Process & Requirements: RSS

Important Information and Deadlines
Educational Planning Process
Accreditation Application
Prior to Each Session
On-Site at Each Session
Following Each Session
Semi-Annual Reporting


Important Information and Deadlines

A Regularly Scheduled Series (RSS) is a live activity that is planned to have 1) a series with multiple sessions that 2) occur on an ongoing basis (offered weekly, monthly, or quarterly) and 3) are primarily planned by and presented to the UC San Diego and Rady Childrens Hospital San Diego (RCHSD) professional staff. Examples of activities that are planned and presented as a regularly scheduled series are Grand Rounds, Case Conferences, Tumor Boards and M&M Conferences.

The accreditation application is the mechanism used to apply for CME credit and is required for all RSS. Renewal applications are due every two years and submitted online. Please refer to your most recent approval letter for information about when your RSS is due for renewal or contact cmeaccred@ucsd.edu for assistance. If you are planning a new RSS, please contact our office before submitting an application.

RSS Important Deadlines

  • All RSS are accredited on a July 1-June 30 fiscal year cycle. 
    • Renewal Applications are Due June 1 (required to be submitted every two years)
  • Reporting is due to the CME office as follows:
    • First report is DUE NO LATER THAN January 31 of each year (for July 1-December 31 of the preceding year)
    • Second/Final report is DUE NO LATER THAN July 31 of each year (for January 1-June 30 of the same year)

RSS Accreditation at a Glance

Educational Planning /
Application Preparation
  • Complete the Educational Planning Process prior to submitting the application (use the RSS Educational Planning Tool to guide you through this process).
  • Collect disclosures from course directors, planners/coordinators and planning committee members (due with the application).
Application Submission
Due June 1
Every Two Years
  • Complete and submit the RSS Accreditation Application no later than June 1.
  • Submit disclosures from course directors, planners/coordinators and planning committee members along with your application (online or in paper form).
Review and Approval of Application
  • Application review and approval may take up to 30 days, depending on how complete the application is.
  • Approvals are sent via email.
Prior to Each Session
  • Marketing/Announcements/Flyers
  • Collection and Review of Disclosures/COI
  • Resolution of all COI Disclosed (by Course Director)
  • Preparation of Sign-In Sheet
  • Preparation of Disclosure Summary Form (optional as adjunct to sign-in sheet)
  • Preparation of Evaluation Form
  • Preparation of Certificates (if issuing at each session)
  • Commercial Support (if applicable)
On-site at Each Session
  • Sign-In Sheet
  • Disclosure to Learners (through sign-in sheet and/or disclosure summary form)
  • Acknowledgement of Commercial Support (if applicable)(through sign-in sheet)
  • Evaluation Form (minimum of three times per six-month reporting period and for all sessions that have commercial support)
  • Certificates (can be distributed at each session or at end of year)
Following Each Session
  • Attendance Tracking (ongoing tracking required)
Semi-Annual Reporting

Due January 31 (for July 1-December 31 sessions)

Due July 31 (for January 1-June 30 sessions)
  • Sign-in Sheets (all)
  • Disclosure Forms (all)
  • Disclosure Review Forms (all)
  • Peer Review Forms (all, if applicable)
  • Disclosure Summary (all, if applicable)
  • Program/Schedule/Presenters (should match disclosures submitted)
  • Participant/Attendee List
  • Evaluation Summary (from minimum of three sessions per six-month reporting period)
  • Certificate Templates
  • Outcomes Data (if applicable)
  • List of Commercial Supporters and Acknowledgement of Support (if applicable)
  • Financial Report (required if commercial support received)

Educational Planning Process

All CME activities, including RSS must address educational needs defined by at least one professional practice gap (the difference between current practice and optimal practice) with the intent of changing physician competence, performance and/or patient outcomes (as opposed to merely increasing knowledge). Effective design of an RSS activity requires understanding of the professional practice gaps which need to be addressed, specific measurable learning objectives to bridge the gaps and meaningful evaluation to demonstrate the resulting practice improvements.

The planning cycle for all RSS always begins with the educational planning process.
The majority of the accreditation application is focused on the educational planning process findings. We encourage you to use the RSS Educational Planning Tool as a guide to perform the gap analysis/needs assessment and subsequent layers of program planning. It will allow you to walk through the steps involved and adequately prepare for the application submission process.

