In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities, it is CPEA’s policy to ensure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all of its continuing medical education (CME) activities.
CPEA requires everyone who is in a position to control the content of a CME activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. This information is utilized to 1) determine if a conflict exists, 2) resolve the conflict by initiating a content validation process, and 3) advise learners of this information. Any individual who refuses to (or chooses not to) disclose relevant financial relationships will be disqualified from participating as an instructor, planner or manager and cannot have control of or responsibility for the development, management, presentation or evaluation of a CME activity certified by CPEA.
Disclosures received by CPEA from individuals in a position to control CME content are made transparent to learners prior to participating in the activity. CPEA discloses the following information to learners: 1) the name of the individual, 2) the name of the commercial interest(s), and 3) the nature of the relationship the individual has with the commercial interest. CPEA also discloses to learners the name(s) of commercial interests supporting each CME activity.
Once a conflict is identified, a content validation process is initiated to ensure that the content or format of the CME activity and related materials will promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not promote a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest. To this end, CPEA will conduct an unbiased review of all planned content for CME activities certified for credit to ensure adherence to the ACCME content validation statements and to resolve any actual or perceived conflict of interest that exists. CPEA employs three primary metrics to validate CME content: 1) fair balance, 2) the scientific objectivity of studies mentioned in the materials or used as the basis for content, and 3) appropriateness of patient care recommendations made to learners.
All faculty receive instructions via confirmation letters that communicate CPEA’s standards of practice in CME. Specifically, information concerning expectations related to content validation and safeguards against commercial bias. Individual presentations or initial drafts of a conflicted faculty member’s content are reviewed by a CPEA’s clinical staff. If there are concerns identified by the content validation process, feedback may be requested from the Program Chair, and if necessary, a separate expert peer review is conducted under the direction of the CPEA. CPEA requests that learners evaluate activities for the potential presence of bias.