Consortium Ethics Program


CEP Membership

CEP Educational Model: Creating Self-Sufficiency

There are three educational tracks: Basic, Advanced, and Associate. Each track is a three-year program that grows in educational intensity. The first year explores the foundations of health care ethics—theories, principles, and case-based reasoning. The second year continues to examine these concepts with a focus on the relationship between the law and health care ethics, and the third year explores the contributions of the Humanities (art, film, culture) and social sciences to clinical ethics and health care.  The chart below describes each educational track and how it “grows” in intensity.



Basic Track

Advanced Track

Associate Track

Year 1:

Foundations of Health Care Ethics
Explore methods of moral reasoning in health care ethics: theories, principles and case-based reasoning are examined in the context of end-of-life decision making, informed consent, confidentiality, and decision-making capacity. Methods of moral reasoning are applied to complex issues of topics presented in the Basic Track. Case consultation review and advanced mediation skills are also covered.

Exclusively for representatives who have completed BOTH the Basic and Advanced Tracks.

Seminar topics vary depending on current issues and needs of the track.

Year 2:

Law and Health Care Ethics
Examine the relationship between law and heath care ethics with respect to treatment decisions, advance directives, informed consent, and confidentiality. . Apply concepts in law and health care ethics to difficult cases; explore issues of advance care planning, health care decision-making, and rationing. Through skill building, achieve an advanced knowledge of the “Core Competencies” in ethics consultation. 

Year 3:

Health Care Ethics and the Humanities
Explore the contributions of the Humanities (art, film, religion, culture) and social sciences to clinical ethics and health care. Utilize narrative approaches and role plays to improve effectiveness as ethics educators and consultants. Opportunity for skill building to teach within one’s own institution.  Contribute to the evolving literature published in health care ethics.

The Basic Track is designed for new CEP representatives. Typically, an institution initially enrolls a minimum of two Basic representatives. After these representatives complete the three-year Basic track, the option of enrolling for another three years into the Advanced track is available. Two new members can then enroll in the Basic track. Institutions tend to thrive with two Basic and at least two Advanced representatives, ensuring a continuum of institution-wide ethics education. The Associate track is available for members wishing to continue their education after completing the Basic and Advanced tracks.


Membership Benefits

Weekend Retreat: Held in September each year, this intensive, yet informal, conference includes faculty from local universities and national scholars who present state-of-the-art educational sessions. (A registration fee is collected for this conference).

Seminar Series: Following the weekend conference, members will attend four full-day seminar session (two in the fall and two in the spring) comparable to training offered by graduate degree programs in health care ethics. These sessions range from didactic and cased-based discussion to the execution of a mock trail and readers theater.

Webinars: Distance learning sessions available twice a year.

Onsite Programming:  Each member institution is entitled to a maximum of six, one hour onsite programs per year to help expand ethics awareness throughout the institution. Upon joining the CEP, one representative from each institution fills out an online ethics survey, which provides a baseline to track the accomplishments and needs of the institution. A faculty member will then meet with the representatives to discuss and establish a plan for meeting those needs. Visits by CEP faculty continue throughout the program, upon request, as strategies are developed and implemented. Some components of an ethics strategy that an institution might seek to implement include:

  • Instituting ethics rounds
  • Revitalizing an existing group or committee
  • Continuing education programs within the institution for staff members
  • Reviewing or drafting policies
  • Public education programs
  • Organizing a case review ethics consultation service

Most requested onsite programming topics include:

  • End-of-Life Issues: Advance Directives/DNR, devising ethics policies, medical futility, withholding/withdrawing treatments, physician-assisted suicide, POLST, and palliative care.
  • Basic Issues in Health Care:  Informed consent, ethics in clinical practice, confidentiality, decision-making capacity, and ethics theory.
  • Organizational Ethics: Bedside rationing, health care reform, staff and patient rights, pandemic ethics, and policy development.