Accreditation Application

Application Submission: The accreditation application is the mechanism used to apply for CME credit and is required for all RSS. UC San Diego CME utilizes a web-based system for the management of accreditation applications and associated data. The platform enables a streamlined process for application submission, committee review, and reporting/follow-up data submission.

Applications for RSS are due every two years and submitted online. The application renewal submission deadline is June 1 each year. If you are planning a new RSS, please contact our office before submitting an application.

Description: submit online application

The following information is required along with the application:

  • Tentative schedule
  • Tentative faculty list. If not applicable, attach list of department/division staff invited to participate on a regular basis
  • All persons involved in the planning and presentation of the RSS (including course directors, planners/coordinators, speakers, committee members, residents, and staff) must provide conflict of interest disclosure information.  Disclosures are due from course directors, planners and planning committee members along with the RSS application. Disclosures from speakers and other persons participating in the RSS may be collected at a later date (but at least 5 days prior to the start of the activity).

UC San Diego CME’s web-based disclosure database allows for completion and updating of disclosure information online at any time and we encourage you to use it for your RSS. Current RSS are pre-populated into the database and you may enter disclosure information at any time. For administrator access, please contact our office.

Application Review and Approval: Renewal RSS applications are reviewed during the month of June and approvals are sent by the end of July. If your application is incomplete and requires edits/further documentation you will hear from us by end of June. Note that the documentation for the first reporting cycle (for sessions held between July 1 - December 31) must have been received by our office before we can review your application for the next two-year cycle.

Approvals are sent via email to the course director and coordinator listed on the accreditation application along with information about processes and documentation requirements. Please make sure that you use the templates and tools provided to you to ensure compliance with accreditation requirements.

Prior to Each Session

Prior to each session offered, there are numerous requirements to consider and preparations to make.  As you start to schedule your sessions and line up speakers (or other participants such as staff), please keep the following requirements in mind.

Marketing/Announcements
All flyers and announcements distributed advertising upcoming sessions and the availability of credit must be approved by the CME office PRIOR to distribution. This includes website postings on your departmental/division websites.

Please contact the CME office for a review of your flyer/announcement template, prior to distributing the first time. Please allow three business days for the review of all materials. Generally, once we have reviewed your template and the first few announcements, you may continue to distribute utilizing that same template. However, you must add cmeaccred@ucsd.edu or MC0947 to your distribution list for all announcements.

All advertisements/announcements should include the following elements:

  • UC San Diego School of Medicine logo and department information (required)
  • Accreditation Statement (required)
  • Credit Designation Statement (required)
  • Title, Date, and Location of the Activity (required)
  • Topics (required)
  • Target Audience (required)
  • Objectives (required)
  • Faculty List (recommended)

Please visit our tools section at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_plannersRSS.html for additional information.

Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure Information
All persons involved in the planning and presentation of the RSS (including course directors, planners/coordinators, speakers, committee members, residents, and staff) must provide conflict of interest disclosure information. For many RSS, collecting one disclosure per year for the entire series is adequate as long as all potential conflicts are disclosed.  Additional disclosure information should be provided if any changes are made throughout the year, such as faculty taking on a new financial relationship that is presenting a COI.  

All disclosure information must be provided and dated prior to the start of the activity/session in which the person is participating.  We recommend collecting at a minimum five days prior to the activity to allow time for the Course Director to adequately manage the COI disclosed and apply appropriate resolution mechanisms.

UC San Diego CME's web-based disclosure database http://cme.ucsd.edu/facultydisclosure/ allows for completion and updating of disclosure information online at any time and we encourage you to use it for your RSS.  Current RSS are pre-populated into the database and you may enter disclosure information at any time.  For administrator access, please contact our office. 

If you prefer to use the paper-based Disclosure Form, you may access it at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.html.

NOTE: If a person has a conflict of interest, it is the Course Directors responsibility to review those conflict(s) and manage the associated resolution processThe RSS Disclosure Review Form should be used to document this process.  At no time can an employee/owner of a commercial interest be allowed to participate in an accredited session.  For presenters with conflicts that are such that peer review of presentations are warranted, an RSS Peer Review Form should be completed. Any invited presenter who has a financial relationship with a commercial interest also providing commercial support to the series should undergo peer review. Note that the management of all COI and associated resolution mechanisms must be performed by a Course Director (or other faculty member) who does not have any COI.

