NAB: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO NON-DUES REVENUE GENERATION
In 2002, the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators (NAB) began looking at online opportunities to enhance the review process for its continuing education review service as well as generating new sources of non-dues revenue from this endeavor. NAB is the national not-for-profit association serving jurisdictions that license, credential, and regulate long term care administrators. Its division, the National Continuing Education Review Service (NCERS), evaluates and monitors continuing education programs for long term care administrators.NAB prides itself in raising the standards of quality in continuing education. For that reason, the plan focused on the review and approval criteria for providers, their educational offerings, application and the Association’s online directory of approved programs. Furthermore, NAB acknowledged that the value of its volunteer reviewers was the backbone of NCERS. The Association recognized that such a plan would simplify the process through a user-friendly program, which would ultimately improve review turnaround time.
NAB saw financial opportunities in implementing an online application process for providers and sponsors, recognizing that they would be willing to pay a higher fee for a more efficient process. In addition, NAB wanted to offer Web links to provider Web sites via the online directory as well as multiple site listings. These features would offer providers a powerful marketing tool.
“NAB’s priority was, and still is, to continue to provide licensing boards and agencies support in carrying out their mission of public protection through standard setting, competency assurance and quality educational programs,” says Katrina Magdon, NAB president. “We wanted to make the continuing education review process much more efficient for all providers and reviewers—and we did, while reaping impressive financial benefits for the association as well. It truly was a win-win investment.”
Bostrom’s Solution for Success
This investment paid off exceptionally well for everyone involved. In 2003 Bostrom, NAB’s Association Management Company, developed and launched the NCERS Online Continuing Education Application and Review System (OCEARS) on www.nabweb.org to bring ease and sophistication to NAB’s review process by providing Internet access for its providers. OCEARS included such functions as:
- Application completion and submission
- Tracking and review by NAB staff and volunteers
- Secure credit card processing, and
- Real-time database of sponsors and programs
OCEARS maintained the integrity of NAB’s review process through password protected security that ensured information access only to approved NAB staff. The program also eliminated manually inputting information into the database by retrieving information from the original application.
Prior to OCEARS, NAB’s review process produced somewhat stagnant results—both in programs approved and revenue. When OCEARS launched in 2003 NAB experienced a 67% increase in approved programs, and financially speaking, experienced positive marks with a 61% increase in fee revenue.
“This online program has simplified the entire application process,” says Mary Compton of Seasons Seminars, an NAB preferred provider. “I devote less of my time to the actual process of submitting a program and more of my time to the program itself, which is a positive end result for everyone.”
Through this outsourcing project, NAB not only enhanced the application process through technology, making ease of use a priority, but generated revenue above and beyond the cost of the system.