What is CME?
Continuing medical education (CME) consists of educational activities that serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public. All educational activities offering CME credit must be offered through an organization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The ACCME exists to set and enforce standards in physician education; several professional organizations of other health care providers, including the American College of Nurse Midwives and the American Academy of Physician Assistants, accept CME credit hours.
Why is CME important?
Quality CME can enhance a participant’s knowledge base and practice skills. CME credit is mandatory in many states for medical relicensure. CME participation is also increasingly used by hospitals, managed care organizations, and third-party payers, as part of the credentialing and reappointment process.
What is Category 1 and 2?
Category 1 activities are planned, structured activities offered by an organization accredited as a sponsor of CME by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or any other State Medical Association recognized as an accreditor by the ACCME, which has designated that education for American Medical Association (AMA) Physician’s Recognition Award (PRA) Category 1 credit. These learning activities may be in the form of lectures, seminars, or workshops or may be based on self-assessment programs, audiovisual, or computer materials. Credit may be claimed in Category 1 for planned CME activities that are joint-sponsored by an ACCME-accredited organization/institution, provided that each sponsor is actively involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the activity; and accepts responsibility for its quality.
Category 2 was defined by the AMA, as all educational activities not designated Category 1 that: 1) comply with the AMA definition of CME, 2) comply with AMA ethical opinions on Gifts to Physicians from Industry and on Ethical Issues in CME, and 3) a physician finds to be worthwhile learning experience related to his/her practice.
Please note that ARHP only provides Category 1 credit through its joint sponsorships.
If I want to offer a jointly sponsored activity, when do I contact the ARHP education staff?
The ARHP education staff must be contacted at the beginning of course planning. Any activity planned without the knowledge or involvement of the ARHP education staff cannot be approved by ARHP for CME credit.
What does the ARHP education staff do to help plan a jointly sponsored activity?
An ARHP education staff representative will assist the activity course director and planning committee in designing the course to be compliant with the ACCME guidelines. ARHP staff can work with course directors to promote the activity to ARHP members, as appropriate.
Do I need to complete an application?
An application for CME credit must be filed for all prospective CME activities. Applications must be completed and submitted to ARHP before decisions are made on any aspect of the planning process for which ARHP review and approval is required. Applications must be filled out in their entirety.
Does my application need to be approved?
All joint sponsor applications for CME are formally reviewed and ratified by the ARHP education staff and education committee. Approval of any application is always contingent upon receipt of all appropriate information. Any violation of ARHP’s Joint Sponsor Procedures Guidelines and/or Commercial Support Policy prior to or during the activity will result in the revocation of CME credit.
When can I send out my brochures/promotional materials?
Promotional materials for activities jointly sponsored by ARHP may NOT be distributed without advance approval of the joint sponsor application and without ARHP approval of the materials.
Does an ARHP staff member need to attend the course?
An ARHP staff member does not need to be present at every CME activity, but staff will periodically audit sessions.
Does ARHP provide nursing contact hour and pharmacology credit?
ARHP works with an organizational partner, the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, to provide nursing contact hour and pharmacology credit. Those seeking such credit should fill out the ARHP/NPWH Joint Sponsor Application for Nursing Contact Hours and Pharmacology Credit in addition to ARHP’s Joint Sponsor Application for CME.
How are hours of credit calculated?
One hour of learning is equivalent to one unit of CME, and one nursing contact hour. Pharmacology credit is based on percentage of activity content relevant to pharmacology. Credit is not awarded for breaks, lunches (unless content is presented), welcomes or introductions.
About Audrey Kelly, PharmD