AAFP Credit Application FAQ

Review the following responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding AAFP CME Credit System and the application process.

Questions?

Contact AAFP CME Credit System and Compliance

(800) 274-2237

cmecredit@aafp.org

Does the AAFP conduct CME activity audits?

Yes. The AAFP conducts three types of audits: 

Random: Help to ensure compliance with AAFP CME Credit System rules, including the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support(www.accme.org).

Complaint: Conducted when the AAFP is made aware of concerns (e.g., feedback from the learners) about any activity that has been awarded AAFP Prescribed credit and/or AAFP Elective credit.

Live: May be performed on any activity that has been awarded AAFP Prescribed credit and/or AAFP Elective credit.

Learn more about activity audits.

How can I submit my CME credit application?

The AAFP has an online application process

The AAFP will create an application for CME providers unable to complete an online application. A $195 data entry fee is required for each application not submitted online.

Can I appeal the AAFP credit determination?

Yes. Final approval of AAFP credit rests with the Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD).

If a CME provider wishes to appeal determination of credit, a letter of intent to appeal must be submitted within 30 business days after receipt of credit determination.

Learn more about the AAFP CME Credit System appeals process.

What is the difference between an annual series and a multi-site/date activity?

A regularly scheduled conference series activity takes place weekly, monthly, or quarterly to the same audience, typically in a hospital or educational setting. The maximum number of credits is 3.75 per session and the topics change with each meeting. Examples include grand rounds, tumor boards, and noon conferences. An application must be submitted once a year for each series activity. There is no limit to the number of sessions occurring within the term of approval.

A multi-site/date activity is when an activity is presented multiple times and/or in multiple locations throughout one year. The length and content of the activity remains the same.

What does "CME provider" mean on the application?

A CME provider is the person, institute, or organization responsible for all aspects of the CME activity.

Is the activity director required to sign the application?

No; however, attestation that the activity complies with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support and meets all requirements of the Standards is required on the application for all CME activities. The activity director's name and phone number should be included when attestation is made on the application.

What are the fees associated with applying for AAFP credit?

The fees vary depending on the type of CME activity review. Learn more about AAFP CME Credit System application review fees.

How will I be notified that my CME activity has been reviewed and approved for AAFP credit?

The person who submitted the application will be notified of AAFP credit determination by email. Please retain a copy of the official AAFP credit determination letter for your files.

Our CME activity has already taken place. Can we still submit an application for review?

Yes. Although the AAFP encourages CME providers to apply for AAFP credit before the activity occurs to ensure learners can earn credit in a timely fashion, you may apply for AAFP credit at any time.

What is the difference between Prescribed credit and Elective credit?

An activity is eligible for AAFP Prescribed credit when it is designed primarily for physicians with content directly related to patient care, patient care delivery, or certain nonclinical topics. A family physician who is an AAFP active or life member must be directly involved in the development of the activity and attestation is required on the CME application.

An activity is eligible for AAFP Elective credit when it is primarily designed for health care professionals other than physicians. Direct involvement of an AAFP active or life member in the planning of the activity is not required.

Is AAFP Prescribed credit accepted by other associations?

American Medical Association (AMA)

The AMA and the AAFP have approved the following equivalency statement of AAFP Prescribed credit to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Providers not accredited by the ACCME or by an authorized state medical society may wish to include the equivalency statement if they are not authorized to award AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ through another venue.

The following equivalency statement should be printed after the official AAFP credit statement: AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the American Medical Association as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ toward the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. When applying for the AMA PRA, Prescribed credit earned must be reported as Prescribed credit, not as Category 1.

American Osteopathic Association (AOA)

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accepts AAFP Prescribed and Elective credit as AOA Category 2 credit:

  • Category 2-A includes formal live, clinical educational programs that are AAFP approved.
  • Category 2-B includes informal or non-live activities, or activities that deal with nonclinical topics such as malpractice.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)

The AAFP and the CFPC have a bilateral reciprocal certification agreement whereby: CME activities held across the Canada - U.S. border are certified according to the nationality ofthe primary target audiences regardless of where the providers are located. The activities will be reviewed according to the criteria of the certifying organization.

A CME activity is to be certified by the CFPC if the primary target audience is Canadian. If it isto be held in Canada by a U.S. provider, this is done through the appropriate CFPC Chapter office. If it is to be held in the United States, it is done through the CFPC national office. The CFPC will inform the AAFP of all such activities.

AAFP Member - CME Credit Conversion

  • AAFP members who complete any live CME/CPD activity certified by the CFPC for Mainpro-M1 credit can claim the equivalent number of AAFP Prescribed credits.
  • AAFP members who complete any CME/CPD activity certified by the CFPC for Mainpro-M2 credits can claim the equivalent number of AAFP Elective credits.

CFPC Member - CME Credit Conversion

  • CFPC members who complete any live CME/CPD activity certified by the AAFP for Prescribed credit can claim the equivalent number of Mainpro-M1 credits.
  • CFPC members who complete any CME/CPD activity certified by the AAFP for Elective credit can claim the equivalent number of Mainpro-M2 credits.

Organizers of such activities who would like to promote their activities to CFPC members or AAFP members can remind them of the reciprocal agreement.

What is the difference between AAFP Prescribed credit and AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™?

When a CME activity is approved for AAFP Prescribed credit, it means that an application and supporting materials were reviewed and approved by the AAFP's Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD). An AAFP active or life member was involved in the development of the activity, and the content is directly related to patient care and patient care delivery.

When a CME activity is designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, the CME activity is directly or jointly sponsored by CME providers who are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), an authorized state medical society, or the American Medical Association (AMA) directly.

Does AAFP require a certificate of participation?

No. CME providers are not required to distribute certificates of participation. AAFP members may report CME credits in the following ways:

Online

By phone: (800) 274-2237

By mail:
American Academy of Family Physicians
Attn: Contact Center
11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy
Leawood, KS 66211-2672

The AAFP does not require CME providers to issue certificates of participation; however, learners find this documentation helpful, as many members need a certificate for state licensing or credentialing. The AAFP’s online Tools for CME Developers include a certificate of participation template.

How long do we have to keep documentation about a CME activity on file?

The AAFP requires all documentation associated with activity development, including records verifying physician participation, to be retained for one year by the CME provider.