At a Glance

At a Glance

  • Joint Accreditation offers organizations the opportunity to be simultaneously accredited to provide medical, pharmacy, and nursing continuing education through a single, unified application process, fee structure, and set of accreditation standards. Joint Accreditation is the first and only program in the world offering this benefit.
  • Launched in 2009, Joint Accreditation is a collaboration of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
  • A leading model for interprofessional collaborative practice, Joint Accreditation establishes the standards for education providers to deliver interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) planned by the healthcare team for the healthcare team.
  • Interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) is when members from two or more professions learn with, from, and about each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes (ACCME, ACPE, ANCC, 2015).


Why Joint Accreditation Is Important

  • National and international health leadership organizations have identified interprofessional education and team-based care as a critical component of health care improvement.
  • The Institute of Medicine’s seminal 2003 report Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality stated that health professionals need to "cooperate, communicate, and integrate care in teams to ensure that care is continuous and reliable."
  • According to the World Health Organization, interprofessional education is an action that “occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” (Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, WHO, 2010)
  • Joint Accreditation promotes interprofessional education that leads to improved healthcare delivery and better patient outcomes.


High Standards

  • To be eligible for Joint Accreditation, an organization needs to demonstrate that for the previous 18 months its structure and processes to plan and present education by and for the healthcare team have been fully functional; and that at least 25% of its educational activities have been designed by and for healthcare teams. In addition, the organization must demonstrate compliance with the Joint Accreditation criteria.
  • Jointly accredited continuing education providers must meet rigorous standards for educational quality and independence–including the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSM.
  • With Joint Accreditation, ACCME, ACPE, and ANCC seek to assure the public that healthcare teams receive education designed to be independent, free from commercial bias, based on valid content, and effective in improving the quality and safety of care delivered by the team.


Benefits and Opportunities

  • Joint Accreditation increases operational efficiency, saving time, money, and resources for continuing education providers, as they can take advantage of one unified, streamlined process rather than obtaining 3 different accreditations.
  • Joint accreditation offers an additional option—not a restriction—for continuing education providers. Organizations that are accredited separately can also produce education for healthcare teams, and organizations that are awarded Joint Accreditation can also produce education that is not team-related.
  • Joint Accreditation enables continuing education providers to position their programs as strategic partners in local, national, and international efforts to advance team-based care and healthcare improvement.