Onsite programs can be targeted specifically for:

  • Ethics Committees: CEP faculty will meet with an institution’s ethics committee to discuss a plan for ethics education.  Aspects of this plan can include on-going education for the ethics committee, skill building for an ethics consultation service, staffing ethics walk rounds in the ICU or oncology units, and organizing an “ethics day” or “ethics week” to promote core issues.
  • Ethics Consultants: This service is designed to provide the basic content areas and communication skills needed to be effective and competent ethics consultants. It is based on two ASBH publications: Improving Competencies in Clinical Ethics Consultation: An Education Guide and its companion publication, Core Competencies for Health Care Ethics Consultation. This education includes four skill-building sessions based on these competencies, which are either full- or half-day sessions. Ethics Consultation Simulation Training, specialized skill-building activity to prepare new consultants and enhance the skills of current consultants, is also available.
  • POLST: The CEP can provide targeted education regarding the implementation of POLST (Pennsylvania Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). This medical order allows patients to effectively communicate their wishes in end-of-life care as they move across the continuum of care settings.
  • End-of-Life Nursing Education Curriculum (ELNEC):  The program, created in 1999 by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses and the City of Hope National Medical Center, with funding by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, specifically instructs nurses on communicating bad news, addressing ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care, managing symptoms, recognizing cultural considerations, and providing quality care. This program is available to any CEP member institution in a variety of formats: one-hour seminars, four half-day sessions, or a two-day regional conference with neighboring institutions.
  • Long-term Care and Home Care Facilities:  The CEP has developed a successful model for educating administrators, nursing staff, and direct care workers in long-term care facilities and home health agencies. We use a “train-the-trainer” approach that is not only time and cost-efficient, but also facilitates interaction among committee members and various units of the health care network.

Online Teaching Modules: We have developed a set of online teaching modules that provide members with the tools to teach the basic concepts of health care ethics to staff within their institution. Topics include: informed consent and the physician/patient relationship, decision making capacity, surrogate decision making, end of life issues, advance directives, and confidentiality.

Other benefits of membership include:

Joint Commission Report: Member institutions receive a year-end accreditation report that details how all educational sessions have met relevant Joint Commission standards. This report can easily be adapted to other federal and state accreditation requirements.

Magnet Status Support: Focused staff education and support to assist in the process of achieving Magnet status.

Quarterly E-Newsletter: Each issue highlights happenings from our member institutions and current hot topics in health care ethics

Networking Opportunities: The on-going connections made among representatives, health care facilities, third-party insurers, and our expert teaching faculty are a permanent asset to participating health care institutions. This ethics network facilitates the sharing of information to help individuals and institutions cope with perennial dilemmas in patient care, as well as new legislation and developments in health care ethics.


Membership Criteria

The most important qualification for an institution is a willingness to make health care ethics a significant part of its mission and a willingness to commit time, effort, and the financial resources necessary for successful educational programming within the institution and community. In practical terms, this means an institution must:

  • Commit to joining for the three-year educational cycle.
  • Appoint two representatives whose institutional position and stature will make them effective ethics facilitators and who will commit to attending all educational offerings. (Additional representatives may join for a nominal fee).
  • Provide administrative support from a direct supervisor(s) to allow appointed representatives the required time off to attend educational sessions.
  • Contribute an annual membership fee.


Annual Participation Fees Scale

Effective July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015

Membership Type
Fee Category
Membership Fee
Additional Representatives

0-99 Beds

100-199 Beds

200-399 Beds

400+ Beds





$500 per person

Long-term Care/ Home Care




$350 per person
Third-Party Payor  
$500 per person

*Long-Term Care/Home Care: Limited membership does not include onsite programming. This fee only covers the cost for two individuals to attend the educational seminars. Onsite programming can be arranged on a fee-for-service basis.

**Individual Membership includes attendance at the annual ethics retreat and educational seminars. Please note that onsite programming is not included in this membership but can be arranged on a fee-for-service basis.


How to Join the CEP

If you are interested in becoming a member of the CEP, please contact our office at: 412-315-7193 or at to discuss membership opportunites.

Download an Enrollment Guide here!

© 2009 Consortium Ethics Program. No portion may be reproduced without permission.

© 2009 Consortium Ethics Program. No portion may be reproduced without permission.

Last updated: June 29, 2015

Last updated: June 29, 2015