Guiding Principles for Corporate Relationships

APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization to promote improved patient outcomes and research related to infection control and prevention. APIC may promote these efforts by forming corporate relationships and accepting external funds such as grants, sponsorships, or gifts in support of activities that are aligned with its mission.

External funds from corporations and other entities help APIC to improve the quality of educational conferences and other meetings by allowing the association to provide honoraria, scholarships and awards, to offer general programming that might otherwise be financially out of reach, and to provide an array of value-added educational products and services to members that advance the goals of the association.

There are many typical business relationships into which associations such as APIC may enter with corporations and other parties. There may be overlap among approaches and hybrid arrangements could exist, but some of the most common are:

  • Sponsorship: APIC may accept financial or in-kind support for a specific activity such as education, research, an information product, a member service or an awareness building activity.
  • Strategic alliance: A mutually beneficial relationship may be established between APIC and another party. Strategic alliances are most often longer term, collaborative efforts designed to advance a shared mission or vision. APIC’s Strategic Partner Program is one such example.
  • Health promotion: APIC may work with another organization to promote improvements in health or healthcare. APIC’s advocacy work and our participation in the Trust for America’s Health “Ready or Not” Survey follow this model.
  • Licensing: APIC may authorize another party to develop, produce, market and/or distribute a product that carries the APIC brand. The recent translation of the APIC Text into Japanese fits this model.   


Guiding principles
No matter what type of business or corporate funding relationship APIC enters, all relationships must adhere strictly to certain core principles:

  • Endorsement: APIC will not endorse any commercial product or service.
  • Mission-related purpose: APIC’s relationships with corporations and other entities must have a meaningful mission related purpose or benefit.
  • Independence:  APIC staff and members will exercise independent judgment in all decisions related to corporate partnerships. For all educational and product offerings, APIC will retain control over the selection of topics, educational content, speakers and related materials.   
  • Disclosure: APIC will disclose all sponsored activities that are partially or completely financed by external funds, including, but not limited to, presentations, educational offerings, publications, and research grants. Speakers should disclose whether any part of their presentation resulted from external funding and whether they have any personal financial interest in the subject matter of the presentation. 
  • Confidentiality: APIC representatives will not disclose proprietary or confidential information of corporate partners that may be provided in the course of a relationship.   
  • Exclusivity: APIC may grant exclusivity to a corporation or other party for a particular activity for a specified time on the basis that there is sufficient benefit to APIC.   In general, there will be no prohibition against APIC engaging in similar types of activities involving competing corporations or products.   
  • Consistency: APIC will not enter into a relationship with a corporation or other party that is inconsistent with APIC’s principles, public positions, policies or standards. 
  • Intellectual property: Where possible and appropriate, APIC will reserve the right to the intellectual property deriving from projects that it sponsors and/or manages. 
  • Research: APIC will retain control over the selection of research topics that are financed with external funds, selection of project personnel and other activities for the conduct of research activities for which external funding is accepted.  APIC may accept restricted funds from projects that it sponsors and/or manages. 
  • Awards: Awardees will be selected based on criteria established by APIC. The sponsor may have limited input in the selection criteria, but APIC will retain control over selection of the award recipient.
  • Acknowledgments: Acknowledgment is an important aspect of delivering value to corporate supporters.  Acknowledgement may be accomplished via a variety of vehicles including APIC publications, meeting materials and signage, reports and other materials, as appropriate. These acknowledgments will not advertise any products or services of the supporting organization. Ultimate decisions regarding acknowledgement rests with APIC.
  • Branding: APIC will not allow the use of its name, logo or other identifying marks to promote any commercial product or service. Any usage of the APIC name, logo or related identifying marks in a corporate relationship shall be reviewed and approved by APIC, in writing, in advance of their use. 
  • Advertising: Prevention Strategist, APIC E-News, Infection Connection: Focusing on Long-Term Care and the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) accept advertisements for products and services. Final judgment regarding the appropriateness and acceptability of advertisements rests with the editorial staff.

