All providers seeking ACCME reaccreditation are required to submit a self-study report for reaccreditation. The ACCME uses the self-study report, in addition to other data, including annual reports and other interval monitoring data submitted by the provider throughout its current term of accreditation, to evaluate the provider’s ability to fulfill its educational mission effectively and comply with the ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria, Standards for Commercial Support, and policies (accreditation requirements).
Purpose of the Self-Study
The self-study process provides an opportunity for the accredited provider to:
- Assess its commitment to and role in providing continuing medical education
- Analyze its current practices
- Identify areas for improvement
- Determine its future direction
- Effectively present the results to the ACCME in the written self-study report
Conducting Your Self-Study
The process of conducting a self-study is unique to each organization. Depending on the size and scope of your CME program, you may involve many or just a few individuals in the process.
Regardless of the size or nature of your program, however, the self-study is intended to address two major components of accreditation:
- A record of your CME program’s compliance with the ACCME’s accreditation requirements, including the Accreditation Criteria, the Standards for Commercial Support, and policies. When conducting your self-study, your organization will be asked to describe its past and current performance in meeting the ACCME’s criteria for compliance with each of the accreditation requirements. You will also provide evidence to demonstrate compliance.
- An analysis on the degree to which your organization is meeting its CME mission and the identification and implementation of changes in the overall program that are required to improve on your organization’s ability to meet the CME mission. Your plans for improvement might relate to fixing identified problems with compliance. They might also relate to changes your organization would like to make as a result of factors in the CME environment. Improvement plans reflect the vision and values of your CME program and frame your program’s process for identifying the need for, and implementing, change.
Conducting a self-study requires time and effort from many constituents involved in your CME program. Appropriate leadership of the self-study effort and broad involvement of administration, faculty, attendees and other stakeholders are important to a successfully planned and implemented self-study. In conducting your self-study, you should seek information from stakeholders to:
- Collect and analyze data collected about what, why, and how the CME program and its products/services are used
- Assess how well the products/services are performing
- Identify changes made and improvements planned to enhance the CME program
Once your self-study report is complete, you will submit it to the ACCME. ACCME staff will review the self-study report for completeness and contact you with any questions. Note that ACCME conducts its affairs in English, and requires that all self-study reports be submitted in English.
The ACCME provides specific instructions about what to include in the self-study report. Many providers find that they need a full nine months to conduct a thorough self-analysis of their CME program. Please be advised that the ACCME has no relationship with, and does not endorse, any vendor providing accreditation compliance advice or products to CME providers. The ACCME has neither approved nor disapproved the advice or products of any such vendors.