Our accreditation rules ensure that accredited CME is designed to be relevant, practice-based, effective, and independent of commercial influence. Our rules reflect the values of our educator community, build on adult education research, and respond to the evolving healthcare environment.

With this framework, we empower CME providers to deliver high-quality education that drives improvements in practice and helps clinicians and teams to optimize the care, health, and wellness of patients.

Download the Accreditation Requirements: For your convenience, we have created a compilation of the accreditation requirements in one document, available here. This PDF includes the ACCME Accreditation Criteria, the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSM, and the ACCME Policies. A PDF of only the Standards for Commercial Support is available here.

There are three parts to our accreditation rules:

The Accreditation Criteria offer a framework for planning, implementing, and evaluating CME activities that are designed to result in improvements in clinicians’ abilities, performance in practice, or patient outcomes.

Accredited CME providers have the option to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation. There are two avenues for achieving Accreditation with Commendation. Accreditation Criteria 16-22 reward CME providers that take a leadership role in driving healthcare improvement, for example, by engaging in quality and safety initiatives.

Our Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation (PDF), released in 2016, recognize the achievements of CME providers that advance interprofessional collaborative practice, address public health priorities, create behavioral change, show leadership, leverage educational technology, and demonstrate the impact of education on healthcare professionals and patients.

View the Accreditation Criteria

The Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities℠, created in 1992 and updated in 2004, aim to ensure that accredited CME serves the interest of patients and offers clinicians a protected space to learn and teach without commercial influence. To comply with the Standards, providers must plan and deliver CME that is independent, based on valid content, and free of commercial bias.

The Standards have become a common, interprofessional approach, adopted across the professions of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, and others in this country and around the globe.

View the Standards for Commercial Support

Our policies supplement the Accreditation Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support. 

Accredited CME providers need to adhere to the policies that are relevant to their organizations, as well as complying with the Accreditation Criteria and the Standards for Commercial Support.

View the ACCME Policies