AAFP Credit System

AAFP Credit Activity Types

CME providers may apply for AAFP credit for activities that are relevant to family medicine because they help family physicians improve patient care; improve the family physician's professional ability; and demonstrate high educational, ethical, and medical standards. Such activities may include:

Live Activities

Live activities involve two or more physicians in “real time” and allow for interaction among participating physicians. A single live activity, such as a conference, occurs once over one or more consecutive days, but does not repeat content and is continuous. The term of approval for a single live activity is the same as the activity’s dates.

Live activities also include regularly scheduled series, multi-site/multi-date activities, and training programs.

Knowledge Self-Assessment (KSA) Study Group

Facilitated by expert faculty, learners come together to complete the Knowledge Self-Assessment by working through 60 core competency questions by assessing, reviewing, and deciding as a group the best answer.

CME provider organizations hosting live KSA study groups must be ABFM-approved providers to be eligible to apply for CME credit. Retroactive credit is not available. Only future-dated KSA study group offerings will be considered for CME credit.

Find Answers to KSA-Related Questions >>

Scientific Exhibits and Posters

Scientific exhibits and scientific poster sessions are eligible for CME credit when authors are available for interaction with learners during one or more designated times during the course of a live CME activity.

To be eligible for CME credit, you must include the following information when completing the AAFP application:

  • List of the session(s) on the agenda
  • Title for each exhibit session/poster
  • Authors names of the exhibit session/poster
  • Length of time that the author is available to interact with learners

Additionally, the CME provider organization may be asked to submit learning objectives for any exhibit/poster for which staff need more information.

Training Programs

A training program is a comprehensive activity designed for practicing physicians to upgrade knowledge that leads to skilled behavior in specific areas. Training activities are eligible for a one-year term of approval. Training programs certified by the AAFP Credit System may be awarded up to a maximum of 150 CME credits.

Procedural Training Skills

The Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD) established the following criteria for CME activities that teach procedural skills. In the AAFP’s opinion, the criteria must be met by any activity intended to give learners the ability to independently perform a procedure or to prepare learners for preceptoring/proctoring.

  1. Indications for the procedure
  2. Contraindications for the procedure
  3. Complications
  4. Informed consent/patient counseling
  5. Patient preparation/education
  6. Anesthesia, analgesia, sedation (as appropriate)
  7. Equipment selection
  8. Cleaning, disinfection, maintenance, and, where appropriate, sterilization of equipment
  9. Patient positioning
  10. Technique (including an opportunity for learners to develop psychomotor skills models, simulators, etc.)
  11. Pathology recognition
  12. Management of complications
  13. Practice management aspects
  14. Patient monitoring/resuscitation
  15. Outcome evaluation

In addition to the above, the trainee should be evaluated on: 1) cognitive knowledge, 2) psychomotor skills/technique, and 3) visual recognition of pathology, if appropriate.

The activity instructor(s) should have significant personal experience in performing the procedure(s) being taught and should be capable of teaching the procedure(s).

If the objective of a procedural skills CME activity is to inform and educate, but not to provide an in-depth level of skill, these criteria are not an essential part of the activity.

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Series Activities

Series activities are a preplanned set of regularly scheduled (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly) conferences that occur at one location/institution during a one-year period. The conferences offer different topics related to a unifying theme under an umbrella title (e.g., Family Medicine Grand Rounds, Tumor Boards, Issues in Primary Care). The conferences may not exceed four hours or 3.75 credits. The intended audience remains the same, and a single learner can attend all sessions within the series. Series activities are eligible for a one-year term of approval.

Only one series application is required per year. The application should include the following information:

  1. Series title (example: St. Luke's 2016 Grand Rounds)
  2. Series begin and end dates (example: January 3 - December 18, 2016)
  3. Day of the week or month on which the activity will be held (if consistent)
  4. Anticipated maximum number of CME credits offered per year (e.g., weekly one-hour conferences of 1 credit each = 52 credits)
  5. Specific session titles, learning objectives, speakers, and begin/end times
  6. List of all activity dates that have been confirmed at the time of submission

At least one session must be entered in order to receive approval of the application overall. However, the remainder of the sessions must be entered, as the information becomes available, in order to gain approval for each session. CME providers may add this information by logging into the CME Provider Dashboard online.

Multi-Site/Multi-Date Activities

Multi-site/multi-date activities are live activities that are presented at multiple sites and/or on multiple dates throughout a one-year period. The length and the educational content must remain the same for each session. Multi-site/date activities are eligible for a one-year term of approval.

