Jump to Menu
  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CME Credit
  2. Answers
  3. Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CME Credit

Who can earn CME AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ ?
What kind of programs can be approved for CME credit?
Can residents and fellows earn credit?
How do participants in an activity designed for credit by VCU Health CME obtain a record of their credit?
Can activity coordinators obtain a record of attendees’ credits?
What is the difference between CMEs and CEUs?
Can the commercial supporter (e.g., pharmaceutical company) pay for program costs directly? Honorarium? Lunch? Hotels?
If you are planning a meeting for the second time or annual meeting, is the approval process required?
What if you cannot obtain Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Forms from the speakers?
What if the commercial supporters do not return the Letter of Agreement?
Can we acknowledge the support of commercial sponsors who do not sign an agreement for commercial support?
What if there is no planning committee?
What is the difference between the preliminary budget and the financial summary?

Answers

Who can get CME credit _AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ ?

Only MDs and DOs can claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

The differences among CME credit, nursing credit, and CEUs is a common question. UHS-PEP, doing business as VCU Health CME, is a nationally accredited provider by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredited to designate AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (CME credit) for physicians.

Other health professions, including nursing, have their own accreditation systems and formulae for designated/awarding credit for CE activities. Please reference our Credit FAQ sheet for a comprehensive explanation.

What kind of programs can be approved for CME credit?

The content of all activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ must meet the American Medical Association (AMA) definition of CME, be non-promotional and be appropriate in depth and scope for the intended physician audience. The AMA’s definition of CME is: CME consists of educational activities which serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public or the profession. The content of CME is the body of knowledge and skills generally recognized and accepted by the profession as within the basic medical sciences, the discipline of clinical medicine and the provision of health care to the public. (AMA HOD policy #300.988)

Nonclinical subjects (e.g. office management, patient-physician communications, faculty development) may also be designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ as long as these are appropriate to a physician audience and benefit the profession, patient care or public health. Education that advocates specific alternative therapies or teaches how to perform associated procedures, without scientific evidence or general acceptance among the profession that supports their efficacy and safety, cannot be certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Can residents and fellows earn credit?

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is intended for practicing physicians. Residents and fellows are technically able to receive the credit, but may have little use for it until they become fully licensed practitioners.

How do participants in an activity designed for credit by VCU Health CME obtain a record of their credit?

Participants can download a transcript of their credits using our online system. You will need the email address you used to register for the activity and your password. You can reset your password online, or contact us to assist.

If you are a VCU/VCU Health or McGuire VA Medical Center employee, we use your business email address.
If your record is incomplete, this may be due to credits posted under a different email address or duplicate records in our system. Please contact us to assist at cmeinfo@vcuhealth.org or (804) 828-3640.

Can activity coordinators get a record of participants’ credits?

Credit records are confidential and will be provided to the individual participant through our online system. VCU Health CME can provide Departmental Attendance Summaries (DAS) which list all participants in each organizational unit and the total number of credits earned. One DAS is available at no charge per year, if a written request is received with list of individual signatures for each physician authorizing VCU Health to process his/her confidential records.

What is the difference between CMEs and CEUs?

CME credits are for MDs and DOs only, and are designated on an hour for hour basis (minus social activities and breaks). Continuing Education Units (CEUs) can be provided to others and are designated as 1/10 credit per 1 contact hour. There is often concern about this “value” difference, but 1 hour of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (CME) and 1/10 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) represent the same 1 hour of contact. Please reference our Credit FAQ sheet for a comprehensive explanation.

Can the commercial supporter (e.g., pharmaceutical company) pay for program costs directly? Honorarium? Lunch? Hotels?

Commercial supporters may provide financial support for most aspects of program planning and implementation. The ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of CME are designed to separate commercial promotion from education. Commercial Supporters should provide unrestricted educational grants to the accredited CME provider. The provider then uses the funds to support honoraria, lunches, room fees, etc. Commercial supporters are not permitted to pay speakers directly. (With approval from the UHS-PEP, supporters may be allowed to pay for catering directly, if the social arrangements can be seen as “reasonable” and “separate” from the educational session and all arrangements are with the full knowledge and approval of the accredited provider.)

If you are planning a meeting for the second time or annual meeting, is the approval process required?

Each activity intended for CME must be approved by VCU Health CME. An approval process is always necessary, regardless of how many times it has been offered in the past. CME regulations change continually; therefore, VCU Health CME must always be able to monitor compliance with the new rules. AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ is awarded for each activity as it occurs.

What if you cannot obtain Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Forms from the speakers?

If an individual refuses to complete the disclosure form will be disqualified from being a planning committee member or speaker, and cannot have control of, or responsibility for, the development, management, presentation or evaluation of the activity.

What if the commercial supporters do not return the Letter of Agreement for Commercial Support?

Commercial Supporters must return a letter of agreement. Most companies are well aware of this and do not hesitate to do so. VCU Health CME will be glad to assist with the more resistant companies.

Can we acknowledge the support of commercial sponsors who do not sign an agreement for commercial support?

No, you cannot publicize the support from commercial supporters until you have obtained a completed, signed letter of agreement.

What if there is no planning committee?

VCU Health CME must have records of physician involvement in planning and of how decisions regarding speakers and topics are made. Quite often we use planning minutes to document this decision-making process. If planning minutes are not kept, please document these decisions in another written form and forward those to us. Alternatives to planning minutes should be discussed with VCU Health in advance. At minimum, your Planning Committee should include the Scientific Program Chair and the designated Program Planner/Coordinator, working in consultation with the UHS-PEP faculty and staff.

What is the difference between the preliminary budget and the financial summary?

A budget (which contains account numbers or billing addresses) should be submitted as part of the CME Activity Application, prior to VCU Health CME approval of the activity. This estimates what you plan to spend on the activity and is completed at the beginning of planning. The financial summary is provided after the activity and outlines the actual costs of the activity.

For further information please contact us at cmeinfo@vcuhealth.org or (804) 828-3640.

Additional Information

For further information please contact:

Department Centered Activities (DCA)

Carole Hettema
Program Manager
Phone: 804-828-5412
Fax: 804-828-7438
Email: carole.hettema@vcuhealth.org

Grand Rounds (GR) and Other Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS)

**John R. Boothby, M.S.W.
Director, Continuing Medical Education Phone: 804-828-5410
Fax: 804-828-7438
Email: john.boothby@vcuhealth.org

Jointly Provided Activities (JPA)

Sage Blaska, MFA
Program Manager


Phone: 804-828-5415
Fax: 804-828-7438
Email: sage.blaska@vcuhealth.org

Find CME Activities
Back to top