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SIOP Is Now Approved to Provide HR Continuing Education

Jolene Skinner
Dell, Inc.

Last fall, SIOP administered the first continuing education (CE) needs assessment. The CE Committee, composed of Jolene Skinner (chair), Jacqueline Wall, and Anne Offner, worked with Questar and the SIOP office to deliver an online survey to our members during the October/November timeframe. The goal was to better understand our members’ CE needs so that we can maximize the use of our CE offerings, both during our conferences (e.g., workshops, seminars, master tutorials) and outside of the conferences (e.g., online learning center, partnering with local I-O organizations). We wanted to identify who needs CE, how members use CE, what content is needed, and how to deliver CE most effectively (method, cost, timing, etc.).

We had over 766 respondents (11% participation rate) distributed across our membership base, with 41% of the sample stating that they have taken courses for CE credit. We analyzed the data and have posted a detailed summary of the participants and results on the SIOP Web site (http://www.siop.org/ce.aspx). We also shared the results with our Executive Board and Conference Committee. Now we are sharing the results with our members so that you know what we learned and how we are using your feedback to drive improvements in our CE offerings.

What We Learned

Widespread participation in our survey suggests that interest in CE is not just limited to traditionally licensed psychologists.  Regardless of whether members are licensed and/or certified, professional development is the top reason that members use CE courses.  In fact, reasons for enrolling in CE did not significantly vary in rank order across membership types (across professional and student members, across degree types, and across those who are licensed/certified and those who are not). In other words, even for licensed and certified psychologists, professional development is still the top reason why our members seek continuing education opportunities (licensure is second; skill building is third). This finding is very important to SIOP because it means that as we plan for the future, our improvements will be helpful to most of our members, not just licensed psychologists. Top content choices were also consistent across respondents, focusing on leadership and management development, organizational development and change, measurement and statistics, and selection and staffing. Content on high-performing teams, job and work analysis, diversity, competency modeling, and litigation support were selected by less than 20% of our members.

In addition, we learned that members want to take CE courses when it is convenient for them. More specifically, our members reported a high level of interest in online offerings, including prerecorded and self-study modules, a delivery method that SIOP continues to investigate. Members prefer content presenters who are well-known speakers and provide updated information on the topic. Yet, our members told us that speakers do not have to be limited to SIOP members, those who are highly published, or have a doctorate degree.  Thus, we have opportunities to expand our speaker base beyond the typical SIOP borders.

Our Actions

Conference updates. The results were used to help identify what sessions to record at the April conference and to decide what workshops to offer for next year’s conference. We also are considering offering online programs to supplement conference workshop sessions.

CE availability. In our efforts to expand the value of CE, SIOP applied for and was granted HR Certification Institute (HRCI) approval in February. HRCI is a certification awarded through the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM). We are now an approved provider for continuing education for SPHR, GPHR, and PHR certifications.  We are continuing to work with the Administrative Office to ensure information on our HRCI certification is available on the SIOP Web site CE page so that members can fully understand the benefits.  In addition, we are working to update the conference submission process to partially automate how sessions can be considered for HRCI credit in the future. 

Increasing feedback mechanisms. We have included additional items in the Leading Edge Consortium and April conference evaluations and have requested additional analyses on our current CE evaluations so that we can continue to track our CE priorities and membership needs.  We are also working with the Administrative Office to update our membership tracking information so that we can track both certification and licensure information. Our goal is to create sustaining mechanisms so that we do not need to administer supplementary CE needs assessments.

We continue to partner with the Conference and LEC Committees and the Administrative Office to find ways to increase the value of participation in CE, ensuring that our CE opportunities are both relevant to our I-O members and more accessible to those who need and want it.  One such focus in the upcoming year will include possible online programs. We are also open to new opportunities and partnerships with other organizations both external to SIOP and with local I-O organizations to leverage our CE offerings.  For more information on CE offerings at SIOP, visit our Web page (http://www.siop.org/ce.aspx). If you have ideas or suggestions, please contact Jolene Skinner at jolene_skinner@dell.com.