What is the ACCENT® accreditation program?
- In 1982, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Inc. (AACC) developed an accreditation program, Advances in Clinical Chemistry Education and New Technology (ACCENT®). Through this program AACC accredits providers to sponsor continuing education in clinical chemistry and other topics in clinical laboratory science.
- The ACCENT® program gives clinical laboratory professionals access to valuable education, and provides a system by which professionals can earn and document continuing education credits required by many states and organizations for state licensure and/or professional certification.
ACCENT® credit is accepted by the following organizations and states that require documentation of continuing education credit:
- American Association of Bioanalysts
- American Society of Microbiology
- American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
- American Medical Technologists
- Association of Clinical Scientists
- International Federation of Clinical Chemistry
- National Certification Agency for Medical Laboratory Personnel
- The National Registry of Certified Chemists
- States of California, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
Why should I apply for ACCENT® accreditation?
- By having your programs accredited, you will be recognized as a source of high-quality continuing education in clinical chemistry and related topics.
- The availability of continuing education credit is particularly important for individuals required to document their credit for licensure and/or professional certification purposes.
- You will receive valuable feedback on each of your programs through reports provided by AACC.
- You will have access to online needs assessment data available only to registered providers. The data will help you select topics for future programs by providing statistics on hot topics identified by professionals in the clinical laboratory field.
What are the criteria for an activity to be approved for ACCENT® accreditation?
- The activity must be relevant to the scope and practice of clinical laboratory science and may include topics in technology, supervision, and management.
- The activity meets a perceived or actual need.
- The activity has a defined purpose that meets the identified need and is appropriate for the intended (target) audience.
- There is at least one measurable learning objective for the activity, describing what the participant will be able to do at the conclusion of the activity rather than what the instructor will teach.
- The activity's content is appropriate for the educational level of the intended audience.
- The time allocated is reasonable for the content and learning objective(s).
- The teaching methods indicated are appropriate for achieving the stated learning objectives.
- The faculty is qualified to teach the activity and completes a speaker disclosure form.
- The activity is of educational, not commercial, value.
- The activity should be held in a facility suitable for the intended type of educational programming
- If a company is providing commercial support for the activity, a representative of the company must complete the commercial support agreement form.
- There is a mechanism in place to evaluate the quality of the activity (the AACC evaluation tool may be used).
- The program brochure or announcement contains the following:
- Title, date and location of program
- Description of program purpose and content
- Learning objectives
- Level of instruction
- Faculty members and their degrees and current affiliation(s)
- Program schedule
- Acknowledgement of commercial support (if any)
- Registration Information
- Name of organization presenting the program
- Accreditation statement, including the number of continuing education credits awarded (inserted after program is approved for ACCENT® credit)
What is needs assessment and why is it important for program planning?
A need represents a gap between an individual's current level and some desired level of knowledge, skills, or attitudes. Needs assessment is the systematic collection and analysis of information about the educational deficiencies of a target audience. When continuing education credit is sought for AACC programs, it is the responsibility of the program planning committees to assess and document the needs of the target audience for which an educational intervention is appropriate. This is an integral part of topic selection and must be the basis of program design and development.
The process of defining learner needs involves the systematic collection and analysis of information to:
- Identify the problem(s) that justify offering the program
- Identify the issues important to the target audience that the program will address.
Some resources for identifying needs include:
- Consensus of experts
- Review of literature
- Direct observation
- Focus groups
- Inspection deficiencies
- New developments
- Disease prevalence
- Mortality and morbidity statistics
- Reports/assessments from other organizations
- Evaluations from previous programs
- AACC needs assessment reports
What do I need to know about the ACCENT® Speaker Form?
The ACCENT® Speaker Form provides AACC with the following information for each speaker:
- Speaker's name and contact information
- Presentation title and learner objective(s)
- Speaker disclosure* (disclosure of financial relationships with any company whose specific products/services will be mentioned or discussed in the presentation)
*The speaker disclosure information ensures that audience members are informed of any financial relationship between a company and a speaker that might potentially preclude an unbiased, scientific presentation. The audience must be made aware of any relationships disclosed by the speaker(s) prior to the start of the activity. This can be done as a handout distributed to attendees, a verbal announcement, or on a slide shown before the presentation begins.
What do I need to know about Commercial Support?
Commercial support occurs when a company provides financial support towards an educational activity (these funds may be used by the activity provider to cover expenses associated with the activity). A representative of the company must complete and sign the commercial support agreement form which defines the relationship between the company and the provider. The form states that:
a. The activity must be for scientific and educational purposes only and will not promote the company's products, directly or indirectly. Company-developed activities are allowed if they do not promote products or services marketed or sold by that company or any other commercial entity.
b. Commercial support for an activity should be in the form of an educational grant made payable to the educational provider.
c. Commercial support will be acknowledged in printed announcements, brochures, and/or handout materials. In the acknowledgement, no reference can be made to specific products or services.
d. Companies may not promote their products or services where the audience will have to view them during the educational session.
e. No other funds from the company will be paid to the activity faculty or others involved with the educational activity, e.g., additional honoraria, activity registration fees, extra social events, etc.
What is the process for reviewing applications?
- An application is submitted by the provider and is evaluated by a member of the ACCENT® Review Board to check that all criteria are met.
- The provider will be notified of the outcome of the review by the ACCENT®Education Coordinator.
- If an activity is deemed not acceptable, the provider may request a second review.
What are the fees for ACCENT® accreditation?
- Annual Provider Registration Fee is $260.
- Activity Application Fee is sliding scale, based on the number of days of the program and the number of programs in a year (see chart below):
|2013 ACCENT® Activity Fees
|Annual Provider Registration Fee
|Base Activity Application Fee for 1day activity
|Base Activity Application Fee for 2 day activity
|Base Activity Application Fee for 3 day activity
|Base Activity Application Fee for 4 day activity
|Base Activity Application Fee for 5 day activity
|Base Activity Application Fee for 6 day activity
|Late fee (for applications received less than 30 days before activity start date)
- Late Fee (for applications received less than 30 days before the activity date) is $210.
Please note that the annual provider registration fee and the activity application fee* are due at the time of application.
*AACC local sections and divisions need not send payments. For divisions, applicable fees will be deducted from the appropriate division budget, and for local sections, the late fee, if applicable, will be deducted from the annual allotment check.
**Non – AACC Providers offering 12 or more programs in a calendar year will receive a discount on their combined activity application fees. To receive the discount, the provider must determine the number of programs in the beginning of the year and pay the activity fees in advance. For more details, please contact the ACCENT Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What services are provided for ACCENT® approved continuing education activities?
A FREE customized online evaluation form for your meeting.
A FREE customized certificate that attendees can download after they complete the online evaluation form.
A summarized report of all the evaluation results that attendees submitted after the meeting.
A FREE report to CE Broker for those attendees licensed in Florida.
Approved CE provider status in California and Florida if requested.