April 25, 2015

ART Lab SIG Executive Meeting

CReATe Clinic, April 25, 2015

Present: Jennifer Alexis, Siamak Bashar, Haimant Bissessar, Pascal Desrosiers, Lynda Hughes (chair)
Regrets: Ainhoa Garcia (available by teleconference)

Meeting Agenda:

  1. Online CPD tracking process
  2. National Clinical Embryologist Training Institute
  3. Update from the working group to develop guidelines for shipping of cryopreserved gametes and embryos
  4. CFAS ART Professionals Day
  5. Terms of Reference (ToR) review
  6. Other

Update from Shipping Guidelines working group

  • HB provided a summary of the work to date, including a review of the process for recruitment of group members and an outline of the work that has been accomplished so far in the development of the document
  • The document is in the first revision draft phase. It is NOT meant to be an SOP (Standard of Practice), but a set of guidelines for shipping cryopreserved embryos and gametes.
  • Specific instructions for use of reagents, equipment and protocols will not be included, but will be the responsibility of the shipping and receiving clinics to organize.
  • The working group highly recommends that clinics establish their own SOPs, and patient consents for these processes, and they ensure that when there is a situation where the media/supplies are discordant, that the correct information and supplies are included with the shipment.
  • The recommendation would be to also use a shipping company, rather than clinics undertaking their own shipping.

ACTIONS : HB will create a second draft will be prepared from the first draft revisions, and distributed to the working group by May 1st, 2015. The final draft should be ready for this executive to preview by May 15, 2015.

National Clinical Embryologist and Andrologist Training Institute

  • Background – Dr. David Mortimer alerted LH and HB to the existence of this program as advertised on the website ivf.net
  • HB contacted one of the program organizers by telephone, and received very vague responses to his questions, but learned that the program is affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan, not with the hospital, and that the trainers have experience from the UK.
  • LH contacted Christian Orfali and Natalia Nesterovsky (CFAS) to determine the extent to which the CFAS Board was aware of the program. Reports from CO are that the CFAS Board was unaware of this program.
  • The CFAS issued a formal statement to members prior to this meeting
  • NN has requested that the ART Lab SIG executive create a set of FAQ’s for posting on the CFAS website. The FAQ’s will address questions surrounding information on training programs and qualifications for Embryologists and Andrologists, and will refer to the Guidelines, Competency Document, Certification Document that are already posted on the SIG page of the website.
  • It was suggested that potential embryologists/andrologists should be encouraged to join CFAS. However, currently, there is a pre-requisite for a new member to obtain the names of 2 sponsors, who are CFAS members in good standing.

ACTION: LH will contact CFAS for clarification regarding the sponsorship and ask about the potential to waive the requirement for new recruits.

ACTION: HB will work on the FAQ’s for the group..

CPD Tracking Process

  • LH provided a summary of where we are at with this process. She reported that there is still no verdict on our request to amend the reporting period from yearly (as stated in the Certification Document) to biennially.
  • Previously, a draft document outlining acceptable CPD activities and laying groundwork for guideline was provided by JA and SB. Working from this document, it was decided by the group that the total number of hours required per reporting period be 24 for everyone (ART Professionals and Lab/Scientific Directors), as this will be simpler to manage.
  • It was also decided that caps be placed on all activities, and the cap would be different for each group of activities. For example, major conferences (CFAS, ASRM, ESHRE etc.) total hours that can be claimed would be capped at 16.
  • ACTION: JA will contrive a final list and summary to be made available to the group by May 11, 2015.
  • NN (CFAS) has requested a list of “Needs” and “Wants” to be submitted for the online tracking tool. Referring to the “mock up” tool provided by CO, outlined below is a list of “needs” as determined by the group (no “wants” were identified):
    • Membership renewal linked to member profile which will enable CPD submission.
    • Change “Event Name” to “CPD Activity” from which a drop down will provide the list of activities plus “other”. Selection of an activity will allow activity hours to be logged., rather than days. Many activity hours will only be able to be filled to an auto-max number.
    • Change “Date” to “Start Date”
    • Provide a free text section for the selection of “Other”
    • “Please upload “proof of activity or badge” with a notation to “Retain all certificates and proof of attendance for auditing purposes. Uploading now is recommended”
    • Alternatively/additionally, a standard tracking form can be provided for download. This form will need to be co-signed by the Lab or Medical Director to verify submitted activities that do not have a certificate of attendance (eg., reading journal articles). ACTION: PD will create the standard tracking form and submit to the group for review by May 11, 2015.
    • Location “if applicable”
  • Once the tracking system is ready online, the membership will be encouraged to trial the process by entering the retroactive CPD activities that they have acquired since their Certification.
  • As of January 1, 2016. the CPDs logged will be reset to “zero”
  • The issue of delinquent members was discussed and it was determined that this can be broken down into two categories: membership renewal and CPD submission. Delinquency with membership renewal automatically results in delinquency with CPD submission, as the latter cannot occur without the former.

ACTION: LH to contact CFAS (Natalia) for a list of membership renewal delinquents. A friendly reminder will be emailed to each with reminders of the membership period (January to December), MoC requirements and denied access to SIG pages on the website.

ART Professionals Day

  • LH briefly outlined two ideas for presentations to the membership for the ART Professionals Day at CFAS in Halifax
  • Jim Meriano (Lifequest) and Simon Phillips (Ovo Fertility) are interested in presenting the results of paper published recently in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (Lopez-Leria et al 2014) stating that Spanish embryologists trend toward higher burnout (exhaustion and cynicism dimensions) than the reference population. They would like to survey Canadian ART Professionals for the presentation. This survey should be going out to the membership within the next month.
  • Francis Tekpetey (TFC, LHSC) would also like to survey the membership for input on viral screening practices for fertility patients, and present the results as well at ART Professionals Day. He also hopes that the survey results would lead to the development of acceptable common practice guidelines for our profession.
  • Therefore, we would have two survey-based presentations that afternoon, but they should both be quite interesting.
  • Armand Zini (Andrology SIG Chair) has promised a third presentation , but has not yet confirmed the content of the presentation.

Terms of Reference Review

  • A brief review of the ToR was undertaken, with changes in wording and organization of section 5.2 (Terms in office).
  • Specifically, sub section 5.2.1 was altered to read “The co chair will transition to the chair position”.
  • Sub section 5.2.2 now reads “the Chair serves a term of two years”.
  • Sub section 5.2.3 now reads “the executive will appoint a co chair for the second year of the chair’s term”.
  • Sub section 5.2.4 was changes slightly to read “The outgoing chair will sit as past-chair at the end of his/her term in office”.
  • Sub section 5.2.6 was amended to read “No officer may stand for re-election before two years (junior member) or three years (full member) after they have left the executive.

ACTION: The proposed changes will be presented to the membership prior to the annual meeting on October 1, 2015, whereupon members will vote on the acceptance of the changes.

Other Items

  • As there were no other items brought forward for discussion, the meeting was adjourned. Minutes compiled and submitted by LH.