Whether you are an accredited provider such as i3 Health or you are an educational partner working with an accredited provider, it's still important to understand the criteria that underlie continuing medical education (CME) activities. This is part of a periodic series of posts looking at what each criterion means in general and what it might mean for you.

The fourth set of ACCME Commendation Criteria is "Demonstrates Educational Leadership." There are three criteria in this set: Engages in Research/Scholarship, Supports CPD for CME Team, and Demonstrates Creativity/Innovation. In this post, we'll look at the first of these three.

Engages in Research/Scholarship (formerly C33) states:

The provider engages in CME research and scholarship.

We expect that the information we provide to our learners is evidence-based and grounded in research. The same should be true of every aspect of our activities. Is there an evidence base for the format? What about the active learning strategies? Are we really using best practices? There's only one way for an evidence base to exists, and that's for us, as CME providers, to study what we do and publish or present our findings.

There are two critical elements in this criterion.

  • You need to conduct scholarly research about CME.
  • You need to, at a minimum, submit your findings for presentation or publication in a peer-reviewed forum.

To achieve this criterion, a minimum of two projects must be completed during your accreditation period.

The difficult part of this criterion is conducting the research. This takes time, planning, and funding. Not all CME programs have the resources available to go through all of the steps a research project takes. The easy part is the second part. The ACCME does not expect that the research will be published. That's ideal, of course. But this criterion only expects that you will attempt to be published or accepted to present.

We expect our learners to use best practices, and we expect no less of ourselves. The programs that have the resources available to engage in research and scholarship build the evidence base that we use as we strive to provide the best education for our learners. This criterion rewards those efforts.

Other Posts in This Series CME Mission and Program Improvement Educational Planning and Evaluation Promotes Team-based Education Addresses Public Health Priorities Enhances Skills References

ACCME (2020). Accreditation Criteria. Available at: https://www.accme.org/accreditation-rules/accreditation-criteria

ACCME (2022). Engages in Research/Scholarship. Available at: https://www.accme.org/accreditation-rules/accreditation-criteria/engages-researchscholarship

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