Frequently Asked Questions about the ACCENT® Accreditation Program

What is the ACCENT® accreditation program?

Why should I apply for my program to be accredited for ACCENT® credit?

What are the criteria for an activity to be approved for ACCENT® accreditation?

What is needs assessment and why is it important for program planning?

What do I need to know about the ACCENT® Speaker Form?

What do I need to know about Commercial Support?

What is the process for reviewing applications?

What are the fees for ACCENT® accreditation?

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 my program to be accredited for ACCENT® credit?

  • Your program 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.
  • If your program is accredited by AACC, here’s what you will receive:
  • A customized online evaluation form for attendees to rate the program and faculty.
  • A customized certificate that attendees obtain after completing the online evaluation form.
  • A report summarizing the evaluation results from attendees.
  • A report submitted to CE Broker for those attendees licensed in Florida.

What are the criteria for an activity to be approved for ACCENT® accreditation?

  1. The activity must be relevant to the scope and practice of clinical laboratory science and may include topics in methods, technology, management and other relevant topics.
  2. A professional practice gap has been identified through a needs assessment process and will be addressed by the activity.
  3. 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 (how they will be able to apply the information they’ve learned).
  4. The activity's content is appropriate for the educational level of the intended audience.
  5. The time allocated is reasonable for the content and learning objective(s).
  6. The teaching methods indicated are appropriate for achieving the stated learning objectives.
  7. The faculty is qualified to teach the activity and completes the speaker disclosure form.
  8. The activity is of educational, not commercial, value.
  9. The activity should be held in a facility suitable for the intended type of educational programming
  10. If a company is providing commercial support (an educational grant) for the activity, a representative of the company must complete the commercial support agreement form.
  11. There is a mechanism in place to evaluate the quality of the activity (the AACC evaluation tool may be used).
  12. The program brochure or announcement contains the following:
    • Title, date and location of program
    • Description of program purpose and content
    • Target audience
    • 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 a criteria for accreditation?
A need represents a professional practice gap between an individual's current level of practice and some desired level of competence, performance, or attitudes. Needs assessment is the systematic collection and analysis of information that identified professional practice gaps of a target audience.

When continuing education credit is sought for AACC programs, it must be demonstrated that a needs assessment process was conducted of the target audience of the educational program.

Some resources for identifying professional practice gaps include:

  • Surveys
  • Consensus of experts
  • Review of literature
  • Direct observation
  • Focus groups
  • Discussion
  • Inspection deficiencies
  • New developments
  • Disease prevalence
  • Mortality and morbidity statistics
  • Reports/assessments from other organizations
  • Evaluations from previous programs

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  products/services will be mentioned or discussed in the presentation)

The information from the disclosure forms must be provided to the audience prior to the activity to ensure that audience members are informed of any financial relationships between the speaker and any companies. This information can be made available to the audience in a handout distributed to attendees, in the activity 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Commercial support for an activity should be in the form of an educational grant made payable to the educational provider.
  3. Commercial support must be acknowledged in printed announcements, brochures, and/or handout materials. In the acknowledgement, no reference can be made to specific products or services.
  4. Companies may not promote their products or services where the audience will have to view them during the educational session.
  5. No other funds from the company may 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 an ACCENT® Review Board member 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?

ACCENT fees 2017 fees
First application of the calendar year* $510
Subsequent apps in the calendar year* $185
Additional URL link for online evaluation
form and certificate
$25
Late fee (applications received less
than 30 days before the activity)
$260

*Includes complimentary link to online evaluation form and certificate.

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.