AAFP Credit System
The AAFP Credit System may conduct an audit on your CME activities that have been awarded AAFP Prescribed and/or Elective credit.
This audit process does not aim to be punitive but rather, it helps ensure that the eligibility requirements are being upheld. While we do occasionally conduct complaint audits, our audits are generally random and aim to be educational. During the audit process, we’ll identify possible areas of improvement and provide feedback on how to improve processes for future activities, so that the CME activities align with our requirements. These eligibility requirements are in place to help create unbiased education from commercial interests, ensure that the content is evidence based, relevant to the scope of family medicine and much more.
The AAFP will contact you by email if your activity is selected for an audit. Be sure to keep your files for at least one year, since an activity can be audited up to one year from the date of the activity approval. Learner participation documents will need to be kept longer.
The AAFP reserves the right to have a live monitor present at any activity approved for AAFP credit and/or perform a post-activity audit.
The AAFP Credit System conducts three types of audits:
- Random audits
- Complaint audits
- Live audits
Random audits help to ensure compliance with AAFP Credit System rules, including the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support(www.accme.org).
The AAFP may perform a random audit on any activity that has been awarded AAFP Prescribed credit and/or AAFP Elective credit, up to one year from the date of the activity approval. The AAFP will contact the CME provider by email if the AAFP-certified activity is selected for an audit.
Random Audit Process
- CME activities to be audited are identified by an electronic report that randomly selects CME activities certified by the AAFP. The CME provider supplies all CME activity documentation outlined in the AAFP audit checklist.
CME providers must respond to the audit request by the deadline listed on the audit checklist document.
Complaint audits are conducted when the AAFP is made aware of concerns about any CME activity awarded credit by the AAFP.
Complaint Audit Process
- The CME provider notification and documentation process is the same as that of a random audit. The AAFP communicates audit findings to the CME provider within 60 days of receiving the audit materials.
- The AAFP communicates recommendations and/or required actions.
- The provider must attest to resolve any areas of non-compliance and implement any requirements.
Live (i.e., on-site) audits may be random, or they may be prompted by one or more of the following circumstances:
1. Suspicion of industry influence
2. Pattern of issues with the CME provider’s applications for CME credit
3. Learner/faculty complaint
The AAFP may perform a live audit on any activity that has been awarded AAFP Prescribed credit and/or AAFP Elective credit.
Live Audit Process
- The CME provider is notified in advance if an AAFP CME Credit System auditor will be present at their activity.
- Auditors are exempted from registration fees.
- Auditors do not claim CME credit for courses they attend in their auditor role.
- Results of live audits are shared with the CME provider upon completion.
The following documentation must be submitted to fully comply with the AAFP audit request.
- All CME activity documentation (brochure) that final activity was consistent with activity materials submitted for AAFP credit review, e.g., topics, faculty and length of presentation. (including syllabus, handouts, and power point presentations)
- AAFP credit statement, as printed in the activity materials and published on any websites, showing the number of credits and type of AAFP credit approved.
- CME provider’s Disclosure and Identification of Conflict of Interest policy requiring disclosure of all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest that the faculty, CME planners and provider have pertaining to topic(s) of the CME activity - (ACCME Standard 2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3(www.accme.org)).
- A copy of all completed Conflict of Interest (CoI) forms and evidence of your resolutions of the CoI.
- A copy sample of your organization’s disclosure policy/form.
- Documentation reflecting how disclosure information was shared with the learners prior to the beginning of the educational activity (on-site materials or slides) - (ACCME Standard 6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.5(www.accme.org)).
- Documentation of activity evaluation and demonstration that the evaluation results have been used to improve future CME activities.
If activity had commercial support:
- Documentation that commercial support was disclosed to learners with no reference to specific products - (ACCME Standard 6.3 & 6.4(www.accme.org)).
- Copy of letter(s) of agreement with all commercial supporter(s) of this CME activity outlining the terms, conditions, and purposes of support signed by both provider and supporter agreeing to comply with the terms of the agreement - (ACCME Standard 3.4, 3.5, 3.6(www.accme.org)).
- Copy of written policy and procedures governing honoraria and reimbursement of out-of pocket expenses for faculty, CME planners and/or authors. (ACCME Standard 3.4, 3.5, 3.6(www.accme.org))
- If a social event was held in conjunction with this CME activity, please provide a copy of the description/invitation or other method used to notify participants of the event. This is to document that commercially supported social events did not compete with, nor take precedence over the educational event. (ACCME Standard 6(www.accme.org))
The AAFP reserves the right to perform a post-event audit and/or have a live monitor present at any AAFP certified CME activity.
When an activity is found non-compliant in more than one area in an initial audit, the AAFP COCPD Executive Committee reserves the right to suspend a CME provider’s eligibility to apply for AAFP credit.
Failure to resolve areas of non-compliance identified in an audit will result in an automatic suspension of a CME provider’s eligibility to apply for AAFP credit.
Indication that a CME provider has not followed through on its commitment to resolve areas of non-compliance with reasonable effort will result in automatic suspension of a CME provider’s eligibility to apply for AAFP credit.
The AAFP communicates the result to the CME provider, using the following compliance criteria:
|Compliance Criteria: Total Compliance||Description: Provided all required documents and procedures meet AAFP criteria and/or ACCME Standards.|
|Compliance Criteria: Substantial Compliance||Description: Provided all required documents. Minor modifications would bring procedures in total compliance with AAFP criteria and/or ACCME Standards.|
|Compliance Criteria: Noncompliance||Description: Documentation indicates several areas where improvement is needed or one or more major areas of noncompliance.|