If you are planning on offering CME credits for your next activity, your organization has two options:
- Become a CME provider.
- This can take up to two years. See more below.
- A non-accredited organization can obtain accreditation from an accredited CME provider through joint providership (previously known as joint sponsorship).
In this article:
- Becoming a CME provider can take up to two years
- Obtaining accreditation from an accredited CME provider
- What are the requirements for non-accredited organizations that are seeking CME accreditation?
- Credit requirements
- Content requirements
- Disclosure requirements
- Commercial support requirements
- Related CME articles in our collection
Becoming a CME provider can take up to two years
Your organization can apply to become a CME provider. However, this can be an expensive and time-consuming process that can take up to two years.
This process begins with the submission of an application, followed by an on-site evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, the ACCME board will make a decision on whether to award accreditation.
For more information on the process of becoming ACCME-accredited, please visit the ACCME website.
Obtaining accreditation from an accredited CME provider
Many non-accredited organizations rely on agreements with accredited organizations to provide CME credits for their learners.
What are the requirements for non-accredited organizations that are seeking CME accreditation?
There are four different types of requirements for CME activities that accredited CME providers ask non-accredited organizations to meet:
- credit requirements,
- content requirements,
- disclosure requirements,
- and commercial support requirements.
Credit requirements are based on the amount of time a physician spends participating in the educational activity.
The more time a physician spends participating, the more credits they will earn. For example, if a physician attends a one-hour lecture, they will earn one CME credit.
The non-accredited organization provides the estimated time learners will spend on the activities.
Content requirements ensure that the educational activity is designed to maintain, develop, or increase physicians' knowledge, skills, or professional performance.
The content of the educational activity must be evidence-based.
Disclosure requirements ensure that physicians who are in a position to control the content of the educational activity disclose any financial relationships they have with commercial interests.
Physicians must also disclose any conflicts of interest that could affect their ability to present the material objectively.
Commercial support requirements
Commercial support requirements ensure that any commercial interests that provide financial support for an educational activity do not unduly influence the content of the activity.
Commercial interests are not allowed to contribute to the development of educational materials or select faculty for an educational activity.
Failing to meet any of these requirements could result in the activity not being accredited and physicians not being able to earn CME credit for participating.