Originating from an informal cooperation of European accreditation bodies over the past few years a new association has recently been constituted: Continuing Medical Education- European Accreditors (CME-EA), a non- profit association of independent accreditors on the European international level. The new association is at the same time open to organisations or individuals involved in CME accreditation, not only on the European international, but also on the national level.
IPCE is whenever “members from two or more professions learn with, from, and about each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes,” as Kate Regnier (ACCME) pointed out at the Cologne Consensus Conference 2017, which was held on Sept. 14/15, 2017 in Cologne, Germany.
While inter-professional collaboration occurs in health-care systems whenever patient outcome is dependent on a team based approach, “IPCE is not intuitive” (Jamie deMaria, Medscape). Barriers for implementation of IPCE include: Resistance to change, lack of leadership (administrative and faculty), crowded curricula, cost factors, few incentives, reimbursement models, separation of professional programs within a campus and across universities, credentialing and accountability at the “individual” level and, lack of accreditation expectations (Regnier).
At the CCC 2017 providers have presented a variety of best practice projects to serve educational needs of teams.
IPCE may represent challenges to accreditors, since different accreditation bodies might be involved, or it maybe difficult to sort out how to achieve accreditation, if a group of health professionals has no accreditation body and/or accreditors do not cooperate in case the same content is going to be presented on multiple occasions in different countries. Since many years EBAC has promoted inter-professional education and practice, and offers accreditation in cooperation with European national as well as international accreditors.
The CCC 2018 will take place on Sept. 13/14, 2018, in Ottawa (hosted by the Royal College) and will discuss “What CPD accreditation data tells us: about activities, providers, learners”.
Also at CCC 2017 EBAC and the Canadian Royal College exchanged certificates of recognition of substantial equivalency of accreditation systems.
Thus, EBAC is the first and only European accreditor to hold an agreement on substantial equivalency with the Royal College and the US Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME).
The European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology (EBAC) is honoured to announce that the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and EBAC have recognized each other’s accreditation systems as substantially equivalent by decisions taken on May 5th, 2017, by the Board of the European Cardiology Section Foundation (ECSF) and the CPD Department of the Royal College, respectively.
Substantial equivalency is a relationship between CME accreditors based on shared principles and values, while recognizing and accepting differences.
To achieve this mutual recognition, EBAC and the Royal College completed a rigorous evaluation process, demonstrating that their accreditation standards advance high quality, effective CME.
This agreement will be followed by a statement on conversion of CME points between both systems. As a result EBAC will offer to Canadian providers to directly issue EBAC certificates to European participants to avoid any additional conversion procedures. Please find the agreement here.
The CCC 2017 is devoted to „Accreditation of interprofessional CME/ CPD“ and takes place on September 14th – 15th, 2017 in Cologne, Germany. This year, it is organized in close cooperation with ACCME and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. A first flyer can be found here.
For live CME activities accreditors have already accepted, that – as long as the minimum duration of the whole event is at least 60 minutes – individual presentations may last well below 60 minutes. This principle now needs to be translated into the field of e-learning, which offers the additional option to accumulate participations over time.
With this regard EBAC has run a workshop in September 2016, involving the experience of major stakeholders in order to come to a definition of principles for accreditation of „micro-e-learning“.
Please find the executive summary of the workshop in the EBAC Newsletter 2016 IV.
Activity accreditation by consensus of independent reviewers
In their recent meeting in Frankfurt on Jan. 28th, 2017 EBAC reviewers discussed the advantages of a process that requires consensus of independent reviewers and confirmed that this should remain as a core principle in the accreditation of CME/CPD activities.
To make this possible EBAC has an interactive electronic reviewing system, which
- allows reviewers to discuss individual applications for accreditation
- makes reviewer consensus mandatory to grant accreditation and award CME points
- is a database to refer to for previous applications by the same provider or similar applications from other providers,
- provides an evidence-base for development of accreditation rules.
EBAC (which is a 100% daughter of a non-profit, charitable foundation, the European Cardiology Section Foundation, ECSF) grants equal access to all providers and provides reviews independent from third party influence.
Agreements on substantial equivalency with other accreditors
Agreements on substantial equivalency between accreditors constitute an important element of support and stimulation in their work to develop international best-practice in medical education and its supervision.
EBAC currently is the only European-international accreditor who holds an agreement on mutual recognition of substantial equivalency with the US Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME), and a similar agreement with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is currently being prepared.
EBAC reviewers fully supported the policy that agreements of substantial equivalency should be reached before any regulations on conversion of CME points between different accreditation systems might be defined.
European CME accreditation in need for harmonisation through consensus
Three years ago several European Specialty Accreditation Boards started an informal collaboration, which now has resulted in a position paper on current aspects in sponsored CME, submitted for publication in the Journal of European CME (JECME). Several of the participating organisations have expressed their wish to not only continue, but to also formalise this cooperative approach, including organisations providing CME accreditation on the national level. EBAC reviewers consider this an outstanding opportunity to promote harmonisation through consensus on principles and rules in accreditation.
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.
Please find the complete press release here.