Accreditation Council for CME Releases Call for Comment on Simplification Proposal

ACCME invites public feedback on proposal to simplify the accreditation requirements and process
Chicago, IL
December 17, 2013

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is pleased to announce a public call for comment about its proposal to simplify the accreditation requirements and process. Comments will be accepted through January 31, 2014.

This call for comment continues the ACCME’s ongoing process of engagement with the CME and stakeholder community. In May 2013, the ACCME released the Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process for informal feedback. The call for public comment is the next step in the process and is issued in accordance with the ACCME’s Rule-Making Policy.

The proposed changes – which are virtually identical to those previously circulated‑include:

  • Simplifying and removing some of the Accreditation Criteria and policy requirements
  • Changing terminology from “joint sponsorship” to “joint providership”
  • Implementing the policy change prohibiting the use of logos of ACCME-defined commercial interests in commercial support acknowledgments
  • Offering providers an abstract as an ACCME-approved  tool to use when verifying performance-in-practice
  • Simplifying the process for organizations applying for initial accreditation


1.       The ACCME is no longer proposing the merger of Criteria 12 and 13.  These two Criteria will remain unchanged.

2.       This call for comment does not include the sections in the May 2013 Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process related to the evolution of the criteria for achieving Accreditation with Commendation. The ACCME is in the process of developing a menu of potential new commendation criteria and will share those ideas with the stakeholder community at a later time. The ACCME decided to separate the simplification proposal from the Accreditation with Commendation proposal in order to expedite the simplification process, in response to stakeholders’ requests.

Listening to Stakeholders

The purpose of the proposed changes is to streamline the accreditation process and requirements while maintaining high standards and continuing to support CME as a strategic asset to healthcare 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.

During the last few years, the ACCME has convened more than 20 focused discussions with more than 1,000 participants to discuss how to simplify and evolve the accreditation requirements and process. In May, the ACCME conducted an online survey about the Proposal for Simplifying and Evolving the Accreditation Requirements and Process and received more than 450 responses.

After reviewing and analyzing the responses to the proposal, the ACCME decided to move forward with this call for comment. The ACCME looks forward to its continued engagement with the stakeholder community.

Next Steps

After the call for comment closes, the ACCME Board of Directors will review and analyze the responses. The ACCME can then decide to continue with the changes as described in the call for comment or make modifications.

Please note that the current requirements remain in place and accredited providers within the ACCME system should continue to comply with them. If and when the ACCME decides to implement changes, it will develop a transition plan and share that plan with the CME community. In general, when the ACCME removes requirements, the change is effective immediately and accredited providers are no longer evaluated for compliance under those requirements. For changes that involve modifications to requirements, while the change is effective immediately, we issue an implementation plan that allows accredited providers time to make the transition.

More Information

Participate in the call for comment.

Call for Comment on Simplification: An audio commentary by Murray Kopelow, MD, ACCME President and CEO

ACCME Simplification and Evolution Web Page

Media inquiries
Tamar Hosansky

Other inquiries



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 healthcare for patients and their communities. There are approximately 2,000 accredited CME providers in the United States, whose activities educate more than 24 million healthcare practitioner participants annually.

The ACCME's member organizations, which represent the profession of medicine and include physician licensing and credentialing bodies, are 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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