Simplification and Evolution

The ACCME is pleased to announce changes adopted in early 2014 that include the simplification, elimination, and modification of some of the accreditation requirements. The purpose of the changes is to streamline the accreditation system while maintaining high standards and continuing to support CME as a strategic asset to healthcare improvement initiatives.

Listening to Stakeholders

The changes reflect the ACCME’s ongoing process of engagement with the CME and stakeholder community. The changes are based on the ACCME Board of Directors’ strategic planning, the ACCME’s experience evaluating providers under the 2006 Accreditation Criteria and analysis of accreditation data, and feedback from stakeholders.

Changes

The number of criteria required for accreditation is reduced from 15 to 12, one policy is eliminated, and six policies are modified. The changes simplify the process for accredited providers and offer greater flexibility, while retaining the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle which is integral to the ACCME’s expectations.

The changes include:

Changes Apply to All Providers

These changes apply to all CME providers within the ACCME accreditation system, including providers directly accredited by the ACCME and those accredited by ACCME Recognized Accreditors (state or territory medical societies that are recognized by the ACCME as accreditors of intrastate CME providers). Recognized Accreditors are responsible for implementing these changes for intrastate providers. Please check with your accreditor about the implementation process.

Resources

For more information, including descriptions of the specific changes, please see these resources.

News Release: Accreditation Council for CME Announces Simplification of Accreditation Requirements

News release: Accreditation Council for CME Prohibits Commercial Interest Logos in Disclosure of Commercial Support

“Continuing the Separation of Education from Promotion: Prohibiting the Use of Commercial Interest Logos in Commercial Support Disclosure,” a video commentary with Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO

The Accreditation Requirements and Descriptions of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME): A PDF compilation of the ACCME accreditation requirements

Ask ACCME Q&A about Simplification

Ask ACCME Q&A about Commercial Interest Logos

Simplification of the Accreditation Requirements & Process: Archived Webinar

Implementation of Changes

The changes are effective immediately.

  • Elimination of requirements: Accredited providers will no longer be evaluated for compliance with the requirements that have been eliminated.
  • Prohibition against using ACCME-defined commercial interest logos in disclosure: We do not expect accredited providers to change or reprint any materials that currently exist. Accredited providers will be expected to make any necessary changes to CME materials by May 2015.
  • Change in terminology: We do not expect accredited providers to change or reprint any materials that currently exist. We expect accredited providers to use the term “joint providership” for new materials published after January 1, 2015. Please note that this change in terminology applies to accreditation statements for jointly provided activities as well as other materials.
  • Accreditation process: Providers will have the option of using an abstract to verify performance-in-practice or to continue using labels.
  • Initial applicants: Organizations applying for Provisional Accreditation will no longer be required to have an on-site survey. Surveys are still required; conference calls are the standard interview format the ACCME currently uses. Initial applicants and accreditors continue to have the option of using other survey formats including televideo and face-to-face, if circumstances warrant it.

Accredited Providers: What This Means for You

Regardless of where you are in the accreditation process, you will no longer be evaluated for compliance with any requirements that have been eliminated.

  • If you have already submitted materials for reaccreditation, you do not need to resubmit or change those materials. The ACCME will ensure that you will not be reviewed for any requirements that have been eliminated.
  • If you are preparing for reaccreditation, do not change any of the materials you have already prepared or are in the process of preparing. The ACCME will ensure that you will not be reviewed for any requirements that have been eliminated.
  • If you are in a future accreditation cohort, you will not need to submit materials related to compliance for the requirements that have been eliminated.

For more information, please see this Ask ACCME Q&A.

Resources for the Accreditation Process

The following accreditation materials have been updated to reflect the simplification changes. Please note that you do not need to resubmit any accreditation materials or change any materials that you are preparing. The ACCME will ensure that you will not be reviewed for any requirements that have been eliminated.

Sample Preapplication PDF

Guide to the Process for ACCME Initial Accreditation

Outline for the Self-Study Report for ACCME Initial Accreditation

Guide to the Process for ACCME Reaccreditation

Outline for the Self-Study Report for ACCME Reaccreditation

ACCME Performance-In-Practice Structured Abstract (for Initial Accreditation and Reaccreditation)

ACCME Performance-in-Practice Review Labels (for Initial Accreditation and Reaccreditation)

The materials listed above are also aggregated here.

More Background Information

Call for Comment Summary and Responses—Simplifying the Accreditation Requirements and Process: This PDF includes the summary and analysis of the responses, the ACCME Board of Directors decision, the full text of the responses, and the call for comment survey.

Call for Comment on Simplification: An audio commentary by Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO

News Release: ACCME Releases Call for Comment on Simplification Proposal

Simplification Proposal - Revisiting the ACCME Requirements & Process: A video commentary with Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO, explaining the background and rationale for the proposed changes.

Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process, May 2013: This PDF includes contains an introduction, cover letter, and the current full text of the ACCME accreditation requirements, with the proposed changes highlighted, so that you can see them in context, accompanied by explanations.

News Release: Accreditation Council for CME Announces Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process

Archived Webinar: Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process, May 23, 2013. A PDF of the transcript with slides from the webinar is available for download here.

If you have questions, please contact us at info@accme.org.