In July, 70 CME professionals became the first to earn the new Certified Continuing Medical Education Professional designation.

Created and administered by the National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals, Sandia, N.M., an independent organization, the CCMEP certification is the first credential exclusively for CME professionals. The program is designed to help organizations verify the knowledge and skills of CME staff and to demonstrate the integrity of their education initiatives to the public and government, say organizers.

Of the 79 who took the inaugural test in June, 70 received passing scores. The exam is one portion of the credentialing process, which also includes the applicant's experience, formal education, and continuing education. Jack Kues, PhD, CCMEP, president of NC-CME, was part of the inaugural class. Kues, who is also assistant senior vice president for continuous professional development, University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, says the interest in the program is greater than anticipated, and he is impressed by the diversity of CME professionals who participated in the beta test as well as those who took the final exam. “Our first cohort of certified CME professionals includes a number of leaders in CME, and they come from a wide range of stakeholder groups,” he says. “Several individuals in this group are among those who expressed skepticism about CME professional certification when I first spoke with them.”

Elevate the Profession

A certification program is especially important at this point, he says, because of the tremendous changes in CME over the past few years that have created a much more complex working environment. “NC-CME was created to be a partner in the development of a new CME profession. I'm very excited about the potential of the CME profession and the role it can play in improving healthcare.”

The next certification exam period will be held September 13-30 at 200 testing centers throughout the U.S. The first two groups of graduates will be recognized on October 21 at the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration annual conference in Baltimore. After that, there will be another testing period, December 13-30. Candidates must register by November 30.

To register, obtain more information, or see a list of the current grads, go to www.nc-cme.org.