The ACCME has long supported the goals of Maintenance of Certification (MOC), the importance of alignment between accredited CME and MOC, and the role of accredited CME as a strategic resource to MOC.
The ACCME's Accreditation Criteria were designed to align with and support continuing professional development (CPD) systems, including MOC. These Accreditation Criteria support the goals of MOC by requiring accredited providers to design CME activities that are free of commercial bias, are based on learners’ needs, and contribute to physicians’ ongoing practice improvement and commitment to lifelong learning. The Criteria require that CME providers develop activities in the context of desirable physician attributes such as the ACGME/ABMS competencies. In 2013, at the request of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the ACCME modified the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) to require CME providers to indicate which competencies are addressed in each activity.
As a continuation of these efforts, the ACCME has collaborated with ABMS member boards to simplify and align the MOC process to better meet the needs of diplomates and to facilitate the integration of CME and MOC. These collaborations enable CME providers to offer more lifelong learning options with MOC credit to physician specialists and subspecialists. Currently, collaborations are in place with the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Board of Pediatricians (ABP).
A Simpler, Unified Process
CME providers are no longer required to submit MOC applications for approval to the certifying boards that are collaborating with the ACCME. Instead, accredited CME providers are able to use the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) to register activities for these programs.
As part of this registration process, providers attest to compliance with certifying board requirements, agree to collect the required individual participant completion data and submit it via PARS, agree to abide by certifying board/ACCME requirements for use of the data, agree to allow ACCME to publish data about the activity on ACCME’s website, and agree to comply with requests for information about the activity if the activity is selected for an audit by the ACCME.
The registration process is available for all CME providers in the ACCME System, including state-accredited providers, providers directly accredited by the ACCME, and providers that have received Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.
These collaborations offer additional choices but no new ACCME requirements. CME providers in the ACCME System have the option—but are not required—to offer accredited CME that meets certifying board MOC program requirements and to submit activity and participant completion data through PARS to the certifying boards.
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