The ACCME is committed to ensuring that accredited continuing education (1) presents learners with only accurate, balanced, scientifically justified recommendations, and (2) protects learners from promotion, marketing, and commercial bias. To that end, the ACCME has established the following guidance on the types of organizations that may be eligible to be accredited in the ACCME System. The ACCME, in its sole discretion, determines which organizations are awarded ACCME accreditation.

Types of Organizations That May Be Accredited in the ACCME System

Organizations eligible to be accredited in the ACCME System (eligible organizations) are those whose mission and function are: (1) providing clinical services directly to patients; or (2) the education of healthcare professionals; or (3) serving as fiduciary to patients, the public, or population health; and other organizations that are not otherwise ineligible. Examples of such organizations include:

  • Ambulatory procedure centers
  • Blood banks
  • Diagnostic labs that do not sell proprietary products
  • Electronic health records companies
  • Government or military agencies
  • Group medical practices
  • Health law firms
  • Health profession membership organizations
  • Hospitals or healthcare delivery systems
  • Infusion centers
  • Insurance or managed care companies
  • Nursing homes
  • Pharmacies that do not manufacture proprietary compounds
  • Publishing or education companies
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Schools of medicine or health science universities
  • Software or game developers

Types of Organizations That Cannot Be Accredited in the ACCME System

Companies that are ineligible to be accredited in the ACCME System (ineligible companies) are those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. Examples of such organizations include:

  • Advertising, marketing, or communication firms whose clients are ineligible companies
  • Bio-medical startups that have begun a governmental regulatory approval process
  • Compounding pharmacies that manufacture proprietary compounds
  • Device manufacturers or distributors
  • Diagnostic labs that sell proprietary products
  • Growers, distributors, manufacturers or sellers of medical foods and dietary supplements
  • Manufacturers of health-related wearable products
  • Pharmaceutical companies or distributors
  • Pharmacy benefit managers
  • Reagent manufacturers or sellers

Owners and Employees of Ineligible Companies

The owners and employees of ineligible companies are considered to have unresolvable financial relationships and must be excluded from participating as planners or faculty, and must not be allowed to influence or control any aspect of the planning, delivery, or evaluation of accredited continuing education, except in the limited circumstances outlined in Standard 3.2.

Owners and employees are individuals who have a legal duty to act in the company's best interests. Owners are defined as individuals who have an ownership interest in a company, except for stockholders of publicly traded companies, or holders of shares through a pension or mutual fund. Employees are defined as individuals hired to work for another person or business (the employer) for compensation and who are subject to the employer's direction as to the details of how to perform the job.

Ineligible companies are prohibited from engaging in joint providership with accredited providers. Joint providership enables accredited providers to work with nonaccredited eligible organizations to deliver accredited education.

The ACCME determines eligibility for accreditation based on the characteristics of the organization seeking accreditation and, if applicable, any parent company. Subsidiaries of an ineligible parent company cannot be accredited regardless of steps taken to firewall the subsidiaries. If an eligible parent company has an ineligible subsidiary, the owners and employees of the ineligible subsidiary must be excluded from accredited continuing education except in the limited circumstances outlined in Standard 3.2.