ACCME Releases Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) recently announced a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. Accreditation with Commendation is the ACCME’s mechanism for recognizing and celebrating organizations that excel as CME providers.

New Menu

This newly evolved criteria reflect the values, principles, and aspirations that the community of educators shared with us over the past several years. The new criteria incorporate recommendations from a diverse range of stakeholders about how to advance CME’s role in the changing health environment and leverage the power of education to improve healthcare.

The goal of the ACCME is to encourage and reward accredited CME providers for implementing best practices in pedagogy, engagement, evaluation, and change management, and for focusing on generating meaningful outcomes. The new criteria are designed to serve as a guidepost for the future of CME. ACCME aims to recognize the achievements of organizations that “advance interprofessional collaborative practice, address public health priorities, create behavioral change, show leadership, leverage educational technology, and demonstrate the impact of education on healthcare professionals and patients.”

ACCME requested feedback from the community and this this final version of the Menu is based on much of the extensive feedback received, and is designed to be both achievable and meaningful. As with the existing commendation criteria 16–22, compliance with the new commendation criteria is optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation. To be eligible for Accreditation with Commendation, providers will have to demonstrate compliance with any seven criteria of their choice (from any category) plus one criterion from the Achieves Outcomes category – for a total of eight criteria.

Transition Phase

There will be a transition phase during with accredited CME providers that choose to aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation will have the option of demonstrating compliance with all of the current commendation criteria (C16-22) or the new commendation criteria menu (C23-C38). This phase will apply to providers that will receive accreditation decisions between November 2017 and November 2019.

Need Help?

The ACCME is committed to doing everything they can to support the CME community’s successful adoption of the new criteria and the evolution of providers’ educational strategies to reflect best practices. More information on the menu structure, implementation timeline, and transition phase can be found here. In the coming weeks and months, the ACCME will deliver additional educational resources and training for stakeholders, including Recognized Accreditors, accredited CME providers, and volunteers.


For those interested in learning more about the ACCME’s Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, the ACCME is hosting a webinar on October 13, 2016, from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST. During that webinar, the ACCME will share information and insights on the criteria, as well as answer questions about the logistics of the new commendation criteria.

The webinar is open to all accredited providers in the ACCME system, as well as other stakeholders who may be participating in this process.

There will be time to ask questions live during the meeting, but it is also encouraged to submit them ahead of time here.

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