Course Director & Administrator FAQ

UF CME is accredited as a provider of CME by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). UF CME requires that all CME activities held under its accreditation be scientifically rigorous, balanced, objective, and independent of any commercial interest.

UF CME is the designated office within UF College of Medicine (COM) with the responsibility and authority to oversee all CME programs sponsored by UF COM.

UF CME has the utmost faith in the integrity of the individuals who present our educational activities. However, to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest, and to comply with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, UF CME requires all planners and presenters to complete a full Disclosure Form.

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Applying for Credit for a Live Activity

What is the process for obtaining CME credit for a one-time or annual educational activity?

UF CME must be involved at the beginning of the planning process in order to meet accreditation guidelines. Applications must be submitted at least four months prior to the activity. Instructions for applying for CME can be found at

Applying for Credit for a Regularly Scheduled Series

What is the process for obtaining CME credit for a regularly scheduled series (grand rounds, case conference, M&M conference, etc.) held on the UF campus?

Instructions for applying for CME can be found at


What is Joint Sponsorship?

Joint Sponsorship is the process in which we, the University of Florida College of Medicine (UF COM) Continuing Medical Education (CME) office, shares our national accreditation with unaccredited partners (communication companies, associations or any entities outside of the University of Florida College of Medicine) in order to present Continuing Medical Education for physicians and other health care professionals. (ARNP’s and PA’s). A Joint Sponsorship agreement between UF COM and the educational partner is executed that details the responsibilities of all the parties.

Cost of Accreditation and Conference Planning Services

How much does CME sponsorship cost?

We will set up an initial planning meeting to discuss your course and services required. Based upon the services selected an administrative fee will be determined. Please see Conference Planning Services for additional services we can provide to assist you with your event.


Where can I find resources for when I’m applying?

You can find resources on our website at

Where do I get the forms I need to submit for credit after I’m approved?

You can find resources on our website at:

Click the links on the page to view what documents you will need to submit for CME Credit once you are approved.

Planning a Project

What are the questions that should be addressed in the planning process?

  1. What is the professional practice gap?
  2. Is it a gap in physician knowledge, competence, or performance?
  3. What is the physician target audience?
  4. What are the potential or real barriers facing these physicians if this need (gap) is to be addressed?
  5. Based on the need/gap the activity is addressing, what are the desired results of the activity? In other words, what is the activity designed to change?
  6. Based on the desired results, what are the objectives of the activity?
  7. Are there IOM, ACGME/ABMS competencies related to this topic/change?
  8. Are there other initiatives within my institution working on this issue? Are there other organizations I could partner with?
  9. In what ways could these internal or external groups be included to help us address or remove identified barriers?
  10. What kinds of non-educational strategies could be used to address this issue?
  11. What types of evaluation method(s) will you use to determine if the activity was effective in meeting the need/gap, and in creating change in competence, performance or patient outcomes?
  12. Based on the physician target audience and the gap, what is the right content to cover? How does the content relate to the scope of practice of the physician target audience? Should the content relate to specific patient groups? Should it contain content outside the clinical topic?
  13. Who are the appropriate faculty?
  14. Based on the previous steps, what is the right format (live, enduring material, internet, other)? What will be the education design (presentation, case studies, round table, simulation, other)?
  15. How do the format/methodology and design components support the activity’s objectives and desired results?

from ACCME’s Activity Development Worksheet, posted at

What are the steps involved in designing a CME activity?

What is the basic strategy that planners should employ when designing an educational intervention?

Activity Directors and Planning Committee members are encouraged to use instructional strategies that will facilitate or support physicians as learners. Principles of adult learning should be followed. The basic principles of Andragogy, defined as the methods or techniques used to teach adults, described in the article “Andragogy and Performance Improvement CME” by Floyd Pennington, PhD, in the March 2009 issue of the Alliance for CME’s Almanac, are:

  1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
  2. Experience provides the basis for learning activities.
  3. Adults are most interested in learning that has immediate relevance to their job or practice performance.
  4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.


