The American Medical Association has issued updates to its Physician’s Recognition Award credit with which all activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ presented or released on or after July 1, 2011, must comply. The AMA Council on Medical Education also approved the release of the 2010 revision of the “The Physician’s Recognition Award and credit system: Information for accredited providers and physicians,” which outlines the entire credit system and can be downloaded from the AMA Web site.

Here is a brief summary of the revisions, which were implemented after gathering input from the full range of CME stakeholders over the course of 22 meetings held in summer 2009:

• Enduring materials “must include an assessment of the learner that measures achievement of the educational purpose and/or objective(s) of the activity with an established minimum performance level that is communicated to the physician prior to participating in the activity,” according to AMA documents. This is to ensure that the credit goes to only physicians who demonstrate that they meet the activity objectives by achieving at least the minimum level of mastery required by the CME provider. The AMA leaves it up to the CME provider to determine how to conduct that assessment.

• Journal-based CME activities also must include a similar way to measure how well the learner meets an established minimum performance level.

• Manuscript-review activities were tightened so that it’s clear that a physician can receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ only if the journal’s editor approves the review.

• The PI CME activity requirements now make it clear that physicians must begin a PI CME activity with Stage A so that there will be a baseline with which to compare behavior in the later stages of the activity.

• The AMA credit designation statement now requires that the first sentence of the credit designation statement indicate that the activity was developed to meet the specific requirements of one of the seven AMA-approved learning formats: live activity, enduring material, journal-based CME activity, test-item-writing activity, manuscript-review activity, performance-improvement (PI) CME activity, and Internet point-of-care activity. The statement’s second sentence also was modified to make the sentence grammatically correct.

In answer to points brought up by CME providers and physicians, the 2010 informational booklet has updated the definition of certified CME, activities ineligible for AMA PRA credit, core requirements for all activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, documentation provided to physician learners, and requirements for AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™.

For more on CME-related rules and regulations, visit our Medical Meetings Rules and Regulations Special Section.