What is ACCME (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education)?

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education – Overview

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is an association formed to set and enforce standards in physician continuing education, or lifelong learning, in the United States.

The council is the supervising body for organizations and institutions providing continuing medical education (CME) activities. It was established in 1981 by the founding member organizations.

Seven member organizations support the ACCME. The primary founding members are the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and the American Medical Association (AMA).

Apart from this, the other founding members include the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), the Association of Hospital Medical Education (AHME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

The ACCME sets standards for continuing medical education (CME) and accredits organizations that offer CME activities meeting these standards.

The mission of ACCME is to offer medical practitioners opportunities to ensure competence and to help them learn about the new and developing aspects of their fields.

In essence, the main tasks of the ACCME are:

  • Defining criteria for evaluating medical educational programs and ensuring compliance with CME standards
  • Accrediting organizations and institutions that offer CME programs
  • Developing methods to measure the efficacy of CME and its accreditation

Why does ACCME Accreditation Matter?

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education – Why Does ACCME Accreditation Matter

As the medical and science field is constantly dynamic, physicians should stay updated with the latest developments.

Aspiring physicians commit four years to medical school and the next three to residency training. They rely on accredited CMEs as a support system for the remainder of their careers.

This program helps physicians integrate improvements in practice. CME accreditation results in optimal patient care, health, and wellness.

Accredited CME is available for every medical specialty and covers a wide range of topics important to improving healthcare services in the United States.

Accredited CME is designed to be relevant to physicians’ needs in research, clinical care, executive leadership, healthcare administration, and other areas of medicine.

Accredited CME programs are made to be practice-based and highly effective.

Participating in accredited CMEs can benefit physicians by helping them meet the criteria for maintaining medical licensure, credentials and certification, membership in professional societies, and similar professional privileges.

Physicians rely on accredited CMEs to provide a safe space to learn and teach without commercial influence and distraction.

Medical practitioners are expected to provide safe, efficient, affordable, and compassionate care to patients with evidence-based, effective practices.

Getting ACCME Accreditation

The accreditation process timeline can vary; the ACCME advises applicants to plan for the process to take up to 24 months.

Remember, the ACCME accredits organizations that offer continuing medical education for medical doctors but does not accredit individual educational activities.

The initial accreditation process involves ensuring that your organization is eligible by using the pre-application review process.

After your organization successfully passes the review process, you can continue with the next step in the accreditation process.

For first-time applicants, the ACCME’s initial accreditation process is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that its CME practice complies completely with the ACCME’s accreditation requirements. This can be done through three main sources of data.

Importance of ACCME Accreditation

Accredited CME is crucial to continuing physician professional development for US medical organizations. This accreditation is an award for quality continuing medical education (CME) activities.

For this, the council plans implements and evaluates activities by ACCME-accredited medical and healthcare providers.

The council ensures that healthcare providers work according to the ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria, Standards for Commercial Support, and policies.

ACCME accreditation is a way for the medical community to assure the public that the physician can assist them in maintaining and improving their practice of medicine.

This accreditation works as a bridge between the existing healthcare standards and tomorrow’s optimal expected healthcare standards.

Apart from this, accredited CME activities are not diluted or influenced by commercial bias but are based on valid, valuable content.


The ACCME organization sets educational standards for CME activities and monitors the compliance of accredited providers with these standards.

The ACCME does not accredit individuals. Rather, it accredits organizations and institutes that follow ACCME standards.

To learn the finer details of the application process for your organization’s first accreditation, visit the official website by clicking on this link https://www.accme.org/.

See Also

EMT Certification

Aspirin Patient Education

Cross Cultural Communication Training for Physicians

CBT Training for Family Physicians

Current Version
July 21, 2022
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 21, 2024
Updated By
Tim Bevelacqua, MN, RN

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