Everything You Need To Know About Becoming An ACCME Accredited Provider

Posted by Sophia Duplin

What Is ACCME In The Medical Field? 

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) plays a crucial role in the medical field by setting and monitoring educational standards for Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities. This organization maintains strict guideline CME accreditation requirements that allow ACCME accredited providers to enjoy accreditation status.

It accredits organizations, ensuring their CME programs meet high-quality standards, but does not accredit individual activities. 

While the full ACCME system focuses on organizational accreditation, the recognition of individual physicians' educational achievements is managed by other entities requiring CME for licensure or membership.



How To Offer CME Credits 

To deliver CME credits, you can become a full ACCME Accredited Provider. This is good if you are seeking to obtain full ACCME accreditation, and what we will get into in the rest of this blog post. However, for some organizations this is a much too lengthy and expensive process. To make this process easier, you can also pursue Joint Providership, where you work with an existing ACCME Accredited provider to offer the AMA PRA Category 1 credit. 


BeaconLive works with an existing ACCME Accredited Provider to help our customers achieve Joint Providership. If you'd like to get started with Joint Providership and delivering CME courses, you can reach out to us here.


Here is a quick breakdown of the differences between ACCME Accreditation, Joint Accreditation and Joint Providership:

ACCME Accreditation vs Joint Accreditation vs Joint Providership Infographic

What Is An ACCME Accredited Provider?

An ACCME-accredited provider stands as a beacon of excellence in medical education, embodying a commitment to delivering high-quality, practical education that meets rigorous national standards. 

For organizations aspiring to elevate their educational programs, achieving ACCME accreditation is a pivotal step towards enhancing their contribution to the advancement of healthcare through professional development. 

This recognition enhances credibility for healthcare professionals and aligns providers with the forefront of medical education, fostering environments where healthcare professionals can thrive and ultimately improve patient outcomes.


What Is The Value of ACCME Accreditation? 

ACCME accreditation serves as a hallmark of excellence in CME, ensuring that educational activities meet stringent planning, implementation, and evaluation criteria. 

Accredited by the ACCME, these activities signify a commitment to quality education designed to support physicians in their ongoing professional development. By adhering to the ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support, accredited providers of CME 

activities assure the medical community and the public that they offer valuable insights for enhancing clinical practice.

Furthermore, this accreditation guarantees that educational content is free from any commercial influence and bias and grounded in evidence-based medicine, helping physicians bridge the gap between current practices and optimal patient care standards.


What Is The Role of ACCME in Medical Education?

The ACCME plays a pivotal role in the landscape of medical education, ensuring that CME spans every specialty and addresses the vast spectrum of topics essential for healthcare improvement. 

Accredited CME is meticulously crafted to cater to the diverse needs of physicians, whether they're involved in clinical care, research, administration, leadership, or other medical areas, offering practice-based, relevant, and effective learning experiences. 

Engaging in accredited CME is crucial for physicians aiming to fulfill various professional requirements, including licensure, certification, credentialing, and membership in societies. CME supports both medical practitioners and patients because: 

  • CME ensures physicians stay updated on the latest medical advancements, enhancing patient care and healthcare outcomes.

  • Participation in CME supports professional growth, facilitating career advancement and knowledge expansion.

  • CME programs foster networking opportunities, enabling collaboration and exchange of best practices among healthcare professionals.

  • Engaging in CME helps fulfill licensure and certification requirements, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

  • CME provides a platform for learning without commercial bias, promoting evidence-based practice and unbiased clinical decision-making.

This accreditation not only elevates the quality of medical education but also supports the ongoing professional development of physicians, reinforcing the ACCME's essential role in advancing healthcare through continuing education.


The Process of Accreditation by ACCME

1. The Self-Study Report

Embarking on ACCME accreditation begins with the self-study report, a crucial step where organizations present their CME program's narrative to ACCME. 

This report, detailed with descriptions, attachments, and examples, showcases your commitment and approach to fulfilling your CME mission. It's your chance to analyze and document your educational practices, demonstrating compliance with ACCME's standards and criteria. 

Given up to nine months for submission, this period is essential for conducting a thorough self-analysis. 

