Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Who may serve as a CME Activity Director and what are the other roles in CME activity?

For reasons of financial accountability and adherence to UConn policies, a physician faculty member employed (has an appointment) by the UConn School of Medicine. Community practitioners with voluntary clinical appointments, non-physicians and community health partners may participate as a course co-director in concert with a UConn School of Medicine faculty member.

  • Co-Activity Director: This role is optional. This person jointly shares all administrative and operational duties of the Activity Director as described above. The co-director can be someone who is affiliated in a jointly provided activity not from a UConn Health related department. In certain circumstances, our office will require an activity to have a co-activity director if the activity director has some sort of financial conflict in relations to the content areas of the activity. The co-activity director can be an author/speaker within the activity as well, and by way of the nature of the role, a default planning member.
  • Activity Admin: This role is required. This is the person who is responsible for all administrative support and essentially administers and operates the logistics, the paperwork, and interfaces with the CME office on each tasks that needs to be done. This roles is central and critical for any activity to run smoothly and successfully. The activity admin usually does not fulfill a role of author/speaker, however this person can assist in content planning and selection if required. In addition, by way of the nature of the role, also default planning member.
  • Independent Peer Reviewer: This role is optional. This person is primarily selected when required by the CME office, however an activity may decided to elect to use this role as part of their planning committee. Usually in instances where the activity director may not be a content expert in the area of focus, there are conflicts of interests with the activity director or planning members. When a recommendation of an independent peer reviewer is made, this person is identified as such, becomes a member of the planning committee. This person sole role is to be an independent peer reviewer, and should not hold any additional role such as author/speaker within the activity.
  • Planning Members: This role is required. The CME activity that is being planned must have at least 1 additional person who is not the activity director, co-director, or activity admin to serve on the activity's planning committee. An activity can have as many planning members as they deem to be needed, commonly we typically see 2-3 additional planning members. Planning members can also be authors and speakers within the activity as well.


Q. Can commercial employees plan or instruct CME activities?

Commercial employees may not participate in the planning of CME activities. Commercial employees may serve as an instructor in UConn CME activities only under narrowly defined circumstances. An employee of a commercial entity may present on: the scientific or discovery process itself, the results of basic (biologic, chemical, physical) research studies relevant to the clinical problem being addressed but not those specific to a commercial product or its preclinical and clinical testing, and CME topics other than those related to the products and business lines of his/her employer. Commercial employees may neither teach about their products nor offer recommendations regarding patient care.


Q. What are the ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support?

Please see the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support.


Q. What is a Conflict of Interest?

Circumstances create a conflict of interest when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship. Any identified conflicts of interest must be resolved before the CME activity occurs.


Q. What is Commercial Support?

Commercial Support is financial, or in-kind contributions given by a commercial interest (e.g., any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients), which is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity.


Q. What is a Financial Relationship?

Financial Relationships: Those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit. Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected in the last 24 months. With respect to personal financial relationships, contracted research includes research funding where the institution receives the grant and manages the funds and the person is the principal or named investigator on the grant. The ACCME relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.


Q. What are Desirable Physician Attributes?

Every CME activity needs to be developed in the context of and or address a desirable physician attribute (competence). Please review some examples of desirable physician attributes as noted by the ACCME.


Q. What is an Enduring Material?

Enduring materials are printed, recorded, and/or computer assisted instructional materials which may be used overtime at various locations and which in themselves constitutes a planned CME activity.


Q. What is an Evaluation?

Each CME activity must include a formal evaluation mechanism in which participants complete a set of standard questions. Once the evaluations are summarized, the information will provide insight into a programs impact. It will serve many purposes, such as:

  • Helping to determine if the activity was of value,
  • helping an activity director make good choices about future topics and speakers,
  • measuring transference of knowledge and information,
  • providing feedback to program planners, managers, and faculty; and
  • assisting in gaining knowledge of your participants skill levels and changes in their practice habits.


Q. What are Exhibits and Advertisements?

Commercial exhibits and advertisements are promotional activities and not continuing medical education.


Q. What are Learning Objectives?

Learning objectives are statements that communicate the intent of an educational activity. Here are some guidelines for you to review. They tell the attendee what she/he will gain by participating in the experience. Every CME activity must have one or more learning objective which is reflective of information obtained by way of the needs assessment.


Q. What is a Needs Assessment?

A needs assessment is any systematic approach to collecting and analyzing information about the educational needs of individuals or an organization. Needs may be perceived, imagined, desired or thought to be important or real. A needs assessment can also be identified as a "gap," the difference between what is occurring in practice and what is expected to occur (i.e., what should be). It’s this step that’s used to help set the stage for an effective CME activity.


