An internet searching and learning activity is an activity in which a physician engages in self-directed, online learning on topics relevant to their clinical practice from a database whose content has been vetted by an accredited CME provider. This type of activity is based on a learner identifying a problem in practice and then accessing content in search of an answer from sources on the Internet that are facilitated by a provider. For the purpose of data collection, the ACCME includes AMA-defined point of care CME as a form of internet searching and learning.
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. You should not enter each individual article that could be accessed by a learner participating in your activity as a separate activity in PARS. The number of learners should equal the distinct number of learners who participated in the internet searching and learning activity.
For example, a provider creates an internet searching learning activity in which 50 learners participate. Each learner spent approximately 30 minutes participating in this activity. In PARS, the provider would report this as an internet searching and learning activity, with 50 learners and 0.5 credits.
Each internet searching and learning activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
Learning from teaching activities are personal learning projects designed and implemented by the learner with facilitation from the accredited provider. This type of activity recognizes the learning that occurs as physicians prepare to teach. Learning from teaching represents a range of activities in which an accredited provider can facilitate practice-based learning and improvement – where the ‘practice’ could be the person’s professional “teaching practice” or “clinical practice” or “research practice.”
Examples of learning from teaching activities:
To prepare for teaching a skills workshop at a surgical specialty society meeting, physician faculty find that they need to learn how to operate a new laparoscopic device that will be used during the workshop. The specialty society, as an accredited provider, facilitates their training on the new device as a learning from teaching activity for the faculty prior to their teaching engagement.
An accredited provider makes available a learning from teaching activity for new faculty in the form of "individualized learning projects." In the activity, new faculty assess what knowledge and skills they need to teach more effectively, and then the provider makes available training and feedback to improve the new faculty members’ teaching skills. This includes one-to-one mentorship and training with educational experts.
When you report learning from teaching in PARS, aggregate your data for learning from teaching for all learners into one activity. The number of learners should equal the number of individuals who participated in this activity. The amount of credit may be reported as the maximum amount of credit a learner could earn for a learning from teaching activity.
For example, a provider created a learning from teaching activity for 10 learners. The maximum number of credits a learner could earn over the 12-month period was 10 credits. In PARS, the provider would report this as a learning from teaching activity with 10 learners and 10 credits.
Each learning from teaching activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
You can click on the name of any of these activity formats for a definition and additional information on how to report learners:
- Live Course
- Regularly Scheduled Series
- Enduring Material
- Journal CME/CE
- Manuscript Review
- Test-Item Writing
- Committee Learning
- Performance Quality Improvement
- Internet Searching and Learning
- Learning from Teaching
- Other/Blended Learning
The other/blended learning activity format is used for hybrid, new, or unique approaches that do not fall into one of the established activity types. Providers must identify these activities as other/blended learning in the AMA credit designation statement, in the credit designation statement, and in documentation given to learners (certificates, transcripts, etc.). The inclusion of this activity format allows educators to deploy new technologies such as simulation, adaptive e-learning, virtual reality, gamification, and social media into their medical education approaches.
Each other/blended learning activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
A performance/quality improvement activity is structured as a three-stage process by which a physician or group of physicians learn about specific performance measures, assess their practice using the selected performance measures, implement interventions to improve performance related to these measures over a useful interval of time, and then reassess their practice using the same performance measures.
For credits, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete the performance improvement activity. The number of learners should reflect the distinct number of learners engaged in the performance improvement activity.
Each performance/quality improvement activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
Committee learning is a live activity that involves a learner’s participation in a committee process addressing a subject which, if taught/learned in another format, would be considered within the definition of continuing education.
The committee is the activity, regardless of how many times the committee meets. The credits would be the total learning time (e.g., however long they are in the committee). The number of learners should reflect the number of participants in the committee.
Each committee learning activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
Test-item writing is an activity wherein physicians learn through their contribution to the development (and review) of examinations, or certain peer-reviewed self-assessment activities, by researching, drafting, and defending potential test-items.
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 approximately 10 hours. In PARS, the provider would report this as a test-item writing activity with 5 Physician Learners and 10 credits.
Each test-item writing activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
Manuscript review is an activity in which a learner participates in the critical review of an assigned journal manuscript during the pre-publication review process of a journal.
