ACCME Joint Providership Rules & Policies

Posted by Sophia Duplin
ACCME Joint Providership Rules & Policies

What Is ACCME Joint Providership?

Joint providership in the context of ACCME involves accredited and non-accredited organizations teaming up to offer Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities. 


This collaborative effort allows accredited providers to broaden their educational programs by partnering with organizations that are not accredited by ACCME. 

Despite using the term "joint providership," ACCME emphasizes that this doesn't constitute a legal partnership. 


When such collaborations occur, the accredited provider ensures the accreditation statement for the CME activity meets ACCME's standards and includes the correct accreditation statement. This setup enables a wider array of educational opportunities while upholding educational quality and compliance with ACCME accreditation council guidelines.

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Who Is Eligible To Be Part Of Joint Providership?

Joint providership within the ACCME is available to ACCME-accredited providers with Provisional Accreditation, full Accreditation, or Accreditation with Commendation. 


However, providers on Probation face restrictions and can only continue with joint providerships that were in place before their probation status was assigned. This careful regulation ensures that the educational content delivered is accurate, balanced, and free from commercial influence. 


Eligible organizations for ACCME accreditation typically include those dedicated to patient care, healthcare professionals, accredited continuing education, or public health advocacy, highlighting ACCME's dedication to maintaining an accreditation statement for educational excellence and integrity.


While ACCME allows for a wide range of organizations to be eligible for joint partnerships, it’s important to note that many organizations are not eligible. 

Organizations primarily involved in producing, marketing, selling, or distributing healthcare products for patient use are ineligible for ACCME joint providership.


This includes pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, diagnostic labs with proprietary products, and firms in advertising or marketing linked to such entities. 


Additionally, bio-medical startups in regulatory approval processes, compounding pharmacies, and manufacturers of medical foods, dietary supplements, or health-related wearables are also excluded to preserve the educational content's integrity and focus on patient care and healthcare and provide continuing medical education only.


Now that we understand what joint providership is and who is eligible for it let’s take a look at what due diligence ACCME requires from providers. 


What Due Diligence Is Required By ACCME?

The ACCME has strict guidelines that ACCME-accredited providers must follow to ensure accountability is maintained in the joint providership program. This accountability is crucial to ensure this type of collaborative education adheres to the highest possible standards for providers and participants. 


Here are a few of the most important points of due diligence that joint providers must remember. 


1. Inform Learners About The Joint Providership

Providers engaged in joint providership must transparently communicate this relationship to participants. This involves including a specific accreditation statement on all educational materials, which clarifies the collaborative effort between the accredited and non-accredited entities. 


This statement ensures learners know the partnership and its adherence to ACCME standards, maintaining transparency and trust in the provided education.


2. No Additional Fees

The ACCME does not impose any financial requirements or fees for engaging in joint providership. 


Accredited providers can decide whether to charge a fee for joint providership, ensuring flexibility and independence in managing and financing their collaborative educational activities.


3. Demonstrate Ongoing Compliance

Compliance with ACCME's accreditation requirements is critical in joint providership, with the accredited provider primarily responsible for ensuring and demonstrating compliance. 


ACCME outlines several general guidelines that must be followed, but ACCME keeps these guidelines vague to ensure providers are diligent in their efforts to uphold the spirit of ACCME standards. 


This involves maintaining proper documentation, which can originate from either the accredited or the nonaccredited partner. 


Failure to comply can jeopardize the accredited or nonaccredited provider's status. Joint providership introduces unique challenges, particularly concerning content validity.


4. Content Validity

Ensuring content validity in ACCME joint providership presents unique challenges, as the involvement of nonaccredited organizations can complicate adherence to educational standards. 


To mitigate risks, agreements should empower accredited providers to revoke accreditation jointly provided activities swiftly and without penalty if the jointly provided activity fails to comply with content validity requirements. This ensures that educational content remains accurate, unbiased, and in line with ACCME's standards.


5. Unapproved Marketing & Promotional Activities

ACCME has strict requirements around commercial bias, so it's crucial that accredited providers strictly prohibit their nonaccredited partners from engaging in unapproved marketing or promotional activities. 


This includes the avoidance of high-value incentives like gift cards, which can set improper expectations. 


Regular monitoring and review of promotional materials and websites are essential to ensure all advertising aligns with ACCME's stringent accreditation requirements and standards, maintaining the integrity and focus of the educational content.


6. Business & Operational Responsibilities

In joint providership, accredited providers ensure educational compliance and take on the business and operational responsibilities


If there are issues, like refunds needed for faculty or participants and the joint provider can't or won't handle it, the accredited provider steps in to resolve these financial matters. 


Essentially, they're the backbone, ensuring that the business side of things runs smoothly, from managing finances to fulfilling legal and human resource obligations, guaranteeing all commitments are met efficiently and ethically. 


7. Providers On Probation

When a provider is put on probation, they face strict restrictions with ACCME. They're generally barred from starting new joint CME activities with nonaccredited organizations, although existing contracts made before the probation can continue. 


They must notify ACCME about all ongoing joint providership activities and inform their partners about their probation status. Providers on probation for two consecutive terms can't engage in any joint providership until they're back in good standing. 


If they breach this rule, they risk immediate nonaccreditation, underlining the seriousness with which ACCME treats compliance and quality in educational activities.


How Can BeaconLive Support Joint Providership For You?

BeaconLive collaborates with The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA), an ACCME-accredited provider, to offer joint providership accreditation for educational programs. 


TMA manages the application process, ensuring compliance through thorough material reviews and requiring financial disclosures from all content contributors. The great thing about this partnership is not only do you get all the benefits of joint providership, but you also gain access to our amazing CME platform to deliver ACCME-compliant webinars and automate CME certificate delivery. 


BeaconLive supports the process by handling attendee tracking with presence code verification, minimum duration, evaluations and quizzes. They automate certificate delivery to learners who meet requirements set by you and ACCME. 


The partnership allows for up to five related courses per application, with enduring/on-demand courses accredited by the accreditation for three years and live events for one year, streamlining the accreditation process for a range of educational formats.

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

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Ultimate Guide to ACCME Joint Providership

Discover the essentials of joint providership in CME: collaboration, compliance, and best practices for accredited and non-accredited organizations.


What is ACCME Joint Providership?

ACCME joint providership is a collaborative arrangement where an ACCME-accredited provider partners with a non-accredited organization to deliver Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities.

What are ACCME standards?

ACCME standards are a set of criteria and policies established by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to ensure that CME activities are designed to be educational, free from commercial bias, and improve physicians' and healthcare professionals' competence, performance, or patient outcomes.

What is an ACCME-eligible organization?

An ACCME-eligible organization is one that primarily focuses on healthcare professionals or continuing medical education for physicians themselves, patient care, or public health improvement and meets specific criteria to be accredited by ACCME to provide or jointly provide CME activities.