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International Academy for CPD Accreditation Glossary

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The IACPDA defines a common set of terms to facilitate the work and discussions of the IACPDA. This glossary is not intended to replace and/or represent IACPDA member organizations respective glossaries.

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Accredited CME (Activity)
An educational offering that is planned, implemented, and evaluated in accordance with the accrediting body’s policies.

Accrediting Body
The organization that sets and enforces the standards for CME activities and/or CME provider organizations through the review and approval of organizations /applications for the provision of CME and to monitor and enforce guidelines for these organizations/activities.

Commercial Interest
Any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients.

Commercial Support
Commercial Support - Monetary or in-kind contributions given by a commercial interest to a CME provider that is used to pay all or part of the costs of a CME activity.

The degree to which learners show in an educational setting how to do what the activity intended them to do.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)
The process by which healthcare professionals engage in activities designed to support their continuing professional development. Activities are derived from multiple instructional domains, are learner centered, and support the ability of those professionals to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and continuous patient care and service to the public or their profession. The content of CME can be focused not only on clinical care, but also on those attitudes/skills necessary for the individual to contribute as an effective administrator, teacher, researcher, and team member in the healthcare system. Note: CME is often used interchangeably with continuing professional development (CPD).

Continuing Medical Education Provider
An organization that assumes the responsibility and accountability for the development of accredited educational activities.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
The learning journey of the healthcare professional as he/she seeks to improve her/his competence and expertise. This learning journey is supported by continuing medical education and other personal/professional activities by the learner with the intention of providing safe, legal, and high-quality services aiming at better health outcomes for the patients and the community. Note: CPD is often used interchangeably with continuing medical education (CME).

The “currency” assigned to accredited CME activities. Medical doctors and other healthcare professionals use credits to meet requirements for maintenance of licensure, maintenance of specialty board certification, credentialing, membership in professional societies, and other professional privileges.

Independence in CME/CPD
All elements of the design, development and execution of the activity were made free from the control of a commercial interest and/or any other undesired influence.

The degree to which learners state what and/or how to do what the activity intended them to know and/or know how to do

Needs Assessment
Method(s) used to identify the perceived and unperceived needs of an identified target learners.

Organizer of Accredited Education
Persons or entities deemed eligible to plan, present and evaluate accredited education in an activity-based accreditation system.

Patient Health
The degree to which the health outcome of patients improves due to changes in the practice behavior of learners.

The degree to which learners do what the CME activity intended them to be able to do in their practice.