Resources for AMA/ACCME Alignment Implementation; PARS Enhancements; CME for MOC Webinar





Coming Soon: Resources for AMA/ACCME Alignment Implementation
PARS Enhancements: More Flexibility, Functionality for CME Providers
Dealing with Controversial Topics in Your CME Program

Upcoming Educational Opportunities
Getting Started with Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education – October 17
CME for MOC: Ask Your Questions Webinar – November 15

Reminders for Accredited Providers
2018 ACCME Annual Accreditation Fee

For Your Reference
2017 Patients’ View Impact Awards
Pathway Leaders for Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments

In Case You Missed It
Engaging Patients in CME: A Closer Look at Criterion 24
New Resources for CME that Counts for ABP MOC
Executive Summary of the July 2017 Board of Directors Meeting Now Available



The American Medical Association (AMA) and the ACCME are working together to develop a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ), instructions for designating credit, and other resources that will be available by the end of September. These resources will support CME providers’ implementation of the simplification and alignment of the requirements for accredited CME activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. As soon as these resources are available, they will be posted on ourAMA/ACCME Alignment webpage.

As we previously announced, the simplification is reflective of the AMA and ACCME’s shared values and is designed to encourage innovation and flexibility in accredited CME while continuing to ensure that certified activities meet education standards and are independent of commercial influence. It is aimed at allowing accredited CME providers to introduce and blend new instructional practices and learning formats that are appropriate to their learners and setting.

Key Points

  • The simplification applies to all providers in the ACCME System, including state-accredited and ACCME-accredited-providers.
  • The AMA core requirements and ACCME accreditation requirements are aligned—and do not represent any new rules for accredited CME providers.
  • The AMA has simplified and reduced its learning format requirements to provide more flexibility for CME providers.
  • CME providers may design and deliver certified activities that use blended or new approaches to drive meaningful learning and change, as long as the provider abides by the AMA requirements.
  • CME providers may designate an activity format as “other” if it does not fall into one of the established format categories.

​For more information, please visit the AMA/ACCME Alignment webpage.


This fall, you will notice some enhancements to the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). We’ve implemented these enhancements in response to requests from accredited providers, Recognized Accreditors, and the volunteers who support the accreditation process. We will notify accredited providers when the enhancements are live. Here is a quick overview of what the enhancements will mean for you.

Reset your password: You can go to as usual, where you will be taken to a new log in screen. When you login for the first time after the enhancements go live, you’ll need to reset your password, by clicking on “Can’t log in or forgot your password?” in the login screen.

Simpler, single login: Once you have your new password, the login process will be simpler as you no longer need to enter your organization ID. In addition, if you are a contact for more than one CME provider, you will be able to access information about each provider through a single login.

Same functionality: The interface may look different, but PARS has the same features as before. You’ll be able to edit your contact information, and enter and upload your program and activity files and data, just as you have been doing. There are no changes to the web-fill forms or batch upload processes, or to the processes for submitting information about CME that Counts for MOC or REMS-compliant CE activities. You will not need to resubmit or re-upload any information.

ACCME-accredited providers: Your accreditation process is being moved online! Beginning with those ACCME-accredited providers receiving accreditation decisions in November 2018, you will no longer need to submit materials via email, flash drives, or hard copies. You’ll also be able to see your accreditation history in PARS. We will provide detailed instructions to providers as part of their reaccreditation instructions.

State-accredited providers will continue to use PARS as they have been and will not use PARS to engage in the online accreditation process.

Questions? Contact us at


There are many topics in the field of medicine that remain experimental, unproven and/or unconventional. It’s essential that clinicians are informed about the full range of approaches their patients may be using, and that CME is a place where clinicians can learn about and debate controversies.

Equally important, clinicians should be able to trust that accredited CME activities are evidence-based and balanced. As described in the CME Clinical Content Validation Policy, accredited CME providers are responsible for validating clinical content to ensure that education supports safe, effective patient care. This responsibility belongs to the accredited CME provider — whether the activity is directly provided or jointly provided.

To protect the integrity of accredited CME and of the clinician/patient relationship, all patient care recommendations must be based on evidence that is accepted within the profession of medicine and all scientific research used to support patient care recommendations must conform to generally accepted standards of experimental design, data connection, and analysis.

