CMA announces new standards for cultural linguistic competency and implicit bias in CME

September 14, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Cultural Competency Professional Development & Education 

The California Medical Association (CMA) today released updated standards for Cultural Linguistic Competency (CLC) and Implicit Bias (IB) in continuing medical education (CME). These standards were developed with the guidance of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and an advisory council of CME and health equity experts, with input from key stakeholders and a public comment process. The goal of the standards is to support the role of accredited CME in advancing diversity, health equity and inclusion in health care. CME providers are expected to meet the standards beginning on January 1, 2022.

"It was a true honor and privilege to work with a diverse group of Californian subject matter experts to develop and model the CMA CLC and IB standards,” said Kristin Jensen, M.D., Chair of the CLC/IB Advisory Council. “All practicing physicians participate in CME, which will create real-time, continuous and meaningful education, discussion and improvement in the critical areas of CLC and IB in health care in California."

CMA developed the standards in response to a new California law, that directs CMA to draft a set of standards for the inclusion of CLC and IB in accredited CME. CMA accredits over 200 organizations that provide CME in the state of California, under the recognition of ACCME.

The standards offer guidance for accredited CME providers in meeting the intent and spirit of the law, which is to incorporate CLC and IB training into the majority of CME activities, specifically those activities that pertain to clinical care of patients.

Incorporating feedback from the CME community, the guidance standards are designed to be broad, flexible and achievable for all provider types, and applicable to all specialties. Beginning with the planning process, accredited CME providers are invited to consider how to apply each standard to each activity in ways that are meaningful and relevant for the target audience and the patients and communities they serve.

CME provider organizations physically located in California and accredited by CMA CME or ACCME will be required by California law to meet these standards beginning January 1, 2022. Please note that adherence to the standards is separate and distinct from accreditation status.

The standards are designed to guide providers in incorporating CLC and IB content into the planning and delivery of activities. CMA CME offers a variety of resources to help providers meet the standards and successfully incorporate CLC and IB into their CME activities, including informational webinars. For more information on the standards, please visit the CLC and IB standards page on the CMA website.


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