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 – March 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter. This month’s newsletter includes helpful information and resources surrounding upcoming events, including the ACCME 2021 Meeting and the introductory Joint Accreditation Webinar. Additionally, we’ll share AOE’s result highlights from our recent survey about the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, and helpful reminders and guidelines for the annual reporting requirements for each of the three major boards. We remain committed to keeping our partners up to date on upcoming events, CE in the news, and helpful weekly compliance tips posted on our website. Reach out to us at for any compliance questions or needs that may arise!


CE in the Community: Joint Accreditation

The Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ introductory virtual webinar is quickly approaching. On March 19, participants will explore the concepts behind Joint Accreditation and receive answers to their questions about the Joint Accreditation process, including the value/benefit, the eligibility criteria, the process/timeline, and the actual Joint Accreditation criteria. This experience is specifically designed for any organization considering applying or in the application process for Joint Accreditation.

What is Joint Accreditation?

Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™ (or simply “Joint Accreditation”) offers organizations the opportunity to be accredited simultaneously in multiple disciplines. Through a single application and accreditation process, joint providers can provide CE for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, athletic trainers, dietitians, optometrists, physician assistants, psychologists, and social workers. The stream-lined fee structure, accreditation standards, and application process simplifies CE for providers wishing to award interprofessional continuing education credit (IPCE) in addition to single profession credit. At this time, Joint Accreditation is the first and only process in the world offering this benefit.

Joint Accreditation is built on the belief that IPCE leads to improved health care delivery and, ultimately, better patient outcomes. At its core, IPCE is simply when members from two or more professions collaborate and “learn with, from, and about each other” in the educational design effort.

More information can be found about Joint Accreditation here.


AOE in Action: New Standards Survey Results

Results are in! AOE’s recent survey regarding the ACCME’s new Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited CE found that accredited providers across all categories are in various stages of preparation for the transition to the new Standards. AOE received a total of nearly 100 responses from accredited providers across all provider categories (physician membership organizations, hospitals, medical schools, education companies, etc.), and the aggregated feedback shows the following highlights:

Survey Highlights

  • Nearly half of the respondents indicated they either did not understand or had a mixed understanding regarding how to demonstrate compliance with the new Standard 3 requiring accredited providers to identify, disclose, and “mitigate” relevant financial relationships that individuals in control of content have with “ineligible companies” for the previous 24 months.
  • Approximately 37% of respondents noted moderate-to-significant impact specific to the new Standard 5, which requires some categories of non-accredited education “must not occur within 30 minutes” before or after accredited continuing education at a conference or other activity.
  • More than 70% of survey respondents indicated they were unsure, only somewhat prepared or were unprepared to demonstrate compliance with the new Standards at this time.

AOE is committed to helping organizations navigate the accredited CE space. If you have any questions or are interested in our compliance trainings, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at


Accreditation Board Bulletin

Part of the AOE’s commitment to the accredited CE enterprise is to provide readers with weekly compliance tips and monthly CE community news for ACCME, ANCC and ACPE.


Coming Up Next
Registration is now open for the ACCME 2021 Meeting: Embracing Change. This year’s new addition to the meeting is Working Groups, an optional longitudinal learning component during the weeks prior to the meeting. From April 5-26, individuals who have registered for the ACCME 2021 Meeting can engage with peers through collaboration, resource development, conversations addressing a specific topic, and development of leadership.

Following the spring ACCME 2021 Meeting, the summer will bring the launch of ACCME’s new, improved Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). With the goal of process simplification, the new version of PARS is expected to feature a modernized interface for reporting, along with a host of other improvements and an updated version of CME Finder. More information about the PARS updates can be found here.

Annual Reporting: Final Reminder!
The ACCME's deadline for 2020 year-end reporting is fast approaching: March 31, 2021. As in previous years, data gathered between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 should be entered into the ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). State-accredited providers should check with their specific accreditor for reporting requirements and deadlines.

A full tutorial for annual reporting can be found here.


The first of three 2021 NCPD Accredited Provider Workshops was held last month, on February 10, following the New Provider Workshop on February 9. Upcoming dates for the next two NCPD Accredited Provider Workshops are currently scheduled for June 16 and September 15.

The first workshop encouraged ANCC accredited providers to broaden their knowledge and skills to positively impact their accredited Provider Unit. New topics and categories this year included: breakout sessions for the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, narrative writing tips and tricks, interactive polling, compliance and non-compliance examples, summative evaluation exercises, and discussion surrounding the value of accreditation.

A few key takeaways from this workshop included:    

  • Professional development remains an organization’s backbone; it enables the team to meet strategic goals, mission, vision, and adds organizational value.
  • Outcomes from CPD incurs a sub-effect; the ultimate impact is the patients themselves.
  • Watch out for gaps in quality outcomes that could support the need for future educational initiatives.
  • Improvements can be substantial, but more commonly, it’s the consistent small steps that may add up to the biggest changes.

Annual Reporting: Final Reminder!
Annual reporting is completed via the ANCC Nursing Activity and Reporting System (NARS) and will be due April 1, 2021. All ANCC Accredited Providers are required to submit an annual report to the ANCC inclusive of activity data from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. To access ANCC Annual Reporting Requirements, click here (ANCC notes that there are no major changes from last year’s requirements). Additionally, an FAQ page that includes NARS topics can be found here.


Workshop Recap
Earlier this month, the ACPE staff led a two-day virtual workshop with the goals of helping providers develop a working knowledge of the ACPE accreditation process and the ACPE Standards for CPE and strive for ACPE CPE Commendation criteria. In addition to offering tools and strategies, the ACPE staff created space for ACPE-accredited providers to interact and network with each other through breakout sessions, chat options, and polling.

Over the two days, the span of covered topics included:

  • CPD for CPE Professionals
  • Guidance for all 11 Standards
  • Achieving Commendation
  • Joint Providership/Collaboration
  • ICPE Education

ACPE-accredited providers were also challenged to identify their purpose as a CPE provider by first identifying their learners’ purpose, then brainstorming how to provide a wide variety of opportunities for all levels of learners in a wide variety of areas and formats.

Unique to this workshop, the ACPE assigned exercises for providers to complete prior to the workshop, and then ended the two days with an assessment completed as a group and a reflection period for individuals to reflect on their learning over the two days, and also to identify individual areas needing more growth and education.

Annual Reporting
There is no annual reporting requirement for ACPE.

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • Webinar: Getting Started with Joint Accreditation
    March 19, 2021, Online
  • ACCME 2021 Meeting: Virtual
    April 27-29, 2021, Virtual Live
  • 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 13-16, 2021, Live in Orlando, FL
    January – July, Virtual Learning Labs


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

For Commendation Criteria 23 (IPCE education), do physician assistants count as a separate type of physician?      

Physician assistants are not considered the equivalent of …

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