Frequently Asked Questions

What Do We Mean By?

ACCME’s Standards for Commercial Support

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

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.

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.

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.

Direct Sponsor Versus Joint Provider

Direct Sponsorship applies to activities sponsored by a department or division of UConn Health or sponsored by a UConn Health department or division and another ACCME-accredited institution. Whereas Joint Providership applies to activities sponsored by a non-ACCME accredited organization outside of UConn Health.

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.


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.

Exhibits and Advertisements

Commercial exhibits and advertisements are promotional activities and not continuing medical education. Therefore, monies paid by commercial interests to providers for these promotional activities are not considered to be ‘commercial support.’

Financial Relationships

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, 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. ACCME considers relationships of the person involved in the CME activity to include financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

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.

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.

Professional Practice Gap (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).

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 can not contain any mention of CME and or that CME credits have been applied for. Within these circumstances, it does not need to be pre-approved by the CME Office.

Sponsor Versus Supporter

A 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.