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Helping ensure your organization's physicians are receiving CME that meets our high standards of excellence.

CME Provider Services

Let the WSMA help your organization become an accredited provider and ensure your physicians are receiving CME that meets our high standards of excellence.

The WSMA is recognized by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide a voluntary interstate accreditation program for organizations that provide Category 1 continuing medical education activities. CME is central to life-long learning and professional development to which physicians and the WSMA are committed. Through its accreditation program, the WSMA seeks to assure physicians and the public that CME activities presented by accredited providers meet the high standards adopted by the association and by the ACCME.

WSMA CME Accreditation Service

The WSMA offers CME accreditation services to numerous providers meeting our high standards of quality. Specifically our CME Accreditation Committee is charged with:

  • Monitoring the administration of the mandatory continuing medical education requirements of the Washington Medical Commission.
  • Evaluating and accrediting providers of intrastate Category 1 continuing medical education programs.
  • Representing the WSMA in its professional role to assure that appropriate needs assessment programs are carried out on behalf of its members; that its members are encouraged to participate in the full spectrum of continuing medical education activities; that they are assisted by the WSMA in becoming acquainted with the extent of those opportunities; and that the WSMA assists in evaluation of the same.
  • Advising the Washington Medical Commission (formerly the Medical Quality Assurance Commission) on medical education, continuing medical education, licensure and other issues as directed by the WSMA Board of Trustees or Executive Committee.

Purpose of accreditation

Accreditation is the set standard to assure quality continuing medical education activities are planned, implemented, and evaluated in accordance with all WSMA policies, the ACCME accreditation requirements and policies and Standards for Independence and Integrity in Accredited Continuing Education.

If you have questions about WSMA CME Accreditation Service, contact Kendra Peterson, associate director of education and accreditation, at or 206.956.3638.

Initial Accreditation

Eligibility to apply for WSMA accreditation

Organizations planning on applying for “initial accreditation” must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an organizational structure with a significant level of physician governance.
  • Have a separate planning and approval process.
  • Have a target audience with no more than 30 percent out of the scope of the WSMA CME accreditation committee’s purview as an accrediting body (currently Washington State, Alaska, and Oregon) or bordering states (Alaska and Hawaii are included in bordering states). Should more than 30 percent be from out of state the organization may need to seek accreditation directly from the ACCME.
  • Plan, implement and evaluate at least two CME activities within the 24-month period prior to the submission of materials for initial accreditation.
  • Demonstrate an overall organizational commitment to the CME program, including physician support, budget support, staffing, staff continued education and record-keeping resources.
  • Not be an ineligible company. An “ineligible company” is defined by the ACCME as any company whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Expectations of WSMA-accredited providers

Pre-applicants and accredited providers are expected to:

  • Demonstrate compliance with all WSMA and ACCME accreditation requirements.
  • Evaluate the overall CME program on a regular basis for compliance with the accreditation requirements and make changes as necessary.
  • Submit on-time ACCME annual reporting data.
  • Submit on-time WSMA annual or interim reporting data (dependent on level of accreditation).
  • Inform WSMA of any changes to program size, content, structure, staff support or administration.
  • Submit on-time any Progress Report or Plan required by the CME Accreditation Committee.
  • Payment of certain fees to obtain and retain accreditation.

Type of organizations and institutions eligible for accreditation

The WSMA accredits the following organizations and institutions:

  • Community hospitals which provide continuing medical education activities for hospital medical staffs and physicians in the local community;
  • Medical organizations which do not have national administrative scope: e.g., regional, statewide, county, or other local societies;
  • Local units of voluntary health organizations not under national administration for their continuing medical education;
  • Any other organizations and institutions, which provide or produce continuing medical education program for physicians, which are essentially local in nature. An applicant might also be a major unit of an institution; i.e., the department of radiology of a major medical center.

Instructions for initial applicants

The first steps in becoming a WSMA-accredited CME provider are to complete the pre-application form for initial CME accreditation and submit the pre-application fee (see Fees section on this page). Please fill out the form and email to Kendra Peterson, Associate Director of Education and Accreditation. Mail the pre-application fee to:

c/o Kendra Peterson, CHCP
Associate Director, Education and Accreditation
2001 6th Ave., Ste. 2700
Seattle, WA 98121

The purpose of the pre-application is for WSMA to determine if your organization is eligible for WSMA CME accreditation by explaining the mechanisms in place to meet the WSMA policies and guidelines.

Once approved, your organization will receive instructions for submitting an initial accreditation application. The WSMA accredits providers on a “cohort” system. Providers are divided into one of three cohorts. Your due date will be based on the next available cohort. Once accredited, all future re-applications, annual reporting and accreditation fees will be based on that cohort’s expiration dates. In order to find out which cohort your organization can apply for, please contact Kendra Peterson, Associate Director of Education and Accreditation, at, or 206.956.3638.

Accreditation Materials

If your organization is currently accredited by WSMA and you are seeking re-accreditation, you will receive a notice of re-accreditation approximately 12 months from your current term expiration date.

Cohort   Expiration date   Survey
1   March 31   November–January
2   July 31   February–May
3   November 30   June–October

Please contact Kendra Peterson, Associate Director of Education and Accreditation, at or 206.956.3638.

Application materials for March 2022 and Onward Re-accreditation Cohort

Accreditation Process

The accreditation process consists of three portions: submission of the narrative Self-Study; submission of Performance-in-Practice (PIP) activity files; and an accreditation interview.