When you report a manuscript review activity in PARS, report each journal for which the manuscript is reviewed as an individual activity regardless of the number of manuscripts and the number of reviewers. For available credits, specify the amount of time you believe a learner would take to complete the manuscript review activity. The number of learners should reflect the distinct number of learners engaged in reviewing manuscripts.
For example, a provider published one journal. During the year, 25 learners reviewed manuscripts for this journal. Each learner spent 2 hours on their review. In PARS, the provider would report this as 1 manuscript review activity, with 25 Learners and 2 credits.
Each manuscript review activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
A journal CME/CE activity is an activity that is planned and presented by an accredited provider and in which the learner reads one or more articles (or adapted formats for special needs) from a peer-reviewed professional journal.
When reporting journal-based activities in PARS, the accredited provider may choose to report journal-based CME activities as a single activity per journal or as individual articles. For credits available, 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 credit.
Each journal CME/CE activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
A live course is a live activity where the learner participates in real time. A live course is planned as an individual event. A live course can either be classified as an in-person event or live-streamed via an online platform. Examples of a live course could be an annual meeting, one-off conference, or seminar.
For events with multiple sessions, such as annual meetings, accredited providers report one activity and calculate the credit by totaling the hours of all educational sessions.
To calculate the total numbers of learners, accredited providers report the number of learners for the overall event.
If the same live course is held multiple times for different audiences (ex: ACLS trainings held in different locations), then each instance is reported as a separate activity.
Each live course activity should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If this activity lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities.
Regularly scheduled series (RSS) is a live activity planned as a series with multiple, ongoing sessions, e.g., offered weekly, monthly, or quarterly. A RSS is primarily planned by and presented to the accredited organization's professional staff and generally targets the same audience over the whole series. Examples include grand rounds, tumor boards, and morbidity and mortality conferences.
Live activities where the same content is offered multiple times for different audiences should be reported as separate live courses and not RSS.
When reporting RSS activities in PARS, each series should be reported as one activity. Each series should be reported for a maximum of a 12-month period. If a series lasts longer than 12 months, it should be reported as separate activities. In addition, the following guidelines should be used:
- The number of credits listed for the activity should be for the entire series, not the credit amount per session.
- Each physician or other learner is counted as a learner for every session they attend in the series.
For example: Internal Medicine Grand Rounds is planned as a 12-month activity from July 1 to June 30 each year. This activity meets for one hour each week. The start date should be entered as 07/01/XXXX and the end date should be entered as 06/30/XXXX. In PARS, the series should be entered as one activity with 52 credits. If 20 physicians participated in each session, total physician learners would be 1,040 (20 learners/session x 52 sessions) for that single activity.
An enduring material is an on-demand activity that does not have a specific time or location designated for participation; rather, the participant determines whether and when to complete the activity. The content can be accessed at any point during the lifespan of the activity and there is no specific time designated for participation. Examples include online interactive educational modules, recorded presentations, printed materials, and podcasts.
Enduring material activities should be reported in PARS once for the duration of the activity. Enduring materials can be entered with a date range up to three years, with the start date as the first date the activity is available to learners, and the end date as the date of expiration. If the activity is reviewed and renewed, the activity will be entered into PARS anew with a start date listed as the date of the most recent review, and the end date as the new expiration date.
When reporting the number of learners for an internet enduring material activity, you should count all learners who completed all or a portion of the activity and whose participation can be verified in some manner. The accreditor would not consider individuals that only downloaded or accessed the activity but did not actually complete a portion of it to be learners.
The credit available for an internet enduring activity should indicate the amount of time it takes an individual learner to complete the activity.
A regularly scheduled series (RSS) is a live activity that generally targets the same learners over the whole series. If you choose to record some or all of the sessions and make the recordings available to the learners who would normally participate in the live sessions, those recorded sessions are still part of the RSS and do not need to be reported in PARS as separate enduring materials. You would report the RSS as a single activity in PARS.
If you decide to make some or all of the recorded sessions available to a different audience (not the learners who normally participate in the live sessions), either as individual sessions or as a series, this new activity should be reported in PARS as a separate enduring material (or multiple enduring materials).
Yes, if educational material from a live activity is turned into an enduring material, the enduring material is considered a separate activity.