CME CME Sponsor Resources

CME Sponsor Resources

Refining skills

Policies and procedures for osteopathic CME accreditation

The AOA's continuing medical education (CME) program strives for growth of knowledge, refinement of skills, and increased awareness of osteopathic medicine.

The AOA Board of Trustees establishes accreditation policy for osteopathic CME sponsors. The Bureau of Osteopathic Education has been delegated authority by the AOA Board of Trustees to review standards and procedures for accreditation of osteopathic CME sponsors.


Notice to ACCME and AAFP CME Providers

The AOA automatically recognizes AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ as AOA Category 2 credit. The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) providers that are sponsoring an AMA PRA Category 1 ™ program do not need to request pre-approval from the AOA to publicize that their programs will receive AOA Category 2 credit.

Likewise, the AOA recognizes the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Prescribed and Elective credit as AOA Category 2 credit. Programs with AAFP Prescribed or Elective credit do not need to request pre-approval from the AOA to publicize that their programs will receive AOA Category 2 credit.

AOA-certified members may request that Category 2-A CME credit be recognized as Category 1-B CME credit when there are not equivalent courses available within the osteopathic profession. Submit a request to inquire about obtaining a conversion of credit.




Frequently Asked Questions

Does a live, in-person conference that also offers the content "LIVE" via Zoom or another platform to remote sites, qualify for 1-A credit?

Yes – When there is a live presentation, and/or it is simulcast to/from remote locations, it is eligible for AOA Category 1-A CME Credit. NOTE: CME Sign-in is still required to ensure participation of the learner either with a live attendance roster or using a web-based sign-in feature or evaluation with an attendance code.

Would a livestream presentation that happened to be recorded need to be made available for 3 years when there would be no intention of releasing this content again as an on-line CME product?

No – A one-time, in-person or live stream via internet presentation is by definition not an enduring activity. At the conclusion of the activity, like any in-person presentation, the experience is complete. It does not need to meet the requirements of an Interactive enduring activity that qualifies for 1A credit.

If you have recorded your event and would like to share that link to your learners, there is no requirement for you to do so, nor to maintain its presence for any period.

Are there particular requirements if we record content and want to offer it as an AOA 1-A accredited Interactive asynchronous/enduring activity, and only have it available for one month?

Yes – there are three additional requirements.

  1. CME programs shall be allowed to remain available for up to three years from the date of original posting as long as the sponsor ensures that the content is still up-to-date and accurate as determined by the AOA Category 1-A sponsor who produced the program. The requirement in the Accreditation Manual (page 9) allows the activity may posted for up to three years, but does not mandate a minimum length of time that sponsors must keep an activity available online.
  2. A content expert is available and will answer participant questions within one week of inquiry
  3. A general outcomes measurement would be required (i.e., in a text field ask “List at least one thing you learned from this activity” or “Will you implement anything learned in this activity into your practice? If so, what will you implement and how?”)

Example: ACCME presentation (recorded) is offered for one month as an interactive asynchronous/enduring activity with AOA 1-A credit. A content expert would need to be available to answer any questions received from learners for the month the presentation was offered PLUS one week after the presentation time ended.

NOTE: Questions from participants could be sent directly to the content expert or could be collected by a representative and then sent to the content expert for a response.

Can I get further clarification on what a type of advertising is or is not allowed during CME activities?

While it is true that “advertising of any type” must not be anywhere within accredited education materials, the manual is referring to advertising from an AOA-defined Commercial Interest, which is defined as “any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The AOA does not consider sponsors of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests. A commercial interest is not eligible for AOA accreditation.” (see pages 4-6 and page 31 of the CME Accreditation Manual for CME Sponsors for glossary of definitions). Advertising from non-commercial interests does not fall within the scope of this requirement.

Compliant example: Advertising registering for your organization’s annual meeting.

Non-compliant example: An advertisement for a new device from a Pharma company.

Furthermore, a key point of this requirement identifies that advertising must not be “within accredited educational materials.” This can allow for advertising to occur as long as it is not during the education i.e. during a presentation, on a journal article that offers CME, through a eLearning module. Examples of ways that advertising is allowed are: a separate webpage dedicated to commercial support or a “virtual exhibit hall”, or an advertisement can be placed on an announcement email of the activity.

We will be hosting a virtual CME conference where all individuals who register will also be provided a link to the conference to watch for a period of time after. Could we award AOA Category 1-A credit?

Yes, absolutely!

This is a hybrid activity – which could be consumed in three ways: 1) live 2) on-demand 3) live + on-demand. To qualify for AOA 1A credit, all regular live course requirements stand, and the on-demand component must be interactive has additional requirements that must be met. (Page 10)

Those additional requirements for interactive online CME are:

  1. CME programs shall be allowed to remain available for up to three years from the date of original posting as long as the sponsor ensures that the content is still up-to-date and accurate as determined by the AOA Category 1-A sponsor who produced the program. The requirement in the Accreditation Manual (page 10) allows the activity may posted for up to three years, but does not mandate a minimum length of time that sponsors must keep an activity available online.
  2. A content expert is available and will answer participant questions within one week of inquiry. NOTE 1: Questions from participants could be sent directly to the content expert or could be collected by a representative and then sent to the content expert for a response. NOTE 2: You might consider posting a FAQ page in your activity to aggregate questions and responses, which may help others with a similar question.
  3. A general outcomes measurement would be required (i.e., in a text field ask “List at least one thing you learned from this activity” or “Will you implement anything learned in this activity into your practice? If so, what will you implement and how?”)

NOTE 3: If this activity is available for an extended period, you must comply with the 90 day credit reporting requirement. Best practice would be to push your rosters to TRAcme semi-regularly (e.g., weekly or monthly) so physicians find the credit on their reports in a timely fashion. But at a maximum, this would need to occur every three months to fulfill the reporting requirement.

We have an online interactive asynchronous/enduring activity that will be available for two years. How do we meet the requirement to report CME credit to the AOA within 90 days?

Best practice would be to push your rosters to TRAcme semi-regularly (e.g., weekly or monthly) so physicians find the credit on their reports in a timely fashion. But at a maximum, this would need to occur every three months to fulfill the reporting requirement.

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