American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Tips for the Application Process

There are two steps involved in applying for accreditation for your educational activities: completion of the CME Activity Form and the CME Application.

Step 1: CME Activity Form

Complete this via the CME Platform before the planning of your educational activity begins

The CME Activity Form requests basic information about the educational activity for which you will be seeking CME credit, including the tentative start date, activity type, name, and so on.

Tips:

  • The navigation menu on the left side of the page is dynamic, highlighting the section you are currently on of the CME Activity Form. Clicking on the other section headings will navigate you to the corresponding sections on the CME Activity Form webpage.
  • On the navigation menu, selecting “Share Application” will allow you to share the in-progress CME Activity Form with another individual, by adding their email address. The individual will receive an email notifying them that the CME Activity Form has been shared, with instructions on how to access it. Please note that the sharing feature is only available prior to submission of the CME Activity Form.
  • Selecting “Save as Draft” on the navigation menu allows you to save all the information on the page and return to edit it at a later time without losing your progress on the CME Activity Form. Please note that saving the draft does not submit the information to the CPDA Section for review (this is only done when the “Submit CME Activity” button at the bottom of the page is selected).
  • Clicking on “Tutorial Video” will open a new window that directs you to the page on YouTube where instructional videos related to each step of the CME Process are available. These provide step-by-step instructions for each requirement, including the CME Activity Form.

Tips 1

  • When selecting which activity type best applies to your educational offering, click on the question mark (?) icon at the end of the prompt “What kind of educational activity are you applying for?” to load a list of types and definitions:

Tips 2

  • The CME Activity Form is programmed to be interactive, with questions displaying depending on Applicant responses to various prompts. For example, subsequent fields appear depending on the activity type selected, as described in the previous bullet.
  • If you may be seeking commercial funding from commercial companies for your educational activity, consult the CPDA Section’s Resources page for more guidance on both commercial promotion and commercial support. If you indicate that you will be seeking one or both types of funding on this page, you will be prompted to upload the documentation that will be used to solicit funding. Please note: the CPDA Section must review and approve all documents related to commercial/support/promotion prior to distribution. If these are still in development and not yet finalized at the time of submitting the CME Activity Form, you will have the opportunity to upload them as part of the next step, the CME Application.
  • Download the linked Disclosure Form template at the bottom of the page, prior to submitting the CME Activity Form. You will be required to collect a completed Disclosure Form from each individual involved in the planning process (i.e. planning/editorial committee members). These forms must be signed, dated, and collected from all planners prior to the start of the planning process. All planner Disclosure Forms are due to the CPDA Section as part of the CME Application, the next step in the CME process, required at least 3 months prior to the start of the educational activity. More information regarding disclosures can be found under the Resources section of the CME Platform.

Tips 9

  • When all edits are complete, please indicate that you are ready for the CPDA Section to review the CME Activity Form by selecting the “Submit CME Activity” button at the bottom of the page.
  • Please allow up to 5 business days for the CPDA Section to review your submission. If all information is complete, you will then receive an email confirmation releasing the CME Application in the CME Platform, the final step required in order to officially apply for accreditation with the ACS. This email will include access instructions and deadlines related to the CME Application. If more information is needed, the CPDA Section will also send an email with feedback that needs to be addressed. You can view and resolve that feedback by following the steps on pages 5-8 of the ACS CME Platform Instructions.

Step 2: CME Application

Complete this via the CME Platform, at least 3 months prior to your educational activity

The CME Application requests detailed information about your educational activity, including a gap analysis, explanation about educational formats, learning objectives, amount/type of requested credit, and so on.

Tips:

  • Use the CME Application to guide the planning of your educational activity. Each question is designed to ensure a thoughtful analysis of why topics, speakers, format, etc. were selected to convey the selected information to learners and may be helpful when formulating your content and method of delivery.
  • Recruit members of your planning group (i.e. planning/editorial committee chairs) to assist with the completion of the CME Application. Many prompts can be best answered with assistance from the medical professional subject matter experts that are involved in the development of the activity.
  • Use the “Share Application” feature (in the navigation menu on the left side of the page) to provide these individuals (or others) with access to the in-progress CME Application. After you enter their email addresses, the individuals will receive an email notifying them that they have access to the CME Application, with relevant instructions. Please note that the sharing feature is only available prior to submission of the CME Application.
  • Selecting “Save as Draft” on the navigator menu allows you to save all the information on the page and return to edit it at a later time without losing your progress on the CME Application. Remind those who have access to the shared Application to use the “Save as Draft” button when their edits are complete, rather than using the “Submit Application” button at the bottom of the page.

Tip 3

  • Consult the CPDA Section’s Practice Gaps Guidelines available on the Resources page when responding to the prompts “What are the practice or patient care problems being addressed by this activity (ACCME C2)” and “Why do these issues exist?...” on the CME Application.
  • Refer to the Writing Learning Objectives document under the CPDA Resources section when providing learning objectives on the CME Application, in order to ensure you are using measurable verbs.
  • If you add entries to the schedule portion that need to be altered, click on either the pencil icon (to edit existing entries) or the trash can icon (to delete entries) next to the corresponding lines to make the necessary changes. Note: Depending on the size of your browser window/computer screen, you may have to scroll to the right in the schedule window, in order to see these options.

Tip 4

  • For poster/paper/abstract presentation sessions, rather than creating an entry in the schedule for each presentation, please simply add an entry for the entire block of presentations (i.e. “Resident Paper Competition: 1:00pm-3:00pm”). Optional: If you have the full list of presentations and presenters available at this stage, you can add it as an attachment under the “Other Documentation” portion, at the bottom of the page.

Tip 5

  • For schedule entries with multiple speakers and authors, instead of listing each individual, please include the text “Multiple Speakers” in the speaker name field. Optional: If you have the full listing of speakers assigned to all sessions, you can add it as an attachment under the “Other Documentation” portion, at the bottom of the page.

Tip 6

  • Similarly, if you have yet to determine a speaker/presenter/moderator for a given session, you may enter “TBD” in the speaker name field in the schedule section.
  • Please note that business meetings are not eligible for CME credit. Presidential Addresses may be eligible, if the topic will be scientific or educational in nature. If requesting credit for a Presidential Address, please include the topic in the schedule, or note that it will be comprised of scientific/educational content, if the topic has not yet been determined.
  • If you need to access the template of the Disclosure Form, it is available on the CME Application step (in addition to the first step, the CME Activity Form, discussed previously). As s a reminder, you must collect a completed Disclosure Form from each individual involved in the planning process (i.e. planning/editorial committee members). These forms must be signed, dated, and collected from all planners prior to the start of the planning process. All planner Disclosure Forms must be uploaded and submitted with the CME Application. More information regarding disclosures can be found under the Resources section of the CME Platform.

Tip 7

  • When all edits are complete and you are ready for the CPDA Section to review the Application, select the “Submit Application” button at the bottom of the page.

Tip 8

  • Please allow up to 5 business days for the CPDA Section to review your submission. If more information is needed, the CPDA Section will also send an email with feedback that needs to be addressed. You can view and resolve that feedback by following the steps on pages 5-8 of the ACS CME Platform Instructions.

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