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A Report on Changes to Reporting: New PARS

For several years, programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) have used the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) to, well, report on their programs and activities. PARS has evolved over the years to include integration with a handful of medical specialty boards, beginning with the Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and more recently with a handful of state licensing boards. But for the most part the fields have stayed the same and haven't always met the way a lot programs function, especially with all the online learning we've facilitated over the past two years. That has now changed. In November, PARS shut down for a few days and emerged as a new and improved system.

The changes to PARS will have the biggest impact on accredited providers such as i3 Health, but if you collaborate as a joint provider, you may be asked for some new details that were not required in Old PARS and there may be some details that are no longer required in New PARS.

Key Points

1. End dates are now required. In the past, a one-day activity didn't need an end date, but now the end date is required for all activities

2. Activity "types" are now activity "formats" and are streamlined to better match how learning occurs today. For example, "internet" is no longer its own activity type. The activity format is designated in two parts. First, the old concepts of courses, enduring materials, regularly scheduled series (RSS), etc. Second, the new differentiation between in person and online. Mix and match as fits the activity

3. Enduring materials that are approved for more than one year can be entered once. Period. When it comes to reporting learners, just update the learner count at the end of each year until the activity closes

4. An activity description is now required. It doesn't have to be long. It could just be the learning objectives. But if you want the activity to show up on CME Passport (formerly CME Finder), you'll probably want to include something that will help learners find your activity. Listing on CME Passport is optional, so exactly what you paste into that field is up to you

5. The options for evaluation and outcomes have been updated to better match best practices. So it's possible that an outcomes option selected in the past is no longer an option. Or you may need to provide a few additional details that weren't required in the past

The majority of the changes to PARS are significant improvements. Like all changes, they will take some getting used to. If you are the person responsible for PARS at your institution, the ACCME is holding free recurring orientations. You can find that schedule here.


Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. New PARS. Available at:

Image credit: Juhko. Licensed under public domain.

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