Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation

At the July 2016 meeting, the ACCME Board of Directors came to consensus about the menu of new criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. The final version is based on the feedback we received from the CME community. In the fall, we expect to release a comprehensive package including the new commendation criteria, guidelines and compliance measures, a transition plan and implementation schedule, and educational resources.

There will be a transition phase during which accredited providers that choose to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation will have the option of demonstrating compliance with the current or new commendation criteria. As always, compliance with the commendation criteria is optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation.

Visit this webpage for updates. We will also keep you informed via email announcements and newsletters.

We appreciate the CME community’s high level of participation in this process and look forward to working together to ensure our community’s successful adoption of the new criteria.

Important Points and Timeline

Current Criteria Remain in Place: The current commendation Criteria 16–22 remain in place and accredited CME providers should continue to comply with them, in addition to complying with existing core Accreditation Criteria 1–13, to achieve Accreditation with Commendation.

Transition Plan: The new criteria will be implemented for ACCME-accredited and state-accredited providers. (There is no change to requirements for Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.) There will be an extended transition phase, during which accredited providers that choose to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation will have the option of demonstrating compliance with the current or new commendation criteria. The transition phase will serve two purposes: it will ensure that CME providers that have been working to achieve or sustain commendation under the current criteria will continue to have that opportunity; and it will give providers time to prepare to meet the expectations of the new criteria. Compliance with the commendation criteria will be optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation.

Commendation Remains Optional: As with the existing commendation criteria, compliance with the new commendation criteria will be optional for CME providers and will not be required to achieve Accreditation. Providers will continue to achieve Accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the current core Accreditation Criteria 1-13. 

Achieving Accreditation with Commendation: Accredited providers will need to continue to demonstrate compliance with existing core Accreditation Criteria 1–13 to be eligible to achieve Accreditation with Commendation, in addition to meeting the expectations of the current or new commendation criteria.

Education and Resources: We will provide ongoing education and training for Recognized Accreditors, accredited CME providers, volunteers, and other stakeholders to support the CME community’s successful adoption of the new criteria.

For Updated Information: Visit this webpage for updated information and links to relevant materials.

Questions? Please contact info@accme.org

Background: Purpose of Proposed Criteria

The goal of the proposed new criteria is to encourage and reward accredited CME providers for implementing best practices in pedagogy, engagement, evaluation, and change management, and for focusing on generating meaningful outcomes. The proposal reflects the recommendations we have gathered from a diverse range of stakeholders about how to advance CME’s role in the changing health environment and leverage the power of education to improve healthcare.

The proposed commendation criteria are designed to serve as a guidepost for the future of CME. We want to recognize the achievements of organizations that advance interprofessional collaborative practice, address public health priorities, create behavioral change, show leadership, leverage educational technology, and demonstrate the impact of education on healthcare professionals and patients.

Our goal is to make sure the criteria are attainable by our diverse community of providers and we want to make sure the criteria encourage our community to aim for even higher levels of achievement.

Our Community’s Perspectives

More than 245 respondents, representing a range of organizations and CME providers, responded to our call for comment and submitted feedback via the online survey, offering more than 2,600 individual comments. The ACCME carefully reviewed and considered all the comments when preparing the final version of the criteria.

Download a brief summary of the call for comment responses.

Download the responses to the call for comment.

Proposal for a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation: This PDF includes the proposed new criteria, a Message from the CEO, and explanatory information.