AOE Compliance Connection

AOE’s monthly newsletter that offers accreditation board bulletins for the ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC, along with updates on the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, highlights of AOE services, and information on upcoming activities and educational opportunities.

AOE Compliance Connection – May 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter. In this month’s newsletter, you can expect “coming soon” information about the ACCME Academy, highlights from two AOE staff member’s experiences at the ACCME 2021 Meeting late last month, and a deeper dive into Standard 2 of the new Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Equipping you and your team remains a high priority for us, and we keep our site up to date with CE in the news updates and helpful weekly compliance tips. As always, reach out to us at!


CE in the Community: ACCME Academy

The ACCME’s long anticipated ACCME Academy is scheduled to open June 1. Designed to be an “educational home for the continuing education (CE) community”, the ACCME Academy will offer accredited providers free access to interactive courses, multimedia, and plentiful resources targeted at enhancing the value of CE.

ACCME AcademyPrimarily, the ACCME Academy will offer courses and curricula that assist providers in designing and delivering accredited education that is engaging and effective. Special focus will exist on areas like faculty development and achieving Accreditation with Commendation. A few additional features that accredited providers can look forward to include: support tools and resources for fulfilling accreditation requirements, using PARS, engaging both clinicians and patients as partners in CE teaching and planning. Additionally, the Academy will create a community for educators to learn from and with one another.

To join, accredited providers can watch their inbox beginning in June for ACCME emails containing three free user accounts and a unique enrollment key. Providers needing more than three accounts can look forward to a subscription model coming in 2022 that allows for more options.

For more information about the ACCME Academy, visit this page.

ACCME Request for Proposals

The ACCME has just issued a request for proposals in order to create a comprehensive review detailing best practices in educational design, to provide implementation recommendations, and to provide tactics for effective strategies in CE for healthcare professionals.

More information can be found in the actual request for proposal, including submission instructions. The deadline for this request is June 11, 2021.


AOE in Action: ACCME Meeting Highlights

Two AOE representatives, Director of Operations Carlye Armstrong and Program Manager Sarah Ryan, PhD, attended the ACCME 2021 Meeting in April and brought back insights, information, and new knowledge to share with AOE’s partners. Here is a brief summary of what was covered in many different sessions:

Embracing Change

  • The CME space has rapidly changed to adapt to the pandemic, addressing challenges like working remotely, staff change, resource constraints, and virtual education.
  • PARS-reported data trend: Internet live courses increased by 370%, while live courses decreased by 58%.
  • The future of CME includes: Better clinician education about crisis management, flexible learning on digital forums, the removal of mental health stigmas, diversity and equity as core values.

Focus Groups

  • Qualitative data from focus groups can answer many “why” questions to generate hypotheses and develop ideas.
  • Technology can be beta-tested with a focus group.
  • Focus groups work best with 3-12 individuals and a moderator to move the conversation forward.

Reflecting on the New Standards

  • Global standards are more important now that healthcare has become interprofessional/interdisciplinary.
  • Aligning the standards collectively gains the trust of the clinical community.
  • A unified tool makes the purpose clear to the end user.

Understanding Addiction Stigma

  • Addiction management/training is often as stigmatized as addiction itself.
  • Suggestion for providers: Use individuals with lived experience in accredited CE planning and presenting.
  • Patients should be educated on how to give constructive feedback to clinicians, and likewise, clinicians need to be educated on how to receive feedback.
  • Substance use disorders can affect anyone and do affect every aspect of the healthcare team.
  • Overdose deaths disproportionately affect Black individuals in the US, and within the past three years overdose for Black and Hispanic individuals surpassed White individuals.

Comparing Effectiveness of In-Person and Virtual Conferences

  • False assumption: In-person education is associated with higher engagement; virtual education is more passive.
  • The design of the activity is key: They can be equally engaging!
  • The key missing component in virtual education: Social engagement.

As a contributor and active participant in the CE/CME community, AOE is happy to attend conferences and other CE/CME events and bring back new information to share with our partners. Keeping you and your team up to date is just one of the many services we provide!


New Standards: A Deeper Dive (Part 2)

The Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education were released in December 2020, officially replacing the established Standards for Commercial Support. As all providers will be required to comply with the new Standards by January 1, 2022, now is an advantageous time for a deep dive into each of the 5 new Standards. AOE is poised to help your organization make this transition and train your team in achieving (and documenting) compliance with the new Standards – connect with us to find out more. As part of that service, over the next few months, AOE is featuring one standard per newsletter, to offer readers insight and tools beyond a surface level.

The second of the 5 Standards, Standard 2 pertains to the prevention of commercial bias and marketing. “Accredited continuing education must protect learners from commercial bias and marketing.”

The various components of the standard flesh out the content validity requirements for compliant providers:

  1. The accredited provider must ensure that all decisions related to the planning, faculty selection, delivery, and evaluation of accredited education are made without any influence or involvement from the owners and employees of an ineligible company.
  2. Accredited education must be free of marketing or sales of products or services. Faculty must not actively promote or sell products or services that serve their professional or financial interests during accredited education.
  3. The accredited provider must not share the names or contact information of learners with any ineligible company or its agents without the explicit consent of the individual learner.

The ACCME clarifies the phrase “explicit consent of the learner” by stating that the accredited provider is expected to explain to learners that the provider intends to share their information with an ineligible company. This can be done at registration, as long as the learner has the option to “opt out” and still register for the CE activity. The consent statement must be clearly visible, not hidden in a long list of terms.

More information about the new Standards can be found here.

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • ANCC New Applicant Workshop 
    June 15, 2021, Virtual Live
  • ANCC Accredited Provider Workshop
    June 16, 2021, Virtual Live
  • TACME: Texas CME Conference
    June 17-19, 2021, San Antonio, TX
  • Alliance Experience: Alliance Connect
    July 14-17, 2021, Live in Orlando, FL
    January – July, Virtual Learning Labs
  • AAMSE Annual Conference: Virtual
    July 21-23, 2021, Scottsdale, AZ


CME Watch

AOE’s video blog that provides updates on the CME/CE industry. AOE’s Managing Director Annika Borvansky gives insights on CME/CE current events and best practices.

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Weekly Compliance Tip

Should we be collecting financial disclosure on an annual basis or at the time of the activity creation?

The ACCME leaves some choices up to the provider such as…

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