CME Accreditation

CME Accreditation

Looking for CME accreditation (Joint Providership) for your educational activity or quality improvement program? Southern Medical Associations has been an accredited provider of CME, and worked with other programs as a joint provider for over 30 Years. We can review your activity, provide professional faculty to peer review your materials, assist with meeting planning, and whole host of additional support services to ensure a quality accredited CME program.

Benefits of accrediting your educational activity

  • Accredited CME that is more meaningful. Built around your specific needs. Higher impact on improving outcomes.
  • Save travel, time, and lodging costs. Less time away from your practice.
  • Improves organizational culture and morale. Builds stronger teams
  • Relevant, more useful CME ...because it relates to the needs of your practice.

"When we decided to create an online platform for our training company, we researched many different companies and SMA was our first choice to partner with in developing an accredited program. Our specific needs are very involved and will require a long-term partnership with SMA. The process of accreditation with SMA has been very efficient. Our initial CME requirement was put together on short notice but nothing was left undone. Ethically, SMA follows ACCME guidelines to a T. We are excited about our relationship with SMA and look forward to collaborating with them in the future on all of our CME accreditation needs."

Seiler Skin, Birmingham, AL

Adina Barnett - Medical Aesthetician
Warren B. Seiler III, MD - Owner & Medical Director

There are so many ways that SMA assists the Southern Burn Region I may inadvertently omit some of them, but let me try. SMA staff have provided unparalleled support for the Southern Region Burn annual meeting, a specialized ‘team approach’ care system, for the past 20 years. They are professional experts with the meeting venue including room rate, meeting space, exhibit hall floor plan, catering, audiovisual requirements and bus transportation. They contribute to the development of the program which includes oral and poster presentations, as well as request exhibitor support.

They plan the annual business meeting of the region, record the proceedings for future planning and provide the essential CME/CEU accreditation services for licensure requirements which we are most grateful for their management efforts.

The other ABA regions have not been as successful as we have in large part to our partnership with SMA. Their meetings are very sporadic, and not well attended. We are the envy of the other regions, and their members often attend our meeting.

The Southern Region includes 14 states from West Virginia to Texas and Oklahoma, plus Puerto Rico, and there are 40 burn centers in the region.”

Alan R. Dimick, MD, Program Chair, Southern Region meeting

"This is an impeccable symposium because to the topicality of the subject matter, the content selected, the format adopted, the organization of the meeting and the quality and quantity of the faculties/speakers. Definitely, a very successful stop to review the state of the art of hypertension and to forecast the way forward. Thanks to the SMA and AHS for this amazing opportunity."

Pedro Ordunez, MD, PhD,
Regional Advisor for Cardiovascular Disease, Pan American Health Organization

"The SMA is uniquely positioned as an organization to support the articulated four pillars of relevance, collaboration, engaging academia, and implementing a youth strategy. I am confident of this."

Kenneth Connell, MBBS, DM, PhD, FACP, FRCP, FACC,
Chair, Principal’s Task Force on FMS International Outreach, St. Michael, Barbados

“The symposium  was outstanding. More than that, it was a special delight to interact with so many friends and colleagues who have great insights. Thank you, also, for your marvelous hospitality. All in all, it was a memorable visit.”

Paul Whelton, MB, MD, MSc,
Show Chwan Health System Endowed Chair in Global Public Health, Tulane University

CME Accreditation Application

Expand an option below for more information, or scroll down to complete the application.

Please read this in its entirety before submitting your application for Joint Providership:

As an important contributor to accredited education, as an accredited provider, SMA must ensure that educational content is fair and balanced, and that any clinical content presented supports safe, effective patient care. This includes the expectations that:

  • All recommendations for patient care in accredited continuing education must be based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning, while giving a fair and balanced view of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
  • All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited education in support or justification of a patient care recommendation must conform to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Although accredited continuing education is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, these areas need to be clearly identified as such within the activity and individual presentations (see “new and evolving topic guidelines below). It is the responsibility of SMA to facilitate engagement with these topics without advocating for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning.
  • Content cannot be included in accredited education if it advocates for unscientific approaches to diagnosis or therapy, or if the education promotes recommendations, treatment, or manners of practicing healthcare that are determined to have risks or dangers that outweigh the benefits or are known to be ineffective in the treatment of patients. These expectations are drawn from Standard 1 of the ACCME Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education.

