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Meet the initial eligibility requirements set forth by the ACCME. Organizations must be located in the U.S. or its territories, present a recurring and regular program of valid and beneficial CME specifically for physicians and not a commercial business. ACCME will not provide accreditation for organizations providing training on unscientific or unproven treatments as defined within its definition of CME (see Resources).
Complete ACCME's pre-application process. Fill out an application and pay the $1,000 fee. The pre-application helps the ACCME discern the nature of the applying organization and whether its mission matches the ACCME's. Notification of eligibility is returned to the applicant in writing within eight weeks of receiving the pre-application and fees. The organization is then eligible to continue the application process. A pre-application is available for download at the ACCME website.
Complete the Initial Self-Study Report and pay the $7,500 initial accreditation fee. The Self-Study Report asks the organization to describe in detail how it operates, including a description of its curriculum, business and leadership structure, planning and operating policies. Applicants must format the resulting report as outlined by the
Fulfill interview and activity surveys with ACCME personnel. All resulting travel expenses incurred by the ACCME during this in-person interviewing and survey process are payable by the applicant organization to the ACCME. Interviews and surveys cannot occur until the Self-Study Report and initial accreditation fee are received by the ACCME. ACCME states on its website that the average travel expenses are around $2000 and are paid above and beyond the $7,500 fee.
Wait for a decision from the ACCME. Application documentation is reviewed three times a year by two separate committees and the final decision about accreditation is ratified by the full ACCME Board of Directors. There are five possible results of the ACCME decision process: provisional accreditation, accreditation, accreditation with commendation, probation and non-accreditation.
Provide any required follow-up reporting the ACCME outlines. Some accreditation results may require the applying organization to provide progress reports or clarifications to the ACCME.
Maintain the accreditation by paying the annual accreditation fee of $3,000 and providing the annual accreditation report. ACCME may also request evidence of continual compliance with its accreditation policies by requesting special reports or other documents.