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Overview of Approver Unit Criteria and Key Elements CRITERION 1: MISSION STATEMENT 1. Mission Statement. Beliefs and goals of the approver unit are relevant and appropriate to prospective applicants. 2. Lines of Authority and Administrative Support. Organizational structures and lines of authority support the operation of the approver unit

CRITERION 2: APPROVAL PROCESS 1. Qualified Reviewers. All nurse peer reviewers are registered nurses with expertise in educational design and at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing. They must possess the relevant knowledge and experience to participate in the peer review process 2. Contact Hours. The approval process authorizes contact hours to be awarded for the didactic, clinical experience, or evaluation components of an activity. Contact hours are calculated in a logical and defensible manner. One contact hour = 60 minutes. The minimum number of contact hours that may be approved to be awarded for a continuing nursing education activity is 0.5 contact hours. If “rounding” is desired in the calculation of contact hours, the provider is to round down. The official accreditation statement must be used when granting contact hours. 3. Accreditation Statements. All communications, marketing materials, and other documents that refer to the approverʼs ANCC-accredited status contain the official accreditation statement, as follows: [Name of Accredited Approver Unit] is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Centerʼs COA. The accreditation statement must stand alone. In other words, it must start and end on a separate line. (This statement appears on AORNʼs own materials. It is not the statement used by applicants for their approved programs) 4. Conflict of Interest Guidelines. Conflict of interest disclosure statements shall be obtained from all peer reviewers to identify the presence or absence of any potentially conflicting relationships of a financial, professional, or personal nature. Peer reviewers shall disclose the presence or absence of conflict of interest relative to each application reviewed. All potential conflicts shall be resolved prior to implementation of the continuing education activity. 5. Record Keeping. For all applications acted upon, specific documentation is retained in a confidential manner and kept in a secure location for 6 years. 6. Peer Review of Applications for Provider Unit Approval Proceeds According to Specified Guidelines. Retroactive approval may not be granted.


7. Peer Review of Applications for Provider-Directed Educational Activity Approval Proceeds According to the Specified Guidelines. Retroactive approval may not be granted.

CRITERION 3: UNIT OPERATIONS 1. NURSE PEER REVIEW LEADER. At least one Nurse Peer Review Leader is responsible for overseeing the entire peer review approval process. The Nurse Peer Review Leader guarantees that ANCC Accreditation Program criteria guide the standards by which approval applications are evaluated. 2. Monitoring Process. Accredited approvers are responsible for ensuring that all approved applicants are following ANCC criteria. The pertinent practices of each applicant will be monitored on a regular basis (at least once during the approval period). 3. Resources. Sufficient human, material, and financial resources are available to carry out the administrative, educational, and supportive functions of the approver unit. 4. Business Practices. Accredited approver units must adhere to all regional, state, and national laws and regulations and operate the business and management policies and procedures of its continuing nursing education program (as they relate to human resources, financial affairs, and legal obligations) in an ethical manner and so that its obligations and commitments are met.

CRITERION 4: APPROVER UNIT EVALUATIONS 1. Approver Unit Evaluation Process. The approver must have a mechanism in place to evaluate the effectiveness of its overall continuing nursing education program. 2. Approver Unit Evaluation Participants. The Nurse Peer Review Leader and other appropriate individuals participate in the process used to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the approver unit. 3. Approver Unit Evaluation Results. Evaluation data are used to confirm, expand, and change the operations of the approver unit. 4. Approver Unit Goals for Improvement. Efforts toward improvement include addressing issues, identifying strategies for working on targeted goals, evaluating progress toward goals, and revising or establishing new goals.


Overview of Approver Unit Criteria