CME/CE Accreditation Process Changes
The CME Committee and the accrediting process of our organization have undergone a number of major changes over the last few years. The accrediting bodies that provide CME/CE credits to institutions such as ours, the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Institute for Medical Quality (IMQ), have significantly tightened their standards and requirements regarding the provision of CME/CE accreditation. As a result, our previous ways of approaching CE/CME have been changed.
In order to help each class, program or meeting apply for CE/CME credits, I thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know the new process and procedures.
When planning any educational activity, we must be able to outline the objectives of the educational activity, and what we hope/expect the participants to gain as a result of attending this educational experience. Central to our demonstration of this accomplishment are the evaluations that all participants must fill out at the end of every educational activity. Without this data, we are unable to demonstrate to ourselves and to our accrediting bodies, what it is we have accomplished. We need this information in our pursuit of exceptional learning opportunities for our SFCP community and the community at large.
Therefore, everyone who is planning any educational activity through SFCP must make sure to fill out a PRF (Program Request Form) at least 6 weeks prior to the planned beginning of the educational offering. This form will be reviewed by Terry Schulman. If there are any problems with the PRF, Terry will get back to you quickly and let you know what revisions must be made in order for the program to be in compliance with our accrediting bodies.
The Accrediting bodies no longer permit us to announce a program as “pending “CE/CME credits” in our publicity. All programs must be authorized “before they go to print”.
It wasn't so long ago that CE units were bundled with tuition/registration fees for all our programs. All registrants received CE units even if they didn't want them or need them. However, the organizations that accredit our Continuing Education programs no longer permit this type of bundling. We may only charge those individuals who actually desire continuing education credits. Each person who wants credit must opt in by paying the CE fee. The APA and the IMQ recognize that not all participants want CE/CME credits for the courses they attend. Those who want credits for their educational activities will be required to fill out evaluations forms for the courses they attend, and to pay a fee to obtain their CE/’CME credits.
As a result of all of all of these changes and new regulations, as well as our wish to evaluate our programming as a whole, we have requested that a representative from each program or division send a representative to each of our quarterly meetings. Not everyone has complied with this request and it has made our job of disseminating essential information, such as the above, quite difficult.
We understand that this is a considerable change from how we have been able to proceed in the past. If we wish to continue to offer CE/CME, we must be compliant with these new processes and procedures.
If anyone has any questions regarding any of these new requirements, please feel free to contact me, Julie Stahl, MD (JStahlMD@aol.com/415-441-7342).