The EACCME was established by the Management Council of the UEMS in its October 1999 meeting in Vienna and started operation in January 2000. The purpose of the UEMS is the harmonization and improvement of the quality of specialist medical care in Europe.
In the field of Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) the EACCME will serve this purpose by insuring accessibility to quality CME activities and securing European exchange of CME credits for the medical specialists in Europe.
The EACCME has been set up as an UEMS institution and is governed by the UEMS Management Council, which is constituted by the representative professional specialist associations in the member countries of the European Union and associated countries. It is managed by the executive committee of the UEMS and has its offices within the office of the UEMS in Brussels.
The practical instrument to improve the quality of CME in Europe will be the facilitation of transfer of CME credits obtained by individual specialists in CME activities that meet common quality requirements between European countries, between different specialties and between the European credit system and comparable systems outside Europe.
The EACCME will not provide accreditation of CME activities directly, but it will connect the existing and emerging accreditation systems in Europe and act as a clearing-house for accreditation of CME and credits in Europe. As such it does not supersede the national authority on accreditation of CME, nor does it create another layer of bureaucracy.
3. UEMS Advisory Council on CME
The UEMS Advisory Council on CME is made up of representatives of UEMS including its Sections/Boards, the national professional CME authorities including the national and European CME accrediting bodies, the professional specialist organizations and societies in Europe. This provides a forum for the exchange of expert knowledge and collaboration.
UEMS convenes a meeting of this committee each year in Brussels. The UEMS is committed to the further evolvement of the procedures of the EACCME in cooperationwith the members of this advisory committee.
4. EACCME Working Group 2002
In November 2001 a Working Group with representation from the UEMS Advisory Council on CME was established to study other CME issues. The recommendations of the Working Group were forwarded to the UEMS Management Council meeting in October 2002 (Document D 0250 rev1). They relate to 3 main areas:
- Accreditation of distance learning programmes.
- Accreditation of certain providers for a period of a certain number of years.
- CPD, Continuing Professional Development, incorporation into the EACCME (The
UEMS Management Council referred this latter item to the UEMS CME/CPD Working Group).
5. The EACCME and the American Medical Association
The EACCME and the AMA have been recognising each other's CME credits since 2000. Negotiations to extend this arrangement were conducted by the Secretary-General in April and June 2002. An agreement to extend this arrangement till 2006 was reached and approved by the AMA Council of Education in June 2002 and by the UEMS Management Council in October 2002 (see D 0234).
Concerning the quality issue of CME, contacts with the AMA and the ACCME (the American Accreditation Council for CME) have been laid. The ultimate goal is to establish a joint set of quality requirements for CME as an extension of the present UEMS document D 9908. Both the AMA and the ACCME have recent policy documents on the issue of quality. There are also the Basel Declaration of the UEMS in 2001 and the draft WFME (World Federation of Medical Education) 2002 document on CME/CPD.