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CME glossary of terms

Accreditation:

The decision by the ACCME, or a recognized state medical society, that an organization has met the requirements for a CME provider as outlined by the ACCME. The standard term of accreditation is four years.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission. 

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME):
The ACCME sets the standards for the accreditation of all providers of CME activities. The ACCME has two major functions: the accreditation of providers whose CME activities attract a national audience and the recognition of state or territorial medical societies to accredit providers whose audiences for its CME activities are primarily from that state/territory and contiguous states/territories. The ACCME’s seven member organizations are the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME), the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS), and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S., Inc. (FSMB).

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission. 

Accreditation Decisions:
The types of accreditation offered and made by the ACCME, or a state medical society, to accredited providers. They include accreditation with commendation, accreditation, probationary accreditation, provisional accreditation and non-accreditation.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission. 

Accreditation Review Committee (ARC):
The Accreditation Review Committee, a working committee of the ACCME, collects, reviews, and analyzes data from multiple sources about compliance with ACCME Essential Areas Elements and Policies; notes program improvements; and makes a recommendation to the ACCME for their final decision about accreditation of an applicant/provider.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission. 

Accreditation Statement:
The standard statement that must be used by all accredited institutions and organizations. There are two different statements that might be used depending on the number and relationships of the organizations involved in planning and implementing the activity:

Directly sponsored activity -- An activity planned and implemented by an ACCME or state medical society accredited provider of CME.

The (name of the accredited provider) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Jointly sponsored activity -- An activity planned and implemented by an ACCME or state medical society accredited provider working in collaboration with a non-accredited entity. The accredited provider must ensure compliance with the ACCME Essential Areas and Policies.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of (name of accredited provider) and (name of non-accredited provider). The (name of accredited provider) is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CME activities that are co-sponsored should use the directly sponsored activity statement, naming the one accredited provider that is responsible for the activity.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Accreditation Survey:
Data collection by the ACCME that includes a review of the organization (structure, administration, mission, relationships), documentation, and activities. The survey can be conducted in one of three ways: on site, which is in-person at the site of the accredited institution/organization, or its activity; face to face, which is in- person usually at the offices of the ACCME; or through a televideo conference. Its purpose is to gather data about who is responsible for the CME program and activities, how documentation is accomplished, and how well the Elements of the Essential Areas are applied.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Accreditation with Commendation:
The decision by the ACCME that an organization has exceeded the standards for a CME provider as outlined by the ACCME. The term of accreditation with accreditation is six years.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Activity:
An educational event for physicians, which is based upon identified needs, has a purpose or objectives, and is evaluated to assure the needs are met.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Activity Review:
Data collection that allows the ACCME to observe an activity and document compliance with the requirements for accreditation. This review usually occurs during an accreditation survey (on-site) and is required for all new applicants before they are fully accredited.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

ACEHP

Alliance for Continuing Education In the Heatlh Professions
is a CME professional association that provides educational opportunities, professional development, information exchange, and supportive services for its membership from hospitals, medical schools, medical associations and societies, pharmaceutical and device companies that are interested in adapting to the changing health care environment, improving the CME activities, offered to physicians and shaping the future of the CME field.

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP):
An association of primary care physicians who have completed a residency in Family Medicine. The AAFP requires its members to demonstrate that they have participated in 150 Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours every 3 years. This credit is divided into two categories "Prescribed" and "Elective". The Academy reviews submitted CME programs on a course by course basis to award Prescribed credit.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS):
The ABMS is a member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The ABMS nominates three individuals for appointment to the Board of the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

American Hospital Association (AHA):
The AHA is a member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The AHA nominates three individuals for appointment to the Board of the ACCME

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

American Medical Association (AMA):
The AMA is a member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The AMA nominates three individuals for appointment to the Board of the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

AMA Physician's Recognition Award (PRA):
An award issued by the AMA to physicians who have completed 150 hours of continuing medical education during a consecutive three year period. For a standard three-year certificate, 60 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits‰™  are required, and the remaining 90 may be in either Category 1 or 2.

Source: AMA Physician Recognition Award Booklet 2006 Revision

Annual Report:
Data collection by the ACCME that requires an annual submission of data from each accredited provider and allows the ACCME to monitor changes in an individual accredited provider’s program and within the population of accredited providers.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME):
The AHME is a member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The AHME nominates one individual for appointment to the Board of the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC):
The AAMC is a member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The AAMC nominates three individuals for appointment to the Board of the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Audience:
Those attending and benefiting from CME programs (normally physicians, scientists, or other health care professionals).

