In 1982, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education () in the United States and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACME) of the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges agreed that their newly emerging CME accreditation systems were so close to each other in values and function as to be substantially equivalent.
Since then this 'substantial equivalency' has formed the basis of close ties between these two accrediting systems. Since 1984, and on the basis of this substantial equivalency, the American Medical Association has allowed the CACME accredited Canadian CME providers to designate activities for Category 1 Credit towards their Physician Recognition Award.
As a result of the ever-evolving nature of CME, it was suggested these Canadian and American accrediters articulate the basis for their substantial equivalency so as to avoid divergence in the fundamental values and accreditation criteria over time. The result of that collaboration is the document, 'A Framework for Establishing Substantial Equivalency Between Continuing Medical Education Accreditation Organizations'. Click here to view the document (Adobe Acrobat required).
In March 2002 the Executive Committee of the ACCME in the United States took the following action:
"In order to inform the process of the development of accreditation of CME internationally, the Executive Committee [of ACCME] encourages the distribution and discussion of the concepts contained in the 'Framework for Establishing Substantial Equivalency Between Continuing Medical Education Accreditation Organizations' among and between the CME accreditors of the world as a template for cooperation."
ACCME representatives suggested that the "Framework" be shared with other accrediting organizations in the international community so as to promote discussions around the issue of substantial equivalency - in the hope that it will be helpful in bringing all accreditors to a common point.