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 – November 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter. As the end of the year quickly approaches, we are prepared to help you and your team end the year well. In this month’s newsletter, we feature CME/CE Staff Training, MOC updates, and board updates from the ACCME, ACPE and ANCC. We are determined to help you achieve compliance and success in all your CME/CE endeavors.

Connect with us on social media to stay current with our weekly Compliance Tips – we are partway through a series of Commendation Criteria tips where we address each criterion from the new Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation from the ACCME. You can follow the series on Twitter, Facebook, or find the Compliance Tip series on our webpage as well.


AOE Service Offering: CME/CE Staff Training

The end of the year is a great time to think about professional development for CME/CE program staff for the upcoming year. Outlining a professional development plan is beneficial for several reasons. Foremost, professional development ensures that your CME/CE program staff are up-to-date on accreditation board changes and/or clarifications and well equipped to evolve in their role. Further, carving out time for professional development demonstrates an organization’s investment in staff and their continuous improvement. Developing a plan now can also ensure funds are budgeted appropriately for professional development (e.g. conferences or workshops). Lastly, mapping out and fulfilling a professional development plan can help your CME program meet Criterion 34 of the Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. This criterion states that, “the provider supports the continuous professional development of its CME team.”

To fulfill the Critical Elements of this criterion, a provider must:

  • Create a CME-related continuous professional development plan for all members of its CME team
  • Develop the plan based on a needs assessment of the team
  • Incorporate external professional development activities
  • Dedicate time and resources for the CME team to engage in the plan

To meet the needs of accredited providers, one of AOE’s service offerings is Customized CME/CE Compliance Training. This includes, but is not limited to, training on the ACCME Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support and the Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation, training specific to faculty management, efficiency in CME/CE planning, outcomes measurement and the Physician Payment Sunshine Act as well as other trainings tailored to meet an organization’s individual needs. Such trainings can be beneficial for newly on-boarded staff or staff who simply need a refresher. Training can also be beneficial for all staff members when it comes to accreditation board clarifications and updates. AOE can also benchmark an organization’s processes against best practices. Some questions to consider if you are looking for customized CME/CE compliance training include: What kind of specific compliance training are you looking for? Is there a specific area of program improvement that you are trying to address?

Currently, many providers are discovering the need to make programmatic changes in order to meet the new Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation. Training on the new Commendation Criteria is a great first step.

If your CME/CE program is considering future professional development opportunities and would like to learn more about AOE’s Customized CME/CE Compliance Trainings please contact us at or call us at (303) 557-0859.


MOC Resources and Updates

As the number of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) board collaborations increase, so do the resources available to providers. The ACCME’s newest MOC webinar, Advanced CME for MOC: Ask Your Questions Webinar, takes place today, November 13, 2018, at 2pm CST. It is designed for any provider who has already planned and offered CME for MOC, and has further questions.

Additionally, MOC providers should be aware of the upcoming end-of-year learner completion data deadlines. The ACCME encourages providers to submit this data as soon as possible after the completion of an activity, but they also set annual end-of-year deadlines. Many physicians have MOC requirements by the end of each year, and these deadlines help learners meet those goals. The deadlines vary slightly depending on the board collaboration in question:

  • American Board of Pediatrics (ABP): December 1, 2018 is the deadline to submit all learner completion data for CME that counts for ABP MOC. ABP requires submission within 30 days of activity completion year round, so any activities taking place after December 1 should be uploaded immediately.
  • American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), American Board of Pathology (ABPath): For these three boards, the deadline is December 31, 2018 for learner completion data upload.

While a collaborating between the ACCME and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS) is in place, the ACCME has not yet published the learner completion data submission deadline for this board.

For more MOC-related information, click here.


Accreditation Board Bulletin

Part of the service AOE provides to readers are weekly compliance tips and monthly CME community news for each of the three key boards.


Interested in taking advantage of ACCME data?

The ACCME envisions “a world where our community of educators supports clinicians in delivering optimal healthcare for all” as evidenced by the new vision statement featured in their Strategic Plan 2018-2021. True to this concept of mutual support, the ACCME is offering access to insightful data that has been collected throughout the year for appropriate CME research.

Every year the ACCME collects data from accredited providers and publishes a data report. This year, an additional option has been added: access to the actual (anonymized) data for CME research. The data will support research that seeks to evaluate CME effectiveness and recognize best practices, amongst other areas of interest. The data available will be confidential and strictly anonymous; the application for data access contains the confidentiality details, and more.

