Standard 4: Manage Commercial Support Appropriately
Standard 4 applies only to accredited continuing education that receives financial or in-kind support from ineligible companies.
Accredited providers that choose to accept commercial support (defined as financial or in-kind support from ineligible companies) are responsible for ensuring that the education remains independent of the ineligible company and that the support does not result in commercial bias or commercial influence in the education. The support does not establish a financial relationship between the ineligible company and planners, faculty, and others in control of content of the education.
1. Decision-making and disbursement: The accredited provider must make all decisions regarding the receipt and disbursement of the commercial support.
a. Ineligible companies must not pay directly for any of the expenses related to the education or the learners.
b. The accredited provider may use commercial support to fund honoraria or travel expenses of planners, faculty, and others in control of content for those roles only.
c. The accredited provider must not use commercial support to pay for travel, lodging, honoraria, or personal expenses for individual learners or groups of learners in accredited education.
d. The accredited provider may use commercial support to defray or eliminate the cost of the education for all learners.
2. Agreement: The terms, conditions, and purposes of the commercial support must be documented in an agreement between the ineligible company and the accredited provider. The agreement must be executed prior to the start of the accredited education. An accredited provider can sign onto an existing agreement between an accredited provider and a commercial supporter by indicating its acceptance of the terms, conditions, and amount of commercial support it will receive.
3. Accountability: The accredited provider must keep a record of the amount or kind of commercial support received and how it was used, and must produce that accounting, upon request, by the accrediting body or by the ineligible company that provided the commercial support.
4. Disclosure to learners: The accredited provider must disclose to the learners the name(s) of the ineligible company(ies) that gave the commercial support, and the nature of the support if it was in-kind, prior to the learners engaging in the education. Disclosure must not include the ineligible companies’ corporate or product logos, trade names, or product group messages.