Defining Joint Program Providers

  • by AGD PACE Representative
  • Jun 10, 2019

Key notes:

  • Joint programs are educational events planned and implemented by two CE organizations.
  • PACE-approved organizations are responsible for ensuring PACE Standards  and Criteria are followed when working jointly with others.
  • Written agreements should be developed to clearly define the responsibility of each organization.


  • JOINT PROGRAM PROVIDER: An AGD PACE-recognized or non-AGD PACE-recognized provider that shares responsibility with an AGD PACE-recognized provider of CE for planning, organizing, administering, publicizing, presenting and record keeping for a CE program. Administrative responsibility for development, distribution, and/or presentation of CE activities must rest with the AGD PACE-recognized provider whenever the provider acts in cooperation with providers that are not recognized by AGD PACE. When two or more AGD PACE-recognized providers act in cooperation to develop, distribute, and/or present an activity, each must be equally and fully responsible for ensuring compliance with these standards.
  • JOINT PROVIDERSHIP (or co-providership): Any CE activity in which an AGD PACE-approved provider agrees to jointly offer a program with another CE program provider. When an AGD PACE-approved provider jointly offers a CE activity with a non-approved provider, the PACE-approved provider assumes responsibility for the planning, organizing, administrating, publicizing, presenting and record keeping for the planned CE activity. Administrative responsibility for development, distribution and/or presentation of CE activities must rest solely with the AGD PACE-approved provider. When two or more AGD PACE-approved providers act in cooperation to develop, distribute and/or present an activity, each must be equally and fully responsible for ensuring compliance with these standards. Letters of agreement between the joint or co-providers must be developed to outline each party’s responsibilities for the CE activity. Letters of agreement must be signed by all parties.

Related Standards:

  • I, Administration, C:K, L
  • IX, Publicity, S: 1-f

Applicants and approved organizations are often unsure of the differences between joint programs, program sponsorship and speaking engagements.When completing the PACE application, keep the following points in mind.

Joint Programs
If two or more organizations are equally involved in planning, publicizing and implementing an educational activity, this activity should be viewed as a joint program.

  • Written agreements should be developed early in the planning stages so that each organization is aware of its individual and joint responsibilities.
  • All publicity must identify the event as a joint program and the names of all organizations involved in its development.This can be achieved by including the following statement along with the approved organization’s PACE logo and approval statement:
    This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the standards of the Academy of General Dentistry Program Approval for Continuing Education (AGD PACE) through the joint program provider approval of [approved program provider] and [non-approved program provider]. The [approved program provider] is approved for awarding FAGD/MAGD credit.
  •  If two or more approved providers work together, the planners should identify which organization is responsible for issuing the CE credit for the activity.This decision should be made early in the planning process so that it can be made clear on all publicity and later on the attendance verification forms.
  • If only one of the organizations involved has PACE approval, this organization must assume all record keeping responsibilities as well as ensure that all PACE Standards and Criteria are being followed.

Examples of joint programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Two or more study clubs working together to fund a specific speaker.
  • A local or regional dental society planning events with the local dental hygiene and/or dental assistant society.

More information regarding joint programs can be found on p.4 of the PACE Guidelines.


For-profit organizations, including dental materials or equipment companies, dental laboratories, or consulting companies, will often provide financial or in-kind support of educational activities, including recommending speakers, providing equipment or materials to be used in the course, funding lunches or refreshments, or providing an educational space.Accepting sponsorship of educational activities is acceptable; however, all sponsors must be disclosed to participants as soon as the information becomes available.This includes clearly identifying all sponsors in all publicity and at the start of each program.

  • Providers must make it clear to all sponsors that the provider is responsible for the scientific integrity of the course content and faculty selection.Sponsors can provide information regarding instructors and educational content, but the provider retains control of these decisions.
  • Providers must ensure that only unbiased content is presented, even if specific equipment or materials are used to demonstrate techniques.Providers must require speakers to use generic terms whenever possible.
  • All financial or in-kind support must be disclosed to course participants prior to registration (if possible) and at the start of each activity.
  • Promotion of any specific product or service is strictly forbidden within the educational space during an educational activity.Providers can invite course participants to attend presentations from a sponsor during breaks or after the program, but it must be made clear that participation is voluntary and unrelated to the educational event.It must also be made clear that no CE credit will be issued for participation in information presentations from course sponsors.
  • The names or logos of course sponsors cannot appear on any of the educational materials used in a course other than acknowledgement of the sponsorship at the start and end of the program.
  • Written agreements should be developed early in the planning stages so that each organization is aware of its individual responsibilities.Sponsors should acknowledge that their contributions will not influence or interfere with the development of the educational content.

For more information regarding sponsorship, please review PACE Standard XII, Commercial or Promotional Conflict of Interest, on pages 17–18 of the PACE Guidelines.

Speaking Engagements
If an instructor associated with your organization is contracted as a speaker for another organization, and your organization is not involved with any logistical planning, publicizing or recordkeeping, then this activity should be viewed as a speaking engagement separate from your organization’s educational programs.

  • Speaking engagements should not be included on an organization’s list of courses on the application or annual reports.
  • Providers cannot allow the organization that planned the course to use their AGD provider ID number.