Introduction to Continuing Medical Education (CME)A system for Continuing Medical Education (CME) is aimed to assure a high level of theoretic and clinical competence throughout the working life of medical specialists. CME provides educational activities, which allow doctors to maintain, develop and increase medical knowledge and skills and to improve their professional performance to ensure better and safer diagnosis and treatment for the patient.
At present there is no standardised system across Europe for accrediting CME activities and providing credits. Some European countries have established CME systems with a legal obligation to collect a certain number of credits in order to practice medicine, while in other countries no such system exists and CME is considered as an ethical and moral responsibility of each individual practitioner.
In Europe, the Union of European Medical Specialists (UEMS) has established the European Accreditation Council for CME (EACCME), aimed at facilitating the development of a common European CME system. This committee acts as an umbrella structure for the national CME authorities and guarantees the reciprocity of awarded CME credits in different European countries as well as with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
European Board of Accreditation in Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EBAACI)The UEMS-EACCME sets itself as the central link between the National Accreditation Authorities, the UEMS Specialist Sections and Boards, the European Specialty Accreditation Boards and the Providers of CME activities.
However, the UEMS-EACCME cannot review itself and guarantee the quality of the CME accredited activities. In order to guarantee an independent assessment of educational projects and to warrant sufficient control mechanisms for European scientific standards, EAACI has initiated collaboration between the EAACI’s CME Accreditation Committee, the UEMS Allergology Section and Board, and EACCME. This collaboration has resulted in the implementation of EBAACI (European Board of Accreditation in Allergy and Clinical Immunology).
EBAACI ensures the assessment of a CME programme's scientific quality by a board of European experts in the fields of allergy and clinical immunology. EBAACI reviews all applications for European CME credits in this field. The assessment certifies that the CME activity has a high quality scientific content and appropriate didactic approach, is free of commercial bias and that the CME provider fulfils the EBAACI quality requirements.
The maximum number of European CME credits (ECMECs) that may be claimed by a learner must be a minimum of one educational hour, with each hour of educational time expected to count as one ECMEC, up to a maximum of 3 ECMECs for a half day and 6 ECMECs for a full day.