Standards for Commercial Support Verification Process for CE Accreditors

The ACCME has instituted a process for verifying that continuing education (CE) accreditors in the health professions adhere to the Standards for Commercial Support℠: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities (SCS).

The ACCME instituted the verification process in response to requests from CE accreditors in the health professions. This service continues our commitment to providing a framework that enables collaborating CE accreditors to use the SCS as a common interprofessional standard. The voluntary process is available to eligible US and international accreditors.

The Standards for Commercial Support were first implemented in 1992 and were updated in 2004. They were the first accreditation standards written to implement the separation of promotion from education and they have become a national model. The 2004 SCS were approved by each of the ACCME’s seven member organizations, which represent the profession of medicine and include physician licensing and credentialing bodies. The SCS are recognized nationally, by the profession, by the regulators, and by the government as protecting the public from commercial bias in accredited CME.

An accreditor that achieves the SCS verification status will be able to state that their accreditation system has incorporated the ACCME SCS, has integrated the same standards for determining compliance, has undergone a rigorous evaluation process, and has successfully demonstrated that it fulfills the ACCME’s expectations of the SCS and the related policies. The verification will be used to determine that each accreditor implements the SCS using the same rules, data sources, and interpretations as the ACCME.

The formal verification will assure the healthcare community and the public that accredited CE is designed to be independent, free from commercial bias, and based on valid content. The verification will help accreditors demonstrate that accredited CE serves the public interest and contributes to healthcare improvement for patients and their communities.

Building on Long-Established Services

The verification model is based on the long-established ACCME system for recognizing state/territory medical societies. The ACCME will apply the relevant Markers of Equivalency to determine the accreditors’ equivalency. The verification process is overseen by the ACCME’s Decision Committee of the Board of Directors.

The verification process builds on existing ACCME services, including the recognition process for state medical societies and the Substantial Equivalency process for international accreditors.

For More Information

Accreditors interested in further information about this process, please contact Kate Regnier, Executive Vice President, ACCME at kregnier@accme.org or 312-527-9200.

All other inquiries, please contact info@accme.org or 312-527-9200.