A directly provided activity is one that is planned, implemented and evaluated by the accredited provider. Include co-provided activities (provided by two accredited providers) in this category if you are the accredited provider awarding the credit. In contrast, a jointly provided activity is one that is planned, implemented and evaluated by the accredited provider and a non-accredited entity.
Related link: ACCME's Policy on Joint Providership
When you report Manuscript Review in PARS, report each journal for which the manuscript is being reviewed as an activity regardless of how many manuscripts there are and regardless of how many persons have reviewed manuscripts. For hours of instruction, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete the Manuscript Review activity. The number of learners should reflect the total number of learners engaged in reviewing manuscripts .
For example, a provider published one journal. During the course of the year, 25 learners reviewed manuscripts for this journal. Each learner spent 2 hours on his/her review. In PARS, the provider would report this as 1 Manuscript Review activity, with 25 Learners and 2 Hours of Instruction.
How is a manuscript review activity defined?
When you report Learning from Teaching in PARS, aggregate your data for Learning from Teaching for all learners into one activity. For hours of instruction, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete their Learning from Teaching activity. The number of learners should equal the number of individuals who participated in this activity.
For example, a provider created a Learning from Teaching activity for 10 learners. Each learner completed their activity in 2 hours. In PARS, the provider would report this as a Learning From Teaching activity, with 10 Learners and 2 Hours of Instruction.
How is a learning from teaching activity defined?
When you report Journal-Based activities in PARS, report each article as one activity. For hours of instruction, specify the amount of time required to complete the activity. The number of learners should equal the total number of individuals who completed the activity.
For example, a provider produces a journal that contains an article that is associated with an activity. Twenty learners read the article, reflect on the content, and complete questions related to the content of the article. The learners spend 1 hour on this activity. In PARS, the provider would report this as a Journal-Based activity with 20 learners, and 1 hour of instruction.
How is a journal-based activity defined?
When you report Internet Searching and Learning in PARS, aggregate and report all your data for Internet Searching and Learning for all learners into one activity. For hours of instruction, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete their Internet Searching and Learning activity. The number of learners should equal to the total number of persons who participated in Internet Searching and Learning as an activity.
For example, a provider creates an Internet Searching Learning activity in which 50 learners participate. Each learner spent 30 minutes participating in this activity. In PARS, the provider would report this as an Internet Searching and Learning activity, with 50 learners and .5 Hours of Instruction.
When you report Performance Improvement in PARS, count each learning project as one Performance Improvement activity, regardless of whether or not it is created for an individual learner, or group of learners. For hours of instruction, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete the Performance Improvement activity. The number of learners should equal the total number of learners who participated in the learning project.
For example, a provider established a Performance Improvement learning project in which 3 learners participated. Each learner completed the learning project in 20 hours. In PARS, the provider would report this as a Performance Improvement activity, with 3 Learners and 20 Hours of Instruction.
How is performance improvement defined?
The Program Summary is a summary of financial data attributable to your entire Program for the year. It includes the following data fields that the provider is required to manually complete:
1. Total advertising and exhibit income received in support of your Program
2. Total registration fees received (includes registration, subscription or publication fees received from activity learners)
3. Total government monetary grants received (monetary grants received from federal, state, or local governmental agencies in support of your Program)
4. Total private monetary donations received (monetary donations received from the private sector, including foundations, in support of your Program)
Please note that commercial support information must be entered for individual activities, and is summarized automatically on the Program Summary page.
When reporting Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) in PARS, each series should be reported as one activity. In addition, the following guidelines should be used:
The cumulative number of hours for all sessions within a series equals the number of hours for that activity and
Each physician is counted as a learner for each session he/she attends in the series.
For example: Internal Medicine Grand Rounds is planned for the entire year as one series. They meet weekly during the year for one hour each week. In PARS, the series should be entered as one activity with 52 hours of instruction. Also, if 20 learners participated in each session, total learner learners would be 1,040 (20 learners/session x 52 sessions) for that single activity.