A full disclosure statement inclusive of all persons in a position to control content must be made available to the attendees/participants at each session as discussed below. 

Preparation of Sign-In Sheet
The sign-in sheet is the mechanism used to ensure compliance with numerous important accreditation requirements and is required for every session. The RSS Sign-In Sheet Template to be used will be included in your approval packet. It is also available at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.html.   

When preparing your sign-in sheet, please make sure that the following information is correctly entered:

  • Date of session
  • Presentation title or topic / speaker information
  • Disclosure information for course directors, speakers and anyone else not covered under the general staff/reviewer statement included on the template (check yes or no box and if yes is selected, please list disclosures (name of company and nature of relationship))
  • Commercial support (check yes or no box and if yes is selected, please list name of commercial supporter(s))
  • Accreditation statement
  • Credit designation statement
  • Number of credits (1.0 credit per hour of content/lecture, please refer to your approval letter to confirm number of credits awarded per session)
  • Educational objectives 

Preparation of Disclosure Summary (as adjunct to sign-in sheet)
Disclosure information for all persons involved in the development and presentation of content has to be made available to the attendees/participants at each session. The sign-in sheet is the standard mechanism used.  However, if you are coordinating an M&M or other discussion-based series in which all attendees participate and share in the learning experience, you may opt to use the Disclosure Summary template instead.  In other words, if the attendees are the same for every session and everyone is in a position to potentially influence the content, this form can be attached to the sign-in sheet as a summary of disclosure information. The disclosure summary template should also be used if you have persons involved in the development and presentation of content such as authors or reviewers that are not covered by the sign-in sheet template. Please make sure to include ALL persons involved in the development and presentation of the series, including your staff, course directors and presenters. 

Note that you still need to use the sign-in sheet to collect attendance information and meet other accreditation requirements.

Preparation of Evaluation Form
Each RSS must be evaluated using the standardized RSS Evaluation Form available on our website at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.html. If you wish to distribute your evaluation electronically, please make sure you include all the questions on our template or contact our office for approval of any revisions. 

Multiple sessions should be selected for evaluation throughout each six-month reporting period and each RSS must be evaluated at a minimum three times semi-annually (a minimum of six times for the entire fiscal period), although we encourage more frequent evaluation.  If you are receiving commercial support for your RSS, evaluation is always required during those sessions for which support has been awarded. If you have been awarded commercial support from one company for the entire series, please contact our office for assistance determining the proper number of sessions to evaluate.

Preparation of Certificates (Optional)
You are responsible for awarding certificates of attendance to your participants. Although, this can be an ongoing process with certificates issued at each session, we strongly recommend only issuing certificates semi-annually or annually.  If you do prefer to issue certificates at each session, you will need to set up the certificate template accordingly, prior to each scheduled event.

Note that there are different certificate templates to use for MD/DOs and non-MDs. The RSS Certificate Templates are available on our website at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.htmlDepartments must keep a record of attendance for 6 years and be willing to respond to requests for confirmation of attendance.

Commercial Support
If you are soliciting commercial support for your RSS, a Letter of Agreement (LOA) must be executed prior to the start of the series or session(s) for which support was awarded.  The CME office must review and sign all LOAs to ensure compliance with accreditation requirementsPlease send all LOAs to cmeaccred@ucsd.edu immediately upon receipt. We may also ask you to provide us with a copy of your grant proposal or grant documents submitted.

Acknowledgement of all commercial support must be provided to the learners.  This can be achieved through the sign-in sheet as noted above.  Please make sure to review your LOAs and acknowledge support during those sessions for which support was awarded.

This is a highly regulated area and we ask that you let our office know in advance if you plan to pursue support so that we can assist you with the tools needed to ensure compliance.  All commercial support is reported in detail to the ACCME and is governed by the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support.  Significant reporting requirements to CMS under the Sunshine Act may also be needed.  Please take a moment and review to the frequently asked questions related to commercial support on our website at https://cme.ucsd.edu/faq_accreditation.html#CommercialSupport and the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support for further information.

