Through its CME program, SAAHEC partners with organizations, academic institutions, public health agencies, as well as internal departments within El Rio Health to certify continuing education courses for healthcare professionals. Course types that may be eligible for certification include live in-person or virtual events, distance learning/on-demand materials, and regularly scheduled series, such as case conferences, among other activities.

We prioritize our CE/CME efforts on activities that address current and emerging healthcare issues affecting medically underserved areas and disadvantaged populations in Southern Arizona. Click the tile icons to learn more. If you are interested in developing a CE course that is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM, or other credit types including nursing and social work CEUs, please follow the steps outlined in this guide. 

For Activity Planners


Step One

Review the Following Planning Considerations

Requests for support should be made 4 to 6 months prior to the date of your activity. SAAHEC is engaged in the planning, implementation, and compliance-related administrative activities of multiple accredited courses at any given time. Contacting us less than 4 months prior to the date of your activity limits our ability to effectively support a compliant and successful course.

If you contact us less than 4 months prior to the start of your activity, we may still be able to support you. Don’t delay in completing the CME Partnership Inquiry form. Requests made less than 90 days from your activity date are much less likely to be considered.

Review our CE Planning Timeline and Task List, which outlines a general checklist of tasks to be completed and responsible parties at each phase of the planning and implementation process for an accredited CE activity.

CE Planning Timeline and Task List

Our CE Planning Process is based on the educational planning and evaluation criteria of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).To be eligible for certification, the course must: 

  1. Be planned by members representative of the target audience.
  2. Address the educational needs (knowledge, skills, or performance) that underlie the practice gaps of the health professions included in the primary target audience.
  3. Be designed to change the skills or performance of the target audience or patient outcomes.
  4. Be evidence-based, valid, and match the target audience’s scope of professional activities.
  5. Utilize an educational format that is appropriate for the setting, objectives, and desired results of the course.
  6. Conform to the ACCME Content Validation Policy.
  7. Be independent of commercial interests and the educational content must be free from promotion and commercial bias.

SAAHEC will be heavily involved in the design and/or review of the course, including any necessary modifications to educational content, of all activities that it certifies for CE credit. 

Identifying the practice gaps of your target audience is essential to planning and developing a quality educational activity that helps address the underlying educational need (knowledge, competence, and/or performance) and the course learning objectives that will help you achieve the desired changes you expect to see in learner’s skills/strategy, and performance, or patient outcomes, as a result of their participation in the course. 

Click the link below to review the Practice Gap element of our CE Activity Planning & Accreditation Application. 

Practice Gap Analysis Worksheet

SAAHEC will collaborate Course Directors and Planning Committee members to ensure compliance with accreditation criteria and meet project milestones. 

Course Director: individual(s) responsible for managing the process of topic and speaker selection based on the identified educational needs and practice gaps of the learners of this activity. 

The Planning Committee: the group of individuals responsible for selecting content/topics and speakers for the Course. The make-up of the Planning Committee should be reflective of the target audience to ensure that the course is being planned with, for, and by the healthcare team within its target audience.

Planning Committee Members: the individuals who work with the Course Director(s) to identify topics and speakers based on the identified educational needs and practices gaps of the target audience.

Step Two

Complete Intake Form & Contact Us

Once you’ve carefully reviewed the planning considerations and determined your activity meets the basic eligibility requirements, is compatible with our planning timeline, you’ve considered the needs assessment and reviewed the roles and responsibilities of course planners, it’s time to complete the initial intake form! 

Complete Intake Form/Pre-Application for Accreditation

Once you’ve submitted the intake form/pre-application, email Desiree Rose, CME Director, to schedule a meeting with your activity planner/planning committee. 

If an agreement is reached, you will be asked to submit an application along with all supporting documents outlined in the CE checklist at least 90 days in advance of your activity.