At least one session must be entered in order to receive approval of the application overall. However, the remainder of the sessions must be entered, as the information becomes available, in order to gain approval for each session. CME providers may add this information by logging into the CME Provider Dashboard online.

Enduring Materials

Enduring materials are activities based on independent learning materials designed primarily as self-study activities.

When submitting an enduring material activity application, the following criteria applies:

  • Audio and video materials will be awarded credit on the basis of actual time it takes a learner to complete the activity.
  • Written materials will be awarded credit based on an average time for learners to read and comprehend the materials.
  • If a formal peer-review process determines the number of requested credits, documentation of the process is required.
  • Activity evaluation.
  • Description of how learners’ participation is verified.
  • Description of how credit was determined.
  • Term of approval is for one year.

Medical Journals

Medical journals are 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.

When submitting a medical journal activity application, the following criteria applies:

  • The maximum number of credits will be based on the number of eligible articles.
  • Each eligible article will be worth 1 CME credit.
  • Pre-tests, post-tests, and quizzes are not counted toward CME credit.
  • Description of how learners' participation is verified.
  • Term of approval is for one year.

Performance Improvement

Performance Improvement (PI or PI-CME) activities describe a structured, long-term activity in which a physician or group of physicians retrospectively assess their practice, apply performance measures prospectively over a useful interval, and re-evaluate their performance.

Physicians must integrate all of the following three stages:

  • Stage A: Learning from current practice performance assessment
  • Stage B: Learning from the application of performance improvement to patient care
  • Stage C: Learning from evaluation of the performance improvement effort

When submitting a performance improvement activity (PI or PI-CME), the following criteria apply:

  • Activity delivery and participation methods
  • Description of how credit was calculated
  • Physicians may claim an additional five credits for completing, in sequence, all three stages.
  • A maximum of 20 credits is awarded per activity.
  • Term of approval is for two years.

Additionally, PICME activities approved for AAFP credit are also eligible for ABFM Certification Activity points. For PI activities to be eligible through this single application process with the AAFP and the ABFM, the activity must meet the AAFP activity requirements listed above, comply with the ABFM's Industry Support Policy,(www.theabfm.org) meet the ABFM Requirements for Performance Improvement activities,(theabfm.mymocam.com) and the CME provider must agree to periodic audits by the ABFM.(www.theabfm.org) Please report learner completion data directly to AAFP, who will ensure the information is shared with the ABFM. For more information about this credit type, watch our informational webcast.


Point-of-Care activities are practice-based learning activities that takes place at the point and in support of 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 apply a recommendation appropriately to the patient.

It is the CME provider's responsibility to ensure that the three parts of the Point-of-Care learning experience are properly documented There must be a mechanism—either from the source or from the CME provider—to document the following elements:

  1. The learner's question
  2. The search of an AAFP-approved source
  3. Implementation of new knowledge into practice

Learners may claim up to 0.5 AAFP Prescribed credits for the completion of each three-step process of a Point-of-Care activity. AAFP members can claim up to 20 credits per year toward membership re-election.

Term of approval for Point of Care activities is up to one year. A maximum of 20 credits is awarded per activity.

Blended Learning

Blended learning is a single educational activity designed for the same learner(s) that is delivered via multiple formats. Blended learning activities are delivered in two or more of the following formats:

  • Live Courses
  • Enduring Materials
  • Medical Journals
  • Performance Improvement
  • Point-of-Care

Repurposed content, such as a live course archived into an enduring material, will not be eligible under this activity type. Watch our application tutorial.

Find Answers to Blended Learning-related Questions. >>

Translation to Practice® (t2p)

CME providers may also add a Translation to Practice component to any live, enduring, or medical journal activity using a three-step process that complements CME activities already approved for AAFP Prescribed credit.

Learners will have the opportunity to apply what they learned in the CME activity and document how learned concepts were translated into practice.

The three-step process:

Step 1: Commitment to Change – Learners complete a Commitment to Change statement stating what it is they wish to change in their practice.

Step 2: Implement Change – Learners implement indicated change into practice.

Step 3: Post-Activity Response – Learners evaluate whether the implemented change resulted in improved patient care.

Find More Details About Translation to Practice® (t2p) >>


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(800) 274-2237


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Contact the AAFP Credit System

(800) 274-2237