3901-5-04 Continuing education market practices/audit.

(A) Purpose

The purpose of this rule is to establish criteria, standards and procedures for providers of continuing education (CE) programs.

(B) Authority

This rule is promulgated pursuant to the authority vested in the superintendent under sections 3901.041 and 3905.486 of the Revised Code.

(C) Provider practices

(1) A course must be offered and presented as approved. The failure to do so may result in a denial of CE credit for the course.

(2) Written notice of any changes to a provider or course application must be given to the superintendent no later than fifteen days subsequent to the effective date of the change. Notice of such changes must contain both the provider and course identification numbers.

(3) Providers may not change a course's content or outline without prior written approval of the superintendent. Failure to obtain such written approval in advance of offering the course may result in a denial of CE credit for the course.

(4) An approved course must be in session on the date(s) scheduled, during the specified hours and at the designated location unless cancelled in accordance with paragraph (C)(5) of this rule or unless notification of any change is given to the superintendent in accordance with paragraph (C)(2) of this rule.

(5) If an approved course is cancelled, or if an agent cancels in advance of the date of the course, the provider must refund all fees in full within forty-five days of the cancellation unless a different refund policy is conspicuously printed on the provider's materials.

(6) A provider must issue written notification to all individuals who are scheduled to attend a course of any change in the course location, date, time, course content, or refund policy prior to the course offering. If a course is postponed to a later date or moved to a location that is different and is more than ten miles from the original course location, the provider must offer each agent who is scheduled to attend the option of a full refund in lieu of attending the class.

(7) A provider must monitor course attendance, examination or participation of each agent. The provider must be able to provide reasonable assurance of active student participation in every course.

(8) A provider must submit the date, time and location of each course to the superintendent at least ten days prior to the offering of the course. The provider must notify the superintendent, in writing, immediately upon cancellation of or any change to a scheduled course. Providers do not need to report examination schedules for courses approved as self-study.

(9) Providers approved to offer CE credit for association membership shall not submit to the superintendent association membership credit based on an agent's act of joining the local, regional, state or national professional insurance association.

(10) A provider must comply with the "Equal Employment Opportunity" and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(11) Facilities must be large enough to comfortably accommodate all attendees and instructors and must be conducive to the education process.

(12) Providers shall submit all applications, schedules and rosters electronically, using a system prescribed by the superintendent, unless the superintendent has authorized other submission methods.

(D) Attendance rosters

(1) Each provider shall maintain accurate attendance records for each course. Providers must obtain the agents signatures and appropriate verification of the time of arrival and departure. .

(2) Within fifteen calendar days after the completion of a course, the provider shall file an attendance roster, which identifies each agent who completed the course. The roster must include the agent's name, national producer number (NPN) or other identification number requested by the superintendent, and the number of requested credits per agent listed on the roster. If partial credit is being given, the provider must note on the attendance roster the actual number of credits to be given to that agent. The participation fee amount submitted to the roster must be equal to the number of credits approved for the course.

(3) Instructors may receive double the number of credit hours which they taught. Any instructor for whom CE credit is sought shall also be identified on the attendance roster with a notation of the total number of credits that are to be given for the instruction. Providers must include a participation fee equal to the number of credits given to the instructor.

(4) The provider's failure to timely file an attendance roster, or other acceptable documentation, may result in a denial of CE credit for those agents who attended the course.

(5) For association membership credit, the provider must submit a course roster to the superintendent within fifteen calendar days of an agent making a written request to the association. Prior to submitting a course roster, it is the responsibility of the association to verify that the agent's activity qualifies for association credit.

(a) The provider shall submit only one qualifying activity or program per roster and shall identify the number of association credits each agent earned per activity. The provider may issue association credit on each roster ranging from one credit to no more than four credits per agent.

(b) The provider must submit the course participation fee of one dollar per association membership credit per member with the roster.

(E) Advertising

(1) All CE advertising or promotion of any kind must contain all of the following:

(a) The complete name of the provider as it appears on the application for provider approval;

(b) The complete title of the course as it appears on the application for course approval;

(c) The number of Ohio CE credit hours for which the course is approved; and

(d) Whether an exam is required in order to receive CE credit.

(e) Level of course instruction (i.e. introductory, intermediate, advanced).

(2) A provider must not represent that a course has been approved for CE credit in Ohio until the superintendent issues written approval of course. A provider may represent that an application for CE approval is pending, but if a provider does so and approval is not granted, the provider must make a full refund of all fees. If a provider represents that approval is pending, the provider must also state, in substance, that the superintendent could deny course approval or approve the course for fewer credits than requested.

(3) A provider shall not offer any guarantee or represent that there is any guarantee that a licensee will pass a required examination.

(4) A provider approved to offer association membership credit shall not offer any guarantee or representation that membership in its organization will automatically qualify for CE credits.

(5) If several approved courses are offered together, all advertising and promotional materials must separately identify each approved course and the respective number of CE credit hours for which each course is approved.

(6) In advertising or promoting itself or any of its courses, a provider shall not make any representation or statement, or cause or permit another to make any representation or statement which is false, deceptive or misleading.

(7) A provider's refund policy must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in all advertising and on all printed promotional materials.

(F) Audit

(1) The superintendent may audit a provider's records and courses at any time without prior notice.

(2) The instructors at an approved course may be required to provide proof of identity upon request during an audit of a course.

(G) Records retention

(1) Each provider shall retain all records which pertain to its Ohio CE activities for a minimum of four years.

(2) A provider must be able to verify who attended or completed each course for a minimum of four years following the completion of such course.

(3) A provider approved to issue association membership credit must be able to verify active participation by those members granted such credit for a minimum of four years following the completion of the calendar year in which credit was granted.

(H) Certificate of completion

(1) A certificate of completion shall contain the agent's name and national producer number (NPN) or other identification number requested by the superintendent, the name and identification number of the course, the date(s) the course was held or date(s) the association credit activity was earned, the number of credit hours completed by the agent, the name and identification number of the provider and a representative of the provider shall sign each certificate.

(2) A provider shall issue a certificate of completion to each agent within ten calendar days of course completion. For association membership credit, the course completion date shall be based on the date the provider received a written request from an agent requesting association membership credit pursuant to paragraph (F)(5) of rule 3901-5-01 of the Administrative Code or the date of the association activity, whichever is later.

(I) Severability

If any paragraph, term or provision of this rule is adjudged invalid for any reason, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate any other paragraph, term or provision of this rule, and the remaining paragraphs, terms and provisions shall be and shall continue in full force and effect.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/26/2014 and 08/26/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 3901.041 , 3905.486
Rule Amplifies: 3905.484
Prior Effective Dates: 12/31/1993, 10/12/1998, 9/22/2005, 1/1/2011