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ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Review: Structural Capacity 1c

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 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) criteria that underlie nursing continuing professional development (NCPD) 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 first set of Accredited Provider Distinction Criteria build on the standard Structural Capacity criteria. There are three criteria within this group, and at least one must be met for a provider to achieve "Distinction."

The third criterion in this section (1c) states:

Evidence demonstrates a process description and example that the Provider Unit has engaged members from other professions, students, patients, and/or families in planning, implementing, and evaluating CNE activities (e.g., interprofessional continuing education).

In general, the ANCC is focused on the education of nurses. This makes sense. It's right there in their name. But over the past decade, healthcare accreditation organizations have recognized that no healthcare provider works alone. To be cliché, healthcare is a team sport, and this criterion is where an NCPD program can show off how they are part of the team.

Does your NCPD program collaborate with a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program? Write about that process and give an example of an activity you put on together.

But this criterion is broader than that. Does your NCPD work with nursing students? Involve them in activity planning.

Or perhaps you have an issue you want to address that patients and/or families should be part of. That's another way that this criterion can be met.

Picture your team. And then zoom out. Who are the other people who are involved in caring for your patients? Include them in the planning process. Include them as faculty. Include them when you evaluate how the activity went.

That is what interprofessional continuing education, and this criterion, ask us to do. It sounds like a lot of work when you first think about it, but you'll find that, just like caring for a patient, education can be better when we do it together. And since there is no minimum threshold, you should be able to come up with at least one example from your accreditation period that helps you meet this criterion.

Other Posts in This Series

ANCC Accreditation Criteria Overview

Organizational Overview 1 (OO1)

Organizational Overview 2 (OO2)

Structural Capacity 1 (SC1)

Structural Capacity 2 (SC2)

Structural Capacity 3 (SC3)

Educational Design Process 1 (EDP1)

Educational Design Process 2 (EDP2)

Educational Design Process 3 (EDP3)

Educational Design Process 4 (EDP4)

Educational Design Process 5 (EDP5)

Educational Design Process 6 (EDP6)

Educational Design Process 7 (EDP7)

Quality Outcomes 1 (QO1)

Quality Outcomes 2a (QO2a)

Quality Outcomes 2b (QO2b)

Quality Outcomes 3a (QO3a)

Quality Outcomes 3b (QO3b)

ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Overview

Accreditation with Distinction: Structural Capacity 1a

Accreditation with Distinction: Structural Capacity 1b


ACCME (2022). Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Available at: 

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ANCC Accreditation with Distinction Criteria Revie...
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