Update: Cultural and Linguistic Competency and Implicit Bias Standards

September 23, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Continuing Medical Education (CME) 

The California Medical Association (CMA) is pleased to announce new standards for Cultural and 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.

CMA developed the standards in response to California legislation (Business and Professions Code Section 2190.1), which 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. CMA appreciates the feedback received from stakeholders and looks forward to collaborating with the CME community to meaningfully address these important issues.

The standards are intended to support CME providers in meeting the expectations of the legislation. CME provider organizations physically located in California and accredited by CMA or ACCME, as well as jointly accredited providers whose target audience includes physicians, are expected to meet these expectations beginning January 1, 2022. Please note that adherence to the standards is separate and distinct from accreditation status.

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.

CMA offers a variety of resources and tools to help providers meet the standards and successfully incorporate CLC and IB into their CME activities, including frequently asked questions, definitions, a planning worksheet and best practices. These resources are available here. For more information on the standards, please visit the CLC and IB standards page on the CMA website.

"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. 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." – Kristin Jensen, M.D., Chair of the CLC/IB Advisory Council, CMA CME Chair

Questions? Reach out to cme@cmadocs.org.


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