Thus, CME providers need to develop activities that encourage free and rigorous scientific discourse — while ensuring that faculty do not advocate or promote unscientific treatments and that clinical care recommendations are based on established scientific consensus. When a CME activity includes information about an approach to diagnosis or treatment that is not generally accepted, it is allowable to facilitate debate and discussion about the approach, but it is not allowable to advocate for the test or treatment, or teach clinicians how or when to use it.

Several strategies can be utilized to facilitate discussion about controversial topics without promoting unscientific care recommendations in accredited CME activities: 

  • Set firm parameters for faculty: explain that they can facilitate debate and discussion about controversial topics without recommending diagnostic or treatment approaches that have not reached scientific consensus or teaching clinicians how to use or perform those treatments or interpret those tests.
  • Construct the activity as a debate or dialogue. Choose faculty who represent a range of opinions and perspectives; presentations should include a balanced, objective view of research and treatment options.
  • Design the activity to teach about the merits and limitations of a therapeutic or diagnostic approach rather than how to use it.
  • Identify content that has not been accepted as scientifically meritorious by regulatory and other authorities, or when the material has not been included in scientifically accepted guidelines or published in journals with national or international stature.
  • Encourage faculty to clearly describe the level of evidence on which the presentation is based and to provide sufficient information about data (study dates, design, etc.) to enable learners to assess research validity.
  • Clearly communicate the objectives of the activity to faculty and learners. For example, “This activity will teach you about how your patients may be using XX therapy and how to answer their questions. It will not teach you how to administer XX therapy.”
  • Remember that your status as an accredited provider depends on your compliance with the CME Clinical Content Validation Policy, as well as with the other accreditation requirements.

You will become ineligible for accreditation or reaccreditation if your activities, or the activities or CME programs of your joint providers, promote treatments that are known to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in patient treatment.

Queries or complaints about content validity will be evaluated by qualified expert reviewers, our staff, and when necessary, committees of the ACCME. For more information, please see the Process for Handling Complaints regarding ACCME-Accredited Providers.

We recommend that you periodically review the CME Clinical Content Validation Policy to make sure that your process for planning, delivering, and evaluating activities includes effective strategies for validating clinical content.

If you have questions about your activities, we are happy to help. Contact us

Upcoming Educational Opportunities


Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ is hosting an introductory workshop on October 17, 2017 from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm CT at the ACCME’s offices in Chicago. The workshop will explain the basics and benefits of Joint Accreditation as well as answer questions about the Joint Accreditation process. It is designed for organizations in the initial stages of the application process as well as organizations that are considering applying for Joint Accreditation. Organizations that are already jointly accredited are also welcome to attend and may benefit from a review of the process and interaction with their colleagues.

During the workshop, we will discuss:

  • value & benefits of Joint Accreditation
  • eligibility criteria
  • application process and timeline

There is a registration fee of $200 per person for this workshop. Space is limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit the event page for more information or to register for the workshop.


The ACCME is offering a series of bimonthly webinars to discuss strategies for planning CME that Counts for MOC, and to answer provider questions. Join us for the next "CME for MOC: Ask Your Questions" webinar on Wednesday, November 15, from 2:00-3:00 pm Central; sign up here.

For more information about CME that Counts for MOC, view our recording of the March 15 “CME that Counts for MOC” webinar, or visit our webpage.

Reminders for Accredited Providers


ACCME-accredited providers: We will send invoices for the 2018 ACCME annual accreditation fee later this year, with payment due by January 31, 2018. The invoices will be addressed to the person designated by your organization as the billing contact. Please log in to the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) to view and, if needed, update the billing contact for your organization. If you need to change the billing contact for this accreditation fee invoice, please do so by October 13, 2017.

Please note: This information applies only to ACCME-accredited providers, not to providers accredited by a state medical society. Intrastate providers should check with their accreditor for information regarding accreditation fees.

For Your Reference

  • The 2017 Patients’ View Impact Awards is accepting submissions through October 13. The awards program “highlights the power that patients and families can have in changing healthcare for the better” in three categories, one of which focuses on how a partnership between a patient or their loved one and their clinicians, hospital, or system achieved a healing healthcare experience.
  • ACGME has selected nine Pathway Leaders, institutions that will form a Patient Safety Collaborative focused on creating and testing a framework for residents and fellows to engage with their learning environments in promoting a culture of safety. The launch of the Pathway Leaders is the second phase of the Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments initiative to promote transformative improvement in the clinical learning environments of ACGME-accredited institutions.

In Case You Missed It