AAFP CME Credit System

Policies and Criteria

Questions?

Contact AAFP CME Credit System and Compliance

(800) 274-2237

cmecredit@aafp.org

The AAFP Credit System

The AAFP Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD), through its Subcommittee on Credit Systems & Compliance (SCSC), governs and provides oversight for the approval of continuing medical education (CME) activity types, and AAFP credit designation to meet membership requirements.

The AAFP CME Credit System application and the information submitted in it, as well as information obtained in audits, is completely confidential, used for the sole purpose of educational content review, and will not be disclosed to any third party or used for any other reason without your prior written consent.

To be eligible for AAFP Prescribed or Elective CME credit, an activity must comply fully with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards for Commercial Support and the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) Gifts to Physicians from Industry Opinion 8.061.

ACCME Definition of a Commercial Interest

In August 2007, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) modified its definition of a "commercial interest" as follows:

“A commercial interest is considered any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.” 


Visit the ACCME website(www.accme.org) for additional information.

Activity Types/CME Designation

Approved Types of CME Activites

Formal CME

Activities that have been certified by the AAFP for Prescribed or Elective credit.

AAFP Certified Activity Type
AAFP PrescribedAAFP ElectiveCredit Maximum
AAFP Certified Activity Type:

Live

AAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum:  
AAFP Certified Activity Type:

Enduring Materials

AAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum:  
AAFP Certified Activity Type:

Medical Journal

AAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum:  
AAFP Certified Activity Type:

Performance Improvement

AAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 20 per activity
AAFP Certified Activity Type:

Point of Care

AAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 0.5 per search or 60 per 3-year cycle

American Medical Association Certified CME Activities

Activity TypeAAFP PrescribedAAFP ElectiveCredit Maximum
Activity Type: American Medical Association PRA Category 1 Credit™ ActivitiesAAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum:  

American Osteopathic Association Certified CME Activities

Activity TypeAAFP PrescribedAAFP ElectiveCredit Maximum
Activity Type: American Osteopathic Association Certified CME ActivitiesAAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum:  

College of Family Physicians of Canada Certified CME Activities

Activity TypeAAFP PrescribedAAFP ElectiveCredit Maximum
Activity Type:

Mainpro M1 Credit

AAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum:  
Activity Type:

Mainpro M2 Credit

AAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum:  

Informal CME

Self-directed learning activities that are not certified for credit.

AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning ActivityAAFP PrescribedAAFP ElectiveCredit Maximum
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: ABFM or AOA CertificationAAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum: 25 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Advanced TrainingAAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 25 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: TeachingAAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 60 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Published ResearchAAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 15 per paper or 45 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Research ParticipationAAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 30 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Schoarly Work: Scientific Paper PresentationAAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum: 10 per paper or 30 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Preparation/Presentation of Scientific ExhibitAAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum: 15 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Medical WritingAAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum: 30 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Peer Review of Journal ManuscriptsAAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 3 per manuscript or 45 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Writing Questions for Standardized Tests/ExaminationsAAFP Prescribed: XAAFP Elective:  Credit Maximum: 30 per 3-year cycle
AAFP Certified Self-directed Learning Activity: Professional Enrichment (Independent/Informal)AAFP Prescribed:  AAFP Elective: XCredit Maximum: 25 per 3-year cycle

Definitions

Formal CME

Live:  Activites that takes place in real time, involves two or more physicians, and provides the opportunity for real-time interaction between learners and faculty.

Enduring Materials: Activities based on independent learning materials designed primarily as self-study activities.

Medical Journal: Activities based on regularly published collections of articles intended for medical professionals. The participant reads an article, engages in a self-directed phase stipulated by the CME provider that may include reflection, discussion, or debate about the article, and completes a pre-determined set of questions or tasks related to the article content.

Performance Improvement (PI): Structured, long-term processes by which a physician or group of physicians can learn about specific performance measures, retrospectively assess their practice, apply performance measures prospectively over a useful interval, and reevaluate their performance.  Five Prescribed credits may be awarded for the completion of each of the three stages, and participants must begin with Stage A. 

