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 – September 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the September ‘19 edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter. This month, we have been gathering the news from the three major accreditation boards, ACCME, ACPE and ANCC, to share with you, along with some helpful guidelines about conducting a CME Program Review! As always, we aim for excellence as we continue to serve you and your CME/CE team on many platforms.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated and view our weekly compliance tip. While you’re there, visit to see what’s all available.  We are here to help!


CME Program Review: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Accredited providers have several opportunities to assess their CME/CE programs including reaccreditation, periodic CME/CE program reviews and routine updates to policies, procedures and forms. Assessment of a provider’s CME/CE program, helps ensure potential accreditation board updates and pertinent information is appropriately incorporated into official processes and that forms reflect the most current practices.

The reality is that many accredited organizations can have blind spots. The common adage is “You don’t know what you don’t know.” An external CME/CE program review, which is one of AOE’s service offerings, can benchmark a provider’s CME/CE program, providing insight regarding needed changes to bring a program back into compliance or changes that could enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the CME/CE program.

If an external CME/CE program review isn’t feasible or doesn’t make sense for your organization, and you plan to conduct an internal program audit, AOE recommends the following:

Review of Policies, Procedures and Forms: Review all CME/CE policies, procedures and forms against the criteria, standards of policies to ensure that the CME/CE program reflects the most up-to-date requirements. Ensure that all stakeholders have access to and are utilizing the current policies and procedures and associated templates and forms.

Common Compliance Issues: ACCME accredited providers should visit the ACCME website for “Common Compliance Issues.” This webpage provides a list of the most common compliance issues identified by the ACCME.

CME/CE Program Data: Take time to review aggregate activity evaluation data and note any trends. Pay particular attention to whether activities resulted in changes to learners’ competence and/or performance, if applicable.

Strategic Priorities: Take time to engage in a brief SWOT analysis considering the CME/CE program strengths and weaknesses as well as any future opportunities or threats to the program.

Professional Development: Consider engaging in professional development – whether attending an accreditation board Annual Meeting, the annual Alliance meeting or participating in online webinars.

If you are interested in an external CME program audit, please contact AOE Consulting at


ACCME 2020: Save the Date

Last week, the ACCME announced the date and location for their annual Spring meeting. The ACCME 2020 Meeting will take place from May 6-8, 2020, at the Hilton Chicago. While formal registration won’t open until this Fall, the invitation to contribute has already begun.

The ACCME requested that attendees submit proposals by September 13 in any of the following categories:

Last year’s meeting included a record-breaking attendance of 625 CME/CE leaders & stakeholders from 448 healthcare-focused organizations in 48 states and 7 countries.

“Spring Forward” was the overall theme of the ACCME 2019 Meeting, and attendees were offered 72 breakout session options, daily plenary sessions, a Public Health Fair, Health Professions Open House, Homeroom Groups, and the ACCME’s first ever Research Exchange session.


Accreditation Board Bulletin

Part of the service AOE provides to readers are weekly compliance tips and monthly CME/CE community news for ACCME, ANCC and ACPE.


Collecting disclosure of all relevant financial relationships from those individuals who are in a position to control CME content can pose challenges, involving constant reminders, e-mails, phone calls, and frustration in general. As the ACCME allows a variety of methods to be used to collect disclosure, your organization can find the one(s) that work best for your needs/activity. The three predominant ways to collect disclosure of all relevant financial relationships are: Manually, Verbally or Electronically.

First, providers can utilize a physical disclosure form to gather information about relevant financial relationships. This can be a paper form that the individual completes manually or one that is sent to them electronically, via e-mail. When using this method, be sure to save all collected disclosures in a central, easily accessible location.

Second, verbal disclosure collection is an option. The CME Provider Unit may collect the information verbally from the individual in control of content and document it in a spreadsheet, table, database, etc.

Third, and lastly, electronic disclosure collection is an option for providers. This can be completed in a variety of ways: e-mail, web-based form, or database. There are many electronic survey tools, spreadsheets, smartsheets, etc. available; these provide a convenient way to collect disclosure information from all individuals influencing CME content, while also providing download of the data for documentation in your  activity files.

Select the method(s) that work best for your organization!  You can implement any method that best suits your organizational needs.


The ANCC Commission on Accreditation in Nursing Continuing Professional Development recently completed a review of the ANCC 2015 Accreditation Criteria and published a number of revisions to the criteria and requirements for ANCC accredited providers.

The approved revisions to the criteria are as follows:

  • Demographics: Executive summary or statement and/or high-level strategic summary of the Provider Unit.  This may include the overall description on the function of the unit, the mission related to CNE offerings, highlighting the impact that the unit has on learners. Note: Providers are no longer required to include whether the organization is a multi-focused organization. (1000-word limit).
  • Organizational Overview: OO3a and OO3b have been removed; OO4a and OO4b have been removed, however, they have been integrated into the Quality Outcomes criteria, QO2 and QO3 respectively.
  • Educational Design Process: EDP7 has been moved to EDP3, and the sequential numbering has been updated.

The approved revisions impacting the immediate process of Provider Units are as follows:

  • Contact Hours: Contact Hours may now be rounded to the nearest quarter hour. For example, 2.76 hours will be 2.75 hours.
  • Accreditation Statements:
    • “<Name of Accredited Provider> is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.” – Accredited Provider Statement
    • “<Name of Organization/Accredited Provider> is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.” – Accredited Provider with Distinction

The revisions may be implemented immediately with full implementation required by January 6, 2020. The ANCC will be providing updated templates in November 2020, with the updated manual expected to be published in the first quarter of 2020. Given the difficulties that may ensue regarding updating accreditation statement on existing materials, leeway has been given to allow full implementation of the updated accreditation statement on all materials by no later than January 1, 2021.


Last month, the ACPE Board of Directors announced that Janet P. Engle, PharmD, PhD (Hon), FAPhA, FCCP, FNAP will assume the role of Executive Director. The previous Executive Director, Peter H. Vlasses, PharmD, DSc (Hon.), FCCP, retired on June 30, 2019 after 20 years in the role.

Prior to this position with the ACPE, Dr. Engle worked as the Senior Associate Dean for Professional and International Affairs and Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. Her long history in the field of pharmacy uniquely qualifies her for this new position in which she will oversee leadership of the organization as a whole, budget development, collaborations, the strategic elements of the organization’s operations.

In their recent press release, the ACPE states the following about Dr. Engle: “Dr. Engle is a highly accomplished and widely recognized leader within the profession, serving as president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), as a member of the Board of Directors for the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS), and as a former voting member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee. Dr. Engle has been named as a Fellow for both APhA and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and was elected as a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice in Pharmacy. Within ACPE, Dr. Engle has engaged as an ACPE Site Team Evaluator for 27 years and was a member of the International Commission (IC) during the last seven years, including serving as the Chair.”

Dr. Engle will assume the new role in September 2019.

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • Professional Degree Program Evaluator Training Workshop
    September 19-20, 2019, Chicago, IL
  • Beginner CME for MOC: Ask Your Questions Webinar
    September 24, 2019, Online
  • ANCC National Magnet Conference
    October 10-12, 2019, Orlando, FL
  • Advanced CME for MOC: Ask Your Questions Webinar
    November 19, 2019, Online
  • CPE Accreditation Commission Meeting
    November 19-21, 2019, Chicago, IL
  • 2019 MAACME 9th Annual Conference
    November 20-21, 2019, Harrisburg, PA


CME Watch

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

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Weekly Compliance Tip

During the planning process, when should I register my activity for MOC? 

The ACCME encourages providers to register their…

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