Initial applicants for ACCME accreditation must participate in an ACCME interview. The interview provides an opportunity for your organization to discuss your CME program and your organization’s policies and practices to ensure compliance with the ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria, the Standards for Commercial Support and policies (accreditation requirements).
Purpose of the Interview
- The interview is a dialogue between your organization and ACCME surveyors. It is intended to generate understanding of the goals and strategies of your CME program. Therefore, the individuals responsible for planning and implementing your CME program should participate in the interview.
- Your organization should be prepared to discuss the strengths, accomplishments, and challenges of its CME program.
- Your organization should be prepared to present and clarify evidence that demonstrates compliance with the ACCME’s accreditation requirements.
Preparing for the Interview
- The ACCME utilizes the conference call as its standard accreditation interview format. Interviews typically average 90 minutes in length.
- Your organization must have a CME activity reviewed. Activity review entails the observation of one of your organization's CME activities by an ACCME volunteer surveyor.
- Volunteer surveyors who have been trained by the ACCME will ask questions to help enhance and support the data provided in the self-study report and performance-in-practice review.
The Role of the Survey Team
- ACCME surveyors are experienced CME professionals who engage in initial and ongoing ACCME surveyor training. In order to ensure independence, you can expect that your surveyors will not have any current or immediate prior affiliation with your organization. If something about your organization’s relationship with its surveyor(s) gives rise to a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, you may request a new surveyor. The ACCME will make the final decision regarding the need for a change.
- It is the surveyors’ primary responsibility to gather data and information related to your CME program’s compliance with the ACCME’s accreditation requirements.
- You can expect ACCME surveyors to conduct their interactions in a professional manner, communicating clearly and effectively, without offering consultative advice or feedback regarding compliance or the expected outcome of the accreditation review.
- The surveyors will also be eager to hear about creative strategies that your organization has implemented to achieve its goals, as well as plans that it has in place to produce future improvements.
Following the Interview
- The surveyors will record and report their findings to the ACCME, using the ACCME’s Surveyor Report and Documentation Review forms, and, if applicable, the Activity Review form. Once the ACCME has received all information from the surveyors, the ACCME decision-making process will begin.
- Your organization will be invited to complete an evaluation form to provide feedback about the self-study and interview processes. Feedback that relates to your surveyors will be provided to them anonymously, and only after a decision has been made regarding your organization’s accreditation status.