Point of Care: practice-based learning that takes place in support of specific patient care. The physician uses a computer-based clinical decision-making support tool at the point of care to ask a clinical question, search evidence-based sources for practice recommendations and then apply a recommendation appropriately to the patient.

AMA Approved Activities: Educational activities that have been designated as AMA PRA Category 1 Credit for the American Medical Association Physician’s Recognition Award and that have not been certified for AAFP Prescribed credit may be self-reported by members as AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  This counts toward re-election as AAFP Elective credit.

AOA Approved Activities:  Educational activities that have been approved for credit by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and that have not been certified for AAFP Prescribed credit may be self-reported by members as AOA credit.

CFPC Accredited Activities: Activities approved by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) for Mainpro-M1 CME credit may be claimed as Prescribed credit. Mainpro-M2 CME credits may be claimed as Elective credit.

Informal CME

ABFM and AOA Certification

Certification: Credit may be claimed for certification, recertification, and maintenance of certification through the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Members may self-report this credit up to a limit of 25 Elective credits per 3-year cycle.

Advanced Training

Advanced training includes completion of a medically-related master’s degree or a fellowship/mini-fellowship program beyond Family Medicine residency. Training may be self-reported for credit. Members may self report this credit up to a limit of 25 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

Teaching

Teaching includes instruction of health professions learners in formal individual (e.g., preceptorships) or live educational formats. Members may self report this credit, up to a limit of 60 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

Research

Published Research: Publishing original scientific or socioeconomic research pertaining to patient care, public or community health, published in a state or national refereed journal may be claimed as CME. Members may self report up to 15 Prescribed credits per paper, with a limit of 45 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

 Research Participation: Participation in clinical research studies may also be claimed for CME credit. Participation may include such activities as writing a grant to secure funding for a research project or work as a research investigator or co-investigator. Members may self report this credit up to a limit of 30 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

 Note: Participation in research studies conducted by pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers, or other proprietary entities or in industry-sponsored drug trials does not qualify for AAFP credit.

Scholarly Work

Scientific Paper: Presentation or publication of an original scientific or socioeconomic paper pertaining to medical care, at AAFP, AAFP constituent chapter, or other medical society level may be self-reported for credit. Members may self-report this credit, up to a limit of 10 Prescribed credits per paper, or up to a limit of 30 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

Scientific Exhibit: Preparation and presentation of a scientific medical exhibit at a meeting produced by AAFP or an AAFP constituent chapter may be self-reported for credit. Members may self-report this credit up to a limit of 15 Elective credits per 3-year cycle.

Writing or Editing

Medical Writing: Writing targeted to a physician and/or other health professional audience may be claimed as CME. Members may self report this credit up to a limit of 30 Elective credits per 3-year cycle.

Peer Review: Review of manuscripts for journals listed in Medline may be claimed for up to 3 credits per manuscript. Members may self report this credit up to a limit of 45 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

Test Item Writing: Contribution to the development of high stakes examinations, or certain self-assessment modules, by researching, drafting and defending potential questions. The questions must be developed for examinations given by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), or a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or for peer-reviewed, published, self-assessment educational activities from a national medical specialty society. The process for this activity must document guidance for the physician question writers on how to use evidence for writing quality questions. The assignments must be at a depth and scope that require a review of the literature and knowledge of the evidence base for the questions. Physician question writers should document their review of evidence-based literature. The physician question writers must personally participate in a group peer review of the questions. The question writers should revise their questions, when necessary, based on feedback from the peer group. Members may self report this credit up to a limit of 30 Prescribed credits per 3-year cycle.

Enrichment Credit

Personal Enrichment Activities: Other medical educational experiences and activities, such as independent exam preparation and informal self-learning activities. These activities may or may not be documented, are not AAFP-approved or produced by an ACCME accredited institution or organization, but are of a nature of personal enrichment to the family physician. Members may self report this credit up to a limit of 25 Elective credits per 3-year cycle.