For more information, see If we can help you to understand and/or apply these strategies to your education, please contact us at:

Strategies to Support the Development of Valid, High Quality Education

Use the following best practices when developing and presenting clinical content in accredited CE, and include as much information as available in your joint providership application:

  • In the application, you must clearly describe the level of evidence on which the activity and its content is based and provide enough information about data (study dates, design, etc.) to enable learners to assess research validity.
  • Ensure that, if there is a range of evidence, that the credible sources cited present a balanced view of the evidence.
  • If clinical recommendations will be made, include balanced information on all available therapeutic options.
  • Address any potential risks or adverse effects that could be caused with any clinical recommendations.

New and Evolving Topics and Content

Although accredited CE is an appropriate place to discuss, debate, and explore new and evolving topics, only the following topics or treatments with a lower (or absent) evidence base with the following strategies will be considered for joint providership:

  • Facilitate engagement with these topics without advocating for, or promoting, practices that are not, or not yet, adequately based on current science, evidence, and clinical reasoning;
  • Construct the activity as a debate or dialogue. Identify other faculty who represent a range of opinions and perspectives; presentations should include a balanced, objective view of research and treatment options;
  • Teach about the merits and limitations of a therapeutic or diagnostic approach rather than how to use it;
  • Identify content that has not been accepted as scientifically meritorious by regulatory and other authorities, or when the material has not been included in scientifically accepted guidelines or published in journals with national or international stature.
  • Clearly communicate the learning goals for the activity to learners (e.g., “This activity will teach you about how your patients may be using XX therapy and how to answer their questions. It will not teach you how to administer XX therapy”)


If your activity does not meet the requirements outlined in this information,
your application most likely will NOT be approved.

As an ACCME accredited provider, the American Medical Association authorizes SMA to certify activities through The Physician’s Recognition Award and credit system, known as AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. In addition, and within the framework of ACCME’s requirements, there is an opportunity for ACCME accredited providers to plan and implement CE activities with organizations that are not accredited by the ACCME. This approach, called “joint providership,” is defined as the providership of a CE activity by one accredited and one non-accredited organization. The accredited provider must take responsibility for a CE activity by documenting compliance with the ACCME when it is presented in cooperation with a non-accredited organization. The ACCME and the AMA expects accredited CE providers to present physicians with commercially unbiased, independent and objective information in all activities. SMA must maintain compliance with the ACCME accreditation requirements, including the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education.

SMA will review requests for joint providership of CE activities with non-accredited organizations according to the following criteria:

  • An ineligible company* cannot take the role of non-accredited organization in a joint providership.
  • The educational activity must be consistent with the SMA mission statement – To improve quality of patient care through multidisciplinary, interprofessional education.
  • Any CE activity jointly provided through SMA must meet the ACCME Requirements, including the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education.
  • Approval of CE credit can be withdrawn at any time, based upon non-compliance with the SMA Joint Providership Policy and Guidelines, and/or the ACCME accreditation requirements.
  • Only activities taking place after the approval of joint providership and in compliance with the SMA Joint Providership Policy and Guidelines may qualify for credit designation through the SMA. If changes are made to a proposal after SMA has given approval, the proposal must be resubmitted for review and approval.

*Please review to determine if your company is ineligible

The ACCME defines ineligible companies as "those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients." See ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education for more information. The ACCME provides a set of self-assessment questions that can help an organization determine whether it falls under the definition of an ineligible company. These questions are listed below:

Structured Self-Assessment Related to ACCME's Definition of an Ineligible company

  1. Does your organization, or a part of your organization, produce, market, re-sell, or distribute healthcare products used by or on patients?
  2. Does your organization advocate for, or on behalf of, an ineligible company?
  3. Does your organization have a parent company that…
    • produces, markets, re-sells, or distributes healthcare products used by or on patients, and/or…
    • advocates for, or on behalf of, an ineligible company?
    • (A "parent company" is a separate legal entity that owns or fiscally controls an organization.)
  4. Does your organization have a sister company that…
    • produces, markets, re-sells, or distributes healthcare products used by or on patients, and/or…
    • advocates for, or on behalf of, ineligible companies?
    • (A "sister company" is a separate legal entity which is a subsidiary of the same parent company that owns or fiscally controls an organization).

