The Impact of COVID on Continuing Education

  • Mar 20
The Impact of COVID on Continuing Education

The Impact of COVID and the Remote Shift

With the sudden coronavirus outbreak in the United States, nearly all industries have felt the impact of COVID, from employee retention to business processes.. In fact, there’s a relatively decent chance your employer has already shifted to a work-from-home paradigm. At least for positions where the tasks are majoritively online or easy to complete while away from the workplace. This is especially true for business professionals, since that type of work seems uniquely suited for remote¬†operations. After all, even online MBA options have existed since the early 2000s.

Even if your company hasn’t opted to make that sort of transition yet, there are plenty of organizations which have. In fact, 43% of American employees worked remotely even before the pandemic. Now, it’s an issue of keeping employees safe and healthy. A couple well-known names include Google and Microsoft — even the federal government is allowing greater opportunity for teleworking. That said, there are pros and cons to flexible work.



The Impact of COVID on In-Person Events

It’s apparent that COVID-19 is changing the economic and social landscape in ways that affect almost everyone. But an unexpected setback for many business professionals is lack of opportunity for earning continuing education credits at in-person events. Particularly since many people rely on meetings, conferences and conventions to obtain them. This can add to the stress of meeting CE requirements.

For example, NASBA encourages providers who generally offer live events to contact state boards to change those meetings to virtual. The certification boards responsible for assessing these providers have promised flexibility. However, it does take time to review content and approve the online versions. Frustratingly, business professionals who were counting on live events to earn their continuing education in a timely fashion might find themselves wondering how to obtain the credits they need for recertification before their deadline.

Another accrediting body, SHRM, has continually provided information regarding best practices for companies who want to minimize the risk and exposure to coronavirus. Ultimately, the decision whether or not to continue monthly meetings and events rests with each chapter of the organization. But a short resource provided on their website provides the following guidelines for social distancing:

  • Avoid in-person meetings
  • Unavoidable in-person meetings should be short
  • Cancel and postpone nonessential meetings, workshops and training sessions

Granted, the aforementioned points regard conduct in the workplace. However, they seem equally applicable for any event where people gather together. So, each chapter might retain the power to choose whether or not to continue with planned, in-person events. But SHRM itself seems to recommend that people not attend.

Note also that some chapters of the American Payroll Association canceled meetings and events for the foreseeable future to protect against the spread of the virus. Even some regularly scheduled meetings are postponed or canceled altogether.

A woman working from home as an impact of COVID

Further Complications

Even if some providers continue offering in-person events, some individuals might not want to risk attending a large gathering. Of course, the media has in some ways over-hyped the situation, causing some level of unhelpful panic. For example, the annoying lack of toilet paper in stores. But disregarding the media’s role in the situation, precaution is still wisdom. And if any person feels unsafe attending an event which could put their health in jeopardy, that’s their prerogative.

So, when it comes down to it, there are at least two reasons business professionals might switch to online learning to meet their continuing education needs:

  • The accrediting organizations have opted to remove the option for in-person learning opportunities.
  • Business professionals feel they are putting themselves at risk by attending such events.

Ultimately, it seems prudent during this virulent outbreak to err on the side of caution. Though, not necessarily in the sense that every household needs to be on full quarantine. But wisdom dictates it might be best not to gather with large groups of people at the current time. Especially groups of people who travel frequently and might have exposed themselves to COVID-19.

A Potential Solution to the Impact of COVID

If it hasn’t been said before now, let it be made clear: this article is not written for the purpose of fear-mongering. the intention is not to cause anyone to panic or become anxious. Contrarily, it is meant to shed light on one of the many potential problems caused by the novel coronavirus, that being the difficulty of obtaining continuing education credit from an in-person event during a time when, if that event hasn’t already been canceled, it most likely isn’t the best decision to attend.

But where does that leave you as a business professional? Perhaps you were relying on a conference to meet your continuing education needs this year, or perhaps you only have a modicum of time left before your recertification deadline and you don’t know the best option to take now that your monthly chapter meeting has been canceled.

That’s where VTR Learning can help.

With a wide assortment of preapproved, online courses that are registered with organizations such as SHRM, HRCI, the CPA, the APA, and the ASAE, VTR Learning is qualified and able to meet recertification needs in an efficient manner. Our courses cover a wide range of topics, from Human Resources Management to Accounting, and because they are on-demand and self-paced, they’re perfect for anyone trying to juggle newly-mandated remote work and continuing education recertification.

So, if you’ve found your plans for recertification upended by the recent coronavirus outbreak and don’t know where to go for timely, online continuing education opportunities, look no further! VTR Learning is here to help you keep your life on track, even after the impact of COVID.


Article written by Braden Norwood

Last updated March 2, 2023