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Certification:
The act of declaring that an activity meets the criteria for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ or Category 2 CME credit.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Classifications of Compliance with Essential Area Elements:
Using criteria, the ACCME will determine the level of compliance with each Element in the three Essential Areas. The findings could be one of four levels of compliance: exemplary compliance, compliance, partial compliance, or noncompliance.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Commercial Bias:
A personal judgment in favor of a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Commercial Interest:
A commercial interest is any proprietary entity producing health care goods or services consumed by, or used by patients. The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. A commercial interest is not eligible for ACCME accreditation.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Commercial Support:
Financial, or in-kind, contributions given by a commercial interest, which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity. The definition of roles and requirements when commercial support is received are outlined in the Standards of Commercial Support (Element 3.3)

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Committee for Review and Recognition (CRR):
The Committee for Review and Recognition, a committee of the ACCME, collects, reviews and analyzes data about compliance with ACCME’s Recognition Requirements for stata, or territorial, medical societies to accredit providers whose target audience is limited to that state, or territory, or contiguous state, or territories. The CRR makes a recommendation to the ACCME for its final decision about Recognition. To be recognized by the ACCME, a state, or territorial, medical society (SMS) must meet the requirements for Recognition as determined by the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations.April, 2006. Used with permission.

Compliance:
The provider is always or consistently meeting the standard of practice for the judged element.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. 2006. Used with permission.

Conflict of Interest:
When an individual’s interests are aligned with those of a commercial interest, the interests of the individual are in "conflict" with the interests of the public. The ACCME considers financial relationships to create actual conflicts of interest in CME when individuals have both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest. The potential for maintaining or increasing the value of the financial relationship with the commercial interest creates an incentive to influence the content of the CME – an incentive to insert commercial bias.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU):
One continuing education unit is ten contact (10) hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction. The CEU is a universal method of measuring and granting credit for participation in continuing education programs. This definition was codified by the National Task Force on the Continuing Education Unit.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Continuing Medical Education (CME):
Continuing medical education consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. The content of CME is that body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine, and the provision of health care to the public.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

A broad definition of CME, such as the one found above, recognizes that all continuing educational activities which assist physicians in carrying out their professional responsibilities more effectively and efficiently are CME. A course in management would be appropriate CME for physicians responsible for managing a health care facility; a course in educational methodology would be appropriate CME for physicians teaching in a medical school; a course in practice management would be appropriate CME for practitioners interested in providing better service to patients.

Not all continuing educational activities which physicians may engage in however, are CME. Physicians may participate in worthwhile continuing educational activities which are not related directly to their professional work, and these activities are not CME. Continuing educational activities which respond to a physician's non-professional educational need or interest, such as personal financial planning, appreciation of literature or music, or parent effectiveness, are not CME.

Cognates:
Designation of CME offerings (hours) that have been reviewed and approved by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). The CME offerings that award COGNATES are directed toward OB/GYN physicians and are approved on a program by program basis.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Cosponsored Activity:
A CME activity presented by two or more accredited providers. One institution must take responsibility for the activity.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS):
A member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The CMSS nominates three individuals for appointment to the Board of the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Course Coordinator or Activity Director:
The individual responsible for the organization, content, and selection of faculty for a given CME activity. All actions of the course coordinator must be subject to the approval of the sponsor.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Credit:
The "currency" assigned to CME activities. Requirements for the designation of credit are determined by the organization responsible for the credit system, e.g., AMA-PRA (Category 1 and 2 Credit), AAFP (Prescribed and Elective Credit), ACOG (Cognates). Refer to those organizations for details about the specific requirements for assigning credit.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Criteria:
The levels of performance and/or accomplishment required by the ACCME of an accredited provider for each Essential Area Element.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Designation of CME Credit:
The declaration that an activity meets the criteria for a specific type of credit. In addition, designation relates to the requirements of credentialing agencies, certificate programs or membership qualifications of various societies. The accredited provider is responsible to these agencies, programs and societies in the matter of designation of credits and verifications of physician attendance. NOTE: The designation of credit for specific CME activities is not within the purview of the ACCME or the state medical associations as accrediting bodies.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Director of Medical Education (DME):
Usually a physician appointed by a hospital medical staff to represent the medical staff on all educational matters concerning the staff.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Documentation Review:
Data collection that allows the ACCME to verify that compliance with accreditation requirements has been met within a specific activity. This review occurs during an accreditation survey.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Elective Credit:
CME credit for AAFP members that has not met the criteria for or may not have been submitted for review as "Prescribed" credit. An AAFP member may utilize up to 180 hours of elective credit in meeting the requirements for renewal of membership in the AAFP.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Elements:
Performance in each Essential Area that must be met to be an accredited provider.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Enduring Materials:
A non-live CME activity that "endures" over time. The learning experience by the physician can take place at any time in any place, rather than only at one time, and one place, like a live CME activity.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April,2006. Used with permission.

