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ACCME Commendation Criteria Review: Supports CPD for CME Team

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 second commendation criterion under the heading "Demonstrates Educational Leadership" is Supports CPD for CME Team (formerly C34). CPD is short for continuous professional development. This criterion states the following:

The provider supports the continuous professional development of its CME team.

We should practice what we preach. We want our learners to engage in CPD. Shouldn't we want the same for those on our own teams? How can we implement best practices in our planning if we don't continue to learn? The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) defines the CME team as "those individuals regularly involved in the planning and development of CME activities, as determined by the provider" (ACCME, 2022). That last part is key. You know who should be considered as a member of your CME team, and that group can be as broad or as narrow as you choose.

There are 4 critical elements in this criterion.

  • You need to create a CPD plan for your CME team that is focused on their work related to CME.
  • You need to conduct a needs assessment of your team to guide the CPD plan.
  • You need to include external activities as part of the plan.
  • You need to provide the time and resources for your team to actually participate in the plan.

To achieve this criterion, you need to submit a description of the plan and how it was implemented.

Of all the commendation criteria, this should be the easiest to complete. Identify your CME team. Conduct a needs assessment. Identify some external activities that might be useful. These could be anything from free webinars to state CME accreditation conferences to large annual meetings such as that offered by the ACCME. Set up some internal trainings such as a learning collaborative in which your team can discuss their challenges and achievements to learn from each other. Make the time for everyone to participate. And document what you did.

Hopefully your CME team is already given the opportunity to participate in CPD that is relevant to their work. All that this criterion asks is that you formalize and document what you are doing. As CME professionals, we should continue learning throughout our careers so that we can provide the best education to our learners. This criterion rewards us for taking that time to learn ourselves.

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

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

ACCME (2022). Supports CPD for CME Team. Available at: https://www.accme.org/accreditation-rules/accreditation-criteria/supports-cpd-for-cme-team 

Image credit: David Vignoni. Licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License


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