Joint Providership - Southern Medical Association
Joint Providership

CME Mission: To offer interventions for the multidisciplinary, interprofessional healthcare team that facilitate change and improvement in the learners’ ability to deliver better quality of care.

Since 1983, SMA has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) as a provider of continuing medical education for physicians. In November 2017, SMA was re-accredited by the ACCME.

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.

ACCME Accredited

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 Credit TM.  The AMA expects accredited CME providers to present physicians with commercially unbiased, independent and objective information in all of their activities and meet the substance of the CEJA opinion.  Accredited providers must maintain compliance with the ACCME Criteria, the Standards for Commercial Support, and policies (accreditation requirements).

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. Materials submitted that demonstrate compliance may be from either the ACCME accredited provider’s files or those of the non-accredited organization.

Policy for Joint Providership with Non-Accredited Organizations

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

  • The educational activity is 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 Critieria, Standards for Commercial Support and policies (accreditation requirements).
  • A commercial interest cannot take the role of non-accredited organization in a joint providership.
  • 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.

Guidelines/Procedures for Joint Providership with Non-Accredited Organizations

  • 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 signed by both parties.
  • Specific knowledge gap(s), learner’s needs, and educational learning objectives, that state what the participant 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 in advance of the activity for review/consultation on content validation and relevant financial conflict of interest resolution.
  • 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 coordinated in advance by both parties.  A detailed evaluation summary, attendees list in Excel format, and a CME credit request form completed by each attendee must be provided to SMA within 30 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.
  • An SMA staff representative is required to be onsite for 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 Joint Providership fee will be determined and invoiced once the activity has been approved for AMA Category 1 CreditTM.

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 and letters for use in planning and implementation of the activity so that all requirements of an accredited activity are met.
  • Assistance with procuring all documentation from everyone involved with the planning and implementation of the activity.
  • Assistance with procuring all documentation from attendees in order to award credit, along with outcomes measurement following the activity.

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.

Contact Information:

Southern Medical Association, CME Division.  Tel: 800.423.4992, ext. 620.  Email:  Website:

Pre-meeting requirements – submitted with application for review of CME certification

  •  SMA’s completed Joint Providership Application.
  • A structured schedule (agenda by day) showing topics, faculty and the amount of time allotted, including breaks and meals.
  • Bios/CVs of the faculty/instructors.

The following should be submitted after approval of application and prior to the activity:

  •  Promotional materials, showing the required accreditation statement and credit statement as provided to the learners.
  • Relevant financial relationship disclosure/attestation information for all who are involved in planning/executing the content, including faculty, signed and in the file.
  • On-site materials to be distributed (syllabus, flyers, announcements, etc.).
  • Documentation of faculty slide review/validation of content, and relevant financial relationship conflict of interest resolution (if applicable).
  • Evidence of how disclosure information is acknowledged/disclosed to attendees prior to the start of the activity.
  • Method of evaluation and documentation of attendance.
  • Method of outcomes measurement.

Post-meeting requirements – submitted 30-60 days after the activity:

  • Typed attendance rosters (Excel format preferred) including name, address, telephone, fax, and email addresses of attendees (for processing certificates).  Template provided by SMA.
  • Completed CME request forms (one per attendee).
  • Evidence that disclosure information was acknowledged/disclosed to attendees prior to the start of the activity.
  • Evaluation summary and any final meeting minutes addressing outcome of meeting.
  • Outcomes measurement documentation (4 to 6 months post-meeting).

Commercial Support Documentation (if applicable)

  • Letter of Agreement between commercial supporter(s) and non-accredited organization.
  • Payment information (copies of checks, etc.) from commercial supporter(s).
  • Evidence that commercial support was acknowledged/disclosed to attendees prior to the start of the activity.
  • Financial statement detailing use of funds received from commercial supporter.

Note – Electronic copies are preferred for all documentation.  Brochures, on-site materials, flyers, CV’s, etc. can be provided electronically in either Microsoft Word or .pdf formats.  

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