How is a Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) defined?
Test Item Writing activities may consist of either of the following processes:
When questions are written for an ‘item pool’ from which they are later drawn to build a variety of ‘tests’, then building the questions for a single pool is one activity (ex. the Pediatric Item Writing Committee of the National Board of Medical Examiners; or the Second Year Clerkship exams at your medical school); or
When questions, items or cases are created for one specific ‘test’, then each ‘test’ is a separate activity (ex. MCQ items for the 2012 Clerkship exam in Pediatrics). For hours of instruction, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete the Test Item Writing activity. The number of learners should equal the total number of persons who engaged in the Test Item Writing activity.
For example, a provider planned an activity in which 5 physicians wrote test items for an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board certification examination question pool. Each physician completed the Test Item Writing activity in 10 hours. In PARS, the provider would report this as a Test Item Writing activity with 5 Physician Learners and 10 Hours of Instruction.
Reporting Maintenance of Certification (MOC) points for an accredited CME activity is a straightforward two-step process.
- First, an accredited CME provider registers the activity in ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) – https://pars.accme.org – for a participating specialty board's MOC program.
- Once the activity is registered in PARS, the second step is for the CME provider to enter and submit learner completion data into PARS.
The following fields are required to establish, or “open” an activity in PARS:
- Activity Type (e.g. Course, Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS), Enduring Material, etc.)
- Activity Title
- Activity Date
- Activity Location (Courses and RSS only)
- Reporting Year
The following fields are required to complete, or “close,” an activity in PARS.
- Providership (Direct or Joint)
- Hours of Instruction
- Designed to change (Competence, Performance or Patient Outcomes)?
- Changes in (Competence, Performance or Patient Outcomes) evaluated?
- Number of physicians (including residents) who participated in the activity
- Number of other learners who participated in the activity
- Commercial Support Received? (Y/N)
- If Yes, Total Monetary Amount of Commercial Support Received and/or Nature of In-Kind Commercial Support Received
- Competencies Addressed
- Name(s) of Joint Providers (jointly-provided activities only)
- Name(s) of commercial supporter(s) and monetary amount/nature of in-kind support received from each supporter.
- AMA-PRA Category 1 Credits Designated
Also, you are required to complete financial data on the Program Summary tab in PARS for each Reporting Year.
The Program Summary tab includes:
- Total amount of monetary commercial support received
- Total advertising and exhibit income received
- Total registration fees received
- Total government monetary grants received
- Total private monetary donations received
You must enter all of your organization's program and activity data for a completed Reporting Year and complete the Attestation by the last business day of the following March to allow for the calculation of the ACCME Annual Report data.
Below is a list of the different activity types that can be reported in PARS. You can click on the name of any of these activity types for a definition and additional information:
All of the users associated with your organization in PARS have the ability to edit organizational contact information on the "Profile" tab in PARS. Contact information for individual users may be edited within the "Profile" tab under "Contacts".
Annually, the activity data that is reported by providers is aggregated and published as an Annual Report that provides information to the community. The “Reporting Year” indicates in which Annual Report the activity belongs. Most providers operate on a calendar year basis, and for these providers the Reporting Year is equivalent to the year of the Activity Date (For instance, Activity Date = September 1, 2016, and Reporting Year = 2016).
However, certain providers, such as some hospitals and medical schools, operate on an academic year calendar, and may need to pay special attention to the “Reporting Year” field for each activity they enter. For instance, if a provider offers a Regularly Scheduled Series that begins September 1, 2016 and ends June 1, 2017, the Activity Date would be September 1, 2016, and the Reporting Year would be 2017.
This activity still needs to be available for review by the ACCME - even if it has been "retired." When an Internet CME activity is no longer available online, the accredited provider may submit the internet activity saved to CD ROM or provide access to the activity on an archived web site.
If your organization assigns an internal code or identifier to each of its activities, you may enter it into this field.
The Provider Activity ID field is optional when entering single activities using the PARS web page interface, however, you will need to enter a value for this field in cases where your organization offers multiple activities in the same format on the same date.
