Accreditation Council for CME Convenes Roundtable Meeting on 2010 Strategies

ACCME brings together CME leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing accredited CME
Chicago, IL
December 22, 2009


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) brought together a spectrum of continuing medical education (CME) leaders and the ACCME Board of Directors to address the challenges and opportunities facing accredited CME in 2010 and beyond. The roundtable meeting was held December 3, 2009, at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education offices in Chicago. The ACGME provided the meeting space for the event.

The roundtable comprised 50 participants, representing the ACCME Board of Directors and executive staff; the ACCME's seven member organizations (listed at the end of this release); other accrediting organizations including ACCME-Recognized State Medical Societies, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association; and the following stakeholder organizations: the Alliance for CME, the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers, the Society for Academic CME and the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies.

The ACCME conceived the roundtable as part of a broader strategy to strengthen communications with member organizations and stakeholders. Facilitated by 2009 Board Chair Barbara Barnes MD, and 2010 Board Chair Debra Perina, MD, the roundtable fostered a high-level, candid dialogue, encompassing issues including ACCME accreditation requirements, CME leadership training, the relationship of CME to physician maintenance of certification and licensure, and communicating CME's value to the wider health care system. The ACCME roundtable participants identified the following strategic priorities for 2010 and beyond:

  • Accredited providers and other stakeholders need to elevate the status of CME within their institutions, demonstrating that CME is a bridge to quality and gaining the support of their organizations' leadership.
  • The CME community needs to develop physician leaders who can communicate the value of CME. 
  • The participants agreed with the philosophy behind the ACCME 2006 Accreditation Criteria and the Standards for Commercial Support. They support the Criteria's focus on relevant CME that is a strategic asset to quality initiatives, but said there is a perception that the ACCME and the Criteria do not value "knowledge-based" education. In addition, providers continue to face challenges with implementation, interpretation and documentation of their compliance. The ACCME responded that it will develop strategies for reducing documentation requirements and clarifying the requirements. The ACCME will also continue to offer education and resources to assist providers with implementation of the Criteria. 
  • Participants recognize the value of the ACCME moving to a web-based system for collecting data from providers. However, some providers are concerned that the Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS) will be a burden to them. They suggested the ACCME provide more clarification and education about PARS. (For the latest information about PARS, visit the What's New section of our Web site.)

The ACCME appreciates and value the ideas, perspectives and vision shared at the roundtable. The ACCME is committed to continuous improvement and welcomes this important input and feedback about how to meet the expectations of the public while reducing the burden on accredited providers. This roundtable laid the foundation for an ongoing dialogue about how to advance CME’s contributions to health care quality initiatives.

A detailed summary of the roundtable is available here.


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education is a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago that is responsible for accrediting U.S. 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 enforce standards for quality continuing medical education that improves health care for patients and their communities. There are currently approximately 2,500 accredited CME providers in the United States, whose educational activities draw more than 17 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 for Hospital Medical Education, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S. Inc.

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