Criterion 9

The provider maintains a separation of promotion from education (SCS 4).

ACCME Note: 

Providers must ensure that their learners can participate in educational activities without seeing, reading or hearing promotional or marketing information from commercial interests. Further, accredited providers must ensure that the selling of advertising or exhibit space is a business transaction entirely separate from the acceptance of commercial support for accredited CME.
 

Related Standards:

Standard 4: Appropriate Management of Associated Commercial Promotion

Standard 4.1 Arrangements for commercial exhibits or advertisements cannot influence planning or interfere with the presentation, nor can they be a condition of the provision of commercial support for CME activities.  
Standard 4.2 Product-promotion material or product-specific advertisement of any type is prohibited in or during CME activities. The juxtaposition of editorial and advertising material on the same products or subjects must be avoided. Live (staffed exhibits, presentations) or enduring (printed or electronic advertisements) promotional activities must be kept separate from CME. For print, advertisements and promotional materials will not be interleafed within the pages of the CME content. Advertisements and promotional materials may face the first or last pages of printed CME content as long as these materials are not related to the CME content they face and are not paid for by the commercial supporters of the CME activity. For computer based, advertisements and promotional materials will not be visible on the screen at the same time as the CME content and not interleafed between computer ‘windows’ or screens of the CME content. (Supplemented February 2014; the information that follows previously appeared in ACCME policies. No changes have been made to the language.) Also, ACCME-accredited providers may not place their CME activities on a Web site owned or controlled by a commercial interest. With clear notification that the learner is leaving the educational Web site, links from the Web site of an ACCME accredited provider to pharmaceutical and device manufacturers’ product Web sites are permitted before or after the educational content of a CME activity, but shall not be embedded in the educational content of a CME activity. Advertising of any type is prohibited within the educational content of CME activities on the Internet including, but not limited to, banner ads, subliminal ads, and pop-up window ads. For computer based CME activities, advertisements and promotional materials may not be visible on the screen at the same time as the CME content and not interleafed between computer windows or screens of the CME content. For audio and video recording, advertisements and promotional materials will not be included within the CME. There will be no ‘commercial breaks.’ For live, face-to-face CME, advertisements and promotional materials cannot be displayed or distributed in the educational space immediately before, during, or after a CME activity. Providers cannot allow representatives of Commercial Interests to engage in sales or promotional activities while in the space or place of the CME activity. (Supplemented, February 2014; the information that follows previously appeared in ACCME policies. No changes have been made to the language.) For Journal-based CME, None of the elements of journal-based CME can contain any advertising or product group messages of commercial interests. The learner must not encounter advertising within the pages of the article or within the pages of the related questions or evaluation materials.
Standard 4.3 Educational materials that are part of a CME activity, such as slides, abstracts and handouts, cannot contain any advertising, corporate logo, trade name or a product-group message of an ACCME-defined commercial interest.  
Standard 4.4 Print or electronic information distributed about the non-CME elements of a CME activity that are not directly related to the transfer of education to the learner, such as schedules and content descriptions, may include product-promotion material or product-specific advertisement.  
Standard 4.5 A provider cannot use a commercial interest as the agent providing a CME activity to learners, e.g., distribution of self-study CME activities or arranging for electronic access to CME activities.