Course Director Handbook

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Thank you for agreeing to serve as a Course Director in the ACNS teaching courses. Course Directors have consistently made a difference and have continued to raise the bar for outstanding teaching courses every year. This manual intends to provide a few reminders to ACNS Course Directors to help us to continue to offer the highest quality CME-approved courses to our members and participants. Please review the following responsibilities of Course Co-Directors:


  • Gap Analysis and Needs Assessment
    Course Directors are responsible for reviewing the Gap Analysis and Needs Assessment, provided by the ACNS Continuing Medical Education Committee, as a guide when developing the content of their courses. Courses should directly address the knowledge gaps identified by the CME Committee and remain consistent with the overall Educational Mission of the Society.

    Please refer to the complete 2020 Educational Mission and Gap Analysis and Needs Assessment.
  • Course Agenda
    Course directors are asked to outline an agenda for their courses, including the time allotted for each presentation, discussion, breaks, etc. Previous year’s course agendas are available below as examples.
    • Please allow time for introduction of speakers and transition from one speaker to the next.
    • Most importantly, please ensure adequate time for questions and discussion. The course director is responsible for limiting speaker discussion if the program is running over the allotted time (see onsite responsibilities below).
  • Speaker & Topic Selection
    Course directors are also tasked with selection of speakers who will be committed to their respective courses and selection of topics relevant to the course program as a whole.

    It is recommended that speakers are ACNS members or join no later than October 1 to be eligible to speak in the Annual Courses. Non-members should be selected as speakers only when they contribute expertise not available within the ACNS membership.

    Please limit the number of speakers to no more than one (1) speaker per 30 minutes. Please refer to the Budget section below for further information.
  • Timelines
    Course Directors are responsible for ensuring that they and their speakers adhere to timelines and that they and their speakers comply with all ACNS and ACCME guidelines, including but not limited to submission of Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure statements and presentation slides. Speakers who do not comply with these guidelines or follow the prescribed timeline may be removed from the agenda at the discretion of the Course and CME Committees, at which time the Course Director will be responsible for naming a replacement.
  • Slide Review
    Course Directors will serve as slide editors for their courses and are asked to review the slides of all speakers prior to the course. A thorough review will prevent topic overlap and allow for time to remove potential redundancy, as well as prevent speakers from preparing to present too much content for their allotted presentation time.


Speaker Compensation has been determined by ACNS policy as follows for the Annual Courses. Course Directors are responsible for ensuring that the agenda they have proposed adheres to the following policies:

Speaker Compensation Program

Annual Course speakers will receive complimentary registration to any Annual Course (this does not apply to Annual Meeting Sessions which are held Friday-Sunday), which includes the option to claim CME credit, for the course in which they are presenting. Speakers must register for any additional Annual Courses and pay for the Annual Meeting if they choose to attend.

Deadline incentive* = 1 hotel night in the ACNS group block at the conference hotel the Hilton Austin per eligible talk
Speakers who successfully meet all deadlines set forth in their invitations are eligible for the “deadline incentive” detailed in the ACNS Speaker Compensation Policy. Speakers are responsible for booking their own reservation at the host hotel the Hilton Austin in the ACNS group block. Rooms booked at other hotels, through a third party vendor or outside of the ACNS group block are not eligible for the incentive.
*Deadline incentive - available to speakers who meet all deadlines set forth in their invitations.
Eligible talk – presentations of 30 minutes or more, panel participation not eligible for incentive
Speakers are expected to comply with deadlines set forth in their speaking invitations as follows:
Acceptance of speaking invitation                                        As set forth in speaker invitation
Completion of COI Disclosure Form                                     As set forth in speaker invitation
Submission of presentation outline/abstract from Course Speakers Reporting COI                   January 7, 2021
Submission of Presentation Slides from Speakers Reporting COI            January 14, 2021
Submission of Presentation Handouts                                  January 21, 2021
Submission of Presentation for Speaker Ready Room         February 5, 2021


Travel expenses will not be reimbursed and will be at the responsibility of the speaker. Exceptions must be approved by both the Course and Executive Committees.



Last updated: June 22, 2020