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The Yale School of Medicine’s Division of Continuing Medical Education (Yale CME) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. As such, the Yale CME office maintains the responsibility for assuring physicians that CME-certified activities meet accepted standards of education that help physicians increase competence and incorporate new knowledge to improve the quality of medical care for patients and their communities. Therefore, if you are preparing to develop a learning activity such as a conference or published materials, here are some important concepts and steps to keep in mind.

Who is the ACCME and what do they expect?

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) identifies, develops and promotes standards for quality continuing medical education. The Essential Areas and Elements (including the Standards for Commercial Support) and Accreditation Policies are the practices that a provider, such as Yale CME, must implement to achieve and maintain accreditation. Thus, if you are seeking CME credit from Yale CME for learning initiatives, you must follow established policies and practices designed to ensure that these standards are met.

What does Yale CME require in the development process?

All CME activities must:

  • Be designed to change one or more of the following:
    • Competence
    • Performance
    • Patient Outcomes
  • Address professional practice gaps of physicians. The practice gap is defined as the difference between current and best practice.
  • Use needs assessment data to plan the activity.
  • Have content that:
    • matches the intended learners’ current or potential scope of practice;
    • is developed in the context of desirable physician attributes; and
    • is delivered using educational formats appropriate for the setting, objectives and desired results of the activity.
  • Be in compliance with the ACCME’s policies for disclosure and commercial support.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the learning intervention in meeting the objectives.