AAFP Credit System

AAFP Credit System FAQ

Review the following responses to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the AAFP Credit System:

Questions When Getting Started

Questions When Completing an Application

Questions After Completing an Application

Questions About Quality Control

Other Important Questions


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Contact the AAFP Credit System

(800) 274-2237


How can I submit my CME credit application?

The AAFP has an easy to follow online application process. In just a few steps, you can create an account, and begin the process of submitting your application. Your application can be paused at any time, so you do not need to complete the entire application at once. Create your account right now.

What are the fees associated with applying for AAFP credit?

The AAFP Credit System differs in our fee structure, as we provide activity-level reviews of each activity submitted for AAFP CME credit. There are no annual fees or maintenance costs associated with AAFP credit.

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

How long is the application review process?

Application reviews typically take 30 business days from the date payment is received to process. Once payment for a complete application is submitted, you are able to track and monitor the status of it on your CME Provider Dashboard, so you are always informed.

Do I have options if I need an application reviewed sooner?

Yes, two rush review options are available. Same-day reviews, as well as 3-5 business day reviews are available, both for an additional fee. Application must qualify. Contact the AAFP Credit System for complete details. View details regarding fees for these reviews.

I have never applied for AAFP credit, will my activity qualify?

Not all applications are approved. However, our Credit System Specialists can discuss our eligibility requirements and the application process with you to ensure that you have a complete understanding prior to applying for AAFP credit. Learn more about our eligibility requirements.

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 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 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.

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 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.

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 the AAFP credit determination by email. Please retain a copy of the official AAFP credit determination letter for your files.

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 the credit determination.

Learn more about the AAFP Credit System appeals process.

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.

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:


By phone: (800) 274-2237

By mail:
American Academy of Family Physicians
Attn: AAFP Member Resource 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.

What is the AAFP's quality control process for CME?

The AAFP Credit System is governed by the Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD). The commission provides oversight for development, and as a quality control measure, members of the commission review a percentage of the total applications received by the AAFP Credit System.

Does the AAFP conduct CME activity audits?

Yes. The AAFP conducts three types of audits: 

Random: Help to ensure compliance with AAFP 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.

Is AAFP Prescribed credit accepted by other associations?

The following organizations have written credit conversion agreements with the AAFP:

American Medical Association

The College of Family Physicians of Canada

American Osteopathic Association

AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the following organizations/physician licensing boards. This acceptance is confirmed each year, though no written agreement exists. Participants should contact these organizations directly to find out how to report credit:

  • American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)
  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP)
  • American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
  • American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)
  • American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM)
  • American Board of Preventative Medicine (ABPM)
  • American Board of Urology (ABU)

Can my organization partner with the AAFP on an activity?

Unlike other activities that require joint providership, the AAFP may be able to award credit to your activities based on our eligibility requirements. You do not need to be an accredited organization to apply for CME.

How does an AAFP member (or anyone else) learn about my AAFP-approved activity?

Family physicians or others seeking CME credit activities can search our CME Search Center. You have the option to allow your activity to be visible on our webpage, a free service, which allow our 120,900 members to view it when searching for activities to attend. Your marketing description of the activity that is included in the application for AAFP CME credit will be listed on the website and can impact how learners are able to find it.

What is the primary reason why CME providers do not apply to the AAFP for CME credit?

Providers, physicians, staff, or learners have not considered utilizing AAFP credit for family physician attendees often because they are not fully aware of the benefits that having AAFP credit provides.