Certified CME vs. Promotional Activities
In a certified CME activity, the CME provider has sole control of the content and faculty selection, which must remain balanced and free from commercial interest and bias. Promotional activities are not required to adhere to the same guidelines.
What is the ACCME?
The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is the accrediting body for institutions and organizations offering continuing medical education. It establishes the policies guiding the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of CME activities.
The Academy’s Commitment to Education
The Academy’s CME program is designed to:
- Provide ophthalmologists with the highest quality lifelong learning opportunities.
- Help ophthalmologists provide the best possible eye care for their patients.
- Promote positive change in physician performance and competence.
- Enable physicians to maintain or improve the knowledge, skills and professional performance needed.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is accredited by ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
As a provider of CME, the Academy must present activities in compliance with the ACCME policies for disclosure and commercial support.
Review the Academy's CME Mission Statement to guide you in developing your presentation.
Your Role in CME
As a meeting participant in the Academy's annual meeting and/or Subspecialty Day, your role is imperative to maintaining independence in CME and providing high-quality, effective education. Faculty must develop balanced and evidence-based content based upon learners’ needs. Effective CME activities provide skills and information that will help close the gap between what learners currently know and do in clinical practice and what they should know and be doing in practice, according to balanced scientific evidence.
- Financial Disclosure
ACCME and the Academy require all meeting participants to disclose whether or not they have entered into any ophthalmology-related financial interests over the past 24 months. If so, you must provide the company name(s) and nature of the relationship. Visit Presenter Central to view or update your disclosures and read additional disclosure information.
- Conflict of Interest (Identification and Mitigation)
The content or format of a CME activity or its related materials must promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest. The ACCME considers financial relationships to create actual conflicts of interest in CME when individuals have both:
• A financial relationship with a commercial interest, and
• The opportunity to affect the content of CME about the products or services of that commercial interest.
The Academy has mechanisms in place to mitigate all conflicts of interest prior to an educational activity being delivered to the learners. If a conflict of interest is identified, you may be asked to take additional steps to assist us in mitigating the conflict.
- First-Slide Policy
The Academy’s first slide policy involves two steps:
First, each presenter must have a first slide pertaining to financial interests. This first slide must either:
• Disclose all financial interests, or
• If there is nothing to disclose, the slide must state, “I have no financial interests or relationships to disclose.”
Secondly, presenters must verbally state at the start of the talk any financial interests that specifically pertain to their presentation. If there is nothing to disclose, verbally state that you do not have any financial interests or relationships to disclose.
- Scientific Integrity
The Academy is committed to ensuring that all CME information is based on the application of research findings and the implementation of evidence-based medicine. Content should demonstrate balance, objectivity and absence of commercial bias. All persons in a position to control the content of this activity must disclose any and all financial interests.
- Balanced Presentations
Start your presentation asking why the information should matter to the audience.
• Present the pros and cons, and identify when you are offering your opinion.
• Use generic names instead of trade/brand names. If the device or drug is only known by its brand name take the opportunity to educate the audience about the generic name.
• Presenters should address treatment modalities, drugs, devices and products from multiple sources and not a single company to ensure that the educational content is not biased towards one option.
• Never use commercial brands or logos in slides. In accordance with the ACCME guidelines, presenters’ slides should not include logos, brands or promotions from any commercial company.
• You may discuss off-label use of products if supported by evidence and as long as the audience is advised about the off-label use.
• Present only your own work.
Presenters Employed by a Commercial Interest
Presenters who are employed by a company, own a company or own stock in a private company may be permitted to present under limited circumstances:
- When the content is not related to the business lines or products of their employer/company.
- When the content of the accredited activity is limited to basic science research, such as pre-clinical research and drug discovery, or the methodologies of research, and they do not make care recommendations.
- As technicians in Skills Transfer Labs limited to demonstrating the safe and proper use of medical devices and do not recommend whether or when a device is used.
Self-Assessment CME (SACME)
The Academy seeks approval to offer self-assessment credits (SACME) for selected annual meeting courses. Self-assessment activities are CME activities involving question and answer exercises which evaluate understanding of the activity's subject matter and include a pre/post-test or quiz.
Self-Assessment CME requirements are defined by the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO). Please be advised that the ABO is not an accrediting body for purposes of any CME program. ABO does not sponsor this or any outside activity, and ABO does not endorse any particular CME activity. Find complete information regarding the ABO Self-Assessment CME Maintenance of Certification requirements.