August 11, 2020


Line Dempsey: Welcome to our podcast, Regulation Matters: a CLEAR conversation. I’m your host, Line Dempsey. I am currently the chief compliance officer with Riccobene and Associates Family Dentistry here in North Carolina. I am on the CLEAR Board of Directors as well as the current chair of the National Certified Investigator Training Committee with CLEAR.

Welcome back to our frequent listeners. For our new listeners – just a brief description of what CLEAR is. It’s the Council on Licensure Enforcement and Regulation, and this is an association of individuals, agencies and organizations that comprise the international community of professional and occupational regulation. Our podcast is a chance for you to hear about the latest and greatest in our community.

And the latest news is that CLEAR’s 2020 Conference is ON! The conference will be offered virtually this year, allowing increased participation from regulators worldwide, as we respond to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we shift to a virtual experience for the conference, we wanted to take an opportunity to talk about what this means for our attendees. Today, I am joined by Micah Matthews, chair of CLEAR’s Program planning committee and also one of our Board members, and Helene Goldberg, who serves as vice-chair this year. We’re glad to have you both with us.

Helene Goldberg: Hi! Glad to be here.

Micah Matthews: Thanks for having me, Line.

Line: Thank you so much for joining us. So, our attendees have come to know CLEAR’s annual educational conference as a great event with informative sessions, networking opportunities, and access to vendors and regulatory tools. So, let me start with Micah. Micah, what educational content will be offered during the Virtual Conference?

Micah: CLEAR’s conference content is developed by and for the regulatory community, with the central theme of Promoting Regulatory Excellence. Content is focused on four areas of inquiry: Compliance and Discipline; Testing and Examinations; Entry to Practice and Beyond; and (my personal favorite) Administration, Legislation and Policy. For the Virtual Experience, all sessions will be pre-recorded for on-demand viewing. You can watch when it’s convenient for you. There’s an additional benefit over an in-person conference. With four programming tracks, we often hear people in-person at the conference saying they have to decide between two sessions that they’re interested in those sessions that are going on at the same time. With the pre-recorded sessions, you can watch them all. You won’t miss anything because of scheduling conflicts, which I know personally I’ve had to deal with in the past as well.

Line: That’s great. As you say, I often find myself at the conference looking at my agenda and wanting to go to two sessions at the same time, or I get stuck on a phone call for work—occasionally that does happen. With the virtual experience, I won’t have to worry about that. I can listen to all the sessions I’m interested in and even pause it and come back later if I need to. So, I really think that’s a great ability to do that. So, it’s like having on-demand viewing of the sessions.

One of the other great things about the in-person conference is, of course, the chance to ask questions and have discussions with the speakers and panelists. Helene, can you tell us how attendees will still have that opportunity with the virtual experience?

Helene: Yes, that certainly is an important part of the sessions, and we wouldn’t want to miss out on that opportunity. What we’ll be doing with the virtual experience is having live Q&A sessions for selected sessions. So, attendees will view the pre-recorded content on their own and then, during the week of September 21, be able to log in to live sessions to ask questions of the speakers. We’re planning to have a mix of sessions from all four tracks. And speakers are encouraged to include their contact information in their session handouts and materials, so attendees can follow up that way as well.

Line: You know, that’s really cool! I’m glad to hear that we’ll still get the chance to interact with the presenters. Micah, let me go back to you then. Are there other sessions that will take place live online?

Micah: Yes, we’ll have live keynote and plenary sessions. CLEAR is excited to have Dr. Marie Bismark offer her keynote address at the 2020 Annual Educational Conference: A Virtual Experience. This year’s presentation is “Sexual Misconduct: Successful Remediation or Career Ending?” This live session will be offered twice, on September 21 for Europe and North America and September 22 for Australia & Asia, to allow viewing across different time zones.

A little bit about our speaker: Professor Marie Bismark is a public health physician and legal academic at the University of Melbourne in Australia. She is a leading expert on using regulatory data to identify hotspots of risk. Her research has influenced regulatory policy in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the UK and has been published in leading journals including New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ Quality and Safety, and the Canadian Medical Journal. For those of us working to be data-driven regulators, her work is truly exciting. We’re very pleased to have Professor Bismark present to us virtually. We’ll also be hosting a live panel session where you can Ask the Experts your questions about examinations and testing.

We’ll have a live Investigator Roundtable to discuss hot topics currently affecting the areas of compliance, discipline, and investigations.

The 2020 CLEAR Awards presentation will be live, followed by a plenary session, “Using Data to Improve Professional Standards.” Hannah Maxey with Indiana School of Medicine will talk about how an organization can ensure that they are collecting the data they need (and ensuring privacy of that data where appropriate) as well as be prepared for new technology that may evolve its profession and affect its role in public protection.

As is tradition, our live closing session will be the always-popular “Setting Precedents: The Top Ten Cases You Need to Know About.” The closing session will summarize and analyze the most interesting recent American, Canadian and other Commonwealth cases in regulatory law.

Line: Wow! It sounds like the Virtual Conference will be just as full of relevant and informative sessions as attendees have come to expect from CLEAR’s Annual Educational Conference. Lots of opportunities for learning. I want to give a shout out to all the presenters that have agreed to participate in the virtual conference, if you’re listening today. It’s not always easy to transition from an in-person presentation to online, so we do want to thank you for the dedication that you’re putting forth to be able to present this great content in this new format.

