American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

State Regulatory Mandates—What to Consider

The majority of state licensing boards have established content-specific CME requirements. Designating Credit to Address Regulatory Mandates helps your learners meet their various CME Requirements.

When planning your CME activity, please consider the following:

  • Does your course address state-mandated content areas? Review the State Regulatory Mandate Descriptions to determine if your course addresses any of these content-specific CME requirements. If your course addresses more than one regulatory mandate content area, consider the primary focus of your course. Additional consideration may be given to the number of state licensing boards that require licensees to earn CME Credit in each of the potential content areas, so that the designated credit will be applicable to the largest group of learners.
  • Will your course target learners from a specific state(s)? If so, does the state licensing board require its physicians to complete a board-approved CME activity in order to meet the requirement?  For example, the West Virginia Board of Medicine requires physicians to complete 3-hours of Board-approved CME in drug diversion training and best practice prescribing of controlled substances. You may submit a request to have your activity approved by the West Virginia Board of Medicine. Know your state medical board's approval process/policy if applicable. 
  • Does your CME activity address the content specified by the state licensing board?  For example, in order to meet the North Carolina Medical Board's Controlled Substances Prescribing requirement, the CME activity must include instruction on controlled substance prescribing practices, recognizing signs or the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain.
  • Do you need to include specific language in the title of your CME activity in order for it to meet the state licensing board's requirement? For example, the Alaska State Medical Board requires the title/description of the program on the CME Certificate reference Opioids, Pain Management, and Addiction.
  • How many CME are required in the specific content area over what time span? For example, the Pennsylvania State Medical Board requires physicians to complete 12 CME Credit hours in Patient Safety/Risk Management every biennial license renewal cycle. A CME activity with 6 CME Credit hours in Patient Safety/Risk Management will meet the annual average needed.

The State Regulatory Mandate Descriptions resource provides the definitions of the various state licensing board Regulatory Mandate content areas with a corresponding list of state boards that have implemented each Regulatory Mandate. The ACS MyCME CME State Requirements provides a summary of each state licensing board’s CME requirements.  

If the content of your educational activity may meet state CME requirements, please indicate the relevant portions of your activity's schedule and the corresponding topics as part of the CME Application process through the ACS CME Platform.

Please contact Liz McAllister at or 312-202-5122 for questions about state-specific CME requirements.