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What's Happening in European CME Accreditation?
WentzMiller & Associates Global CME Newsletter

The accreditation scene is in the midst of change in Europe. The specialty society accreditation boards are pushing the European Accreditation Council for CME (EACCME) to harmonize systems. And the European Union of General Practitioners (UEMO) is discussing forming an EACCME for family medicine.

Robin Stevenson, president of the European Board for Accreditation in Pneumology (EBAP), speaking at the meeting of the Association for Medical Education (AMEE) in Europe in Genoa last month, identified the players in the system:

  • CME providers
  • National Accreditation Authorities
  • EACCME and its parent, Union of European Medical Specialties (UEMS)
  • European Specialty Accreditation Boards (ESABs)
  • and, of course, the doctors

The main problems with harmonization, Dr. Stevenson said, are these:

  1. The NAAs are jealous of their independence and unwilling to recognize a European body;
  2. There is a different system in each country;
  3. The governance of EACCME is restricted to the Management Council of UEMS;
  4. The ESABs are recognized by their specialties but often not by EACCME or NAAs.

What is the solution? Dr. Stevenson proposed the establishment of "a reformed EACCME comprising major stakeholders with executive powers, and including UEMS, NAAs, ESABs (and their UEMS sections), CME providers and postgraduate medical schools.

The reformed EACCME, he said, would carry out these responsibilities:

  • Define accreditation standards
  • Accredit ESABs for international CME
  • Accredit NAAs for national CME
  • Regularly review performance of ESABs and NAAs
  • Review critically current practice vs. alternative models
  • Remit an appropriate fee to UEMS

Christina Fabian, president of UEMO, reported that UEMO is seeking to become a legal body under Belgian law (as is UEMS). Once that occurs, probably in 2007, discussions will continue about creation of an accreditation council. Dr, Mateja Bulc of Slovenia is responsible for the UEMO process.

Coincidentally, the current president of UEMS, Zlatko Fras, is also from Slovenia. UEMO and UEMS have had some discussion about UEMO working through EACCME.

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