Compliance with the ACCME’s Content Validation Policy

An individual contacted the ACCME with concerns about an Internet enduring material activity offered by an accredited provider on the topic of dosing therapies and guidelines for a particular class of drugs. The complainant suggested that the activity was not based on valid content and that the information presented was not generally recognized and accepted within the profession of medicine.

The ACCME asked the accredited provider for more information about its compliance with the ACCME’s Content Validation Policy. According to this policy, accredited providers are responsible for validating the clinical content of CME activities. The ACCME requirements include the following:

  1. All the recommendations involving clinical medicine in a CME activity must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients.
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported or used in CME in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection and analysis.

The provider demonstrated that the level of evidence used to develop the activity was expert opinion. True expert opinion(1) is generally accepted within the profession as an adequate justification for indications and contraindications in the care of patients, and therefore meets the requirements of the ACCME.

The ACCME issued a Notice of Compliance with the Content Validation Policy to the accredited provider and the matter was closed.

For More Information
CME Content Policy

(1) Level 5 is Expert opinion or case study; Level 4 is Small observational study; Level 3 is Large observational study (i.e. cohort study); Level 2 is Open randomized clinical trials; Level 1 is Double-blind randomized clinical trials. Sackett D, Straus S, Richardson W, et al. Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Teach and Practice EBM. Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone; 2000.

Published Date: 
Friday, February 18, 2011
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