That the initial response was so positive may be because the ACCME based its proposals on feedback from 1,145 CME stakeholders, from ACCME surveyors and recognized accreditors to CME providers working in the trenches. Among the messages received were that “we need to communicate our expectations as clearly as possible,” said Kopelow during the webinar. “We also heard that the community wants us to maintain our expectations. The stakeholders do not want us to lower the bar … but they did say, ‘Would fewer criteria hurt?’” Stakeholders also told the ACCME that it should retain the three-part self-study report, documentation review, and interview process, but that it could perhaps be streamlined to help reduce the costs associated with documentation. “Can we somehow find a simpler and a cost-efficient way to do it while maintaining the benefits of the verification of performance and practice?”

The idea to evolve the accreditation with commendation criteria also came from stakeholder feedback, said Kopelow. No one wanted to return to the days when the criteria were based on creativity and innovation, though. “They wanted it to be clear about what it was that people needed to do and that we would reward and recognize people for it,” he added. The idea the ACCME grabbed onto was to create a longer list of criteria, with some of the current criteria and some new ones, that providers could pick and choose from. “I like the idea of menu of options for accreditation with commendation,” one person tweeted, since allows for some individuality, though another added, “If it means filling out more forms or creating new documentation, then blech.”

People also said they wanted templates they could use to implement the requirements. The idea to replace the performance-in-practice labels with a structured abstract form also was a big hit, prompting Twitter responses including, “More descriptive … Less labeling. Me like.”

Other ideas that were, Kopelow said, “harder for us to address simply and quickly, but very important,” include aligning the various accreditation systems, giving providers more informative feedback than just an accreditation decision, and how to address the issues of holding U.S. providers to a higher level of outcomes. Also on the ACCME’s radar is involving provider leadership in the accreditation process, and continuing to engage with and support maintenance of certification and maintenance of licensure.