4a. If Yes to 4, does your organization share management, employees, or governance structure with the sister company? (An example of a corporate structure that meets ACCME’s requirements for independence can be found below.)
4b. If Yes to 4, are any owners, employees, or agents of the sister company involved in the planning, development, or implementation of educational content?
4c. If Yes to 4, does the sister company control or influence, in whole or in part, the operations of your organization?

If your organization answers yes to any of these questions, it would likely be defined by ACCME as an ineligible company, and SMA will be unable to review your activity for joint providership.

Additional information and examples can be viewed here.

If after answering these questions your organization still has questions regarding its status, please contact SMA staff to discuss.

Fees: Joint providership review fees and service fees for accreditation will be charged according to the type, size, and complexity of the CME activity. At a minimum, fees are assessed as indicated below. Depending on the activity, additional fees may be required, as this fee structure offers guidelines only. Each activity is unique and may require special pricing considerations. An SMA staff representative may be required to be onsite for live, jointly provided activities; all related travel expenses are the responsibility of the non-accredited organization and are not included in the Joint Providership fee.

The determined joint providership fee will be invoiced once the activity has been approved. All fees are due prior to the start date of the activity.

Joint Providership Activity Application Review Fee: An application review fee is required for each activity submitted, and should be paid at the time of submission. The fee is non-refundable. Upon approval, the review fee will be applied to the balance due for the full accreditation fee.

Process: All activities submitted to SMA must be reviewed and approved by its Education Committee. To submit an application for review, visit this site: Please submit your activity at least 2 month prior to the start date to ensure adequate time for committee review. Rush fees may apply for applications submitted less than 2 months from the activity start date.

Notification of Joint Providership Approval: Upon receipt of the completed Joint Providership Application and supporting documentation, the SMA’s CME Committee will review the proposal for approval.  The primary contact will be notified of the decision within 3-4 weeks. Upon approval, a Joint Providership Letter of Agreement between SMA and the non-accredited organization will be executed for a one-year term and may be renewable upon agreement by both parties.

Optional Services: SMA can provide services for required elements of accreditation for additional fees as indicated below. Please call SMA for more information.

Contact Information: If you have questions or wish to speak with an SMA representative, please call: 800.423.4992, ext. 620, between the hours of 8:00 am - 4:30 pm central time, or email:

Application Fee / Joint Providership Fee

Application fees are due at the time of application submission and are non-refundable.

Review fee will be credited to the amount due, if application is approved.

Application Review Fee $275
Joint Providership Service Fee (based on the number of credit hours per activity):
Fees may be higher if activity is supported by a commercial interest.

Brief Timeline of Documentation Requirements for Approved Applications

Due Date
Submit to SMA completed disclosure forms for all speakers and planners 1 month prior to start date
Content Review and Resolve Conflicts of Interest (COI) - submit to SMA resolution of conflict of interest forms 2 weeks prior to start date
Submit to SMA Letters of Agreement (LOAs) for Commercial Support 1 week prior to start date
Submit to SMA (for approval) copies of promotion materials that include appropriate accreditation statements as provided to the learner 1 month after activity approval, or when marketing is launched
Submit evidence (copies or describe the process used) that disclosures for all speakers and planners were provided to the learner prior to the start of the activity 2 weeks prior to activity start date
Submit evidence (copies or describe the process used) that confirmed commercial support was disclosed to the learners prior to the start of the activity 2 weeks prior to activity start date
Submit to SMA Evaluation Form, Attendance Attestation, and CME Certificate copy to be distributed to learners 3 weeks prior to activity start date
Submit to SMA post-activity documentation: Participation Rosters, Evaluation Summaries, and other info. Dates will be established based on the activity

Optional Multi-Media Services Provided by SMA in addition to accreditation services.

