Proposal to simplify and align requirements aims to encourage flexibility and innovation in continuing medical education

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) are today opening a call for comment on their proposal to simplify and align their expectations for accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities that offer the AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Comments will be accepted through May 25, 2017, at 5 pm CDT.

Reflective of the AMA and ACCME’s shared values, the proposal for alignment is designed to encourage innovation and flexibility in accredited CME while continuing to ensure that activities meet educational standards and are independent of commercial influence. The proposal 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, provided they abide by the seven core requirements described in the proposal.

The core requirements outlined in the proposal are aligned with ACCME requirements — and do not represent any new rules for accredited providers. However, the AMA has simplified and reduced its learning format requirements to provide more flexibility for CME providers. To further encourage innovation in educational design and delivery, CME providers may design and deliver an activity that uses blended or new approaches to driving meaningful learning and change. For these activities, the provider can designate credits on an hour-per-credit basis using their best reasonable estimate of the time required to complete the activity. Additional details about the “Proposed Simplification of Requirements for Accredited CME Activities Certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™” can be found appended to this news release.

“We celebrate this collaborative effort with our AMA colleagues and the opportunity to advance the evolution of CME. This proposal reflects the values of our CME providers and supports their aspirations to engage in education that makes a meaningful difference in clinician practice and patient care. We want to do everything we can to encourage innovation and experimentation in CME, so that educators are free to respond nimbly to their learners’ changing needs while staying true to core principles for educational excellence and independence. We thank accredited CME providers for their participation in this process and look forward to their feedback on our proposal and to our continued work together to drive quality in postgraduate medical education and improve care for the patients and communities we all serve,” said Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME.

“Based on the feedback we received from the CME community during listening sessions, we recognize the need to better align the AMA and ACCME’s requirements for CME accreditation and reaccreditation,” said Susan Skochelak, M.D., AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education. “We believe that our proposal will support the evolution of CME to better meet the needs of educators, physicians, and the patients they serve. We want to hear from the CME community to make sure the proposal addresses their feedback. We encourage CME providers to submit their comments to the proposal so we can continue to evolve to a more streamlined system that meets their needs.”

In addition to collaborating on the proposal, the AMA and ACCME produced a shared glossary of terms and definitions to help clarify terminology for accredited CME providers and learners. Developed both as part of their alignment efforts and in response to requests from CME providers, the AMA is also seeking feedback on the glossary during the comment period.

Following the call for comment period, the AMA and ACCME will analyze the feedback and determine whether to make modifications to the proposal and glossary. Once finalized, the resulting new process will be integrated into the existing accreditation and reaccreditation processes.

The alignment proposal was developed by the Bridge Committee, which was formed by the AMA and ACCME to support their collaborative realignment efforts. The committee — made up of staff and volunteers from both organizations — serves in an advisory capacity on issues related to alignment and the evolution of the two complementary systems of credit and accreditation.

More information

  • “Proposed Simplification of Requirements for Accredited CME Activities Certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™” is appended to this news release.
  • Respond to the call for comment here.
  • Download the shared glossary.
  • CME providers: please contact [email protected] for more information.

Media Contact:

Kelly Jakubek

ph: (312) 464-4443

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.