On-Site at Each Session

While on-site managing each session, please make sure that the following information is provided to the participants (as described in detail in the above section):

  • Sign-In Sheet (as outlined above)
  • Disclosure Summary Form (optional, as outlined above and as an adjunct to sign-in sheet). 
    NOTE: Disclosure of all financial relationships must be provided to attendees at each/all sessions and documentation collected that such disclosure was provided.  
  • Evaluation Form (at a minimum three times per six-month period and for all sessions that have commercial support, as discussed above)
  • Certificates (optional as outlined above, can be done at each session or at end of each reporting period, or end of the fiscal year)

Following Each Session

Following each session, you are required to collect/archive/tabulate all required documentation for that session and store in such a manner that all reporting requirements can be met at the end of each semi-annual reporting cycleA method for tracking attendance is required and must clearly indicate name, MD vs. non-MD designation, dates of attendance, credit for each date, and total credits for attendee.  You may use our Attendance Tracking template available at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.html or you can develop a tracking template yourself.  This tracking will be submitted to the CME office each reporting period and will help you assess how many credits to issue to each attendee. 

Note: If you do not issue certificates at each session, you will be required to provide each attendee with a Certificate at the end of each reporting period (showing credits/hours for each reporting period) or end of fiscal year (showing the total number of credits/hours they have earned throughout the entire fiscal year). 

Semi-Annual Reporting

All RSS are accredited on a July 1-June 30 fiscal year cycle.  During the fiscal year, reporting is due to the CME office as follows:

  • First report is DUE NO LATER THAN January 31 of each year (for July 1-December 31 of the preceding year)
  • Second/Final report is DUE NO LATER THAN July 31 of each year (for January 1-June 30 of the same year)

Follow-up may be submitted via e-mail to (preferred) to cmeaccred@ucsd.edu or by campus mail (MC0947). Once all required documentation has been received, the meeting planner/coordinator listed on the accreditation application will receive a notification of completion.

Following are a list of the SEMI-ANNUAL reporting requirements:

Sign-in Sheets: Submit sign-in sheets from all sessions during the reporting period.  We require only the first page of the sign-in sheet from each session.  You are required to keep complete attendance records on file for a period of six years and be able to verify attendance upon request. 

Disclosure Forms: Submit copies of all completed disclosure forms for all persons involved in the development, review and presentation of content signed and dated prior to the session date of the presentation (course director(s) and planner disclosures were received with the initial application) for all sessions held during the reporting period. If you used our online Disclosure Database, you can pull a report of all disclosures provided and submit.

Evidence of Resolution of Conflict of Interest:  Management of all conflicts of interest disclosed is the responsibility of a course director without COI and is an ongoing process throughout the year.  Each disclosure form should be accompanied by a Disclosure Review Form for all persons who have a financial relationship with a commercial interest and, if applicable, a Peer Review Form.  Evidence that adequate resolution of COI took place is required and must be provided to the CME office. 

Evidence of Disclosure to Learners:  Disclosure of all financial relationships must take place prior to each session. This can be achieved through the Sign-in Sheet Template, the Disclosure Summary Form, or (as a back-up) in introductory presentation slides or via a handout.  Disclosure provided must include all persons involved in the planning, development and presentation of content, not just the presenter.   Evidence of disclosure provided at each session is required and must be provided to the CME office.

Program/Schedule/Presenter List: List of all sessions by date, with topics and name(s) of presenters (this should match your disclosure forms and/or report submitted) for the reporting period.

Participant/Attendee List: One master list for the reporting period that clearly specifies, name, MD vs. non-MD, dates, credit for each date, and total credit for each attendee. 

Evaluation Summary: Please tabulate evaluations from multiple sessions throughout the six-month reporting period and at a minimum from three sessions held. An Evaluation Summary template to assist with this process is provided at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.html. All sessions awarded commercial support must be evaluated.  Please do not send in individual evaluation forms.

Certificate Templates:  Copy of templates used (MD and non-MD) and issued to attendees. 

Outcomes Data (if applicable): If you indicated in your accreditation application that you were going to perform additional outcomes studies, documentation is required to show that this took place. Please send summary data as well as copy of instrument(s) used.

Commercial Support (if applicable):  A summary of commercial support received is required (date of talk, name of commercial supporter, amount of commercial support). In addition, if you have not already sent us all your fully executed Letters of Agreement, they must be submitted at this time.

Acknowledgement of Commercial Support (if applicable):  Evidence that all commercial support was disclosed to the learners prior to the start of the session for which support was awarded.  This can be achieved through the sign-in sheet.  

Financial Report: This is required if you received commercial support and any other time when revenue is collected and expenses incurred for the RSS.  Please use our Financial Reporting template located at http://cme.ucsd.edu/tools_PlannersRSS.html.