Glossary of Terms

CE consultant

Person using laptop

CDC CE staff person from CDC’s Accreditation and Compliance Team assigned to assist the CE developer and helps to ensure activities are developed, implemented, and evaluated according to requirements of accreditation organizations and adult learning principles.

CDC contact

CDC staff person responsible for accuracy, integrity, and timely completion of a CE proposal. This person may also be the CE developer, but is the primary CDC person responsible when a CDC partner is the CE developer.

CE developer

Person who develops a CE activity or person who works with a CE consultant to have an activity accredited and completes the CE proposal. This might be a CDC partner rather than CDC staff.

CDC partner

In the context of CE, a partner is defined as an organization or institution that is developing an educational activity that has received funding from a CDC grant, cooperative agreement, interagency agreement, or contract that conveys the intention to use the funding for training or workforce development. Examples of CDC partners include colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, state health departments, and other federal agencies.

CDC program

A CDC center, institute, office, or a division or branch therein.

Content expert

Expert on a topic who provides the content presented within an enduring educational activity.

Educational activity

Activity for which CE is provided. This may be a live event or an enduring course material.

Enduring course materials

Category of educational activity presented in a format that can be retrieved on demand such as recorded webinars; these products are typically pilot tested. CE is awarded for completing one entire occurrence. Visit the complete list of enduring materials.

Fast Track to Educational Accreditation

The Fast Track to Educational Accreditation program is a streamlined process to accredit educational activities within 20 business days. The standard accreditation timeline takes approximately 60 business days. CDC’s Continuing Education (CE) Fast Track service requires funding, so it is only available to CDC programs that are able to provide a CAN.

Learning objectives

Learning objectives are written to relate directly to the goals of the educational activity. The planning committee, content experts, and presenters determine the goals and objectives of the activity based on identified need.

Sound objectives or outcomes are measurable, concise, specific, and adequately define the level of the learning activity and the learners’ scope of practice.

Live events

Category of educational activity presented in a live format with time-limited availability. Here is the complete list of live events.

Nurse Planner

Person with at least a baccalaureate degree in nursing and is licensed and registered to practice nursing; actively engaged in the development of a CE proposal; ensures appropriate educational design principles are used and processes are consistent with the requirements of the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Physician reviewer

CDC employee who is trained and licensed to practice medicine; assigned by CDC’s Accreditation and Compliance Team to review continuing medical education proposals for physicians.

Planners, planning committee

Group of experts who represent the educational activity’s target audience; designs and implements the educational activity. A planning committee must have one representative from the appropriate professional group for each type of CE.


Person who delivers content during a live educational activity.

Recurring Program

A recurring program is an educational activity (e.g., a course) that is repeated throughout a 2-year period and the same content is delivered each time. It is the same educational activity throughout the entire accreditation period.


A series is a group of scheduled trainings offered over a 2-year period with educational content that changes each time a training is offered. The overall objectives and length of the training must remain the same; however, the content, post-test, and speakers change for each occurrence during the 2-year accreditation period.