Now I know that one of the key benefits to the Annual Conference is the opportunity to network with colleagues. This is one of those things that I have always considered on one of the most important parts, being able to connect with other regulators from around the world. It’s disappointing not to have that face-to-face interaction, but Helene, can you talk to us a bit about the networking opportunities attendees will be able to take advantage of during this Virtual Experience?

Helene: Absolutely! Throughout the week, we will be having Live Networking Rooms that will be facilitated by our committee members. Each room will have a topic of discussion, such as testing and exam challenges in the age of COVID-19, not quite business as usual. This will allow participants to discuss issues and successes as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, we will have several sponsored networking rooms, facilitated by a sponsor or an exhibitor. This will allow participants to hear more from our sponsors or exhibitors on what they have to offer. Each day will also have time allotted for our virtual showcase, as we would if we were in person. Each exhibitor will have time set aside to schedule meetings with participants during that time or to schedule time with them in the future. CLEAR is also going to be offering some optional social activities, such as virtual yoga and a virtual tour of the Met, which I’m really excited for.

Line: Great. I’m actually really looking forward to the Met thing as well; that’ll be really cool. Well, we’ve talked about all the opportunities attendees will have for content and networking. But I know one question people will have if they’re considering attending the Virtual Experience, how does it all work? Helene, can you walk us through some of the key features of the virtual experience platform? I know I’ve not personally been to a conference like this yet.

Helene: Sure! This is very exciting for CLEAR, as it is our first time using the virtual conference. The platform that CLEAR is using is called OpenWater. Attendees will receive a link to verify their registration using their email address for the virtual experience. Once validated; attendees will receive an email with the conference platform link. Registered attendees will be receiving their link by September 11, so that they can start watching all the pre-recorded sessions beginning on Monday, September 14.

The conference platform homepage will be your hub for everything conference-related. You’ll be able to see a listing of all the pre-recorded sessions, a schedule of all the live sessions and events, and a listing of the conference speakers. There will be a dedicated page for each session, which will be like a digital version of your printed program, only enhanced. You’ll be able to view sessions descriptions, access speaker bios and contact information, watch the session recording, and download session handouts and materials right from each session page. And each session page will have a Q&A section, so you can submit questions for that session as you watch the recording. Questions pre-submitted through the virtual conference platform will be addressed either during the live Q&As or forwarded to the speakers for follow-up.

You’ll also be able to “star” sessions to save them as a favorite in your custom schedule so you can easily access all the sessions you’re interested in.

Line: Well, that certainly sounds easy enough – everything you need for the conference all in one online system. So, I think that’s great.

And, I think this has been great to get a taste of what the Annual Conference Virtual Experience will offer. I know I’m excited about this. And I do want to thank Micah and Helene for your leadership on the Program planning committee as CLEAR shifts to this virtual offering. I know this was really something that was thrown mid-year to you. We had already had our mid-year meeting in San Diego; we’d already built a lot on our program. But to be able to switch mid-stream and deal with this, it can’t be thanked enough for your efforts. And I certainly want to thank you for being a part of this podcast as well. I think this was great.

Micah: Thanks again, Line, for having us.

Helene: Well, thank you. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone, virtually.

Line: Great, now that I know everyone’s excited for the Annual Conference Virtual Experience, I want to make sure you know how to register. The conference webpage is www.clearhq.org/aec. There you can find all the updates and the registration link. We also want to thank Thentia for being the Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 Annual Conference Virtual Experience. Thentia Regulatory Cloud is an enterprise-level suite of next generation database software products specifically tailored for compliance and governance. Thentia Regulate is developed with input from regulatory clients around the world. It is secure, easy-to-use and facilitates all common regulatory database requirements with ease. Please visit their website at www.thentia.com for more information regarding their products and services.

And I also want to close this podcast episode by emphasizing again that even though we can’t meet in person, CLEAR is still here as a resource for you. Beyond the virtual conference, CLEAR has launched the Online NCIT Basic Program. That shifts the content of the NCIT program into a mix of self-paced recorded modules and live instructor-led sessions.

CLEAR’s webinar calendar is always being updated with new offerings, as well as the option to purchase access to previously recorded webinars. So, we’ve got a lot of information available to you.

The Communities by CLEAR discussion forum is open to members and is a great way to connect with colleagues to ask advice, share your experiences and expand your professional network. Especially when we are dealing with different time zones, it’s a great way to connect with your fellow co-workers.

CLEAR’s regulatory news blog is updated weekly with current headlines about what’s happening in the regulatory arena, and CLEAR’s website is home to a host of resources. So, CLEAR is always here to support you, and we thank you for your support as well.

And thank you for listening to this podcast. We’ll be back with another episode of Regulation Matters: a CLEAR conversation very soon. Thank you to our frequent listeners. And if you’re new to the CLEAR podcast, please subscribe on Podbean, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or TuneIn. If you enjoyed this podcast today, please leave a rating or comments in the app. Your reviews help us improve our ranking and make it easier for new listeners to find us. Feel free to visit our website at www.clearhq.org for additional resources and all of the latest information on the Annual Conference Virtual Experience.

Finally, thanks to CLEAR staff, who are working hard behind the scenes to bring online and virtual programming to you. I also want to take a special moment to thank Stephanie Thompson. She is our content editor for this podcast, and I know she’s put a lot of work into this. Once again, I’m Line Dempsey, and I hope to be speaking to you again soon and maybe even virtually see you very soon.



The audio version of this podcast episode is available at https://podcast.clearhq.org/e/AEC20Virtual/




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