Accredited continuing medical education (CME) is essential for the continuing professional development for physicians. Accredited organizations are responsible for demonstrating that they meet requirements for delivering independent CME that accelerates learning, change, and improvement in healthcare.
The California Medical Association (CMA) accredits organizations that provide continuing medical education for physicians. CMA CME accreditation ensures that such activities assist physicians in maintaining or improving their practice of medicine. Accredited CME activities are also free of commercial bias and based on valid content.
CMA is a recognized accreditor by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and accredits organizations to provide physician CME, and only certain organizations are eligible to receive accreditation.
Benefits of Becoming an Accredited CME Provider Organization
To receive CMA CME accreditation, the organization must:
- Have headquarters that reside in California or another state where CMA is approved by ACCME to accredit CME providers
- Offer CME to a physician audience that is at least 70% from the state or contiguous state(s) of where the organization is accredited
- Develop and/or present a program of CME for physicians on a regular and recurring basis
- Not be an ineligible company
- Not be developing and/or presenting a program of CME that is, in the judgment of CMA, devoted to advocacy on unscientific modalities of diagnosis or therapy
- Present activities that have “valid” content
- Specifically, the organization must be presenting activities that promote recommendations, treatment or manners of practicing medicine that are within the definition of CME
- Providers are not eligible for accreditation if they present activities that promote treatments that are known to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients
- When there is a question regarding eligibility, CMA reserves the right to make decisions on the issue
The ACCME has provided a set of self-assessment questions for use in determining whether an entity may be an ineligible company. If an organization answers yes to any of these questions, they would be defined by CMA and the ACCME as ineligible.
If questions remain, organizations may contact CMA CME at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that CMA requires at least one contact be an employee of the accredited organization.
CMA CME expects providers to have an active and ongoing role to maintain compliance with accreditation requirements. To maintain CMA Accreditation, you must meet the following responsibilities:
- Eligible organizations that apply for CMA CME accreditation should be prepared to both describe and furnish evidence that demonstrates compliance with the accreditation requirements
- Monitor their overall CME program for compliance with the accreditation requirements
- Fulfill annual year-end reporting requirements in the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS)
- Payment of certain fees is required to obtain and maintain CMA CME accreditation
- CMA conducts its affairs in English and requires that all information be submitted in English
- Promptly inform CMA of organizational and personnel changes whenever there are changes in organization contacts
- Keep PARS contact information accurate and current
- Respond to CMA and/or ACCME requests for evidence of your continuous compliance with the accreditation requirements by the date they are requested
There are five accreditation status options, per ACCME:
- Provisional Accreditation
- Accreditation with Commendation
For first-time or initial applicants, the accreditation process takes twelve to eighteen months.
Interested organizations should start by requesting the pre-application, which provides the opportunity to explain their eligibility for CMA CME accreditation, as well as demonstrate mechanisms in place to fulfill the requirements. Organizations deemed eligible will be invited to continue with the initial accreditation process.
Initial accreditation with CMA CME is a multistep process that enables applicants to demonstrate that their practice of CME follows the accreditation requirements. Organizations applying for CMA CME accreditation must plan, implement and evaluate at least two CME activities within approximately two years prior to the submission of materials for initial accreditation.
To begin and support your process, please review the educational information about CMA accreditation and expectations found on this website.
Organizations must notify CMA CME of their interest by completing a pre-application request. Please complete, and email CMA at email@example.com once submitted. Upon receipt, CMA will review and schedule a webinar to discuss your program as well as CME standards and requirements.