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 – January 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the first 2019 edition of AOE Compliance Connection, AOE’s monthly newsletter.  As the new year kicks off, we look forward to helping you and your team begin the year well!  In this month’s newsletter, we feature the newest MOC and ACCME collaboration, tips and tricks for conducting an Annual CME/CE Program Review, and board updates from the ACCME, ACPE and ANCC.  

Visit AOE at booth #618 at the 44th Annual Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions conference in National Harbor, MD, from January 23-26.  We’d love to connect with you in person!

For more information about the conference, click here.


Tips and Tricks: Annual Program Review

Annual Program Review

As a best practice, it is recommended that CME/CE providers conduct an annual CME/CE program review inclusive of the following elements: review of activity evaluation data, mission statement analysis and consideration of strengths and areas of improvement moving forward. An annual CME/CE program review ensures that a CME/CE provider has an accurate picture of its program in terms of meeting its CME/CE mission and can help identify practices to continue or end.  It is a great opportunity to pause, reflect and strategize how to effectively move forward. 

The annual program review may take place at any time, though most providers choose the end or beginning of the next year. Individuals to involve in the program review vary by providers but typically include the CME/CE provider unit staff and members of the Education Committee, if applicable. 

To prepare for the review, activity evaluation data should be summarized. Providers may choose to look at all activities within the program year or select a sample of activities. The aggregate evaluation data is one of the main drivers in leading the program analysis. To guide the discussion, high-level observations may be prepared in advance such as whether activities demonstrated improvements in learners’ competence (skill) and/or performance (practice), if applicable, or if activities were free from commercial bias. It may also be helpful to send the summarized data to individuals in advance so they can come prepared with their own observations, comments or feedback.

Below is a sample agenda and structure to help facilitate a program review:

  1. Program Data Summary: Take time to review the aggregate activity evaluation data and note any trends. Pay particular attention to whether activities resulted in changes to learners’ competence (skill) and/or performance (practice), if applicable. 
  1. Mission Statement Analysis: Based on the evaluation data reviewed and other program components such as activity topics and program priorities, determine whether the CME/CE mission statement has been fulfilled and whether any changes to the mission statement are necessary. Ensure that the mission statement remains effective in guiding the organization’s program. 
  1. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT): Take time to engage in a brief SWOT analysis considering the program strengths and weaknesses as well as any future opportunities or threats to the program.  
  1. Areas of Improvement: Discuss any areas of improvement to focus on during the next program year. 

A CME/CE program analysis doesn’t need to be lengthy or cumbersome. Keep it high-level and focus on a few actionable next steps to achieve your organization’s mission over the course of the next program year.  

If your CME/CE program would like additional guidance on facilitating an annual program review, please contact us at or call us at (303) 557-0859.


MOC Resources and Updates

Late in 2018, the ACCME announced its sixth MOC collaboration.  The newest board to step into this partnership is the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO).  

Currently, collaborations exist between the ACCME and the following five member boards:  The American Board of Pathology (ABPath), the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS), and the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).  

As with the existing five board collaborations, the ABO collaboration is designed to increase both the diversity and the number of accredited CME opportunities that meet the requirements for ABO MOC.  Additionally, the collaboration will streamline the MOC process for both providers and ophthalmologists.  

Effective immediately, all accredited CME providers in the ACCME system can register their activities in PARS for ABO MOC credit, and physicians can use the ACCME’s CME Finder to browse and locate activities registered for ABO MOC credit.  

For more information about the ABO MOC program requirements or ACCME collaboration, visit the webpage dedicated to the new collaboration.


Accreditation Board Bulletin

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


Each year, ACCME accredited providers must submit their data into the ACCME's Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS); this year’s data submission deadline is April 1, 2019 and should include activity data from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.  

Organizations accredited through state medical societies should check with their accreditor for specific reporting requirements. Organizations that offers CME for MOC or REMS will be asked for additional data pertaining to those specific activities in PARS.  For more information, see CME that Counts for MOC or CME in Support of REMS. 

There are a few simple steps involved in submitting your organization’s data to the ACCME via PARS:  

Step 1: Contact Information - Confirm/update your organizations contact information in the "Profile" tab.

Step 2: Upload Data – Find out what data is required by the ACCME, then upload through PARS or via a batch upload, tab-delimited upload, or using web services.  

Step 3: Close Activities – Confirm reporting year, complete upload, and that all activities appear under the “Closed” tab.  

Step 4: Program Summary – Enter commercial support fields (advertising income, registration fees, monetary grants, private donations) manually, and fill all blank fields with a “0”.  

Step 5: Attestation – Confirm information entered and attest to its accuracy in the “Program Summary” tab.  

The ACCME has plentiful resources for providers who would like more help with annual reporting or additional resources.

As an additional reminder, the ACCME sent annual fee invoices via mail in December 2018.  The deadline to complete payment is January 31, 2019.


The ANCC’s annual report deadline is April 1, 2019 and should include activity data from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.  

If annual reporting has not been completed by the April 1 deadline, the provider will not be considered “in good standing” and will be at risk of additional fees and/or suspension.

As of 2018, annual reporting is now completed entirely through the Nursing Activity Reporting System (NARS).  The ANCC has developed resources, tips and FAQs to aid in the process of successful completion and submission, which can be found in detail at this link.

Basic Reporting Requirements:

  1. Activity name and date
  2. Target audience
  3. Total number of participants and registered nurses
  4. Number of contact hours (nursing credits) offered upon activity completion
  5. Directly/Jointly provided
  6. Commercial support received

Accredited Providers are only required to report the above information required by the ANCC, as there are additional optional fields available.  This activity data can be submitted individually through the web interface, or via batch upload.

The ANCC offers a handful of resources to guide Accredited Providers through this process, including a NARS User Manual a NARS FAQs page, a dedicated NARS Webinar, a page containing both Batch Uploading Instructions and a Batch Uploading Template.  

As an additional reminder, ANCC Accredited Providers will be billed in January for their annual fee, with invoices e-mailed directly from a Primary Accreditation program staff member.  The deadline to complete payment is within 30 days of receiving the invoice.


One of the most useful features of the latest ACPE webpage design is the webinar page.  In addition to webinars dedicated to ACPE Policies and Procedures and Self-Assessment Preparation, they have individual webinar for each of the 12 Standards:

Standard 1 – Goal and Mission of the CPE Program
Standard 2 – Educational Needs Assessment
Standards 3 and 4 – Activities and Objectives
Standard 5 – Standards for Commercial Support
Standards 6 – 8 – Delivery of CPE Activities
Standards 9 and 10 – Assessment and Feedback
Standard 11 – Evaluation of CPE Activities
Standard 12 –  Achievement and Impact of Goals

ACPE accredited providers can log in to access the material, and other providers can gain access by paying a fee for each webinar.

Upcoming Activities/Education Opportunities

  • 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
  • 2019 SACME Annual Meeting
    February 26 – March 1, 2019, Charleston, SC
  • CNE Symposium
    April 23-24, 2019, Lake Buena Vista, FL
  • ANCC Pathway to Excellence Conference
    April 24-26, 2019, Orlando, FL
  • ACCME 2019 Meeting
    April 30-May 2, 2019, Chicago, IL


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

How do we calculate our CME program size to determine where we fit in the Menu of Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation?  Do we include jointly provided activities as well?     

Each organization needs to calculate the…

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