Q. What are Professional Practice Gaps (Competence, and Performance)?

Professional practice gap is the difference between actual and ideal performance and or patient outcomes. Professional practice gaps refer to a quality gap in areas that include but also can go beyond patient care (e.g., systems' base practice, informatics, leadership and administration).


Q. What is a Save the Date?

A "Save the Date" is a notice that's sent out prior to an activity informing perspective participants of an upcoming event. If sent out prior to CME application submission and approval, it cannot contain any mention of formal CME language/statements or that CME credits you are seeking.  However, you could mention "CME Pending" on your Save the Date. Within these circumstances, it does not need to be pre-approved by the CME Office.


Q. What is the difference between a Provider (Sponsor) versus Supporter?

A provider (or sponsor) is an institution or organization assuming responsibility for CME. Whereas a supporter is an institution or organization that provided funds to a program in the form of an educational grant also known as a commercial supporter.  In the CME world, the term "provider" is used instead of "sponsor".  We term it a providership.


    Q. Does a CME Presentation that is taped qualify for CME Credit?

    No: If you have an approved “live” CME presentation that is what you need to present to your learners. You can have your presenter show slides, etc, during the presentation but the main educational event should be a live speaker.


     Q. If a speaker/presenter changes at the last minute due to an emergency can you still get CME Credit for the event?

    This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. If a speaker has an emergency the program administrator should let the CME office know immediately. Once the situation has been reviewed by the CME office a decision will be made. It is imperative that the new speaker/presenter complete and sign a disclosure immediately and the program administrator send that to the CME office within 24 hours.


    Q. How does a  Activity Director or Activity Administrator handle a Conflict of Interest for an annual program?

    Conflicts of Interest for an Annual approved Annual CME event are handled according to ACCME Standards. If an Annual approved CME event has speakers/presenters that have conflicts noted on disclosures the CME office will request that the power point presentations be sent into the CME office, no later than 1 full week prior to the CME Office. In addition, the Activity Director should have already reviewed and mitigated any noted conflicts prior to submission of the power point presentations. The CME office will need to review the presentations and keep them on file electronically for the appropriate time frame, along with the disclosures. Decisively, what is presented to the CME office as the final power point presentation is what should always be presented to the learners.


    Q. How does a Activity Director or Activity Administrator handle a Conflict of Interest for an RSS program?

    Conflicts of Interest for an Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) approved event are handled according to ACCME Standards. If an RSS approved CME event has speakers/presenters that have conflicts noted on disclosures the CME office will request that the Activity Director review the disclosure carefully and be sure that the conflict identified on the disclosure is noted identical to the flyer for that RSS. It is the responsibility of the Activity Director with their Activity Administrator to provide the CME office with concise data and accurate forms.


    Q. What does the term “CME” Stand for?

    “CME” stands for Continuing Medical Education.  Continuing medical education (CME) refers to a specific form of continuing medical education (CME) that helps those in the medical field maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field. These activities may take place as live events, written publications, online programs, audio, video, or other electronic media.  UConn Health’s CME Program is accredited by the ACCME.


    Q. What does the term “AD” refer to?

    The term “AD” is the acronym for the term, Activity Director. The Activity Director in charge of your CME event and responsible for the entire approved CME activity.  Your Activity Director is the person who has the Medical Knowledge to help you with your CME application.  Your Activity Director should review, approve, and sign all of your CME documents before you send them to the CME office for approval.



    Q. What does the term “AA” refer to?

    The term “AA” is the acronym for the term, Activity Administrator. The Activity Administrator assist the Activity Director in completing any required CME documentation and assisting in the operations of the activity. (The AA is the person who chases down paperwork, completes the forms, looks for guidance from your AD and sends the completed CME forms to the CME office.  The AA also saves the CME documents for reference.)



    Q.What is a PRA AMA Category 1 Credit™?

    PRA AMA Category 1 Credit™ is commonly recognized as one of the metrics for verifying a physician’s participation in continuing medical education (CME) activities.  For the most part 50 minutes to 1 hour would grant 1 PRA AMA Category 1 Credit.


    Q.What does is mean when I am asked for a Citation in the Medical Field?

    A Citation is Informatics or Information. The record of an article, book, or other report in a bibliographic database that includes summary descriptive information–eg, authors, title, abstract, source and indexing terms. A Citation can be easily found on PubMed:

    Below is an example of a Citation: The Many Faces of Poison Ivy. If you go to: enter the PMID Number below you will pull up the article associated with the Citation. The Many Faces of Poison Ivy. You can search for Citations on PubMed and find articles and citations that are linked to your CME events very easily.

    The New England Journal of Medicine, 01 (Issue) Jul (Month Published) 2002 (Year Published) 347 (Volume of Article) (1):35 (page number) DOI: 10.1056/nejmicm0010418 PMID: 12097538