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CPD accreditation: Group learning activities

Co-developing an activity — a physician organization and a non-physician organization

Below is the process for co-development of a continuing professional development (CPD) activity for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program credits by a physician organization and a non-physician organization.

Note: The Royal College does not review activities for accreditation. To have an activity approved for MOC Program credits, it must be reviewed by a Royal College-accredited CPD provider.

What is “co-development”?

Co-development is defined by the Royal College as the process by which two or more organizations — at least one of which must be a physician organization — prospectively collaborate to develop and implement an accredited educational activity, learning resource or tool.

What is a “physician organization”?

Policies
  • The physician organization must be involved in planning all aspects of the CPD activity with the non-physician organization from the beginning of the planning process.

  • The physician organization must be represented on the planning committee.

  • The physician organization has ultimate authority over all decisions and is accountable to ensure that the administrative, educational and ethical accreditation standards for group learning activities are met.

  • The physician organization is responsible for the payment of honoraria, travel, lodging and meal expenses for faculty presenting at an accredited group learning activity.

  • The physician organization is responsible for maintaining attendance records for a five-year period.

  • The physician organization is responsible for providing attendees with certificates of participation.

  • The physician organization is responsible for submitting an application to an accredited CPD provider.

  • The accredited CPD provider is responsible for reviewing the CPD activity against defined administrative, educational and ethical standards for accredited group learning.

  • The physician organization is responsible for implementing the activity based on the plan approved by the accredited CPD provider.

  • Co-development of the CPD activity will be recognized by the following statement (provided by the physician organization) on all program materials:

This [program/workshop/seminar] was co-developed with [name of organization(s)] and was planned to achieve scientific integrity, objectivity and balance.

  • Approval under Section 1 will be recognized by the following statement on all program materials and will be provided to the applicant by the accredited CPD provider upon approval:

This activity is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by [accredited provider’s name].

Limitations for industry (pharmaceutical and medical device companies): The CMA’s Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry states that “industry representatives should not be members of CME content planning committees.” The integrity of the educational planning process, therefore, prohibits the inclusion of industry representatives as members of scientific planning committees.

Procedures

Step 1: Identify the organization you want to work with

Non-physician organizations initiating a project should bear in mind the Royal College’s definition of a physician organization when choosing whom to approach about co-development.

Step 2: Contact your prospective co-developer

The physician organization must be involved from the beginning, so non-physician organizations must get in touch with a prospective physician organization before the planning begins. Discuss a co-development arrangement and share your ideas for the activity.

Step 3: Comply with co-development requirements

The physician organization must ensure that the co-development policies outlined above are met, as well as any other guidelines provided by an accredited CPD provider.

Step 4: Choose an accredited CPD provider

Review the accredited CPD provider directory and choose the appropriate organization to review your application. Be sure to choose an accredited CPD provider based on the target audience of your CPD activity.

Step 5: Contact the accredited CPD provider

Contact the accredited CPD provider as soon as possible. Discuss their accreditation procedures, including their administrative fees and timelines. Finally, ask for the accredited provider’s own application form.

Step 6: Fill out the application form

The physician organization must fill out and submit the accredited CPD provider’s application form within the time frame provided.

(Note: Each accredited CPD provider is expected to develop its own policies and procedures for the review and approval of activities under the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program of the Royal College and to ensure that they meet the minimal requirements established by the CMA (Guidelines for Physicians in Interactions with Industry) and the Royal College (where appropriate). As a result, policies and procedures may vary between accredited CPD providers.)

Step 7: Receive results

The accredited CPD provider will do one of the following:

  • grant approval based on a successful application
  • grant conditional approval requiring minor modifications to the activity
  • require an additional full review requiring major modifications to the activity
  • reject the application

Step 8: Indicate Section 1 approval of your activity

If your activity receives Section 1 approval, the following statement must appear on all conference materials (including the program and the certification of participation):

This activity is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and approved by [accredited provider’s name].

Step 9: Notify the Royal College

The accredited CPD provider will notify the Royal College of the approval of the activity for MOC Section 1 credits. The approved activity will appear on the Royal College website, listed under the appropriate specialty.

Contact us

CPD Accreditation Coordinator
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
774 Echo Drive
Ottawa ON K1S 5N8
Telephone: 613-730-2587; toll-free 1-800-668-3740, ext. 587
Email: cpd-accreditation@royalcollege.ca