The Small Business Research Institute was formed to promote education
programs in the area of small business. The Certified Entrepreneurial Advisor is a trademarked designation conferred students who complete a program of academic study in 12 relevant subject areas. Each subject area consists of four to nine separate courses which range in length from one to three hours each. (One could draw the analogy that the CEA is to business advisors what the CFP designation is for financial planners)
Record Retention Policy
Our policy is to maintain records for at least 5 years. The specific documentation retained includes records of participation, the date of the course (location is irrelevant, since all courses are delivered through the internet), instructor name and credentials, number of CPE credits earned by participants, and the results of program evaluations by participants.
Our courses are offered as part of a monthly subscription service. The subscription service can be cancelled at any time.
Program Cancellation Policy
If a course is cancelled, there is no charge for the course. All courses are offered on- line as part of a monthly subscription service, which consists of multiple courses offered concurrently. We reserve the right to cancel, modify, suspend or alter the courses offered. If a participant wanted a particular course which was not available, they are free to invoke our cancellation policy, above.
Complaint Resolution Policy
Our complaint resolution policy includes an easily accessed email to sponsor link (“contact us”). Since our programs are offered over a wide range of time zones in the English speaking world, it is impractical to offer phone resolution programs. Our policy is to promptly respond to students and attempt to resolve all problems or concerns. Additionally, we encourage participation in monitored forums where any concerns or questions can be addressed and shared with all participants. (if one student has a question, it is likely that others may have that same question, but may be reluctant to ask) We want to be active in keeping all students informed and addressing promptly addressing any concerns or complaints.
Course Update Policy
It is our policy to review and revise as necessary all courses on at least a yearly basis. In the event of new legislation or significant timely events which impact a course, that course will be revised to accommodate the changes on an as-needed basis. Our content delivery platform allows rapid deployment of course updates. Each course has a release and expiration date published with the course.
Program Content Development
The CEA program courses are developed to meet the needs of those who will advise small business owners and managers in their planning, operations, and assessment of results. Advisors of small businesses must possess a wide range of practical skills and “toolsets” to adequately and effectively assist their clients.
The courses are designed to conform with Piaget’s spiral learning concept. Each of the twelve subject areas has a baseline course, (beginning) and ancillary courses which build upon that knowledge. The CEA program requirements (pre-requisites) are that the participant have a basic exposure to small businesses, and a basic business education, such as that obtained as the result of the completion of an undergraduate degree in business.
Content Delivery System
All content is delivered via internet self-study website. All courses are reviewed at minimum on an annual basis for relevancy, revisions, updates and changes. Content updates to files are maintained on each course to accumulate new material
for consideration during the review process. Feedback, suggestions and comments from students received via the feedback mechanism or on the forums are noted and considered in the review process. Additionally, the curriculum team is responsible to monitor all courses for subject matter changes which occur on an interim basis and determining, on a monthly basis, whether revisions, updates or changes are necessary as a result of changes in law, regulation, administrative action, or other relevant factors.
Content Development Team and Pre-Release Content Review
Each course is developed by at least two individuals. At least one of them is a CPA and one of them must possess an MBA or other post-graduate training in business. To develop a course, the team members must be qualified in that subject area, demonstrated by a combination of academic training and actual practical field experience.
Each course is reviewed by at least one individual not part of the development team, and that person must be a CPA.
Relevant Learning Objectives and Outcomes
Each course shall have a stated “learning objective and outcome” such that it is apparent what the content of the course is, how it relates to the objective of being a small business advisor, It must specifically state the knowledge, skills and abilities that the student will obtain.