Essential Areas:
The three categories of standards necessary to become an accredited provider. They are Purpose and Mission, Planning and Evaluation, and Administration.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Evaluation Methods:
Various methodologies that the SPONSORING institution may use to determine if the CME offering met its stated objectives. Evaluation methods may include written instruments, pre-tests and post-test; follow-up surveys, medical audits, etc.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Exemplary Compliance:
The provider exceeds the standard of practice for the judged element.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Faculty:
The speakers or education leaders responsible for communicating the educational content of an activity to a learner.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Federation of State Medical Boards of the U.S., Inc. (FSMB):
A member organization of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. The FSMB nominates one individual for appointment to the Board of the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Financial Relationships:
Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest , excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership,and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. ACCME considers relationship of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse of partner.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Focused Accreditation Survey:
A specially arranged survey of a provider to collect data about a specific problem that has been reported or has not been corrected as a result of a progress report.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Joint Sponsorship:
Sponsorship of a CME activity by two institutions or organizations when only one of the institutions or organizations is accredited. The accredited provider must take responsibility for a CME activity when it is presented in cooperation with a non-accredited institution, or organization and must use the appropriate accreditation statement. A commercial interest cannot take the role of a non-accredited entity in a joint sponsorship relationship.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations.April, 2006. Used with permission.

Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME):
The body charged with the responsibility for accrediting the medical schools in the U.S.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Monitoring:
Data collection which allows the ACCME to note changes in the program of CME between formal accreditation reviews. These data are collected in the annual reports required of each provider and/or in the pursuit of a compliant/inquiry about a specific activity.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Monitoring Committee (MC):
The Monitoring Committee, a working committee of the ACCME, that is responsible for monitoring the ACCME organization, the accreditation system, and process, and providers to assist with continual improvement of CME accreditation.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Needs Assessment/Data:
A process of identifying and analyzing data that reflect the need for a particular CME activity. The data could result from a survey of the potential learners, evaluations from previous CME activities, needed health outcomes, identified new skills, etc. Needs assessment data provide the basis for developing learner objectives for the CME activity.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Nonaccreditation:
The accreditation decision by the ACCME that an organization has not demonstrated the standards for a CME provider as outlined by the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Noncompliance:
The provider is not meeting the standard of practice for the judged element.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Objectives:
Statements that clearly describe what the learner will be able to know or do after participating in the CME activity. The statements should result from the needs assessment data.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Organizational Framework:
The structure (organizational chart), process, support and relationships of the CME unit that are used to conduct the business of the unit and meet its mission.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Parent Organization:
An outside entity, separate from the accredited provider that has control over the funds, staff, facilities, and/or CME activities of the accredited provider

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Participant:
An attendee, primarily physicians, at a CME activity.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Partial Compliance:
The provider is only sometimes or not fully meeting the standard of practice for the judged element.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Planning Process(es):
The method(s) used to identify needs and assure that the designed educational intervention meets the need(s) and produces the desired result.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Prescribed:
CME credit from an activity that has been developed and submitted in accordance with AAFP requirements and that has subsequently been reviewed and approved by the appropriate section of the AAFP. AAFP members must have at least 75 hours "Prescribed" credit plus up to 75 hours of elective credit every three years to qualify for reelection to membership.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Probation:
The accreditation decision by the ACCME that an accredited provider has not met all the standards for a CME provider as outlined by the ACCME. The accredited provider must correct the deficiencies to receive a decision of accreditation. While on probation, a provider may not jointly sponsor new activities.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Program of CME:
The CME activities and functions of the provider taken as a whole.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Program Director:
The person responsible for the overall CME program at an accredited institution.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Progress Report:
A report prepared for the ACCME by the accredited provider communicating changes in the provider’s program to demonstrate compliance with the Elements that were found in partial compliance, or non-compliance, during the most recent accreditation review.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Provider:
The institution or organization that is accredited to present CME activities.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Provisional Accreditation:
The accreditation decision by the ACCME that an initial applicant for accreditation has met the standards for a CME provider as outlined by the ACCME.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Recognition:
The process used by the ACCME to approve state medical societies as accreditors of intrastate providers.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Regulary Scheduled Conferences (RSC):
A Daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly CME activity that is primarily planned by and presented to the accredited provider’s professional staff

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Relevant Financial Relationships:
ACCME focuses on financial relationships with commercial interest in the 12 month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the CME activity. ACCME has not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship. The ACCME defines "’relevant’ financial relationships" as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 12 months that create a conflict of interest.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Self Directed Learning:
Individual learner's initiative and responsibility to (with or without assistance) identify, assess, and set priorities for learning needs; define goals; select and organize learning activities; and evaluate outcomes in terms of performance. (Knox, 1973).

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Self Study:
A report of data collection by the ACCME that allows the accredited provider to document its accomplishments, assess areas where improvements may be necessary and outline a plan for making those improvements.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Society of Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME):
An association made up of the medical college directors of CME from US and Canadian medical schools.

Source: CME's Glossary. Used with permission from the SACME.

Standards of Commercial Support:
Standards to ensure independence in planning and implementing CME activities.

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Sponsor:
See Provider

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Supporter:
See Commercial Interest

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.

Survey:
See Accreditation Survey

Source: ACCME's Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations. April, 2006. Used with permission.