Cultural and Linguistic Competency (CLC) and Implicit Bias Standards update

December 16, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Continuing Medical Education (CME) 

As you may know, the California Medical Association’s (CMA) continuing medical education (CME) program has created an Advisory Council to update the Cultural and Linguistic Competency (CLC) standards and create standards for Implicit Bias. Business & Professions Code 2190.1(b) generally requires all CME courses to contain CLC and Business & Professions Code 2190.1(d) requires all CME courses to contain implicit bias as of January 1, 2022. Please note that CMA will refer to the California Business & Professions Code 2190.1, which is the result of AB 1195 and AB 241 once codified into law. 

Since the current CLC standards were first developed, there have been advancements that further support CME goals to reduce health disparities. In October, CMA  requested your feedback on current CLC and Implicit Bias practices to guide the work of the Advisory Council. Further, we committed to regular, informational updates throughout the process. This article includes the results of the flash survey as well as the work of the advisory council to date.

The Advisory Council is composed of leaders in CME as well as community leaders in the health equity space. To date, CMA staff have hosted two advisory council meetings to review current standards, learn the importance of accredited CME, as well as discuss literature reviews and results from the flash survey.

Our goal is to release draft standards for an open comment period mid-2021, then present the revised standards to CME providers in late summer/early fall 2021. This will be followed by educational activities to support you in your implementation of the new standards.

The following are summarized highlights of the CLC and Implicit Bias Flash Survey. You may download the complete survey details here.

  • 110 CME professionals and leaders representing 209 provider organizations responded
  • 97% currently include CLC in their CME activities such as
    • 81% presented content or topics that address CLC,
    • 61% included CLC specific objectives
    • 48% included diverse staff planners
    • 44% addressed change in learners' competence, performance, and/or patient outcomes
    • 33% provided resources to learners.
  • 76% reported the largest barrier is challenges integrating into content, and 22% found the current standard unclear
  • 30% are currently including Implicit Bias in their CME activities such as
    • 28% presented content or topics that address Implicit Bias
    • 19% included diverse staff planners
    • 16% included Implicit Bias objectives
    • 14% provided resources to learners
    • 13% addressed change in learners' competence, performance, and/or patient outcomes
  • We asked what support or guidance CME providers need.
    • 85% identified education on standards and content
    • 85% identified teaching how to integrate content
    • 76% identified materials
    • 68% identified training and webinars
    • 27% identified support working with organizational leadership

We appreciate your time and interest as the new standards evolve, and we look forward to working with you to ensure the standards are relevant, support optimal health care, and are at the heart of high quality and effective education.

As always, if you have any questions please email us at cme@cmadocs.org.


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