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. The council was established by the founding member organizations in 1980.
The ACCME has seven main founding member organizations. The American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA) are the primary founding members.
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 practicing medicine and certifies organizations and institutions that meet those standards.
The mission of ACCME is to offer medical practitioners opportunities to ensure competence. It also aims to help medical practitioners to 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?
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 years to residency training. These physicians rely on accredited CMEs as a support system for the remainder of their careers.
This program helps physicians to integrate improvements in practice. The benefits of CME accreditation result in optimal care, health and wellness of patients.
Accredited CME responds to every medical specialty. It covers a complete range of topics important to improving healthcare services in the United States.
Accredited CME is designed to be relevant to the physicians’ needs, whether 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.
Physicians can benefit by participating in accredited CMEs 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 for them 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
For first-time applicants, the accreditation process may take anywhere between 12 to 18 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 practice of CME complies completely with the ACCME’s accreditation requirements. This can be done through three main sources of data.
Importance of ACCME Accreditation
For US medical organizations, accredited CME is crucial to continuing physician professional development. 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 by 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. It monitors the accredited providers’ compliance 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, you can visit the official website by clicking on this link https://www.accme.org/.