Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation

We are pleased to announce that the ACCME has adopted a Menu of New Criteria for Accreditation with Commendation —our mechanism for recognizing and celebrating organizations that excel as CME providers. The newly evolved criteria reflect the values, principles, and aspirations that the community of educators shared with us over the past several years. We appreciate the CME community’s high level of participation in this process and plan to do everything we can to support your successful adoption of the new criteria and the evolution of your educational strategies to reflect best practices. 

Our Goal

Our goal is to encourage and reward accredited CME providers for implementing best practices in pedagogy, engagement, evaluation, and change management, and for focusing on generating meaningful outcomes. The new commendation criteria are designed to serve as a guidepost for the future of CME. We want to recognize the achievements of organizations that advance interprofessional collaborative practice, address public health priorities, create behavioral change, show leadership, leverage educational technology, and demonstrate the impact of education on healthcare professionals and patients.

Education and Resources

Options, Not Requirements

As with the existing commendation criteria 16-22, compliance with the menu of new commendation criteria is optional for CME providers and is not required to achieve Accreditation. Providers will continue to achieve and retain Accreditation by demonstrating compliance with the Accreditation Criteria 1-13.

For All Eligible ACCME-Accredited and State-Accredited Providers

The new commendation criteria can be used by any ACCME-accredited and state-accredited providers that are eligible to apply for Accreditation with Commendation. State-accredited providers: Please check with your Recognized Accreditor about your timeline for receiving accreditation materials about demonstrating compliance with the new commendation criteria.

There is no change to requirements for Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.

New Commendation Criteria

There are 16 commendation criteria, divided into 5 categories:

  • Promotes Team-based Education
  • Addresses Public Health Priorities
  • Enhances Skills
  • Demonstrates Educational Leadership
  • Achieves Outcomes

The Menu Approach: 7+1

We adopted the menu approach to create flexibility, reflect the diversity of the CME community, and offer a pathway for all CME provider types to achieve Accreditation with Commendation.

To be eligible for Accreditation with Commendation using this new menu, CME providers will need to demonstrate compliance with any seven criteria of their choice, from any category—plus one criterion from the Achieves Outcomes category—for a total of eight criteria.

Supporting Information

Each criterion is accompanied by supporting information designed to assist CME providers in understanding and meeting the ACCME’s expectations:

  • The rationale for the criterion’s inclusion
  • The critical elements required to demonstrate compliance
  • The standard for measuring compliance

As you’ll see in the standards column, there are different measurements for different criteria. For some of the criteria, we have established a sliding scale, designed to accommodate CME programs of different sizes. (See the note at the bottom of each page of the criteria for the sliding scale.)

Transition Phase

We are implementing a transition phase during which accredited providers that aim to achieve Accreditation with Commendation can choose to demonstrate compliance with either Option A: Commendation Criteria (C16-22) or Option B: Menu of New Commendation Criteria (C23-C38). Providers need to select one option and cannot combine criteria from the two different options.

The transition phase will serve two purposes: It will ensure that CME providers that have been working to achieve or sustain commendation under the current criteria will continue to have that opportunity; and it will give providers time to prepare to meet the expectations of the new criteria.

Timeline: Providers that will receive accreditation decisions between November 2017 and November 2019 will have the choice of using either Option A: Commendation Criteria (C16-C22) or Option B: Menu of New Commendation Criteria (C23-C38) to seek Accreditation with Commendation. Providers that will receive accreditation decisions after November 2019 must use Option B to seek Accreditation with Commendation.

State-accredited providers: Please check with your Recognized Accreditor for more information about the timeline for your state.

Providers that would like to use Option B, but will only be able to demonstrate compliance for part of their accreditation term, may apply, but they will still need to fulfill the compliance standards outlined in the criteria.

For Updated Information: Visit this webpage for updated information and links to relevant materials.

Questions? We welcome your questions and feedback. Please contact us using this form or email