The American Medical Association (AMA) and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) today announced they have adopted a final proposal to simplify and align their expectations for accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.
The AMA and ACCME issued a call for comment on the proposed simplification in April. The vast majority of respondents strongly endorsed the proposal and agreed that it would give them sufficient opportunity to innovate and evolve their CME programs. The proposal was adopted by the AMA and ACCME. The organizations are now working together to develop a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and other resources about implementation that will be available this fall.
Reflective of the AMA and ACCME’s shared values, the simplification is designed to encourage innovation and flexibility in accredited CME while continuing to ensure that activities meet education standards and are independent of commercial influence. The simplification 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 AMA’s seven core requirements.
The core requirements are aligned with ACCME accreditation requirements—and do not represent any new rules for accredited providers. In addition, 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 “Framework for Simplification of Requirements for Accredited CME Activities Certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™” can be found appended to this news release.
“The simplification and alignment will 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 celebrate this collaborative effort with our AMA colleagues and thank our community of accredited CME providers for their high level of engagement in this process. We look forward to our continued work together to drive quality in clinicians’ lifelong learning and improve care for the patients we all serve,” said Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME.
“Recognizing the need to better align the AMA and ACCME’s requirements for CME accreditation and reaccreditation, we believe that our newly adopted proposal will support the evolution of CME to better meet the needs of educators, physicians, and the patients they serve,” said Susan Skochelak, MD, AMA Group Vice President for Medical Education. “We look forward to continuing our work with ACCME on a more streamlined system that benefits providers and patients alike.”
In addition to collaborating on the simplification and alignment, the AMA and ACCME produced a shared glossary of terms and definitions to help clarify terminology for accredited CME providers and learners. The glossary was developed both as part of their alignment efforts and in response to requests from CME providers.
The simplification and alignment 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.
Read the entire announcement here