• Questions When Getting Started

    How can I submit my CME credit application?

    The AAFP has an easy to follow online application process. If you already have an account, you can submit your credit application. Your application can be paused at any time, so you do not need to complete the entire application at once. If you don’t have an account, see the FAQ below, “How do I create an account in order to submit a credit application?”

    How do I create an account in order to submit a credit application?

    Individuals who wish to apply for credit must have an individual AAFP account that is linked to a CME provider organization account. If you do not have an individual and/or CME provider organization account, follow the steps below.

    Create a brand-new Individual account:

    • If you do not have an existing individual AAFP account, you will need to click "Create Account" and follow the steps for individual AAFP account creation.
    • Once your individual AAFP account is created, contact the AAFP to be linked to the CME provider organization under which the CME application will be submitted. Any questions pertaining to individual account creation should be directed to the Member Resource Center at (800) 274-2237 or by emailing aafp@aafp.org.

    Request a CME provider organization account:

    • If the organization to which you need to be linked does not have an existing CME provider organization account, you must first request that a new CME provider organization account be created. This is so Credit System staff can review the organization to ensure it is eligible to apply for CME credit.
    • To submit a request, click the “Request a CME Provider Account" button to request the creation of a brand-new CME provider organization account.
      • If you are logged into your individual AAFP account, you will be taken directly to the “Request a CME Provider Account” webpage.
      • If you are not logged into your individual account, you will automatically be re-directed to the AAFP’s individual account login page where you will be prompted to log in to your individual account.
        • If you did not create an individual AAFP account prior to clicking the “Request A CME Provider Account” button, follow the steps under “Create a Brand-New Individual Account” as outlined above.
    • Once you’ve created an individual account, or logged in, then you will automatically be redirected to the “Request a CME Provider Account” webpage.
    • Once on this webpage “Click to Begin New Submission” to submit a request for the creation of a CME provider organization account.
    • Answer the questions related to the organization.
    • Click “Save and Finalize.”
    • Upon completing this form, an email will be sent to the Credit System and staff will review the submission to determine the next steps. Please allow for two business days for staff to reply to these requests.
       

    What are the fees associated with applying for AAFP credit?

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

    There are no annual fees or maintenance costs associated with AAFP credit.

    How long is the application review process?

    Standard application turnaround time is 20 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 cost an additional $1,995 and are subject to availability. Three-five business day reviews are also available for an additional fee of $595. Both rush requests must go through a preliminary review in order for Credit System staff to determine whether the CME activity qualifies for a rush review. Rush requests can be made when submitting and paying for your credit application via the online system. Note the rush fee will not be charged until the request has been approved by Credit System staff. If you have already submitted and paid for your application and determine you would like to request a rush review, please contact the AAFP Credit System by emailing cmecredit@aafp.org or by calling (800) 274-2237.

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

    The eligibility of CME topics varies therefore Credit System staff cannot advise on the credit determination on a specific activity without reviewing the educational content during the application process. Staff can discuss our eligibility requirements, which we encourage CME providers to read prior to creating education, and beginning the application process 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. 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 still apply for AAFP credit for CME activities that have occurred within the past 12 months. These activities still must have been developed in full compliance with the AAFP’s eligibility requirements. CME activities that have occurred over a year ago are not eligible for AAFP credit.

    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.

    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 and a family physician who is an AAFP active or life member must be directly involved in the planning or development of the activity to ensure the content is relevant to the specialty of family medicine.

    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 a series and a multi-site/date CME activity?

    A series is a preplanned set of regularly scheduled conferences that occur at one location/institution and relate to a unifying theme under an umbrella title. The intended audience remains the same, and a single learner can attend all sessions within the series. 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 at multiple sites and/or on multiple dates. The overall credit amount and the educational content must remain the same for each session.

    On an advanced pathway credit application, do I have to enter all of my sessions upfront when I complete the credit application?

    CME providers must add two or more sessions when initially submitting an advanced pathway credit application.  The remainder of the sessions must be entered, as the information becomes available, in order to gain approval for each session.  If a session is added it needs to be final and ready for review. Placeholder sessions should not be submitted for the provider to come back to edit at a later date.

    CME providers may add additional sessions and check their statuses by logging into the CME provider dashboard online and accessing the Activity Summary page of an application. Please note when completing an advanced pathway credit application for a blended learning activity all sessions must be entered during the original credit application submission in order to receive approval of the overall application.  

    Are physician wellbeing topics eligible for AAFP credit?