APIC is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC) To meet accreditation requirements, commercial interest organizations providing Commercial Support for continuing educational activities may not influence or participate in the planning, implementation, or evaluation of an educational activity. In order to ensure content integrity, the following criteria must be followed:

  1. Employees of commercial interest organizations are not permitted to serve as planners, speakers, presenters, authors, and/or content reviewers if the content of the educational activity is related to the products or services of the commercial interest organization. 
  • Employees of commercial interest organizations are permitted to serve as planners, speakers, presenters, authors, and/or content reviewers if the content of the educational activity is NOT related to the products of the commercial interest organization. 
  • A Commercial Interest Organization may not promote its goods or services in relation to the content of an educational activity at any time during which the educational activity takes place including the introduction and conclusion of the activity, regardless of the format of the educational activity. 
  • Advertisements promoting the products or services of a Commercial Interest Organization in relation to the content of an educational activity must be physically separated from the educational activity, regardless of the format of the educational activity. 
  • A Commercial Interest Organization\may not recruit learners from an audience for any reason. 
  • APIC may not share contact information related to learners without written permission from the learner. 
  • A Commercial Interest Organization may advertise an educational activity for which it has given Commercial Support. Examples of advertising may include but are not limited to: Save the Date cards, flyers, and emails.
  • APIC can acknowledge Commercial Support provided by a Commercial Interest Organization on marketing materials for the educational activity. 
  • A Commercial Interest Organization may not distribute educational activities directly to learners. 
  1. Content of the educational activity is the responsibility of APIC.  All materials used for the educational activity must be free from commercial bias.
  1. To guard against the presence of commercial bias, APIC is responsible for ensuring the following: 
  1. Slides, handouts or other materials presented to the learner related to the educational activity do not display any logos or other trademarks of a Commercial Interest Organization. 
    1. Live (in-person) educational activities are presented without reference to a Commercial Interest Organization; acknowledgement of commercial support is limited to the name of the entity providing support. 
    1. Enduring materials (such as a computer-based learning program) and web-based materials (such as recorded webinar) do not include logos, trademarks, or other insignia of, or references to, a Commercial Interest Organization; acknowledgement of commercial support is limited to the name of the entity providing support. 
    1. Learners are not recruited for any purpose during the activity or evaluation.

Guidelines for Use of Conference Mobile Applications (Mobile app) 

  1. Educational materials are those materials used by the accredited provider in the transfer of education to learners as well as information required by the accreditor to be made known to the learner such as accreditation statements, disclosure statements, and acknowledgement of commercial support.
  2. Pages, screens or sections of an app that include any of these elements must not include advertising, promotion, or the corporate logos of a commercial interest organization. 
  3. Advertising or promotion may be placed within the app as long as it is in a separate page, screen or section, from any educational materials.
  4. Methods to separate educational materials from advertising may include but are not limited to:
  5. Using a separate tab or clearly designated place within the mobile app to inform learners where to access educational materials.
  6. Using separate mobile apps or methods to provide learners with educational materials

Exhibits, Promotions and Sales 

Commercial Interest Organizations may not exhibit, promote, or sell products or services during the introduction of an educational activity, while the educational activity takes place or at the conclusion of an educational activity, regardless of the format of the educational activity. Exhibits, promotion, and sales must be separated from the educational activity. The following standards apply to exhibiting, promoting, and selling products or services: 

  • Exhibiting, promoting, and selling products may not take place during an educational activity. 
  • Marketing or advertisement for exhibits, promotions or sales may not be included within educational activity content (e.g., slides, handouts, enduring materials); 
  • Marketing or advertisement for exhibits, promotions or sales must take place in a location that is physically separated from the area where educational content is delivered.

Giveaways

Commercial Interest Organizations may provide giveaways for learners, as long as there is physical separation between accessing the giveaway and learner engagement in the educational activity. Educational materials for an activity may not be packaged in items bearing logos, trademarks of a Commercial Interest Organization.