Joint Providership (JP) Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Accreditation Statement: the required statement that must be included on all accredited CME promotional materials and certificates that informs the learner of the joint providership relationship between an accredited CME provider and an unaccredited organization: "This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of (name of accredited provider) and (name of nonaccredited provider). The (name of accredited provider) is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians." 

Activity: an educational event for physicians, which is based upon identified needs to address a specific practice gap or opportunity, has a purpose or objectives, and is evaluated to determine how well the accredited activity has fulfilled the expected result(s).

Activity Coordinator: the unaccredited partner's primary point of contact for FMA staff. His/her role is to work with the Activity Director to complete all paperwork, obtain documentation and signatures, maintain attendance rosters, activity records and provide the FMA with all requested documentation and information.

Activity Director: the physician affiliated with the unaccredited partner who is responsible for supervising the development, implementation, and evaluation of an activity that will be jointly provided with the FMA. This individual must be a current FMA member and familiar with all ideas, intents and proposed content of the activity.  

Commercial Bias: information that is presented in a manner that attempts to sway participants' opinions in favor of a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest. 

Commercial Supporter: a commercial interest which provides financial or in-kind assistance to pay all or part of the costs of an accredited CME activity The definition of roles and requirements when commercial support is received are outlined in the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.

Conflict of Interest:  is a situation where an individual's financial relationship with a commercial interest has the potential to undermine their impartiality thus creating a situation where an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content in favor of the products or services of a commercial interest with which he/she has a financial relationship.

Continuing Medical Education (CME): Continuing Medical Education 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 that 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.

Credit: the number of educational units assigned to an activity based on the length of time and content of the material.  The CME units that the FMA offers are measured in AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

Disclosure Statement: all persons who influence the content of CME activities are required to disclose all financial relationships with any ineligible companies. This includes planners, activity directors, presenters, authors, and administrative staff who participate in the design and development of content, as well as CME Committee members and reviewers who vet and approve proposed content. The intent of this form is to inform planners/presenters/reviewers of their obligations and to support the FMA in mitigating all relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies, thus assuring balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all accredited content.

Eligible Organizations: are those whose mission and function are: (1) providing clinical services directly to patients; or (2) the education of healthcare professionals; or (3) serving as fiduciary to patients, the public, or population health; and other organizations that are not otherwise ineligible.

Faculty: the speakers or educational leaders responsible for communicating the educational content of an activity to a learner.

Financial Relationship: financial relationships are those relationships in which the individual benefits by receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, 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 2 ACCME’s Definitions of Relevant Financial Relationships 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.

Follow-Up Material: the following forms are distributed to the non-accredited organization when a JP activity is approved and are due back to the FMA 10 days after the meeting completion date:

  1. List of physician and non-physician attendees on the Attendance/Credits Worksheet provided
  2. Evaluation Summary Report
  3. Budget Report
  4. Distributed version of handouts including the meeting program/agenda, worksheet, brochures

In-kind support: non-monetary commercial support paid or given in goods, commodities, or services.

Ineligible Companies: are those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re‐selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Joint Providership: the planning and implementation of a CME activity by two or more institutions or organizations when only one of the institutions or organizations is accredited. 

Letter of Agreement (LOA): the agreement that outlines the terms, conditions, and purposes of commercial support (both monetary and in-kind grant) that is received for a CME activity. This agreement must be executed by the commercial interest and the FMA and must be part of the Activity file. Either the LOA generated by the supporters online system or the FMA LOA can be used. In either case the commercial support received in this format must be acknowledged in promotional material or final programs separately from other forms of payment such as Exhibitors or Corporate Partners or Sponsors of social events.

Needs Assessment: process of identifying and analyzing information gathered that reflects the need for a particular activity,  This information could be compiled from the result of a survey, learner's evaluations from a previous CME activity, needed health outcomes, identified new skills, etc.  The needs assessment provides the basis for assessing the existing practice gap or opportunity and developing learner objectives for the CME activity.  

Objectives: statement that clearly describes what the learner should know or be able to do after participating in the CME activity.

Other Learners: activity participants who are not MDs or DOs (Nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, etc.)

Planner: any individual entrusted with the responsibility for choosing speakers, topics, and content based on identified needs.

Professional Practice Gap: is the difference between a current level of knowledge, competency or patient outcome and the ideal or desired level. The difference between Actual (what is happening) and Ideal (what should be happening).

Program & Activity Reporting System (PARS): a web-based system used by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education for the collection and management of activity and program data from accredited providers.

Provider: the institution or organization that is accredited to present CME activities.

Regularly Scheduled Series: a series with multiple sessions that occur on an ongoing basis (weekly, monthly, quarterly) and are primarily planned by and presented by the Joint Providership partner's staff. 

Relevant Financial Relationships: the ACCME defines “relevant financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount occurring within the past 24 months with an ineligible company. Circumstances create a relevant financial relationship when an individual has an opportunity to affect CME content about products or services of an ineligible company with which he/she has a financial relationship. ACCME focuses on financial relationships with ineligible companies in the 24‐month period preceding the time that the individual is being asked to assume a role controlling content of the CME activity. ACCME has not set a minimal dollar amount for relationships to be significant. Inherent in any amount is the incentive to maintain or increase the value of the relationship.

Sponsor: term that was previously used to reference the institution or organization that is accredited to present CME activities; it is also a term that is sometimes used to denote an organization that has given either commercial support, exhibit fees, or other payments to support an accredited CME activity. It is important to delineate between commercial supporters and other sponsors or exhibitors.