ACCME and EBAC establish mutual substantial equivalency

Accreditation Council for CME and European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology Establish Mutual Substantial Equivalency

Accreditors Collaborate to Advance Continuing Medical Education in Europe and US

Chicago, IL, US; Koeln, Germany | May 31, 2016

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) and the European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology (EBAC) have recognized each other’s accreditation systems as substantially equivalent. This is the first mutual recognition of substantial equivalency between the ACCME and a continuing medical education (CME) accreditation system in Europe.

Substantial equivalency is a relationship between CME accreditors based on shared principles and values, while recognizing and accepting differences. The purpose of substantial equivalency is to foster international collaboration among CME accreditors, facilitate continuous improvement in accreditation, expand opportunities for physicians and teams to participate in high-quality CME around the world, and promote education that contributes to healthcare improvement for patients and their communities.

To achieve this mutual recognition, the ACCME and EBAC completed a rigorous evaluation process, demonstrating that their accreditation standards advance high quality, effective CME. In both accreditation systems, CME providers are required to base their education on needs assessment, measure the effectiveness of their educational activities, design educational content that meets accepted standards of scientific integrity, and ensure that education is free of commercial bias and influence. The ACCME and EBAC maintain accreditation decision-making processes that are fair, consistent, and objective.

As a result of the recognition of the ACCME’s system by EBAC, EBAC will recognize certificates obtained by European physicians who attend cardiovascular medicine activities offered by US providers accredited within the ACCME System. Those physicians would submit evidence of their participation in accredited CME offered by US CME providers directly to EBAC in order to have EBAC credit awarded.

From left: Kate Regnier, MA, MBA, Executive Vice President, ACCME; Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME; Prof. Reinhard Griebenow, MD, PhD, Chairman, EBAC Advisory and Reviewing Committees; and Robert Schaefer, MD, CEO, EBAC, celebrate ACCME’s decision to award substantial equivalency status to EBAC.

“We are honored to establish mutual substantial equivalency with our colleague accreditor, the European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology. I commend EBAC for its commitment to building collaboration and advancing the quality of CME. Clinicians learn best when they are able to choose from a diverse array of activities that are relevant to and meet their needs. This approach to harmonization across borders facilitates learner mobility and expands educational choice. I look forward to working together with EBAC and our communities of CME providers and learners to leverage the power of education to improve healthcare for the patients we serve.” — Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President and CEO, ACCME

“EBAC is honored to be the first, and only, European continuing medical education accreditor to have reached an agreement with the ACCME on substantial equivalency. Physicians all over the world are looking for new, accurate, and important information to integrate into their care of patients, independent of where that information is presented. At EBAC we believe that the recognition of equivalency in CME accreditation is an essential element of any system that involves the international recognition of CME credits and learning.” – Prof. Reinhard Griebenow, MD, PhD, Chairman, EBAC Advisory and Reviewing Committees

International Collaboration to Support CME
The ACCME maintains the substantial equivalency framework as part of its long-standing commitment to collaboration with the global CME community. In addition, The ACCME and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada founded the International Academy for CPD Accreditation to provide a support network for leaders in the global CPD accreditation community. EBAC is a member of the Academy.

ACCME Media Inquiries

Tamar Hosansky

EBAC Media Inquiries

Robert Schaefer
0049 – 221 – 16 99 8622

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago that is responsible for accrediting institutions that offer continuing medical education (CME) through a voluntary, self-regulatory system. The ACCME also has a system for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors for local organizations offering CME.

The ACCME’s mission is to identify, develop, and promote standards for quality CME that improves healthcare for patients and their communities. There are approximately 1,900 accredited CME providers within the ACCME System that offer more than 147,000 activities each year, comprising more than one million hours of instruction and including more than 25 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

The ACCME’s member organizations — which represent the profession of medicine and include physician licensing and credentialing bodies — are the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the US, Inc.

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European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology (EBAC)

EBAC is the leading accreditor of international CME/CPD in the field of cardiovascular medicine in Europe. EBAC started in 2000 and since 2011 is a daughter of European Cardiology Section Foundation (ECSF,, a non-profit, charitable foundation set up by UEMS Cardiology Section.

EBAC has agreements on automatic recognition of EBAC certificates with several European national accreditation authorities, including Germany, and cooperates closely with European scientific societies, such as the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) and European Society of Hypertension (ESH) as well as with the Association of European Pediatric Cardiologists (AEPC).

By accrediting CME / CPD in cardiovascular medicine EBAC stimulates, coordinates, and facilitates high quality CME/CPD, helping to provide the highest possible standard of care in cardiovascular medicine for patients and populations. Defining learning objectives, targeting audiences, and assuring scientific content will be presented objectively are among the key features that will be considered by EBAC when accrediting CME/CPD programs. Thus, EBAC does not only serve individual participants in international CME/CPD activities in Europe, but also identifies, develops, and promotes standards, which might support national authorities in establishing accreditation systems for CME/CPD in all European countries.

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