CME Needs Assessment Guidelines
Professional Practice Gaps, Needs, Objectives, and Results
What is a professional practice gap?
A professional practice gap is the difference between actual and ideal performance.
|What learners know & do||
|What learners should know & do|
Professional practice gaps are measured in terms of:
Knowledge: being aware of what to do
Competence: being able to apply knowledge, skills, and judgment in practice (knowing how to do something)
Performance: having the ability to implement the strategy or skill (what one actually does)
How are gaps identified?
Needs assessment is the systematic process of gathering information/data that is used to determine the current situation, state of skills, knowledge, abilities and performance and to determine if instructional solutions can be utilized to close the gap between actual and ideal performance.
What is the difference between a gap and a need?
Gaps are the difference between ACTUAL (what is) and IDEAL (what should be) in regards to performance and/or patient outcomes. Identified needs are defined as “the need for education on a specific topic identified by a gap in professional practice.”
How do I formulate learning objectives?
After looking at the practice gaps and educational needs, what do you want the learner to be able to accomplish after the activity?
Learning objectives are the take-home messages that bridge the gap between the identified need/gap and the desired result.
Note: learning objectives should be measurable and should begin with a verb than can be measured (“understand” should not be used as one’s understanding cannot be readily measured).
What is a desired result?
Desired results are what you expect the learner to do in his/her practice setting. How will the information presented impact the clinical practice and/or behavior of the learner? Is the activity designed to:
Give participants new abilities/strategies (change competence)?
Help participants modify their practice (change performance)?
Needs Assessment Data Sources:
The first step in educational design process of a AMA PRA Category 1 activity is the assessment of the educational needs or the purpose of the activity. The need for the educational activity goes beyond the sponsor's own perception of need and must relate to relevant patient care issues. This can be supported by:
Hospital Information Sources/Quality Data
Documentation of Needs Assessment Data must be submitted with your application.
Information gathered from NC Medical Society website.