    The AAFP Credit System does award AAFP credit to physician wellbeing topics that align with the AAFP Credit System’s eligibility requirements. The AAFP Credit System recognizes the importance of physician wellbeing in maintaining personal and professional wellbeing and in providing quality patient care. To support physician wellbeing, the AAFP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD) has provided guidance to the AAFP Credit System for CME provider organizations who want to design educational activities on this topic and who want those activities to be eligible for CME credit. Staff encourages CME provider organizations to consider the following guidelines when designing and offering educational activities on physician wellbeing topics:

    Activities and sessions that are eligible for CME credit are:

    • Those that are informational, including, but not limited to, discussing data and evidence regarding physician wellbeing, physician burnout, a physician's ability to maintain wellbeing in the practice environment, and current techniques or evidence-based recommendations to address these issues.
    • Those that are instructional if there is a direct link to patient care (e.g. guiding learners through the practical application of mindfulness techniques or yoga poses, specifically to be taught to patients). CME provider organizations will be required to make this connection within the credit application or upon a request for additional information to clarify the intent.

    Activities and sessions that are not eligible for CME credit are:

    • Those that are instructional and designed specifically for the physician's personal benefit and not intended to be taught to the patient.
    • Those that do not align with any other part of the AAFP Credit eligibility requirements.
       

    Are Functional Medicine topics eligible for AAFP credit?

    The AAFP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD) issued a Call for Comment on Functional Medicine in September 2017. As a result of the call, a summarized report was provided to the COCPD. This report, in conjunction with several literature reviews and the results of an AAFP member survey, helped inform the COCPD’s decision to lift the moratorium on Functional Medicine. The AAFP Credit System will begin approving Functional Medicine topics in alignment with the AAFP Credit System’s eligibility requirements, and the additional guidance provided by the COCPD, effective immediately.

    • Eligible activities and sessions for credit: limited to those that provide the clinician with an overview or scope of Functional Medicine and the techniques that Functional Medicine practitioners use so that the clinician can educate patients who inquire about Functional Medicine. (Examples may include introducing the topic of Functional Medicine or explaining the Functional Medicine matrix).
    • Ineligible activities and sessions for credit: those that teach the clinician how to do various techniques, modalities, or applications of Functional Medicine that practitioners may implement in their clinical practices. (Examples may include teaching how to treat patients using various Functional Medicine modalities or applying Functional Medicine to clinical practice).
       

    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 Credit System. An AAFP active or life member was involved in the planning of the activity, and the content is primarily designed for physicians and is relevant to the scope of family medicine.

    When a CME activity is designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, the CME activity is directly, or jointly provided, 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). View AAFP's credit equivalency agreement with the AMA.

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

    The individual 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.

    Does AAFP require a letter or certificate of participation?

    No. CME providers are not required to distribute letters or certificates of participation. However, learners find this documentation helpful, as many learners need a letter or certificate of participation for state licensing or credentialing. View Tools for CME Providers that includes a certificate of participation template that CME providers can use or modify to fit their needs. AAFP members may self-report CME credits in the following ways:

    Online
    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

    While it’s not required that CME providers report credit on their learner’s behalf, the AAFP Credit System understands that some CME providers want to assist in reporting learners CME credit to AAFP on the behalf of their learners as a benefit.

    The AAFP CME Credit Reporting Sheet was created as a convenient tool for CME Providers whose CME activities have been certified for AAFP CME credit, so that they can report their learner’s AAFP CME credits on their behalf. Once downloaded, this tool can be utilized by filling in the appropriate learner data and then emailing it as an attachment to the email address listed within the tool. The AAFP Member Resource Center will then verify the education and log the CME credits into the member’s transcript on your behalf.

    Is AAFP Prescribed credit accepted by other associations?

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

    AAFP Prescribed credit is accepted by the following organizations. 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 Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board (AANPCB)
    • 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 apply for credit for education that is offered in a language other than English?

    Providers are welcome to apply for all education that meets AAFP Credit System’s eligibility requirements. Please note, in order for the Credit System to review the education, all information must be submitted in English, including but not limited to topics, agendas, and learning objectives.

    Can my organization partner with the AAFP on an activity?

    CME providers do not need to partner with the AAFP in order to offer AAFP credit on their activities. CME providers may apply directly to the AAFP Credit System. 

    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 CME credit for family physician attendees, and other members of the healthcare team, often because they are not fully aware of the benefits that AAFP credit provides. For example, AAFP Prescribed credit is equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, so other non-family physician members can still benefit from activities approved for AAFP Prescribed credit. Additionally, other members of the healthcare team, such as nurses and physician assistants, can benefit from AAFP Prescribed credit with our healthcare professional organization credit recognition agreements.