With respect to CME delivered via the Internet, at the recommendation of the Strategic Plan Implementation Task Force, the ACCME took action to approve final policy statements. These statements were crafted with careful attention to the comments and feedback received from the CME enterprise.

The primary expectation is that providers will plan and implement CME activities delivered via the Internet in compliance with the Essential Areas, Elements, and policies. However, due to the nature of the Internet, some additional requirements and/or interpretations were adopted. For example, to maintain separation of promotion from education, CME activities of an ACCME accredited provider cannot be on a pharmaceutical or device manufacturers' product website; with clear notification that the learner is leaving the educational website, links from the website of an ACCME accredited provider to pharmaceutical and device manufacturers' product websites are permitted before or after the educational content of a CME activity, but shall not be embedded in the educational content of a CME activity; and advertising of any type is prohibited within the educational content of CME activities on the Internet including, but not limited to, banner ads, subliminal ads, and pop-up window ads.

The ACCME also determined that some requirements related to usability and ethics for Internet CME would assist the provider in complying with Element 3.2:

The provider must operate the business and management policies and procedures of its CME program (as they relate to human resources, financial affairs and legal obligations), so that its obligations and commitments are met. (Element 3.2)

These new requirements concentrate on informing the learner about the hardware and software needed to participate; having a mechanism for the learner to contact the provider with questions about the Internet CME activity; having, complying with and informing the learner about privacy and confidentiality of information; and being in compliance with copyright law.

The effective date of these new Internet policies is immediate, but the ACCME expects that providers will need time to implement. Therefore:

All CME activities delivered via the Internet must be in compliance with the new requirements by October 1, 2002.
The ACCME will review the Internet CME activities of new applicants for accreditation beginning in October 2002.
For providers seeking reaccreditation, only their Internet CME activities deployed/operating after October 1, 2002 will be reviewed for compliance. To facilitate providers' understanding and implementation of all ACCME accreditation policies, a complete, new ACCME Accreditation Policy Compendium will be sent to providers with the Spring ACCME Report. For updates or additional copies, please visit the ACCME's website at www.accme.org. For questions about any of these new policies, please do not hesitate to contact the ACCME at postmaster@accme.org or 312/464-2500.

To view a copy of the policies, click here.