The ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) is a web-based portal designed to streamline and support the collection of program and activity data from accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers. The ACCME uses the information collected in PARS to support the performance-in-practice reviews that are part of the process for initial accreditation, reaccreditation, and progress report reviews. In addition, the ACCME uses data from PARS to produce annual reports as a service to accredited CME providers and other stakeholders.
Who Uses PARS?
All accredited providers within the ACCME System are required to use PARS. State-accredited providers should check with their accreditor for details.
ACCME Recognized Accreditors and accredited providers can log into PARS here or by clicking on the login buttons located within the For Accreditors and For CME Providers sections of the ACCME website.
Reminders for Accredited CME Providers: 2015 Year-End Reporting Requirements
PARS is open for the 2015 reporting year. The deadline for completing data entry for the 2015 reporting year for ACCME-accredited providers is March 31, 2016. Providers accredited by a state medical society may be required to complete their 2015 year-end reporting earlier and should check with their accreditor for more information.
Beginning with the 2015 reporting year, we have made improvements to PARS that affect the reporting requirements for both activity and program level data. These changes carry over to the 2016 reporting year as well and are described in detail below. The PARS educational resources have also been refreshed to reflect the 2015 changes.
As always, you can enter basic information about an activity before it has taken place and complete the entry after the activity has occured. There are no changes involved in opening activities.
PARS Improvements for Reporting of 2015 Activity and Program Data
PURPOSE OF CHANGES
Since the ACCME opened PARS five years ago, we have been implementing improvements based on feedback from accredited providers and other stakeholders. For the 2015 reporting year, we are eliminating some data requirements that have been difficult to standardize and have not been shown to add value. We are adding data fields and changing some of the optional fields to required fields, in order to collect information that will increase the value of PARS for accredited providers and other stakeholders. This information will support alignment with stakeholders involved in physician continuing professional development, such as the credit, licensure, and certification systems. Your data aggregated and published in our annual reports will provide a more comprehensive picture of the size, scope, and accomplishments of the national CME enterprise.
Providers are required to include the following data about each activity taking place in the 2015 reporting year. This data was previously optional:
- The name of joint providers (formerly “joint sponsors”), if applicable.
- The number of designated AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, if applicable.
- Competency(ies) the activity was designed to address. Providers select from a list of competencies including ACGME/ABMS, Institute of Medicine, Interprofessional Education Collaborative, and Other.
- The name of commercial supporter(s), the monetary amount of support, and/or the type of in-kind support given by each supporter. PARS will continue to offer checkboxes for types of in-kind support. For “other in-kind support,” providers will no longer need to complete a description field. In addition, a new section will automatically summarize the commercial support information reported for all commercial supporters of the activity.
The following data will not be reported for individual CME activities:
- Advertising and exhibit income. This information will be submitted only in aggregate in the Program Summary, as described below.
- Income from other sources. This information will be submitted only in aggregate, in three specific categories, in the Program Summary (as described below).
- Expenses. This information will no longer be collected in PARS. Please see the explanation under Program Summary, below.
We have added income categories in order to collect more detailed data about CME program income. The ACCME will no longer collect information about CME program expenses, in response to feedback from providers and our observations that because of the wide range of provider types and their accounting systems this information was not always reported in a standardized, consistent manner across the accreditation system. PARS will continue to aggregate the total amount of monetary commercial support from the information submitted for each CME activity.
Program Summary Changes
- Providers will report advertising and exhibit income only in aggregate on the Program Summary.
- The category of Income from Other Sources has been eliminated. This category is replaced with three specific income categories: registration fees (includes registration, subscription, or publication fees received from CME activity participants), government grants, and private donations (including grants from foundations). Providers will no longer be required to include allocations from their parent organization or other internal departments.
- PARS will no longer collect data about CME program expenses.
TERMINOLOGY AND DEFINITON CHANGES
We have made the following terminology and definition changes.
- The term sponsorship has been changed to providership, and activities will be described as directly provided or jointly provided. This change reflects the terminology change included in the simplification of the ACCME requirements and process.
- Nonphysicians are called other learners. This category includes activity participants other than MDs and DOs. Residents are no longer included in this category; beginning with the 2015 reporting year, they are included as physician participants. The terminology change has been made in response to feedback from the CME community that other learners is a more appropriate term for describing the range of learners.
- Residents are included in the category of physician participants. This category continues to include activity participants who are MDs or DOs.
BATCH UPLOAD RESOURCES FOR 2015 to 2016 REPORTING YEARs
We have prepared the following resources to support your implementation of the PARS changes for the 2015 to 2016 reporting years.
PARS Video FAQ: These have been refreshed to reflect the 2015 changes.
Accreditation Requirements and Descriptions of the ACCME: The annual report glossary in this PDF has been updated to incorporate the PARS 2015 changes.
Batch Upload Resources for
2011 to 2013
CME that Counts for ABIM MOC
The ACCME and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) have collaborated to simplify the integration of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) and accredited CME. Providers can now use PARS to register their activities for ABIM MOC. Learn more about CME that Counts for ABIM MOC.
PARS and REMS Data Collection
As a service to the CME community and to the FDA, the ACCME modified PARS to enable accredited providers to submit information specific to the Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioid Analgesics REMS CME activities they provide. For more information, please see:
PARS Release Notes offer a brief, up-to-date summary of the enhancements we have made for your quick reference. This tool will be especially helpful to providers using PARS on a frequent basis. To access our online library of PARS educational resources, including video tutorials and FAQs, visit the Ask ACCME Q&A and click on ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) in the topics menu. In addition, after you have logged into PARS, you can click on Help at the top of each screen or the question marks (?) on each page to receive assistance. If you can't find the assistance you need, please submit your questions using the Contact Support interface within PARS.
ACCME-accredited providers: As always, you may contact us with any questions you may have.
State-accredited providers: Please contact your accreditor directly with any questions you may have.