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Mission, Policies, Objectives and Operational Guidelines

Mission, Policies, Objectives and Operational Guidelines
for Continuing Medical Education (approved CME Advisory Committee, July 31, 2014)

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The Emory University School of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education (OCME), in accordance with the mission of the School of Medicine, leads and facilitates the independent development of unbiased, scientifically balanced, postgraduate educational activities. These are designed and implemented to facilitate the continued professional development of physicians and other healthcare professionals.

 Content Areas

The content of education activities are designed to increase knowledge, skills, and professional performance to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in the population and impact positive patient outcomes.  This includes updates and cutting-edge content in primary care, specialty, and subspecialty clinical medicine; research; basic sciences; and professional skills development.

Target Audience

Our target audience is physicians and other healthcare professionals, patients and the community on a local, regional, national and international scale. 

Types of Activities

Education activities include live and telecast conferences, regularly scheduled series, internet CME, journal CME, procedure-oriented programs, individual mini-fellowships and enduring materials.  Some activities may be planned and implemented with a non-accredited joint-sponsor or other organization. 

 Expected Results

It is expected that participation in educational offerings provided by the OCME will yield identifiable improvements in the learners’ knowledge, skills, and competence as reflected in pre and post evaluative tools and/or improvements in learner performance in the clinical setting as demonstrated by a positive impact on measures of patient or public health outcomes.


 To provide physicians and healthcare professionals the highest quality, evidence-based education, advancing their knowledge, skills and professional performance to improve the health of the public.


  1. To support the Medical School’s commitment to providing leadership in medicine and science through the development of recognized programs of excellence in continuing medical education.
  2. To enable the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine to provide outstanding medical education programs for physicians and other health professionals, based on identified needs.
  3. To assist in the planning of CME activities that address education needs and improve quality of care and patient safety.
  4. To assist in producing jointly sponsored continuing medical and health professional education programs between Emory University School of Medicine and other organizations.
  5. To respond to needs assessment of physicians and other health professionals in the design and evaluation of continuing medical education activit
  6. To ensure the budget and finances of all accredited CME activities presented by the School of Medicine are in compliance with ACCME criteria, policies, and Standards for Commercial Support and with Emory University School of Medicine Industry Relations policies.
  7. To accredit qualified educational activities according to ACCME Criteria, Policies, and Standards, and to maintain records for six years on each participant in Emory-sponsored continuing medical education activities


1.  The Continuing Medical Education Advisory Committee for the Emory University School of Medicine is appointed by the Dean and charged with providing advice regarding policies and procedures for OCME and assisting in the future development of continuing education within the School of Medicine (SOM). 

2.  Continuing Education is considered by the Dean, Departmental Chairs and SOM Faculty as an integral part of the Medical School mission along with undergraduate and postgraduate education, service and research.  Participation as a course director, course planning committee member, or faculty for continuing education activities is considered part of the teaching portfolio and recognized as one of the criteria used for determining academic promotion.

3.  All educational activities certified for CME credit by the School of Medicine’s OCME will meet Accreditation Requirements of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  The content and format of these activities will promote improvements and quality in healthcare for the public. 

4.  The educational activities certified for CME credits by the OCME must be scientifically balanced using the best available evidence and must be free of commercial bias.

5.  All content of continuing education activities are the specific responsibility of Emory University departments and programs.  The administrative components of the  non-Regularly Scheduled Series activities (program management, publicity, scheduling arrangements, accounting procedures, budget administration, evaluation and other matters pertaining to the operation) are the specific responsibility of OCME.  Educational design, needs assessment, use of educational technologies, and evaluative methodologies are a collaborative effort between the OCME and the course directors.

6.  The department offering a continuing education activity shall be responsible for the financial outcome of their activity and will retain income, after expenses, from activities offered by the department.  The Office of Continuing Medical Education shall make an administrative charge to the department planning the education activity to offset operational expenses of the office and staff’s time for their work on planning and implementing the activity.  The department Chair must approve applications, including budgets, for the CME course planned by their faculty.  Expenses incurred by a canceled activity are the responsibility of the department that originally planned the course, and the course directors must present a financial plan documenting the necessary resources to cover any losses incurred.  The OCME staff will analyze each program to identify factors that would impact the success of the course.

7.  Honorarium for faculty and course directors should not be in excess of $2500 for any accredited CME activities unless approved by the OCME.

