Process & Requirements: RSS

Important Information and Deadlines
Educational Planning Process
Accreditation Application
Prior to Each Session
On-Site at Each Session
End-of-Year 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’s 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 for assistance. If you are planning a new RSS, please contact our office before submitting an application.

RSS Deadlines
June 1-June 30: Renewal Applications Due (applications are due every two years).
June 1: All Compliance Documentation Due for previous fiscal 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 and committee members (due with the application).
Application Submission
Due June 1-30
Every Two Years
  • Complete and submit the RSS Accreditation Application.
  • Submit disclosures from course directors, planners and committee members along with your application.
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. If you applied June 1-30, approval should be received by August 15.
Prior to Each Session
  • Collection and Review of Disclosures
  • Marketing/Announcements/Flyers
  • Preparation of Sign-In Sheet
  • Preparation of Disclosure Summary Form (optional)
  • 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 Summary Form (optional)
  • Evaluation Form (a minimum of five times per year and all sessions that have commercial support)
  • Certificates (optional, can be done at each session or at end of year)
End-of-Year Documentation/Reporting
Due June 1 Each Year
  • Sign-in Sheets
  • Disclosures
  • Program/Schedule/Presenters
  • Final Participant List
  • Evaluation Summary
  • Outcomes Data (if applicable)
  • List of Commercial Supporters (if applicable)
  • Financial Reporting (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, reporting and follow-up data submission.

Applications for RSS are due every two years and submitted online. The application submission period is June 1-June 30 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
  • Conflict of Interest Disclosures for the course director and planning staff/committee. All persons involved in the planning of a CME activity (including course directors, planners, speakers, staff, and committee members) must provide conflict of interest disclosure information. Disclosures are due from course directors, planners and committee members along with the application. Disclosures from other speakers and staff 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 July and approvals are sent by August 15. If your application is incomplete and requires edits/further documentation you will hear from us by mid-July. Note that follow-up documentation for the previous year must be received by our office before we can approve 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 participants if more applicable), please keep the following requirements in mind:

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Information: All persons involved in the planning and presentation of the CME activity (including course directors, planners, speakers, and committee members) must provide conflict of interest disclosure information. As previously noted, disclosures are due from course directors, planners and committee members along with the accreditation application.

Disclosures from speakers or other participants must be collected at least 5 days prior to the start of the activity/session in which they are participating. Disclosures must also be reviewed by the Course Director to ensure that all conflicts of interest have been resolved. If needed, course director shall perform peer review of presentation. Finally, disclosure information must be provided to the attendees either on the sign-in sheet or in the separate disclosure summary report.

NOTE: If a speaker or participant has a conflict of interest, it is the Course Directors responsibility to review those conflict(s) and determine whether the resolution mechanisms selected are adequate or if additional action is necessary. The RSS Disclosure Review Form should be used to document this process. Disclosure information also has to be made available to the attendees/participants at each session.

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

Please contact our office for a review of your flyer/announcement template, prior to distributing the first time. 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 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)

Click here for further information.

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.

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

  • Date of session
  • Presentation title / speaker information
  • Accreditation statement
  • Disclosure information (check yes or no box and if yes is selected, please list disclosures)
  • Commercial support (check yes or no box and if yes is selected, please list commercial supporter information)
  • Educational objectives
  • 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).

The RSS Sign-In Sheet Template to be used will be included in your approval packet. It is also available on our website at in the RSS Tools Sections.

Preparation of Evaluation Form: Each RSS must be evaluated at a minimum of five times per fiscal year, although we encourage more frequent evaluation. The standard template/questions must be used. If you wish to distribute your survey electronically, please make sure you include all the questions on our template or contact our office for approval of your alternate template.

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.

The RSS Evaluation Template to be used will be included in your approval packet. It is also available on our website at in the RSS Tools Sections.

Preparation of Disclosure Summary (Optional): If your RSS is case-based or presented in a format in which everyone is participating you may opt to use our disclosure summary template to provide disclosure information to the group. In other words, if the attendees are the same for every session and everyone is in a position to potentially influencing the educational content, this form can be attached to the sign-in sheet as a summary of disclosure information. Note that you still need to use the sign-in sheet to collect attendance information and meet the other accreditation requirements.

Preparation of Certificates (Optional): You are responsible for awarding certificates of attendance to your participants. This can be an ongoing process, with certificates issued at each session, or you may summarize the sign-in sheet data for each attendee at the conclusion of the year and only issue one annual certificate. Note that departments must keep a record of attendance for 6 years and be willing to respond to requests for confirmation of attendance.

If you 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 templates to be used for MDs and non-MDs.

If you prefer to issue an annual certificate for each attendee, we strongly encourage you to use a tracking mechanism to make this process less cumbersome.

The RSS Certificate Templates to be used will be included in your approval packet. They are also available on our website at in the RSS Tools Sections.

Commercial Support: If you are soliciting commercial support for your RSS, note that a Letter of Agreement (LOA) must be executed stipulating the terms of that support. LOAs must be forwarded to our office for review and signature immediately upon receipt, and before the start of the session or series of 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. Also, please refer to the FAQ's related to commercial support section of this guide 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:

  • Sign-In Sheet (as outlined above)
  • Disclosure Summary Form (optional, as outlined above)
  • Evaluation Form (at a minimum five times per year and all sessions that have commercial support, as discussed above)
  • Certificates (optional, as outlined above. Can be done at each session or at end of year)

End-of-Year Reporting

All follow-up documentation is due to our office by June 1 for the previous fiscal year. We realize that you are continuing to hold sessions throughout June but ask that the bulk of your documentation is submitted by June 1. This is especially critical if you are due for re-certification, in which case the renewal application is due no later than June 30. Receipt of your end of year documentation by June 1 is critical so that we can assess whether compliance has been met.

Follow-up may be submitted via e-mail to, or directly through the online submission page on the UC San Diego CME website. Once all required documentation has been received, the meeting planner/coordinator listed on the accreditation application will receive a notification of completion.

Submit End-0f-Year

Following are a list of the reporting requirements:

Sign-in sheets - Submit sign-in sheets from five sessions (minimum). In addition, if you received commercial support, you need to submit sign-in sheets from all those sessions to show that adequate acknowledgement was made to the audience.

Disclosure Information - Copies of all disclosure forms (including disclosure review form if applicable) for all persons involved in the selection, development and presentation of content are required for all sessions held during the fiscal year. If you used our online Disclosure Database, you can pull a report of all disclosures provided and submit that along with the review forms (if applicable).

Program/Schedule/Presenters - List of all sessions by date, with topics and name(s) of presenters included (this should match your faculty disclosure forms submitted).

Participant List - One master list which contains names and email addresses of all participants for all sessions for each fiscal year, as well as whether the person is physician or non-physician.

Evaluation Summary - Please summarize evaluations from the five sessions (minimum) you have evaluated (and include ALL sessions for which commercial support was awarded). Please do not send in individual evaluation forms.

Outcomes Data (if applicable) - If you indicated on 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.

Financial Close-Out (if applicable) – This is required if you received commercial support since all revenue and expenses are reported to the ACCME. Please use our RSS Financial Closeout Template.