Joint Accreditation Definitions
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ACCME Recognized Accreditors

State and territory medical societies recognized by the ACCME as accreditors of intrastate providers.  To achieve recognition, a state or territory medical society must meet the ACCME requirements, the Makers of Equivalency.

Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)

A nonprofit corporation based in Chicago, responsible for accrediting institutions that offer continuing medical education (CME) to physicians and other healthcare professionals.  The ACCME also has a system for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors for local organizations offering CME.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)

ACPE is recognized by the US Department of Education as the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and also serves as the national agnecy for the accreditation of provider of continuing education. ACPE offers evaluation and certification of professional degree programs internationally, and in collaboration with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, ACPE accredits pharmacy technician education and training programs.


An education event, which is based upon the educational needs that underlie the practice gaps of the healthcare team and/or the individual members of the healthcare team.  Activities are based on valid content and are independent of commercial interests.  Activities are designed to change the skills/strategy, or performance of the healthcare team, or patient outcomes as described in the organization's mission statement.

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

A subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA) that promotes excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentailing programs.  ANCC accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education.

ANCC Accredited Approvers

An eligible organization credentialed by ANCC after having submitted to an in-depth analysis to determine its capacity to assess and monitor other organizations’ compliance with ANCC accreditation criteria that support the provision of quality CNE activities, as well as approve those educational activities offered by other organizations or individuals in compliance with ANCC accreditation criteria.

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Collaborative Practice

When multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, carers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.1

[1] Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011). Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Report of an Expert Panel. Washington, D.C.; Interprofessional Education Collaborative.

Commercial Interest

A commercial interest, as defined by the ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC do not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. A commercial interest is not eligible for joint accreditation.

Conflict of Interest

The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC consider financial relationships to create conflicts of interest in CE when individuals have both a financial relationship with a commercial interest and the opportunity to affect the content of CE about the products or services of that commercial interest. The potential for maintaining or increasing the value of the financial relationship with the commercial interest creates an incentive to influence the content of the CE—an incentive to insert commercial bias. See also Relevant Financial Relationships.

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Financial Relationships

See Relevant Financial Relationships

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Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) “Healthcare team”

When multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, carers [sic], and communities to deliver the highest quality of care.2 For the purpose of Joint Accreditation, the healthcare team includes professionals from the fields of medicine, nursing and pharmacy.

2 World Health Organization (WHO). (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education & collaborative practice. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Interprofessional Education (IPE)

When students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.3

3 Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011). Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Report of an Expert Panel. Washington, D.C.; Interprofessional Education Collaborative.

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Joint Accreditation

A voluntary process in which an institution, organization or agency submits to an in-depth analysis to determine its capacity to provide quality continuing education for the healthcare team in accord with the Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education® criteria.

Joint Accreditation Review Committee (Joint ARC)

Committee comprised equally of representatives from ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC that participate in the process of accreditation review for organizations seeking Joint Accreditation. Recommendations made by the Joint ARC will be forwarded for final decision to the governing boards of ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC.

Jointly Accredited Provider

The institution or organization that is jointly accredited by the ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC to present continuing education activities.

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A statement that highlights education for the healthcare team with expected results articulated in terms of changes in skills/strategy, or performance of the healthcare team, or patient outcomes.

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Statements that describe what the learner can expect to know or do after the completion of the CE activity. Objectives are preferably written in behavioral terminology and should suggest outcome measures for a program’s success or effectiveness.

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The overall continuing education (CE) activities of an accredited provider.

Program Evaluation

Evaluation process in which the provider gathers data or information and conducts a program-based analysis on the degree to which it CE mission has been met through the conduct of CE activities/educational interventions.

Progress Report

Jointly accredited providers that receive noncompliance findings in one or more of the Joint Accreditation Criteria must submit a progress report demonstrating that they have come into compliance.


See "Jointly Accredited Provider"

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Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS)

A course that is planned as a series with multiple, ongoing sessions, e.g., offered weekly, monthly, or quarterly; and is primarily planned by and presented to the accredited organization’s professional staff. Examples: grand rounds, tumor boards, and morbidity and mortality conferences.

Relevant Financial Relationships

The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC require anyone in control of continuing education (CE) content to disclose relevant financial relationships to the accredited provider. Individuals must also include in their disclosure the relevant financial relationships of a spouse or partner.

The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC define “relevant financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount that create a conflict of interest and that occurred in the 12-month period preceding the time that the individual was asked to assume a role controlling content of the CE activity. The ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC have not set a minimal dollar amount—any amount, regardless of how small, creates the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship.

Financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria for promotional speakers’ bureau, ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock options or other ownership interest, excluding diversified mutual funds), or other financial benefit.

Financial benefits are usually associated with roles such as employment, management position, independent contractor (including contracted research), consulting, speaking and teaching, membership on advisory committees or review panels, board membership, and other activities from which remuneration is received, or expected. See also Conflict of Interest.

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Self-Study Report

A comprehensive review and assessment process of the provider’s continuing education (CE) program to document accomplishments related to the joint accreditation criteria, assess areas for improvement, and outline a plan for making those improvements.


Group of trained volunteers selected by the accrediting bodies (ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC) to conduct the provider’s self-study interview and review activity documentation in activity files.

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Target Audience

Group of individuals for which an educational activity has been designed (e.g. nurses, pharmacists, physicians).

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