  • By solving actual problems (reviewing their own issues, daily encounters)
  • By reflecting via analogy and comparison (comparing own experiences [e.g., cases] or own experiences to others)
  • By practicing and applying new knowledge and strategies (time to practice, interact and discuss new application/strategy/knowledge; participating in any non-educational interventions that include practice)
  • By developing a framework for application (participating in Commitment to Change projects or learning contracts; creating plans for implementing change)

Steven Passin & Associates Workshop, “Level 3 Planning for the new ACCME Criteria” presented at Alliance for CME Annual Conference, January 2008

On the Project Planning From, what is meant by “clinical practice gap”?

In reference to Criterion #2, according to the ACCME, this is an adaptation of an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) definition of a gap in the quality of patient care – where the gap is “the difference between health care processes or outcomes observed in practice, and those potentially achievable on the basis of current professional knowledge.” In other words, a gap is the difference between the current state and the desired state. A professional practice gap is the description of a problem or an issue in practice.

Gap analysis determines the variance between what a physician knows or does, and what a physician should know or do. As an example, a professional practice gap could be the lack of understanding, the lack of knowledge, and/or the lack of strategy to perform/conduct a certain intervention under a particular clinical situation.

The process begins with an analysis of current practices to identify specific health issues and problems where outcomes fall short of achievable goals. To accomplish this, the current state must be measured, and tools include surveys, observations, focus groups, and analysis of historical data.

Once an understanding of the current and desired states is acquired, the next step is to determine what barriers are maintaining the current state. Potential barriers may include: lack of particular skills; lack of knowledge of the implementation process; patient non-compliance; and inadequate resources, such as finances, personnel, equipment or materials, time, or other systems-based issues.

In reviewing potential learning barriers, the learning environment, and current available resources, the Planning Committee may determine that a traditional live CME event may not be the most effective format. Planning Committee may consider other possible delivery methods, such as enduring or internet materials, new skills/procedure courses, or performance improvement initiatives.

Why the Shift from “Needs Assessment” to “Professional Practice Gap”?

The current and evolving healthcare environment requires proof or documentation that continuing education provided through certified CME activities has a positive impact on practice patterns and on patient outcomes. Extensive research demonstrates the traditional lectures have little, if any, lasting impact on the practice patterns of their attendees. Authorities, including the ACCME and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), have called for a reevaluation of the design and evaluation of CME activities. In the past, a simple literature search, suggested topics from past programs’ evaluations, or an Activity Director’s or Planning Committee member’s opinion was adequate to describe the “need” for a particular topic or activity—these easy steps are no longer sufficient.

Where can I find Quality and Safety Resources for Identifying Practice Gaps?

How do I develop specific learning objectives for an activity?

  1. For each identified need, describe what is the intended or desired result.
  2. Develop objectives that will lead the learner from the identified need to the desired result.

Learning objectives must now be written in terms of what the physician will APPLY to his/her practice environment. Write objectives so that a change is expected.

Write objectives so there is a link:

  • between the content and what the learner is presently doing or may do in current practice
  • from objectives to the content
  • from objectives to measurable outcomes

Steven Passin & Associates Workshop, “Level 3 Planning for the new ACCME Criteria” presented at Alliance for CME Annual Conference, January 2008

What is CMEs Link to ACGME/ABMS Physician Competences?

Continuing Medical Education must also be developed/designed in the context of desirable physician attributes, as exemplified by competencies identified by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ACGME/ABMS Competencies, including definitions, are listed in the application. At least two competencies should be addressed in each activity.

Evaluation of Project

Is an assessment of changes in knowledge, practice or patient outcomes required for each CME activity?


What is the new seven-level pyramid widely-accepted for measuring outcomes of CME activities?

Activities should be designed so that outcomes can be measured at the highest level possible.

  1. Participation
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Learning
    1. Declarative knowledge
    2. Procedural knowledge
  4. Competence
  5. Performance
  6. Patient health
  7. Community Health

Moore DE Jr, Green JS, Gallis HA. Achieving desired results and improved outcomes: integrating planning and assessment throughout learning activities. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2009 Winter;29(1):1-15.

Is submitting a summary of the evaluations, which may include pre- and post-tests, sufficient?

No. According to the ACCME, measuring the changes that result from CME activities is not enough to achieve compliance as a provider of continuing medical education. The measurement data must be analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the activities.