The self-study is intended to address two major components of accreditation:

  • A record of your CME program’s compliance with accreditation requirements, including the Accreditation Criteria, the Standards for Commercial Support, and policies. When conducting your self-study, your organization will be asked to describe its past and current performance in meeting the ACCME’s criteria for compliance with each of the accreditation requirements. You will also provide evidence to demonstrate compliance.
  • An analysis on the degree to which your organization is meeting its CME mission and the identification and implementation of changes in the overall program that are required to improve on your organization’s ability to meet the CME mission. Your plans for improvement might relate to fixing identified problems with compliance. They might also relate to changes your organization would like to make as a result of factors in the CME environment. Improvement plans reflect the vision and values of your CME program and frame your program’s process for identifying the need for, and implementing, change.

Providers submit the self-study using an outline provided by the WSMA. The self-study outline is available in the Accreditation Materials menu.

Performance-In-Practice (PIP) Review

PIP allows accredited providers and applicants to demonstrate compliance at the CME activity level. Accredited providers submit their CME activity data for their accreditation term in ACCME’s Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS). Based on the data provided, WSMA will select up to 15 activities to review. Providers are accountable for demonstrating performance-in-practice for all the activities selected using a structured abstract. The PIP structured abstract is available in the Accreditation Materials menu.

Once the WSMA has received your self-study application and PIP files they will be reviewed by WSMA staff. Staff will notify you should any items be missing from the application.

The next step in the accreditation process is an accreditation interview. You will be required to submit at least five dates in the range dictated by your cohort. WSMA staff will work to find surveyors from the WSMA CME Accreditation Committee to volunteer to review your CME program. You will be notified when a date has been chosen.

Accreditation Interview

The purpose of an accreditation interview is to gather or clarify information about your CME program according to the submitted written materials. The survey team is comprised of volunteers serving on the WSMA CME accreditation committee and WSMA staff. You can expect surveyors to be professional, courteous, and familiar with your CME program.

Surveyors will use the three elements of the accreditation process to gain a comprehensive view of the program in its entirety. Surveyors are only fact-gatherers, they do not give an accreditation decision at the time of the survey. After interview, surveyors will report their findings to the WSMA CME Accreditation Committee, which meets three times a year. The committee will make an accreditation decision and you will then be notified of your new accreditation status.

Provider Education

Policies and Requirements

Download and review the WSMA CME policies and accreditation requirements (updated August 2023).

WSMA accredited providers are responsible for abiding by AMA requirements to award AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) .

Accreditation Statement

The WSMA oversees the PacWest Continuing Education Accreditation Collaborative (PacWest), which accredits organizations in Alaska, American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, Oregon, and Washington. In the accreditation statement, accredited providers may use the name of different State Medical Societies (SMS) in the accreditation statement:

  • Washington State Medical Association: Alaska, Oregon, Washington
  • Hawaii Medical Association: American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii


Directly Provided Accreditation Statement:

The [name of accredited provider] is accredited by the [SMS Name] to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Jointly Provided Accreditation Statement:

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements of the [SMS Name] through the joint providership of [insert name of accredited provider] and [name of non-accredited provider]. The [name of accredited provider] is accredited by the [SMS Name] to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

OPTIONAL for Washington State Providers Only:

This activity meets the criteria for up to ___ hours of Category I CME credit to satisfy the relicensure requirements of the Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

AMA Credit Designation Statement

The [name of accredited provider] designates this [type of educational activity*] activity for a maximum of ____ AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

*Types of educational activities:
The types of educational activities are designated by the AMA, and include:

  1. Live activity
  2. Enduring material
  3. Journal-based CME activity
  4. Test item writing activity
  5. Manuscript review activity
  6. Performance improvement (or PI) CME activity
  7. Internet point-of-care activity
  8. Other activity (brief explanation)

Non-physician Statement

Accredited providers may provide non-physician learners with a record of attendance using this language:

The [name of accredited provider] certifies that [name of non-physician participant] has participated in the [learning format] titled [title of activity] [at location, when applicable] on [date]. This activity was designated for [number of credits] AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.

For policy or accreditation requirement questions, please contact Kendra Peterson, associate director of education and accreditation, at or 206.956.3638.

CME Accreditation Fees

2021-22 WSMA CME accreditation fees

ACCME Tiered Fee Structure

Starting in 2020, the ACCME implemented a four-tier fee structure. It ranges from Tier 1, comprising the smallest CME programs, to Tier 4, comprising the largest CME programs (see table below). Program size is based on the average number of activities or learner interactions, whichever is greater, over the past three years. The ACCME used data that CME providers entered into the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) for the 2016–2018 reporting years to assign tiers for the 2021–2022 annual accreditation fees.

The fees below reflect the fees for 2022 accreditation. The ACCME updates fees periodically. If your organization was newly accredited, the ACCME used data from the most current year to determine your tier; the ACCME may change the 2022 fee for those organizations based on 2019 data reported in PARS.

WSMA Implementation

The WSMA annual fee is a combination of the WSMA’s flat fee plus the ACCME’s tiered fee. The WSMA will continue to charge a flat annual fee to providers. Looking ahead, we anticipate that the WSMA’s flat fee will increase by a rate of 3% each year starting in 2022.

2022 Fee Formula:

WSMA Flat Fee + ACCME Tiered Fee = Total Fee Charged to Accredited Providers

There are additional fees for other items such as progress reports, extensions, and late fees. Please see the table “2022 WSMA Associated CME Fees” for details.

Please contact Kendra Peterson at or call 206.956.3638 if you have any questions.

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