Policy #1: CME Policies
The Office of Community & Continuing Medical Education (Office) will maintain continuing medical education (CME) policies; the Office will review and update its CME policies periodically.
Policy #2: Mission & Vision
The Office will maintain a vision and mission that guide its policies and work. The mission statement will specifically describe how the Office upholds the University of Connecticut School of Medicine’s educational mission and protects the institution’s accreditation status with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
Policy #3: Administration
Reporting to the Dean’s designee, the Director for Community & Continuing Medical Education (Director) is responsible for the School of Medicine’s CME programs and for ensuring adherence to the standards of the ACCME. The Director has the authority to approve or deny all CME applications for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. The Community and Continuing Medical Education Administrator reports directly to the Director and administers the CME programs of the School of Medicine.
While the Office is ultimately responsible for overseeing all Category 1 CME activities, the Office delegates significant autonomy and responsibility to Activity Directors to comply with ACCME accreditation standards and Office policies. The Office provides periodic training programs, application assistance, and ad hoc consultation to faculty and staff involved in CME activities. Additionally, the Office maintains a database of all Category 1 CME credits earned by participants over the past six years.
Director/Dean’s designee Community and Move to Procedures.
The Committee on Community & Continuing Medical Education (CCCME) will advise the Director and the Office with regard to policies relating to CME. However, as the School of Medicine Education Council sets overall School of Medicine education policy, the Education Council delegates to CCCME responsibility to advise the Office on how to implement such policies.
CCCME will meet quarterly and its membership will include physicians, residents, and medical students. CCCME will maintain 6 voting members, and a quorum for a meeting consists of 4 or more of voting members being present. The Director will nominate individuals to serve as members of CCCME after consulting with the Dean’s designee in the appropriate category. For example, the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education is consulted for the faculty representative of GME Program Directors and the resident representative and alternate. The medical student and alternate are selected by vote of the student body of the School of Medicine. Nominated members of the faculty will serve for a 3 year term and will have an opportunity to renew the term for an additional 3 years for a total of 6 years. The CCCME approves the membership. The School of Medicine Education Council reviews membership and policies of CCCME.
The Office will maintain minutes of each CCCME meeting and will distribute approved minutes to each CCCME member, the Dean’s designee and to the School of Medicine Education Council.
Policy #4: Needs Assessment
The Office will conduct a periodic assessment to understand the CME needs of its constituents. The Office will share the results of needs assessments with individuals who are involved in CME planning along with health care leaders and other interested parties. In addition to its own needs assessment, the Office will seek and share other data sources that reflect CME needs.
Policy #5: CME Activities and Programs
All CME events within the institution that offer AMA PRA Category 1 CME CreditTM require the approval of the Office. The Office will maintain an explicit, official process for considering such requests; the CME application governs that process. The Office will require that all applications for CME reflect appropriate planning, implementation, and evaluation, and that each approved application reflects a quality CME activity. The Office will ensure that the CME application provides guidance in all important and required areas; and, the application will include any important definitions, explanations, and additional resources and requirements. The Office will periodically review and update the application to ensure that it is consistent with current ACCME standards, including such important issues as conflict of interest and commercial support. Upon renewal, the Office meets with each Activity Director and Administrative Contact to discuss the application process. The Office is available to answer any questions of CME applicants and offer support whenever possible; however, the Activity Director of each event will be responsible for managing the CME process and ensuring adherence to all policies and standards. The Office will not approve any applications that do not adhere to the spirit of the Office’s CME policies and application process.
Policy #6: CME Documentation
Activity Directors, who fail to ensure that continuing medical education (CME) events comply with the University of Connecticut School of Medicine’s CME requirements or who do not provide timely documentation (i.e., within 6 weeks of the end date of the educational activity) in support of CME events, may not submit any new applications for CME until the Office receives complete and accurate information from prior CME events. Ultimately, if the Activity Director is not able to provide satisfactory documentation for any event, she/he may not present any new applications for CME (either her/himself or through a proxy) for at least one year from the date of the last event. Following one year’s probation, the Activity Director may only submit a new application pending completion of a review of CME requirements with the Director. Annual symposium probation duration will be two years so that there is a gap year for the program.
Policy #7: Joint Sponsorship
On behalf of the School of Medicine, the Office may consider appropriate requests from UConn affiliated personnel to jointly sponsor CME activities with community and other partners. As the School of Medicine is ultimately responsible for the quality and accreditation requirements of any jointly sponsored activity, the Office will review such requests carefully. Any long-term (i.e., beyond a single event) joint sponsorship arrangement will require an explicit letter of agreement that describes the responsibilities and requirements of each party. Each jointly sponsored CME activity will follow the same application and review process as internal CME activities.
Policy #8: Fee Schedule
The Office will maintain a fee schedule for all CME activities, including jointly sponsored activities. The Office will review its fee schedule on an annual basis. The Director has the discretion to determine CME fees, and to waive fees where appropriate. The Office will communicate any and all fees as part of the CME application; the Office will pre-fill certain expense categories to communicate this information. For CME activities that relate to grants (regardless of source), Activity Directors are responsible for budgeting the costs of CME, including but not limited to application fees, commercial surcharges, and certificate costs. Upon request, the Office will provide a cost estimate for any CME activity or program.
Policy #9: Commercial Support & Conflict of Interest
Any payments from a commercial entity (e.g., pharmaceutical company, medical device manufacturer) in support of a CME event must enter an organizational account of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine or joint sponsor, must have an associated letter of agreement in place, and must come in the form of an unrestricted educational grant. A letter of agreement must exist for food, in-kind contributions, and any other form of commercial support. No individuals involved in planning, implementing, or evaluating a CME event may receive payments (e.g., honoraria, travel expenses) directly from a commercial entity.
All individuals involved in a CME activity, including planning, implementation, and evaluation, must disclose any conflict of interest or lack thereof as part of the application process. In advance of the CME activity and to the satisfaction of the Office, the Activity Director is responsible for determining, managing, and communicating any conflict of interest to CME participants.
The Office will update the application to ensure that it remains current with accreditation requirements regarding commercial support and conflict of interest.
Policy #10: Remuneration & Reimbursement
Speaker fees, honoraria, travel expenses and other remuneration or reimbursement for CME activities need to be consistent with department policy of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine or a joint sponsor. In the absence of a department policy, any payments need to be consistent with reasonable and customary rates for such activities within a given specialty. The guiding principles with regard to financial incentives are that they must be modest in nature and they must not compromise the quality or objectivity of the CME activity.
Policies reviewed & revised: May 2020