CMA expects providers to continually maintain compliance with accreditation requirements, responsibilities, and continuous improvement during accreditation terms.
The application process
Prior to the expiration of an organization’s accreditation term, the organization will be reassessed by CMA. We will initiate this process with your organization and are here to help you be successful. Organizations seeking reaccreditation will be required to submit an Intent to Apply for Reaccreditation, a Self-Study Report, and Performance in Practice Structured Abstracts for demonstrated evidence of their activities during the term of their accreditation, and to undergo an Accreditation Interview. These are the basis of the accreditation decision.
Please contact the CMA CME office with any questions, as well as using the resources on this website for more information.
Your organizations primary contact in PARS will be notified several months in advance (will need to change to 15 months eventually) of your current accreditation expiration. Please ensure that contact information is accurate and current. Login to PARS here (link https://parsa.accme.org/#/auth/login) You will also receive provider timelines and milestones, detailed processes, and resources.
Accredited providers are assigned to accreditation groups, or cohorts, and each group is assigned the same deadlines for submissions and reviews.
Confirming your Intent to apply for reaccreditation
You will be provided a form to complete and return to CMA that will confirm your organization intends to seek reaccreditation and to attest to your intent to continue to follow the CMA/ACCME’s Accreditation Criteria, Standards for Commercial Support, and policies (accreditation requirements) (link our document) and agree to fulfill the responsibilities associated with being an CMA-accredited provider. An updated and complete Demographic Information form is required at this time.
You may request a one-time extension of your current accreditation term if your organization is not able to meet CMA’s accreditation process deadlines. If approved, your current accreditation term will be extended approximately four months to the next CMA decision cycle, and your accreditation review will be conducted in the subsequent decision cohort. You will be required to meet the administrative deadlines of the new decision cohort, and standard extension fee will apply (link to accreditation fee schedule)
Providers are required to submit a self-study report (link) for reaccreditation. CMA uses the self-study report, along with performance in practice structed abstracts of CMA selected activities, and other data including annual reports and other interval monitoring data submitted by the provider throughout the accreditation term, to evaluate the providers ability to fulfil its educational mission effectively and comply with accreditation requirements.
The self-study report is the providers opportunity to tell its story through assessment of its commitment and role in providing CME, analyze its current practices, identify areas to improve, direction for the future, and effectively present these results to CMA.
CMA selects activities that must be submitted as evidence of Performance-in-Practice. Up to fifteen activities may be selected, representing each type of activity and spanning the entire term of accreditation. Providers will be provided the current Performance-in-Practice Structured to demonstrate compliance with accreditation requirements at the activity level. Providers are accountable for demonstrating performance-in-practice for all the activities selected.
CMA has moved to a fully electronic format to simplify and streamline the submission process. All information and materials will be submitted utilizing a bookmarked PDF. Provide two (2) USB flash drives of the PDF when sending your materials to CMA.
Accredited providers seeking reaccreditation must participate in an Interview with CMA Surveyors. This provides an opportunity for your organization to discuss your CME program, policies and practices to ensure compliance. During the interview, the surveyors will seek clarification about any questions they may have regarding the materials you submitted. CMA utilizes GoToMeeting webinar as the standard accreditation interview format, and Interviews typically average 90 minutes in length.
CMA has a multilevel process for making accreditation and reaccreditation decisions to ensure accuracy and fairness. Decisions are determined through a review by the CMA Steering Committee on CME, and (CMA Board of Trustees). CMA CME staff provide support and guidance throughout the process.
Your organization will receive notification from CMA of the accreditation status and term that your organization has been assigned.
For each applicable accreditation requirement, a provider receives one of the following compliance findings:
- Compliance: The CME provider fulfilled the CMA’s requirements for the specific criterion or policy.
- Noncompliance: The CME provider did not fulfill the CMA’s requirements for the specific criterion or policy.
- Not Applicable: The CME provider was not required to comply with the specific criterion or policy. For example, initial applicants must comply with Criteria 1, 2, 3, and 7–12 in order to be eligible for Provisional Accreditation and would receive a ruling of “not applicable” for the other Criteria. CME providers seeking reaccreditation would receive a finding of “not applicable” in policy areas that do not apply to the types of activities they produce.
- Evidence Not Submitted: The CME provider chose not to submit documentation to demonstrate compliance with the ACCME’s Criteria for Commendation (either C16-22 or eight from C23-38). Providers applying for reaccreditation must meet the requirements of Criteria 1–13 but are not required to demonstrate compliance with the Criteria for Commendation. If the CME provider chose not to submit documentation to demonstrate compliance for the Criteria for Commendation, the provider would receive a finding of “evidence not submitted” for those Criteria.
Providers typically receive one of the following decisions:
- Reaccreditation: A four-year accreditation term based on compliance with Criteria 1 to 13 and all accreditation policies. Continued accreditation may include a requirement for a progress report to remedy areas found to be in non-compliance.
- Accreditation with Commendation: A six-year accreditation term based on compliance with Criteria 1 to 13 plus commendation criteria of either option A: C16-22 or eight from option B: C23-38, and all accreditation policies.
- Probation: Applies when an organization’s application and activity files demonstrate significant noncompliance with CMA requirements either at the time of reaccreditation or upon submission of an interim report. Providers on Probation are required to submit progress reports. Providers cannot remain on Probation for longer than two years.
- Non-accreditation: Applies when an organization is found to have serious noncompliance issues, is on probation and fails to demonstrated it has achieved compliance within two years, or in rare instances status is changed due to recurrent compliance with the Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities℠ and/or has received previous decisions of Probation, and/or has engaged in joint providerships while on Probation in violation of joint providership policy.