The Provider Activity ID is required for all activities included in batch upload files.
The Provider Activity ID is a code or identifier that your organization creates. It is used in combination with the data in the fields Reporting Year, Activity Type, and Activity Date to uniquely identify your activity records. For this reason, providers should not use their assigned seven-digit provider ID number as a Provider Activity ID, since this number would be the same for all activities you sponsor.
If you need to delete more than one activity at a time from PARS, you may do so by visiting the View Activities screen and selecting the applicable Reporting Year. Expand the list of either closed and/or open activities, and click the Select for Deletion checkbox next to each activity that you want to delete. When you have selected the activities you want to delete from both the open and closed lists, click the Delete Selected Activities button that appears above the list of activities. You will receive a warning message asking you to confirm whether you want to delete the selected activities.
Note that you cannot delete activities that fall in a Reporting Year for which you have already provided an Attestation. If you need to delete activities to which you have already attested, please contact the ACCME.
Each year, information is collected, summarized, and published as a service to accredited providers, other members of the community, and the public via the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). At the conclusion of each Reporting Year, a provider is required to submit information about their activities that took place during the year as well as financial data about their overall Program.
To complete this reporting process, providers are required to attest their data entry for the current Reporting Year is completed. After all activities for the Reporting Year are completed and Closed, and the income and expense information on the Program Summary tab is verified, a provider must attest that their PARS data reporting is complete for this Reporting Year by clicking on the button at the bottom of the Program Summary tab that says, "I Attest that Data is Complete for the [current] Reporting Year."
Once this button is clicked, providers will no longer be able to add or modify activity and program summary data for that Reporting Year. If a provider finds that they do need to make any edits to this information after clicking the Attestation button, they will need to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activities that are offered over the course of multiple reporting years - such as Enduring Materials - should be reported in PARS for each year in which they are active, regardless of whether they are active for the entire year or just a part of it.
For each year that you provided the activity, you will report the number of learners (physicians or other learners) who participated during that year, as well as the income and expenses related to the activity for that year. Do not report cumulative data for an activity spanning multiple years.
As an example, if a provider offers an enduring internet material activity that was launched on July 1, 2010 and remains available through December 2011, and they are reporting on a calendar year*, then they should:
- report one activity in PARS for 2010 (with a start date of July 1, 2010) and then one activity for 2011 (with the same start date of July 1, 2010);
- for each year, calculate and report the attendance during that year only. Do not count attendance for both years when reporting for 2011;
- for each year, calculate and report the income and expenses received or incurred during that year only. If the activity received monetary commercial support, report the amount of support received in the years in which it was received. In subsequent years, for the question, “Commercial Support Received,” answer “yes” and type zero (“0”) in the “Total Monetary Amount Received” field.
How do I Copy Activities in PARS?
If your organization is the accredited provider for a jointly provided activity, you are required to report the same financial data that you do for directly provided activities, even if the joint provider was the recipient of the funds.
Hours of instruction equals the total hours of educational instruction provided. For example, if a one-day course lasts eight (8) hours (not including breaks or meals), then total hours of instruction reported for that course is 8.
See the ACCME FAQs about regularly scheduled series, manuscript review and learning from teaching for additional specific examples regarding calculating hours of instruction for these types of activities.
You are required to complete the following fields regarding commercial support at the individual activity level.
- Commercial Support Received? – indicate by clicking “Yes” or “No” whether commercial support was received for this activity. You should check “Yes” for this question if support was received regardless of whether it was paid directly to your organization, as the Accredited Provider, or to a joint provider.
- Support Source: complete this field for each commercial supporter for your activity. Select a name from the drop down box, or, if the commercial supporter for your activity does not appear in the drop-down, type the supporter’s name into the text field.
- Monetary Support Received: use this field to indicate the amount of monetary support received from each commercial supporter.
- In-kind Support Received: use this field to indicate the nature of any in-kind support received from each commercial supporter.