Successful accreditation hinges on a well-crafted self-study report that evidences your program's effectiveness in meeting educational objectives and adhering to ACCME's rigorous standards.


2. Performance In-Practice Review

The second step in becoming ACCME accredited involves a detailed performance-in-practice review. Initial applicants must select at least two CME activities they've completed in the past 24 months, demonstrating compliance with ACCME's standards

This involves entering data into the ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS), and submitting evidence through the Performance-in-Practice Structured Abstract. The review includes activities conducted alone or in joint providership, providing crucial data for accreditation decisions. 

Applicants showcase compliance with specific ACCME criteria, ensuring their educational activities meet the high standards for quality, effectiveness, and relevance in medical education.


3. The Accreditation Interview

The third step in becoming ACCME accredited involves an accreditation interview, where you'll discuss your self-study report and practice evidence with trained volunteer surveyors from the CME community. 

This is your chance to explain your processes, clarify details, and showcase your commitment to high-quality medical education. Before this, ensure you've submitted your self-study report and evidence of performance in practice and paid the Initial Accreditation Fee. 

Once everything's in order, ACCME schedules your interview, moving you closer to accreditation and the benefits it brings to your educational programs.

Learn more about the interview process here


4. The Activity Review

The final step in achieving ACCME accreditation involves having a CME activity reviewed by an ACCME volunteer surveyor or staff member. 


This crucial step, necessary for both initial accreditation and reaccreditation, requires your organization to demonstrate its commitment to high-quality educational practices through actual activity observation. 

This Activity Review, distinct from the performance-in-practice review, uses the ACCME Activity Review Form for documentation and is integral to the accreditation decision, marking a key milestone in advancing from Provisional Accreditation to full Accreditation.


How To Choose The Right CME Provider

Choosing the right CME provider is crucial for enhancing your professional development. Finding a solution that meets the needs of your organization can be difficult. 

But there is good news! BeaconLive for a top-notch CME platform that simplifies and enhances your CME delivery. 

  • Capability To Host Live & On-Demand Events: Webinars and webcasts offer flexible CME opportunities that are accessible anywhere and fit into professionals' schedules, including during breaks. Recorded sessions extend value, reaching those unable to attend live.

  • Automated Certificates: Choosing a CME eLearning platform that automates registration and participation tracking and offers free certificate generation can significantly reduce stress and administrative workload.

  • 24/7 Tech Support: Choose a learning platform with 24/7 technical support accessible directly from your LMS dashboard. This prevents tech issue emails and ensures expert help is always available.

  • End-To-End CE Capabilities: From planning to implementation to reporting, choose a platform that supports you every step of the way.

  • Accreditation Pathways: To qualify for licensure and recertification, CME activities must be accredited, primarily by ACCME. Choose a platform that provides accreditation support for your courses.

These features and tools ensure you support your continuing education goals and contribute to improved measurable outcomes, ensuring your efforts translate into real-world expertise and competence.

With our all-in-one platform, you can streamline your CME management, earn ACCME/AMA accreditation, deliver live and on-demand events, customized your eLearning catalog, automate certificate issuance, and utilize comprehensive tracking and engagement analytics.


Topics: Accreditation, Continuing Medical Education (CME), Medical & Healthcare

Go Virtual With Confidence Using Our Most Helpful Content

cas 1
Customer Logos (44)

Webinar Promotion Checklist

  • To ensure a successful, highly-attended and well-executed webinar, you will need to promote your event in several different methods. We've developed this Webinar Promotion Checklist to help you engage your target market and increase registrations.
Screenshots (17)-1
Untitled design (50) (1)

Who Is BeaconLive?

  • Need to host an event? While simulcasting to three continents? And administer multiple certifications? For a group of forty… to forty thousand? Piece of cake! Watch our brand video to learn more about BeaconLive

What is a CME provider?

A CME provider is an organization that offers Continuing Medical Education programs to healthcare professionals to maintain their competencies.

What does it mean for a provider to be ACCME accredited?

Being ACCME accredited signifies that a provider meets the standards for offering quality Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs.

How does a provider become ACCME accredited?

A provider becomes ACCME accredited by submitting an application, demonstrating compliance with ACCME standards, and undergoing a review and decision process.