AIHACONNECT | How Proposals Are Scored and Selected
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How Proposals Are Scored and Selected

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How Professional Development Courses (PDCs) are scored and selected

Each PDC submission receives a bi-level review. First, a technical reviewer serves as the subject matter expert and reviews submissions to ensure they are scientifically sound, innovative, and relevant to the profession. The technical review process occurs prior to the Continuing Education Committee (CEC) review and assists the committee in selecting the final content to be presented as the education program. For a flowchart of this process, click here.

Technical Review questions include:

  • Is the topic is relevant to OEHS (Yes/No)
  • Is the topic: New/Emerging, Core/Foundational, Waning (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • The proposal has a sound technical basis (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • The course description is clear and concise (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • Learning Outcomes are appropriate for level (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • The outline describes the content appropriate for selected course level (introductory, intermediate, advanced) (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • Recommendation by the CEC (Accept or reject)
  • Comments (Open text box)

How does the CEC review PDCs?

  • Each proposal is evaluated by at least two members of the CEC to assure that it is relevant to the profession, titled properly, and meets its stated objectives. Course outline and teaching methods are critiqued, and presenter credentials/biographies are reviewed.
  • The Committee then considers all proposals and their ratings to ensure topical balance within the program, educational needs expressed by member surveys, and AIHA’s strategic goals.
  • For courses previously conducted, student evaluations are the major factor in the review.

How are PDCs selected?

  • Wide range of topics representing the field of IH
  • 40% introductory, 50% intermediate, and 10% advanced
  • 75% full-day, 15% half-day, 10% two-day
  • One PDC addressing each of the CPAG content priorities
  • At least 25% of new courses each year
  • Top 5 courses from the previous year (based on ratings and attendance) automatically accepted
  • Final selections are limited by the number of rooms available to us at the convention center

Why would the committee not accept a PDC proposal?

Many more proposals are submitted than can be accommodated at AIHA Connect. There are several reasons for not selecting a particular course including:

  • relevance to the members
  • accuracy of technical information presented
  • previous student evaluations
  • an overabundance of course offerings in one area
  • content similar to another course
  • need for course rotation
  • lack of interest by the members at large

How the Education Program is scored and selected

AIHA Connect's review is bi-level. First, technical reviewers (selected from an open call for volunteers within the AIHA membership) serve as the subject matter experts. They review submissions to ensure they are scientifically sound, innovative, and relevant to the profession. There is no cap on the number of reviewers, but each proposal will have at least two technical reviewers evaluating content. The technical review process occurs prior to the Conference Program Committee (CPC) review and assists the CPC in selecting the final content to be presented on the education program. In addition to scores and feedback from technical reviewers, the CPC also utilizes ratings from previous conferences to inform the selection process. Finally, data from AIHA surveys help to identify content priorities and needs for the current year’s conference. The review process is blind and speaker information is not shared.

The reviewers review all proposals to ensure a balance of topics. Tracks are identified based on accepted proposals. If there are content gaps, the Conference Program Committee may choose to reach out to specific members or committees for curated presentations. Where there are major shifts in current events, such as with the COVID-19 pandemic response in 2020/2021, sessions may be added outside of the official review process. The merit of these sessions will be determined by the CPC on a case-by-case basis.

Technical Review questions include:

  • This presentation will be of interest to the AIHA Connect audience (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • The content of this session is current and relevant to OHS professionals (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • This proposal is clear, well-organized, and well-written (Rated on a 1-5 scale)
  • This presentation should be accepted for AIHA Connect (Rated on a 1-5 scale)

Why would the committee not accept a proposal?

Many more proposals are submitted than can be accommodated at the AIHA Connect in any given year, therefore the Conference Program Committee must be selective when choosing content to offer, given limited space at the convention center. Some reasons proposals are not accepted include:

  • Poor writing, inaccurate technical information, or a lack of significant data findings. To be eligible for presentation, there should be at least some preliminary data findings that attendees would find relevant and useful in their daily work.
  • Lack of audience appeal and relevance to the profession. While worthwhile, some topics may be better suited to a webinar or magazine article than a session at the conference.
  • Too many proposals in any given topic area. The CPC will select the proposal with the highest scores or that touches on different aspects of the same issue to ensure there is a good balance of information and viewpoints represented at the conference. The CPC also reviews content to ensure that it aligns with the educational needs expressed by members as well as AIHA’s strategic goals.


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