Food For Thought

by Abigail Solazzo

The 2020 volunteer year has officially begun. We are looking forward to a great year with new and veteran volunteers. As you have seen in the previous weeks, we have made many changes that have gone into effect as of June 1. Included in those are the changes to the Prior Approval application and process. We have distributed much information about these changes in the previous months, as well as tools, resources, and templates to help simplify the process for our chapter leaders. All tools, resources, documents, and the Prior Approvals handbook and application can be found on ANFPConnect in Volunteer Resources (Prior Approvals Toolkit & Meeting Resources).

Below are the most significant changes within the application.

  • Step 2 - Chapters can request multiple certificates, one for each day or for a special event that would be separately priced. If you are allowing your members to register for one day of of a two- or three-day meeting, please request separate certificates for each day. Individual prior approval numbers will be generated for reporting purposes. 
  • Step 3 - Using Appendix C & D, you will need to decide the overall competency level for your meeting and select the most relevant topic areas the education included in your meeting will cover. There are 36 topic areas to choose from which follow the CDM Credentialing Exam blueprint. Refer to the Gap Analysis Tool found on under the Resources tab for a better understanding of how this tool can help evaluate continuing education goals. 
  • Step 6 - A description of the overall content of your meeting allows you to advertise your meeting to members using the 'Find CE' tool. Find CE is an area of the ANFP website where CBDM Prior Approved education can be found. You must be logged in to access.
  • Beginning June 1, 2020, ANFP will charge a $50 late fee for applications submitted less than 30 days prior to the event. ANFP staff will work with chapters on a case-by-case basis for this new policy. In most cases, we will process the application if reasonable time is permitted. 

New Resources & Tools

We have developed many new resources and tools to help simplify the application process. These are available on ANFPConnect in Volunteer Resources in the Prior Approvals Toolkit, and include the following: 

  • Example Applications - ANFP has provided samples of completed applications for chapter leaders to reference as they complete their own. This will ensure the submitted application is completed in its entirety and includes all required supporting documents in the correct format. 
  • Speaker Directory - The new user-friendly speaker directory will allow chapter leaders to find ANFP approved speakers by topic, state, and type of CE awarded (GEN, SAN, and Ethics). It also includes biographies from each of the speakers, simplifying the process of tracking down speaker bios that are required as part of the application. The directory will be updated regularly with ANFP approved speakers. It will also include speakers that are recommended by chapters (pending ANFP approval). 
  • Speaker Recommendation Form - Chapter leaders will have the opportunity to recommend speakers to national and other chapters. These recommendations will be added to the speaker directory. Speaker recommendations can include speakers that presented at chapter meetings or other industry workshops, conferences, or seminars. 
  • How to Write Learning Objectives - ANFP has provided a step by step guide on how to write learning objectives for your audience. 
  • Speaker Information Form - A form that can be sent to speakers to capture all their information, including contact information, learning objectives, name of session, CE type, and AV needs. 
  • Event Planning Grid - This template allows the meeting/program chair to keep all information and details related to meeting logistics including: speaker checklist, food & beverage details/catering, daily schedule with room assignments and audiovisual needs, etc., in one place, for easy reference and organization. Additional tabs can be added and customized, like vendor information, budget or registration dashboard, or other important information related to the event. 
  • Meeting Planning Checklist - This form allows the meeting/program planner to list all tasks that need to be executed for a successful meeting, along with the deadline for who is responsible for each task. 
  • Evaluation Form Template - Though it may look very similar to the previous version, we have added a few additional questions that will serve the chapter well for future meetings. As this serves as a template, chapter leaders will still be able to format and edit the document to fit their needs. 
  • Top 10s & Helpful Tips - A list of top ten tips for meeting planning and presenting, and other helpful tips, are available to help chapter leaders stay organized and prioritize these crucial components of the meeting. 
Who to Contact - For questions regarding the application or meeting planning process, please contact the below e-mail addresses: 

For questions regarding the Prior Approval application and/or processes, please e-mail

For questions regarding chapter meeting planning, please e-mail or

To learn more about the CE Prior Approvals application process, please take some time to view our webinar on ANFPtv.