Life Science Compliance Update

November 01, 2016

ACCME Announces Inaugural “Expanded Educational” Meeting


ACCME has announced its inaugural expanded educational event, which will take place April 24 through 27, 2017, at the Loews Chicago Hotel. The event promises to celebrate the CME community’s achievements and provide inspiration as participants work together to shape the future of accredited CME.

The ACCME 2017 Meeting will offer numerous opportunities to engage with ACCME staff, expert faculty, and colleagues to give attendees tools and tactics for positioning their CME program as a strategic partner in healthcare improvement initiatives. The meeting will bring together participants from a broad spectrum of healthcare organizations – as a larger group, as well as in small, hands-on sessions – to share best practices in education, create action plans to drive innovation, explore opportunities for alignment among continuing professional development systems, and develop strategies to advance CME’s contributions to healthcare improvement.

The meeting will provide opportunities for attendees to create action plans to maximize your CME program’s effectiveness, drive innovation, and leverage educational technology; as well as discover new strategies for implementing ACCME’s new commendation criteria and advancing CME’s contributions to healthcare improvement. Participants will leave ACCME 2017 with new insights and practical strategies that will help to further the role of CME as a transformative tool for your organization.

What Does Registration Include?

Registration includes three keynote sessions, your choice of varied breakout sessions (i.e., strategy sessions, case study sessions, and “Ask the Expert” sessions), a Public Health Fair and a Health Professions “Open House,” breakfast and lunch on all three days, all meeting materials, access to Wi-Fi in the meeting space, and a Welcome Reception.

There is also a pre-conference session – ACCME’s Starting Point: An Introduction to Accreditation. The pre-conference session will take place on the afternoon of Monday, April 24th, and is open to attendees for an additional registration fee. Registration for that session also includes lunch, and is aimed to provide those new to CME with an introduction to the ACCME’s foundational requirements.

If you are interested in attending, you can register here. Space is limited, so ACCME is encouraging those who wish to be a part of this inaugural event as soon as possible.  

October 05, 2016

ACCME Releases Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) recently announced a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. Accreditation with Commendation is the ACCME’s mechanism for recognizing and celebrating organizations that excel as CME providers.

New Menu

This newly evolved criteria reflect the values, principles, and aspirations that the community of educators shared with us over the past several years. The new criteria incorporate recommendations 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 goal of the ACCME 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 new criteria are designed to serve as a guidepost for the future of CME. ACCME aims 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.”

ACCME requested feedback from the community and this this final version of the Menu is based on much of the extensive feedback received, and is designed to be both achievable and meaningful. As with the existing commendation criteria 16–22, compliance with the new commendation criteria is optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation. To be eligible for Accreditation with Commendation, providers will have to demonstrate compliance with any seven criteria of their choice (from any category) plus one criterion from the Achieves Outcomes category – for a total of eight criteria.

Transition Phase

There will be a transition phase during with accredited CME providers that choose to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation will have the option of demonstrating compliance with all of the current commendation criteria (C16-22) or the new commendation criteria menu (C23-C38). This phase will apply to providers that will receive accreditation decisions between November 2017 and November 2019.

Need Help?

The ACCME is committed to doing everything they can to support the CME community’s successful adoption of the new criteria and the evolution of providers’ educational strategies to reflect best practices. More information on the menu structure, implementation timeline, and transition phase can be found here. In the coming weeks and months, the ACCME will deliver additional educational resources and training for stakeholders, including Recognized Accreditors, accredited CME providers, and volunteers.


For those interested in learning more about the ACCME’s Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, the ACCME is hosting a webinar on October 13, 2016, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST. During that webinar, the ACCME will share information and insights on the criteria, as well as answer questions about the logistics of the new commendation criteria.

The webinar is open to all accredited providers in the ACCME system, as well as other stakeholders who may be participating in this process.

There will be time to ask questions live during the meeting, but it is also encouraged to submit them ahead of time here.

July 20, 2016

ACCME 2015 Annual Report Released

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) released their 2015 Annual Report, which includes data from a community of nearly 1900 accredited continuing medical education (CME) providers from around the country that offer physicians and healthcare teams a wide array of resources to "promote quality, safety, and the evolution of healthcare."

According to the report, CME providers in the ACCME system offered over 148,000 educational activities in 2015, totaling over one million hours of instruction. These activities included almost 26 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals. In comparison to past years, the numbers of activities, hours of instruction, and participants have increased since 2014 and the number of CME activities has increased an average of 3% each year since 2010.

As for income total income for CME programs is reported down by $200 million but this can largely be accounted by a change at the ACCME which no longer requires institutions to report internal funds spend on CME courses. The ACCME also changed the reporting so there is no longer a category for "other income" but rather divides it up by registration, government grants, private donatations and exhibits.

ACCME acknowledges that accredited CME providers are routinely achieving ACCME expectations. The ACCME's Accreditation Criteria require providers to produce educational activities that are designed to create change and to analyze the changes that were achieved as a result of the activities and many providers are now measuring for these outcomes. The report shows that over 90% of CME activities are designed for changes in competence (teaching healthcare professionals strategies for translating new knowledge into action); nearly 60% are designed to change performance (changing and improving what healthcare professionals actually do in practice); and roughly 30% are designed to change patient outcomes.

The 2015 Annual Report features aggregated statistics for all providers accredited in the ACCME system, including organizations accredited by ACCME Recognized Accreditors, those accredited directly by ACCME, as well as organizations that have received Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.

According to Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO of ACCME,

This report shows that accredited CME is evolving constantly to meet the needs of new generations of learners and to address emerging healthcare challenges. The numbers in this report represent our CME providers' ongoing work and commitment to improving the quality and safety of healthcare in their communities. I am hopeful that review of this Annual Report can help healthcare leaders recognize the strategic power of education to drive change and create collaborative communities, and the returns that can be derived from support for and investment in skill development training for healthcare professionals.

New in 2015

According to the ACCME report, the functionality of the ACCME Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) has allowed the ACCME to produce more comprehensive annual reports in recent years. Starting in 2015, the reports can include additional detail regarding registration fees (including registration, subscription, or publication fees received from CME activity participants), government grants, and private donations.

This year, providers reported over $2.4 billion in investment in education, from a variety of sources. The data this year showed that the majority of income (53%) came from participant registration fees, commercial support accounted for 28%, advertising and exhibits for 13%, and private donations and government grants less than 2% each.

There is also a video explaining the CME System including an overview of the 2015 Annual Report.



For a link to the 2014 Annual Report for comparison purposes, click here.

The 2015 Annual Report can be found here.

The 2015 Annual Report Addendum can be found here.


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