Continuing Medical Education – European Accreditors (CME-EA) is a non-profit association of European international and European national CME accreditors each of which operates free of the control of professional advocacy organizations and free of the control of companies that produce health care products (i.e. robustly independent.)
CME-EA’s mission is to promote harmonisation of CME/CPD accreditation as part of a quality assurance process aiming to improve physicians’ performance and patient outcomes. Accreditation should be based on physician consensus, not only with regard to definition of principles, criteria and rules, but also regarding their application in individual accreditation decisions.
- are independent accreditors with longstanding experience in accreditation of medical speciality CME/CPD
- fully support the shared principles of international accreditation systems:
CPD accreditation systems must ensure
- learning activities are developed to address the needs and professional practice gaps of members of the target audience
- the content is informed by evidence and bias is minimised
- learning activities are designed to efficiently maximise educational impact
- learning activities are planned and managed to ensure independence from external interests
- there is rigorous evaluation of educational outcomes including how education has knowledge, competence, performance, and health outcomes
- the accreditation standards and processes are consistently and fairly applied and continuously enhanced. (see )
- will apply rigorous standards for training and evaluation of reviewers as part of the accreditation process
- will, regularly and open to all the medical community and non-medical experts, provide opportunities for discussion of the principles and procedures in accreditation of CME/CPD.
CME-EA is part of the International Academy of CPD Accreditation (IACPDA), an informal association with global attendance, which gives accreditors a forum for discussion and development.
- McMahon G T, Aboulsoud, S, Gordon J, McKenna M, Meuser J, Staz M, Campbell C. “Evolving Alignment in International Continuing Professional Development Accreditation.” Journal of Continuing Education in Health Professions 2016;36(1):S22-26.
In Europe there are no specific legal or legislative mandates for the Accreditation of CME/CPD on the European international level. CME Accreditation has emerged as another example of professional self-regulation. However, the lack of clarity or mandate from government, poses a significant challenge when attempting to put international principles and rules in place for CME that facilitate the mobility of physicians and limit bureaucratic barriers e.g. for the provision of certificates that would, at the same time, be acceptable to both European accreditors and national regulators.
This is of particular importance in countries in which proof of CME/CPD activities of individual physicians is required (e.g. Germany). Thus, European international accreditors (EIA) fill an important gap as national accreditors only take care of participants originating from their own country. EIAs should also play a role in setting standards in the developing field of CME/CPD, but are sometimes restricted by their lack of legal authority with regard to ensuring automatic acceptance at the national level.
This lack of legal authority, on the other hand, offers a unique opportunity to form an accreditation system entirely built on professional consensus, in an environment of professional self-regulation. CME-EA can help promote and coordinate such a consensus process, which should integrate EIAs with national accreditors. Physician consensus will play a critical role in achieving robust, reproducible and meaningful results in the accreditation of CME/CPD activities.