Need Additional Services? Call SMA for a Quote Today!

SMA Provides:
  • On-Site Multimedia Specialist
  • Can be combined with video capture
Use of SMA's Platform for Live Webinars
  • Webcast/Webinar Technology
  • Staff to host your event
  • Recording of live broadcast
  • Post-broadcast editing
  • Registration support
Use of SMA'S Online Learning Management System (LMS)
  • LMS Platform and Technology for online courses
  • Staff to build your online courses

Application and Accreditation Expectations

  • The SMA Joint Providership Application must be submitted 60 days prior to the activity start date. By submitting the application, you are agreeing to follow the SMA’s direction to comply with the aforementioned policies and guidelines throughout the planning, implementation, and reconciliation of the CME activity. The requested documentation in the application is required as part of the compliance process.
  • SMA and the non-accredited organization will determine in advance who will be responsible for providing accreditation documentation. Responsibilities will be documented in a Joint Providership Letter of Agreement (LOA) signed by both parties.
  • Specific knowledge gap(s), learner’s needs, and educational learning objectives, that state what the participants can expect to learn, and/or the desired outcome, must be developed to meet the specific needs of the attendees.  
  • Everyone in control of the educational content (including committee members, staff planners, faculty, etc.), must provide full disclosure of relevant financial relationship information prior to an activity.
  • All faculty/speakers for the activity must agree to provide their slides/presentation or abstract/outline of the content in advance of the activity for review/consultation on content validation and conflict of interest resolution. Conflicts of Interest (COI) must be resolved and documented prior to the start of the activity.
  • All promotional materials (with appropriate accreditation and credit statements) must be reviewed and approved by the SMA prior to distribution.
  • Attendee evaluation forms and CME credit request forms are required and must be approved in advance by SMA.
  • A detailed evaluation summary, attendees list in Excel format, and copies of CME credit request forms must be provided to SMA within 3 days following the activity.  SMA will prepare and distribute CME certificates and maintain accreditation files and record attendance as required by the ACCME.
  • An outcomes measurement plan must be designed, implemented and copies of results provided to the SMA.

To assist with planning, SMA will provide:

  • Specific credit statements and other required language that must be used when a joint providership activity is offered.
  • Sample forms, letters, and a timeline for use in planning and implementation of the activity so that all requirements of an accredited activity are met.



  • A course is a live activity where the learner participates in person. A course is planned as an individual event. Examples: annual meeting, conference, seminar. For events with multiple sessions, such as annual meetings, accredited providers report one activity and calculate the hours of instruction by totaling the hours of all educational sessions offered for credit. For events with concurrent sessions, calculate the time only once to determine the maximum number of credits a participant may earn. If a course is held multiple times for multiple audiences, then each instance is reported as a separate activity.

Internet Live Activity

  • An internet live activity is an online course, available at a certain time on a certain date and is only available in real-time, just as if it were a course held in an auditorium. Once the event has taken place, learners may no longer participate in that activity. (Example: live webcast, live broadcast from a meeting, or a webinar).

Internet Enduring Activity

  • An internet enduring activity is available when the participant chooses to complete it. It is “enduring,” meaning that there is not just one time on one day to participate in it. Rather, the participant determines when he/she participates. (Examples: online interactive educational module, recorded presentation, podcast). Internet Enduring Activities must be presented in a learning management system (LMS) online platform. A learning management system (LMS) is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.
  • There are specific and additional documentation requirements related to this activity type, call SMA for more details.

Journal-Based Activity

  • A journal-based activity includes the reading of an article (or adapted formats for special needs), a provider stipulated/learner directed phase, that may include reflection, discussion, or debate about the material contained in the article(s), and a requirement for the completion by the learner of a pre-determined set of questions or tasks relating to the content of the material as part of the learning process. A maximum of one hour of credit may be awarded for journal-based activities, and must be presented in an online LMS platform.

Other Activity Type

  • A blended, new, or other approach that does not fall into one of the established format categories listed above.
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