Under the impulse of a growing shift from voluntary to mandatory CME-CPD in Europe, the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) set up the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME®) in October 1999.
The UEMS-EACCME® began its activities in January 2000 with the mutual recognition of accreditation of EU-wide and international CME-CPD activities for live educational events through the awarding of European CME credits (ECMECs) to individual medical specialists, allowing the recognition and exchange of CME credits between all European countries.
In April 2009 the UEMS-EACCME® launched the accreditation of e-learning materials. By e-learning is meant the delivery of CME-CPD by methods including: recorded audio, recorded visual, recorded on Compact Disc (CD), recorded on Digital Versatile Disc (DVD), available on Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), available online via an educational website, or any mixture of the preceding.
The UEMS-EACCME® sets itself as the central link between the National Accreditation Authorities (NAAs), the UEMS Specialist Sections and Boards (S&Bs), the European Specialty Accreditation Boards (ESABs) and the Providers of CME activities.
European Accreditation means the decision by UEMS-EACCME® that a CME activity, event, programme or e-learning material has fulfilled the UEMS-EACCME® quality requirements. A CME activity or e-learning material will be accredited by UEMS-EACCME® if it has a high quality scientific content, if it is free of commercial bias and has an appropriate educational approach.
The added value of UEMS-EACCME® lies in its central link and bridging role. From the point of view of the Providers of events, the accreditation process is less resource-consuming and easier since they do not have to apply to every National Accreditation Authorities (NAA) to have an event recognised in every European country.
On the basis of UEMS-EACCME® accreditation, the approval from the NAA of the country where the event takes place will be recognised in all the other European countries. Consequently, the added value rests in the international dimension that is given to an event. More participants from other countries and also from the USA / Canada would be interested in participating in their meetings.
CME accreditation granted by the UEMS-EACCME® also provides a guarantee to participants from all over the world that the content of the CME provided is of a high quality, unbiased and didactic and, for European doctors, that this quality will be recognised in their home country.
The UEMS recognises that considerable advances are being made in the methodologies by which CME and CPD can be provided, and by which these educational opportunities are accessed by doctors. For this reason, the UEMS has agreed in principle to the accreditation by the EACCME® of new media for the delivery of CME-CPD, that go beyond traditional lectures, symposia and conferences.
Since the UEMS-EACCME® is an institution of the UEMS which formally represents European countries, its credits are recognised by National Accreditation Authorities in Europe. As UEMS-EACCME® accreditation concerns only EU-wide and international CME-CPD activities, it is not competitive but rather complementary to the competence and activities of National Accreditation Authorities.
A meeting/event, the primary purpose of which is the provision of educational material of a medical nature to medical specialists, with the aim that they will achieve educational benefit. It requires presence of a participant on the event’s site or a tele-presence when an event takes place. Each form of presence/participation requires a robust mechanism allowing confirmation of participation. It is expected that, as a result of this educational process, patients also will benefit from the lessons, applied in practice, that their specialist doctors have learned. By extension, live webinars are considered LEEs. A webinar is a live online educational presentation during which participation by viewers can be confirmed and they can submit questions and answers. The recording of a live educational event made available online after the event has taken place is not considered a LEE. It is therefore not permissible to transfer the credits granted to a LEE to a viewer of an online recording of the LEE.
– learners’ attendance will need to be monitored; – learners are expected to provide feedback on the LEE; – the provider must submit an event report based on the learners’ feedback.