Joint Accreditation in Continuing Education Advances Healthcare Education by the Team for the Team

Chicago, IL and Silver Spring, MD - October 31, 2013

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) are proud to announce enhancements to the Joint Accreditation program and the launch of a Joint Accreditation Web site.

The collaborating accreditors have made these improvements in response to the needs of stakeholders, including the healthcare system, continuing education providers, continuing education learners, and their patients. The improvements aim to advance interprofessional education and collaborative practice by expanding eligibility for Joint Accreditation to more organizations, streamlining the accreditation requirements, and enhancing the value of Joint Accreditation.

Joint Accreditation offers organizations the opportunity to be simultaneously accredited to provide medical, nursing, and pharmacy continuing education through a single, unified application, fee structure, set of accreditation standards, and review process. Joint Accreditation is the first and only program in the world offering this benefit to providers committed to interprofessional continuing education (IPCE).


Joint Accreditation Enhancements

The following enhancements to the Joint Accreditation program are designed to support continuing education providers' commitment to interprofessional education and team-based care.

Broader eligibility: Previously, applicants for Joint Accreditation had to be accredited by at least two of the three accreditors. This barrier has been eliminated. Now, organizations are eligible to apply even if they do not currently hold accreditation with any of the three accreditors, as long as they meet eligibility requirements. These organizations are eligible for Provisional Joint Accreditation with a two-year term.

Longer accreditation term: Joint Accreditation applicants that are currently accredited by at least one of the three accreditors and jointly accredited providers applying for reaccreditation are now eligible for Joint Accreditation with a six-year term if they demonstrate compliance with all Joint Accreditation Criteria. Previously, the longest term was four years. (Providers that are found in noncompliance with one or more of the criteria will be eligible for Joint Accreditation with a four-year term with a progress report.)

Combined fee structure: Jointly accredited providers will pay one annual fee, beginning in 2014. Previously, they paid three separate fees.

Streamlined requirements and added value: The Joint Accreditation framework document and criteria now emphasize the value of interprofessional education and define its characteristics. Several criteria and policies have been removed in order to streamline the process for jointly accredited providers.


Joint Accreditation Web Site

The Joint Accreditation Web site at features the following resources:

  • Benefits of Joint Accreditation for continuing education providers, executive leadership, and healthcare professionals
  • Eligibility requirements and an overview of the application process
  • Requirements and timelines for attaining and maintaining Joint Accreditation
  • Joint Accreditation Criteria
  • Interviews with medicine, pharmacy, and nursing accreditors’ executive leaders about how Joint Accreditation supports interprofessional education and collaborative practice
  • Joint Accreditation background and milestones
  • List of jointly accredited providers
  • Media center
  • Mailing list sign-up

Accreditors' Comments on Joint Accreditation Enhancements and Web Site

“We collaborated with our colleague accreditors to create Joint Accreditation and we continue to improve the program as part of our ongoing commitment to advancing interprofessional education, collaborative practice, and team-based care. We believe accredited continuing education for the healthcare team is a strategic asset to national quality and safety initiatives and contributes to improving healthcare professionals' performance and patient care,” said Murray Kopelow, MD, President and CEO, ACCME.

“Our organizations have listened carefully to jointly accredited providers and those who are interested in joint accreditation. We have responded with changes to make Joint Accreditation more ‘provider friendly’ while maintaining a rigorous review of our harmonized standards. Our goal is to facilitate ‘by the team, for the team’ continuing education that improves patient care,” notes Peter H. Vlasses, PharmD, DSc (Hon), BCPS, Executive Director, ACPE.

“With the continuing changes in healthcare and support for team-based care, the Joint Accreditation Program is timelier than ever. We are pleased to see the evolution of the Joint Accreditation Program and be a part of its continued growth and development,” said Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Executive Director, ANCC.

About Joint Accreditation

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).

Joint Accreditation promotes interprofessional continuing education (IPCE) specifically designed to improve interprofessional collaborative practice in healthcare delivery. A leading model for interprofessional collaborative practice, Joint Accreditation establishes the standards for education providers to deliver continuing education planned by the healthcare team for the healthcare team.

This innovation promotes interprofessional education that leads to improved healthcare delivery and better patient outcomes. Joint Accreditation enables providers to achieve distinction from three leading healthcare continuing education accreditors; increase operational efficiency, saving time, money, and resources; provide continuing education for physicians, pharmacists, or nurses separately or together; and improve collaboration and reduce hierarchies among healthcare professions.

Jointly accredited continuing education providers must meet rigorous standards for educational quality and independence–including the Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME ActivitiesSMWith Joint Accreditation, the ACCME, the ACPE, and the ANCC seek to assure the public that healthcare teams receive education that is 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.

Media inquiries

Tamar Hosansky


Joint Accreditation eligibility inquiries

Speaking engagements

Joint Accreditation executive leaders are available for speaking engagements to discuss the opportunities for continuing education to advance interprofessional education and collaborative practice through the Joint Accreditation program. For more information, please contact:


The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago that is responsible for accrediting US institutions that offer continuing medical education through a voluntary, self-regulatory system. The ACCME also has a system for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors for local organizations offering CME.

The ACCME's mission is to identify, develop, and promote standards for quality continuing medical education that improves healthcare for patients and their communities. There are approximately 2,000 accredited CME providers in the United States, whose activities educate more than 24 million healthcare practitioner participants annually.

The ACCME's member organizations, which represent the profession of medicine and include physician licensing and credentialing bodies, are the American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, and the Federation of State Medical Boards of the US, Inc.

For more information, visit


ACPE is the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE also offers evaluation and certification of professional degree programs internationally. The mission of the organization is to assure and advance excellence in education for the profession of pharmacy. ACPE is an autonomous and independent agency whose Board of Directors is derived through the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), and the American Council on Education (ACE). To learn more about ACPE visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


The mission of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA), is to promote excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs. ANCC’s internationally renowned credentialing programs certify and recognize individual nurses in specialty practice areas. ANCC recognizes healthcare organizations that promote nursing excellence and quality patient outcomes while providing safe, positive work environments. In addition, ANCC accredits healthcare organizations that provide and approve continuing nursing education. The ANCC Credentialing Knowledge Center™ offers educational materials to support nurses and organizations as they work toward their credentials.

The ANCC Accreditation program recognizes the importance of high-quality continuing nursing education (CNE) and skills-based competency programs. Around the world, ANCC-accredited organizations provide nurses with the knowledge and skills to help improve care and patient outcomes.