8.  Emory departments and programs may produce enduring materials based on live activities. CME credit may be provided if the enduring materials meet ACCME Accreditation Requirements. All activity expenses including the CME administrative and Audio-Visual Presentation Services charges are the responsibility of the department or program offering the education activity. The department offering the activity will receive all income, after expenses including OCME charges, from the activity, unless a mutually acceptable prior agreement is reached.  The OCME Director, with the advice of the CME Advisory Committee, if needed, has the authority to refuse release of an enduring material if it does not meet Emory University School of Medicine quality standards.

9.  The development of new technologies utilized in CME activities may require start-up funding and a revenue-sharing agreement.

10.  Each department should be responsible for assessing, documenting, and meeting the continuing education needs of its respective specialty or subspecialty and for providing CME activities to help meet these needs.  CME activities should be planned to provide physicians and other healthcare providers the knowledge and skills needed to incorporate into their practice to improve the health of their patients. The OCME may assist in needs assessment depending on available resources.

11.  The OCME will consider all requests to Jointly Sponsor CME activities between departments and faculty of the Emory University and their respective professional medical organizations and with other educational institutions and healthcare delivery systems.  All Jointly Sponsored CME activities must be planned in accordance with all ACCME Accreditation Requirements. 

12.  The School of Medicine may present or co-sponsor a continuing education activity with a  for-profit education company provided it is planned and implemented by the OCME, the OCME controls all education content, and the activity meets all ACCME accreditation criteria, policies, and Standards for Commercial Support.  All contracts with for-profit education companies for activities in which the OCME participates must have approval by the SOM Dean.

13.  The School of Medicine or Emory University logo or trademark is permissible for use on promotional material for Jointly Sponsored CME activities only if the content of the activity is approved by the OCME.

14.  Individual departments and the OCME are permitted to seek commercial support for accredited continuing education activities, but the process and handling of funds must comply with ACCME Standards of Commercial Support and SOM and Emory University Industry Policies. All commercial support (education grants or in-kind support) and revenue from technical exhibitors for Emory-sponsored CME activities must flow through the OCME unless it is a jointly-sponsored activity.  The terms, conditions, and purposes of the commercial support must be documented in a written agreement between the commercial supporter that includes the OCME and any education partner.  The agreement must include the OCME, even if the support is given directly to an education partner or a joint sponsor.

15.  The OCME may develop and present activities of a general nature, not specifically aligned with any particular department, and income from these activities may be used, after course expenses are met, to offset the operational expenses of the OCME.

16.  Interdepartmental programs are encouraged. An agreement between departments describing responsibility for costs and distribution of any profits must be on file prior to submission of the course planning documents.

17.  The decision to accredit all CME activities rests with the Director of the Office of Continuing Medical Education, with the advice of the Continuing Medical Education Advisory Committee, if necessary. The Director maintains the right to refuse and withdraw credit for programs not in compliance with all ACCME Criteria, Policies, or Standards of Commercial Support or not consistent with Emory SOM or OCME Mission. The Chair of the department(s) and the Director of the Division planning any education activity must approve, in writing, both departmental and inter-departmental activities including the budget. 

18.  The OCME maintains records in its database for at least six years or for the period of time specified by ACCME.


The CME Advisory Committee shall serve in an advisory role to the Director of OCME and may:

  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the CME program in meeting OCME’s stated mission;
  • Provide guidance as to the Policies and Procedures for OCME;
  • Provide a platform for the discussion of cross-departmental CME issues;
  • Provide advice regarding the appropriateness of proposed education activities for School of Medicine joint sponsorship with other organizations;
  • Provide input into the desirability, feasibility and financial aspects of future CME activities and products;
  • Assist in assessing and disseminating the value of CME activities to departments within the School of Medicine;
  • Review/approve proposed honorarium in excess of $2,500 for accredited CME faculty;
  • Resolve conflicts of interest as they are identified;
  • Promote innovation and operational efficiencies in OCME;
  • Provide guidance on other matters as needed.


  • The CME Advisory Committee members shall be appointed by the Dean based on recommendations by the Director of the OCME.
  • Membership will broadly represent the medical school’s faculty.
  • Membership shall be for a maximum of two three year terms; the terms of membership shall be staggered.
  • The OCME Program Manager, OCME Business Manager, OCME RSS Coordinator and Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education will serve ex-officio.
  • The OCME Director will  serve as chairperson.
  • Membership may be revoked by the OCME Director in consultation with or by the Dean.