Gaining BMLA Approval

Gaining BMLA Approval

Approval for Educational Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Continuing Medical Education (CME) has become a norm for all health care professionals since acquisition of skill and knowledge does not ever stop. The BMLA has a role to play in ensuring the above. This is achieved in a number of ways. The following section covers its role in providing approval of educational courses and workshops. Conferences, Educational courses and Workshops:

1. Instrument

  • The BMLA supports educational activity by convening annual conferences, courses and workshops for its membership. These are also open for wider non-member audience.
  • The BMLA offers students or trainees a discounted fee for attendances at the conferences, courses and workshops.
  • Since these courses are organised by the BMLA, the quality assurance (QA) can be assumed to be an integral part of such courses (see below, QA).
  • The BMLA also invites other organisers of the training courses to apply for approval of their courses by ensuring QA for such courses (see below).

2. Scope

  • The BMLA does not endorse or accredit CPD.
  • It does not give points/credits for CPD activities or events. However, it encourages course organisers to seek CPD points/credits for the educational activity from the relevant bodies.
  • It does not hold lists of CPD providers in public domain to ensure its non-bias status.

2.1 Low level laser/light therapy (LLLT) and photo bio-stimulation courses

The BMLA will consider offering approval for courses on the Low level laser/light therapy (LLLT) and photo bio-stimulation, only to the following topics for which devices have been cleared for use by FDA:
  • Pain therapy
  • Hair growth stimulation
  • Acne clearance.
Applications are invited for approval of the LLLT courses as per these  criteria. It is a condition that any misinterpretation should be actively avoided by isolating approved topics from non-approved topics in the course. Any certification should likewise be adjusted. If Core of Knowledge is included, it must be in accordance with the approved terms and conditions published on the BMLA website.

3. Methodology

The BMLA has an Education Subcommittee (ES) for the purpose of overseeing educational activity. The membership of the committee is derived from the members of the Executive Council (EC). The ES is headed by the chairman who acts as point of contact. It is recognised that the chairman or the ES may not have in-depth knowledge of the various subject matters for which the approval has been sought. Where necessary, the chairman draws on the required expertise from the membership, or even from non-members.

4. Guidelines for submission of applications from the prospective course / workshop organisers

Please contact the Hon. BMLA Chairman (details below), with the following information:
  • 4.1. The name, date and the venue of the event
  • 4.2. Statement of Mission and Objectives to be published in the brochure
  • 4.3. A list of faculty along with their brief CV
  • 4.4. A syllabus of the educational programme
  • 4.5. Participant selection (‘who should attend’) and logistic support
  • 4.6. Educational resources e.g. Pre-course questionnaire, learning material, hands on set-up, monitoring education activity
  • 4.7. Methods of evaluation by participants under the following headings:
    • 4.7.1. Ambience of the venue
    • 4.7.2. Evaluation of Educational Programme by feedback score
    • 4.7.3. Objective method of feedback: Score of pre-course MCQ style questions followed by score of same MCQ style questions after the course. A higher post-course score provides objective assessment of the value of the course to the participant.
    • 4.7.4. Value for money
    • 4.7.5. Take home message

5. Governance and administration

  • 5.1. Feedback analysis to be sent to the chairman of the ES no later than four weeks after the event.
  • 5.2. Continuing renewal is based on an average feedback score of 80% or more. The organisers are invited to submit steps to be taken to improve the next event, should the score be less than 80%.

6. Quality assurance (QA)

It is necessary to create a structured approach for consistent formative assessment as evidence of QA. The structure of the QA has to be designed by the organisers using their own criteria for a particular educational set up.
  • 6.1. QA is based on the submitted CV of the faculty
  • 6.2. QA is based on a feedback score of 80% or more by the participants.
  • 6.3. At times, QA may be questioned by a competing body with similar, albeit conflicting commercial interests. However, by following a structured and transparent methodology, the BMLA is able to justify creditability of their approval process of a particular educational activity.

7. Certification

  • 7.1. The training certificate should simply state attendance at the programme. The certification is not meant to attest a level of comprehension or achievement of competency.

8. Credentialing

Credentialing is the prerogative of the individual health care facility (hospital, clinic, private office or medical spa), and certification under #7 above can never serve the purpose of credentialing. The facility provider determines what the credentialing requirements are for both physicians and non-physicians assisting in laser procedures (e.g. operating the control panel) or providing the actual patient treatments and care. The BMLA certificate merely indicates the attendance at a course approved and/or run by the BMLA. The facility therefore has flexibility and the ultimate responsibility in determining the criteria for credentialing. It is also the prerogative of the care facility to accept or reject the certificate of attendance in support of the credentialing process. As a mark of BMLA approval, the BMLA allows the use of its Logo and the wording ‘BMLA approved’ on promotional material and certificates of participation. In common with any similar organisation, the BMLA can never guarantee the authentication of the certificate, but will investigate a query or a complaint, should there be one. Correspondence for course approval to: Mr VH Oswal, FRCS Chairman, Education Committee, BMLA ‘ Far Shirby ‘, Upleatham Redcar, Cleveland, TS11 8AG, UK email: