Everything You Need To Know About AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Posted by Sophia Duplin
Everything You Need To Know About AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

What Is AMA PRA Category 1 Credit? 

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is a critical part of ongoing CME for healthcare professionals, signifying their engagement in rigorous and approved educational activities within their specialty. 


These credits are obtainable through diverse formats like live lectures, online seminars, or interactive question banks. Accreditation for these credits is strictly granted by the AMA or entities accredited by the ACCME or a relevant state medical society. 


Healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, PAs, DOs, NPs and more utilize AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to fulfill CME mandates set by various entities like hospital credentialing bodies, state medical boards, specialty certifying boards, and organizations such as the Joint Commission. 


It's widely recognized as the primary form of CME credit among healthcare professionals and serves as a foundation for earning the AMA Physician's Recognition Award.


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How Does A Healthcare Professional Earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™?

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ by engaging in certified activities offered by CME providers accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or a state medical society recognized by ACCME. 


These providers adhere to stringent standards, ensuring their educational activities fulfill both AMA and accreditor requirements. 


Healthcare professionals enhance their knowledge and skills through lectures, workshops, online courses, and more while meeting their professional development and licensure needs.


Let’s take a look at the most common types of CME activities that are already approved, accepted and certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.


1. Live activities

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ through live CME activities, which include in-person CME events or remote participation like teleconferences and live webinars. 


These activities encompass a range of formats, such as conferences, workshops, seminars, and more. 


Additionally, faculty members presenting at these live events can also receive credit for their original presentations or for the educational preparation involved in teaching medical students, residents, or medical students, provided the activity is certified by an accredited CME provider or, in some cases, directly with approval from the AMA.


2. Enduring materials

Healthcare professionals can also earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit by engaging with enduring materials, which include a variety of formats like monographs, podcasts, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and web-based resources such as archived webinars. 


These resources offer flexibility, allowing healthcare professionals to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule while still fulfilling their CME requirements.


3. Journal-Based CME

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ through journal-based CME by reading articles in peer-reviewed professional journals that are certified for credit before publication. 


This post-test involves studying the article, often followed by completing an assessment or quiz to demonstrate understanding and application of the material.


4. Test item writing

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ by participating in test item writing activities. 


This involves researching, drafting, and defending exam questions for high-stakes assessments administered by bodies like the NBME or ABMS or for self-assessment activities by medical specialty societies, following a rigorous peer review process.


5. Manuscript review (for journals)

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit by participating in manuscript reviews for medical journals indexed by MEDLINE. 


This involves critically evaluating assigned medical journals and manuscripts, ensuring they meet publication standards, and contributing to the advancement of medical literature through insightful reviews deemed acceptable by the editor.


6. Performance improvement CME (PI CME)

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ through Performance Improvement CME (PI CME), a structured process where accredited providers guide healthcare professionals in learning, assessing, implementing interventions, and reassessing their practice based on specific performance measures, directly benefiting patient care outcomes over time.


7. Internet point of care learning

Healthcare professionals can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ through internet point-of-care learning, a self-directed online activity structured by accredited CME providers. 


It involves healthcare professionals reflecting on clinical questions, learning format, consulting relevant sources, and applying newfound knowledge to practice, only the credit is fulfilling requirements for CME credit.


How Can A Healthcare Professional Ensure An Activity Is Certified For AMA PRA Category 1 Credit?

As we discussed in the previous section, there are many activities available to help healthcare professionals meet their CME requirements. However, it’s important to understand how to identify if an activity is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit. 


Healthcare professionals should ensure their CME activities are certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit by verifying sponsorship by US-based CME providers accredited by the ACCME or an ACCME-recognized state medical society. 


Look for the prescribed AMA Credit Designation Statement on promotional and activity materials to confirm accreditation status. This ensures compliance with AMA standards and guarantees the credits earned are valid for meeting professional development requirements and qualifying for the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. 


Here are some examples of what healthcare professionals should look for when reviewing the Credit Designation Statement: 


The [name of accredited CME provider] designates this [learning format] for a maximum of [number of credits] AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Healthcare professionals should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


The live activity teaching medical students and residents requires a slightly different AMA credit designation statement, as the number of credits will not be known in advance:


The [name of accredited CME provider] designates this live activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per 1 hour of interaction with medical students and/or 

residents/fellows. Healthcare professionals should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


How Can BeaconLive Help With Your Joint Providership

BeaconLive works with an ACCME-accredited provider to facilitate joint providership accreditation for CME programs. 


TMA handles application processes and compliance reviews, while BeaconLive manages CME webinar delivery, course hosting, attendee tracking, evaluations and certificate delivery. This collaboration streamlines accreditation, ensuring programs meet standards and offering enduring/on-demand course accreditation valid for three years or live event accreditation valid for one year. 


Additionally, BeaconLive supports TMA with webinar attendance records through our CME platform. With up to five related courses per application, this partnership simplifies the accreditation process, benefiting organizations seeking comprehensive CME solutions.

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

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What is a PRA Category 1 Credit?

A PRA Category 1 Credit is a designation for accredited continuing medical education (CME) activities recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA).

What is the difference between Category 1 and 2 CME?

Category 1 CME activity involves activities certified for credit by accredited CME providers, while Category 2 CME activity includes self-directed learning.

How many hours is 1 CME credit?

One CME credit typically represents one hour of participation in completing an accredited continuing medical education activity.