Joint Providership - Southern Medical Association

Submit a Joint Providership Application

SMA’s Policies, Procedures and Fees for Joint Providership

Looking for accreditation for your educational activity? Joint Providership with SMA may be right for you!

Thank you for considering the Southern Medical Association (SMA) as your source for accreditation. Established in 1906, and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, SMA is a non-profit, physician-led, multispecialty medical association with the mission to improve quality of patient care through multidisciplinary, interprofessional education. Since 1983, SMA has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) as a provider of continuing medical education for physicians.

Joint Providership

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 CME activities with organizations that are not accredited by the ACCME. This approach, called “joint providership,” is defined as the providership of a CME activity by one accredited and one non-accredited organization. The accredited provider must take responsibility for a CME 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 CME 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 Commercial Support, and policies.

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

  • A commercial interest 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 CME activity jointly provided through SMA must meet the ACCME Criteria, Standards for Commercial Support, and policies.
  • Approval of CME credit can be withdrawn at any time, based upon non-compliance with the SMA Joint Providership Policy and Guidelines, and/or the ACCME Criteria and Standards for Commercial Support and Policies (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.

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.

Submitting Multiple Applications: If your organization is submitting 5 or more separate activities (at the same time) for review, discounts may apply. Please contact SMA for details.

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.

Process: All activities submitted to SMA must be reviewed and approved by its Education Committee. To submit an application for review, visit this site: https://sma.org/education-sma/joint-providership/. Please submit your activity at least 3 months prior to the start date to ensure adequate time for committee review. Rush fees apply for applications submitted less than 3 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 4-6 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: support@sma.org.

Application and Accreditation Expectations

  • The SMA Joint Providership Application must be submitted 90 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.

ACTIVITY TYPES

Course

  • 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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