Accreditation Council for CME Announces Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process

ACCME seeks feedback from stakeholders regarding proposed changes to streamline and improve the continuing medical education accreditation system
Chicago, IL
May 21, 2013

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is pleased to announce a “Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process.” The purpose of the proposed changes is to streamline the accreditation process and requirements and to strengthen support for continuing medical education (CME) as a strategic asset to health care improvement initiatives.

The proposal is based on the ACCME Board of Directors’ strategic planning, the ACCME’s experience evaluating providers under the 2006 Accreditation Criteria and analysis of accreditation data, and feedback from stakeholders.

The ACCME is asking stakeholders to review the proposal and submit their feedback. The proposal, supporting materials, and a survey have been posted on the ACCME’s Web site. The ACCME will hold a free webinar on May 23 to explain the proposal and answer stakeholders’ questions.

Building on Success

The proposal builds on the success of accredited CME providers in achieving the ACCME’s expectations under the current accreditation requirements. These requirements have been in place since 2006 with no substantive changes. When the ACCME released the 2006 Accreditation Criteria, its goal was to position CME as a strategic asset to US health care quality improvement efforts. Accreditation data shows that providers are facilitating practice-based education that supports health care professionals’ commitment to lifelong learning. Accredited CME providers are partnering with quality initiatives within their institutions, health systems, and communities. Accredited providers have successfully demonstrated that CME is a Bridge to Quality™.

Listening to Stakeholders

The proposal and request for feedback is part of an ongoing process of ACCME engagement with the CME community. The ACCME Board of Directors engaged in strategic planning in 2011 to discuss the future of the ACCME system and the role of accredited CME in supporting practice-based learning and health care quality improvement. The Board decided that it would be beneficial to set a strategic goal to simplify and evolve the accreditation requirements and process.

The Board incorporated feedback from stakeholders to identify this goal, and then, throughout last year, the ACCME gathered feedback from the CME community and other stakeholders about how to fulfill it. The interactions were constructive and rewarding. The recommendations described in the proposal incorporate feedback from those discussions.

Simpler, Smarter Requirements

“This proposal demonstrates the commitment of the ACCME and its stakeholders to continuous improvement. Since its founding in 1981, the ACCME has focused on setting and maintaining accreditation requirements that are relevant to health professionals’ lifelong learning needs and responsive to changes in the health care environment. The proposed changes build upon this strong foundation and continue the evolution of the ACCME accreditation system,” said James F. Burke, MD, Chair, Board of Directors, ACCME.

“The ACCME and its stakeholders believe that it is important to simplify the accreditation requirements and process while maintaining high standards and continuing to respond to the evolving health care environment. There is a growing momentum in the ACCME accreditation system and we want to foster this evolution of accredited CME. We look forward to stakeholders’ responses and our continued dialogue about shaping the future of our CME system,” said Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME.

“The proposed simplification of the requirements and process will make a real and positive difference to accredited providers. The changes will facilitate the development of CME that matters to patient care,” said Billie Dalrymple, Director, CME Department, Texas Medical Association (TMA). TMA is an ACCME Recognized Accreditor. (Recognized Accreditors are state or territory medical societies that accredit intrastate organizations offering CME. All CME providers within the ACCME accreditation system follow the same requirements).

For More Information

A dedicated Web page including updates and links to resources

Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process: In this archived webinar, held on May 23, Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO, discusses the proposed changes and answers participants' questions.

Simplification Proposal - Revisiting the ACCME Requirements & Process: A video commentary with Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO, explaining the background and rationale for the proposed changes

Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process: A printable PDF document that includes contains the current full text of the ACCME accreditation requirements, with the proposed changes highlighted, accompanied by explanations

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The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago that is responsible for accrediting US institutions that offer continuing medical education through a voluntary, self-regulatory system. The ACCME also has a system for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors for local organizations offering CME.

The ACCME's mission is to identify, develop, and promote standards for quality continuing medical education that improves health care for patients and their communities. There are approximately 2,000 accredited CME providers in the United States, whose educational activities draw more than 23 million health care practitioner participants annually.

The ACCME's member organizations include the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the US, Inc.

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