(k)) as "a program accessed solely by an individual attorney". Kansas includes teleconference, internet-based conference, audio tape, video tape, CD, podcast, CD-Rom and DVD among the formats covered, although this list is not meant to be an exclusive definition of acceptable formats.
Nontraditional programming differs from self study as nontraditional encompasses verification of completion. Self study programming is not accreditable per KS SCR 806(m).
Kansas has grouped nontraditional programming into three categories:
- Live Transmissions - teleconference, videoconference, webconference, live webcast
- Pre-recorded Video - video tape, video CD, DVD, video file, online on demand video
- Pre-recorded audio - audio tape, audio CD, podcast/mp3/audio file, online on demand audio
Sponsors must have procedures in place to independently verify completion of the program - these may vary by format and provider. The provider must consider the format in which a CLE program is offered in order to design an appropriate verification procedure. The Commission will consider approval of all methods of independent provider verification when determining accreditation of a course. Kansas will also be doing periodic audits of verification procedures for all categories.
Under the old system, a provider had to submit the application for approval of an alternative delivery method 30 days prior to the activity. Under the new rules, the application can be submitted any time during the compliance period. The provider must still submit the application - individual attorneys may not apply for credit for nontraditional programs.
Applications for programming in the live transmission category must be submitted with a $25 application fee. As always, repeat dates for identical programs may be listed on one application. For pre-recorded formats, a $100 application fee is required. A separate application must be submitted for each format for which approval is sought. For example, if a program is made available online on demand video and also as a podcast- that would require the submission of two separate applications. The new application forms will be available on the Kansas website soon.
Approvals for pre-recorded formats are good throughout the compliance period, expiring on June 30 of the current period. Applications may be submitted to reaccredit a program in subsequent compliance periods, as long as the content remains current. Kansas has not defined a specific shelf-life rule and it is up to the provider to determine if the content is outdated.
Nontraditional attendance is limited to 5 hours per compliance period. If, for example, a nontraditional program is 8 hours, the maximum attendance an attorney may apply to the compliance period is 5 credits.
My next Kansas Rule Change Update post will cover group viewings, where Kansas takes a very different approach than most other states.