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When Michael Benner founded CEU Institute in 2002, he couldn’t have imagined the demand his specialized continuing education company would meet as it grew organically. “We allowed the need to grow us,” he says. Today, CEU Institute provides third-party administration of internal and external continuing education in regulated industries for a large portfolio of clients in the United States and Canada including BlueCross BlueShield, AAA, Disney, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, and the American Bar Association.
Because many of the industries for which CEU Institute provides continuing education—including insurance, legal, healthcare, and accounting—are carefully regulated, continuing education is critical to maintaining compliance and keeping licenses in good standing. And, although many companies in these industries have their own continuing education content, Benner says they don’t always have the expertise or bandwidth to provide it to their employees and clients.
“The few companies that do have internal continuing education departments don’t like the heavy lift of performing audit trials and the liability exposure in conjunction with CE,” explains Benner.
Pre-pandemic, CEU Institute offered accredited continuing education through conferences, onsite courses, online courses, and webinars. They also curated large panels of speakers and sponsors for live events. Now, although smaller conferences are starting to make a comeback, Benner says live webinars—ranging from one hour to three days—make up 98 percent of the continuing education programs and trainings CEU Institute coordinates.
By hosting online trainings and webinars before the pandemic, Benner discovered that many CEU Institute clients wanted to offer eLearning self-study programs to their employees, customers, and members, but didn’t have a way to host the courses. Additionally, CEU Institute purely serves as a third party that coordinates content with accreditation and credentialing organizations to ensure compliance before the continuing education is presented.
“Our focus was on administering excellent continuing education,” says Benner. “We are not an IT firm. We are a small team, and I wanted a learning management system that was user friendly and customizable.”
In his quest to include a high-quality LMS to CEU clients as part of a complete suite of continuing education services, Benner did “exhaustive vetting” of all available learning management systems. Although value was one criteria, Benner’s focus was on finding an LMS that would meet the exceptionally high standards for quality that CEU Institute had built its reputation on, and he chose Inquisiq.
“I wanted to provide our clients with privately-labeled LMS portals, and also be able to serve as a ‘super admin’ to help them navigate their LMS systems as part of the excellent service they expect from CEU Institute,” explains Benner. “Inquisiq helped me do that. We’ve now worked with Inquisiq for 10 years, and it helps our clients implement eLearning programs faster than they could internally.”
Inquisiq has become so valuable to the exceptional service that CEU Institute provides that Benner recommended it to one of their clients, the National Insurance Crime Training Academy (NICTA).
According to Benner, Inquisiq has helped CEU Institute support their clients’ eLearning goals through:
- Out-of-the-box implementation.
- Ease of integration without a lot of APIs.
- Responsive support from Inquisiq, typically the same day.
- The ability to create custom URLs for each client’s LMS for a custom experience.
- Collaboration on the back end to provide accreditation for content.
Referrals are key to CEU Institute’s success; they have never done advertising to find new business. And, although Benner says clients who use the Inquisiq LMS are already using CEU Institute for other services, the opportunity to provide it has been very valuable—both to his company and the organizations he serves.
In their most recent customer satisfaction survey conducted in late 2020, CEU Institute had a 98.8 percent score, and Benner says the custom LMS solutions Inquisiq provides to his clients is part of that success. “Our clients who use Inquisiq are very happy with it,” says Benner.