To strengthen CME's credibility in the face of increasing government, public, and media scrutiny, CME professionals must demonstrate their competence in developing effective and independent programs. That was one of the strong themes that emerged from the National Task Force on CME Provider/Industry Collaboration conference, held in October.

Toward that end, the National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals announced that it has contracted with Schroeder Measurement Technologies, a developer of validated testing instruments for credentialing examinations, to help develop a credentialing program for those involved in the CME industry. SMT will pilot an examination in May 2008, with the final version scheduled to be released in June. After the pilot, NC-CME will determine the timeline and process for administering the exam.

The commission will also undertake a detailed job analysis to document the responsibilities of a wide range of CME professionals, and recruit experts to assist in the validation of the job analysis and the exam-writing process.

The final examination will be one portion of a credentialing process that will include education and experience. In order to take the exam for the Certified CME Professional credential (CCMEP), applicants will have to detail their formal education, continuing education, employment history, and other relevant experience.

“We believe that competent CME professionals need to be able to do more than pass an exam,” said Jack Kues, PhD, president, NC-CME, in a press release. “We are working on a point system that will document their general knowledge and experience with educating practicing physicians.”

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CME Advocacy

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CME advocates are handing out this button to legislators on Capitol Hill to promote CME's value. Produced by the Coalition for Healthcare Communication and the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Cos. Inc., the button is also being distributed at CME industry conferences.