Frequently Asked Questions

Types of Activities

What is a regularly scheduled series (RSS)?
A RSS is a live educational activity planned as a series to address a learner gap or needs assessment, which can be evaluated and measured for change over a period of time. There is a minimum of three global learning objectives to contain discussion of what these sessions will address. The sessions could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. Common examples of RSS activities are grand rounds, clinical case conferences, tumor board, morbidity and mortality conference, and journal club. Participants who attend these sessions can claim credit. You must attend the entire session as we do not issue partial credit for RSS’s.

What is a course?
This is an educational activity that is planned as a one time event to address a specific topic or subject that has been identified as a professional practice gap. Expert speakers are sought to address the professional practice gap. For some course offerings, you will have the option to obtain partial credit by claiming credit for the sessions you attended.

What is an enduring activity?
Enduring educational materials can be provided in a variety of formats. The most common is online. At this time, we do not provide continuing medical education (CME) credit for enduring activities.

Designing CME Activities

What is a learner gap/needs assessment?
​View our needs assessment document.

How do I measure change?
View our measuring change document.

How do I create objectives?
Objectives are usually designed to improve knowledge, skills and/or attitude. Sometimes it is helpful to work backwards to develop objectives. Ask yourself, “What do I want to improve and how will I measure the improvement?” Whatever your objective states, it has to be measured as an outcome. It is not enough to state the attendees will participate or listen to a presentation. There must be a measurable action verb in your objective. An example could be, “The participant will demonstrate increased medical knowledge in (subject matter).” This objective could be measured using a pre-and post-test.

It is helpful to use specific language when formulating objectives. For example, “This activity will improve patient outcomes,” is too broad and will be almost impossible to measure. Narrow the objective down by stating what patient outcome you specifically want to change and determine prior to submitting your CME application how you will measure that outcome/change.

Credits Offered

What types of credit does Spectrum Health provide?
We are accredited by the Michigan State Medical Society to designate AMA PRA Category 1 credit and AMA PRA Category 2 teaching credits. The AMA announced a new way of claiming teaching credits as AMA PRA Category 1 credit. These changes do not affect Michigan physicians. Michigan's present requirements recognize teaching credits as AMA PRA Category 2 credit. If you have questions, email cmeoffice@spectrumhealth.org or call 616.732.6250.

Who can use Category 1 credit?
Physicians are the main consumers of Category 1 credit and CME-accredited activities are designed specifically for the physician. However, in the state of Michigan, nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners may also use Category 1 credit. Check with your regulatory agency to ensure you are meeting the proper requirements based on your profession.

How do I obtain CME credit(s)?
Upon arrival to the educational session, you must print your name legibly on the CME sign-in sheet. At the completion of the session an online evaluation will need to be completed. With these two components in place, CME credit(s) will be awarded. Online evaluations are available for 30 days from the date of the activity. After the 30 days, no credit(s) will be awarded. Read our CME online evaluation instructions

Logging CME Activity

Logging into Spectrum Health's CME system
View instructions on logging into our CME system.

Creating user accounts in Spectrum Health's CME system
View instructions on creating user accounts in our CME system.

Obtaining transcripts

View instructions on obtaining copies of CME transcripts.

Application Process

How do I apply for CME credits? 
Visit the CME portion of of the Spectrum Health Office of Medical Education webpages and select 'Application'.

When should I apply for credit?
Applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the event for directly sponsored events and 90 days prior for joint providership events.

What are the application fees?
View our joint provider fees document.

What is direct and joint providership?
Direct sponsorship are activities that are sponsored by Spectrum Health. Joint providership is for those activities put on by organizations within the Kent County borders, such as private practices or associations. Someone from Spectrum Health CME team must be involved at the beginning of the planning period for joint providership programs. See our CME protocols for further details.

How will I know if the credit has been approved?
You will be contacted upon approval or if additional application material is needed. The CME committee meets approximately every six weeks to review applications. For a list of the meetings and application deadlines, click here.

Will my activity be listed on the CME calendar?
Yes. Upon approval of the application, CME staff will work to build your event into our system and include it on the calendar. If your activity is not open to the public, we will include 'INVITATION ONLY' on your activity listing.

Can I save an incomplete application and come back to it later?
Yes. Completed fields within the application are automatically saved. When you begin an application, an email will be sent to you providing a link to the application you have begun. If you need to close out of the system and come back to finish the application at a later time, use that link to retrieve the application.

Recording Attendance

How is attendance recorded and who is responsible?
The activity organizer will receive a sign in sheet from CME staff after approval of the application. Attendees must sign in and be present for the entire event. It is the responsibility of the activity organizer to monitor attendance. Once the activity has started, but not longer than for 10 to 15 minutes, the activity organizer is responsible for picking up the sign in sheet. Upon completion of the activity, the organizer must email the sign in sheet to CME staff within 48 hours for attendance to be recorded. Include date of submission in subject line of email. Attach presentation copies, including speaker information, case conference forms, or documentation of what was covered for the event. At the end of the evaluation period, CME staff will cross reference the sign in sheet with the online credits for this event. Anyone who had not signed in or completed an evaluation will be not be given credit for the event.

Advertising and Commercial Support

Can I include CME credit in my advertising?
No advertising of CME credit may occur until approval of the application. After approval, the accreditation statement must be included:

“Spectrum Health Hospitals CME is accredited by the Michigan State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Spectrum Health Hospitals CME designates this [learning format] for a maximum of [number of credits] AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.”

For Joint Providership you must also include:

“This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Accreditation Elements and Policies of the Michigan State Medical Society through the joint providership of Spectrum Health Hospitals CME and [name of non-accredited provided].”

May I apply for commercial support for a CME activity?
Funds received in support of an educational activity from a commercial interest must be in the form of an educational grant. The source of all commercial interest must be disclosed to the learners, including “in-kind” support. Disclosure must never include the use of a trade name(s) or product-group message. The Spectrum Health CME team controls all aspects of the management of funds received from a commercial interest. Refer to CME protocols for further information.

May I have commercial exhibits at my activity?
Advertisements and promotional materials cannot be displayed or distributed in the educational space immediately before, during, or after a live CME activity. Learners shall not be forced to interact with exhibitors and/or promotional activities. Commercial interests are not allowed to engage in sales or promotional activities while located in the designated space of the CME activity. Refer to CME protocols for further information.

May I have exhibitors at my activity?
Arrangements for commercial exhibits or advertisements cannot influence planning or interfere with the presentation, nor can they be a condition of the provision of commercial support. Exhibit fees shall be set for the activity. Potential exhibitors shall have equal access to purchasing exhibit space (first come-first serve).

  • Exhibit fees shall be separate and distinct from educational grants (they are not considered commercial interest).
  • Fee amounts can be based on amount of space (e.g., 3’ table vs 6’ table, for-profit vs not-for-profit)
  • No more than two company representatives will ordinarily be permitted.

All exhibitors must be in an area separate from the education room, and exhibits must not interfere or compete in any way with the learning experience. Commercial representatives may attend the CME activity at the discretion of the physician responsible for the direct purpose of the representatives own education. They may not engage in sales or marketing during the educational activity. Information on the identity of learners at CME activities is considered to be confidential property.