Any researcher can apply to access the data by completing this fillable PDF form and submitting it to the ACCME along with current CV for the lead researcher and local Internal Review Board approval or exemption for review. The form must be completed in its entirety; incomplete forms will be rejected. For submission or questions please email


With each application cycle, ANCC accredited providers have the opportunity to demonstrate the impact their Provider Unit makes on continuing education that is team-based or interprofessional through the emphasis on unit structure, process, and quality outcomes. In some cases, the ANCC Commission on Accreditation (COA), which is responsible for the accreditation decision, will award Accreditation with Distinction to organizations that show “exemplary and innovative practice in the domains of structural capacity, educational design process, and quality outcomes.” As a result of feedback and recommendations from the ANCC community, the COA has evaluated and restructured the Accreditation with Distinction process. The idea is to provide an opportunity for all accredited organizations to implement a plan to achieve distinction. The following criteria have been developed to identify eligibility for compliance with Accreditation with Distinction status.

In order to meet the criteria for Accreditation with Distinction, organizations must:

  • Be in good standing with the ANCC and demonstrate full compliance with all eligibility requirement to apply for accreditation/reaccreditation.
  • Demonstrate full compliance according to the 2015 ANCC Primary Accreditation criteria, in Structural Capacity, Educational Design Process, and Quality Outcomes; as well as design, implementation, and evaluation of educational activities.
  • Have no deficits that lead to the requirement of submission of a progress report.
  • Demonstrate and/or achieve and provide evidence addressing criteria for Accreditation with Distinction with the following:
    • One or more criterion in Structural Capacity
    • Two or more criteria in Educational Design Process
    • Three criteria in Quality Outcomes

With the proposal for modification, the ANCC recently requested that accredited providers and stakeholders participate in a survey to collect feedback. According to ANCC correspondence, the comment forum closed October 31st, 2018 and the results will be compiled and analyzed by authorized ANCC staff.


When an ACPE-accredited provider enters a new activity into the Provider Web Tool (PWT), the activity is assigned a Universal Activity Number (UAN) unique to that specific provider and activity. This number is comprised of seven different components. Understanding these components will make interpreting the UAN numbers easier for providers.

As outlined in the ACPE Policies and Procedures Manual, in this order, the components of each UAN number are:

  1. The ACPE Provider identification number of the provider responsible for issuing statements of credit and updating the ACPE activity database (i.e. 0276)
  2. The joint provider designation number (9999 for all joint providers, 0000 for no joint provider)
  3. The year of program/activity development (i.e. 18)
  4. The sequential number of the CPE activity from among the new CPE activities developed that year (i.e. 001, 002)
  5. The format designation (L – live activities, H – home study, B – Practice-based activities that contain both)
  6. Topic designators
    1. 01: Disease/Drug Therapy Related
    2. 02: HIV/AIDS Therapy Related
    3. 03: Law
    4. 04: General Pharmacy Topics
    5. 05: Patient Safety
    6. 06: Immunizations
    7. 07: Compounding
  7. Target audience designator: “P” if the target audience is pharmacists, and “T” if the target audience is pharmacy technicians. If both group are in the target audience, two unique UANs are issued for that activity, one with a “P” and one with a “T”.

Using the examples from the seven categories above, a hypothetical UAN would be: 0276-9999-18-002-L06-P.

More information on UAN numbers can be found in Policy 9d of Policies and Procedures Manual: A Guide for ACPE-accredited Providers.

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • Advanced CME for MOC: Ask Your Questions Webinar
    November 13, 2018
  • MAACME 2018 Annual Conference
    November 14-15, 2018
  • Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) Annual Meeting
    November 16-17, 2018, Arlington, Virginia
  • 2nd European Faculty Development Workshop (ACPE)
    November 16-18, 2018, Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Alliance 2019 Annual Conference
    January 23-26, 2019, National Harbor, MD
  • ANCC Primary Accreditation New Applicant Workshop
    February 20, 2019, Silver Spring, MD
  • ANCC Primary Accreditation Accredited Provider Workshop
    February 21, 2019, Silver Spring, MD


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

To comply with Criterion 34, does the continuous professional development for our CME team have to be directly related to CME?  

Not necessarily.  If your CME team includes…

More >


Phone: (303) 557-0859
AOE Consulting, LLC
8156-E S. Wadsworth Blvd.
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Littleton, CO 80128