The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) covers a broad scope. It accredits individual providers. It also approves State Medical Societies (SMS) to serve as accreditors themselves. This means there are CME providers that are accredited at the state level, by their SMS, and organizations that are accredited at the national level, directly by the ACCME. This means that there are accreditation surveyors working for the ACCME and there are accreditation surveyors working for each SMS. In order to streamline training, the ACCME created ACCME Academy, an online education platform. In June 2021, the ACCME expanded access to this resource to include accredited providers. The current model offers 3 free accounts to accredited providers, as well as numerous courses available for purchase to all comers. There is a plan to create a subscription model, but that has not been implemented at the time of this writing.
The courses available cover the spectrum, from case studies designed specifically for surveyors to a course devoted to the role of CME in health equity. While the former courses may be useful for an accredited provider, it is the latter that sparked this review at this time. In our role as educators, we are a step removed from patient care, which makes it difficult for us to know whether or not we're having an impact on issues such as health equity. This particular course, Education for Equity and Access, is one of the longest within the ACCME Academy platform. While other courses may have more modules, I found the modules within this course to require more of my time to read through. It does an excellent job of explaining terminology and discussing how we can help our learners change their practice in ways that might have a positive impact on health equity.
The current model of ACCME Academy is useful for accredited providers since they can unlock all of the resources available within. I look forward to seeing how the subscription model is structured, because it is still unclear whether that will be open to all or just to accredited providers and accreditors. I am hoping that it is open to all, because organizations who are not accredited may find the full resources available. If you are in a position that only allows access to courses, I recommend looking at Education for Equity and Access. The other available courses might also be of interest to you, depending on what your budget allows.
ACCME Academy has significantly improved since it was first launched as a tool to train accreditation surveyors. Now we just need the platform to offer the same level of access for organizations that aren't accredited as it does to those who are accredited. I definitely recommend making use of your free accounts if you are in an accredited organization. For those who are not in an accredited organization, I recommend Education for Equity and Access if you have the budget available to purchase it.Reference
ACCME (2022). ACCME Academy. Available at: https://www.accme.org/resources/accme-academy
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