Important Updates and Improvements

We are excited to announce some updates and improvements to our accreditation processes, specifically pertaining to the way we manage financial relationships and ensure integrity and independence in our activities. In alignment with The Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education announced by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) in December 2020, we have taken immediate steps to begin the process of fully transitioning to the new standards.  

To guide you through the process and system changes, please note the following important information:    

What's New?

  • Please refer to UC San Diego's Policy on Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education (CE), which will replace our former COI Policy.
  • Disclosure of all financial relationships held with ineligible companies in the past 24 months is now required. All persons with a proposed role in an accredited activity/series (e.g. planning team member, presenter, moderator, author, etc.) will need to provide this information in our online accreditation portal before they assume their role in the accredited activity.
  • The collection of financial relationships will start earlier in the process of planning accredited education, prior to individuals assuming role(s) in the activity. Specific timelines and process instructions will be provided by the CME administrative team, depending on the activity type.  
  • Individuals will no longer be responsible for determining if their financial relationships are relevant. This determination will be made by CME staff and designated reviewers at the activity level. Financial relationships are deemed relevant if the following three conditions are met:
    • A financial relationship, in any amount, exists between the person in control of content and an ineligible company.
    • The financial relationship existed during the past 24 months.
    • The content of the education is related to the products of an ineligible company with whom the person has a financial relationship 
  • Individuals will no longer be responsible for selecting their own mitigation strategies. This determination will be made by CME staff and designated reviewers once an individual has been assigned a potential role in an accredited continuing education activity. Course directors and/or planning committee members without financial relationships might be asked to participate in this process. 
  • Persons in control of content of this educational activity will be required to participate in the process of implementing mitigation strategies, as instructed, before engaging in the activity.  
  • Disclosure of financial relationships each time a person is assigned to an activity will be discontinued. Once a comprehensive financial relationship disclosure is completed in our system, it will be valid for 24 months OR until it needs to be updated due to a change in relationships held. Financial relationships will be stored in our HighMarksCE accreditation system and accessible across all UC San Diego CME accredited activities.
  • Information about financial relationships held by spouses and partners will no longer be collected.

Please note that the existence of relevant financial relationships does not necessarily mean that an individual is unable to participate in the planning and implementation of accredited activities, but rather that all such relationships shall be mitigated prior to involvement. By identifying and mitigating relevant financial relationships, we will work together to create a protected space to learn, teach, and engage in scientific discourse free from influence from organizations that may have an incentive to insert commercial bias into education.  

We look forward to working with you as we begin to align our accredited program and processes with the new ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. We encourage you reach out should you have any questions or concerns.  

Continuing Medical Education Team 
University of California San Diego School of Medicine


Announcement: February 2nd, 2021