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Program Application Information


Under the terms of the agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) among the ACGME, the AOA, and AACOM, all AOA-approved programs must become ACGME-accredited by June 30, 2020, when the AOA has agreed to cease accreditation of graduate medical education programs. In order for AOA-approved programs to become ACGME-accredited, they must submit a new program accreditation application. AOA-approved programs that submit an accreditation application between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2020, under the terms of the agreement receive pre-accreditation status upon submission of complete application. More information regarding this pre-accreditation status can be found on the Program Pre-accreditation page.

To initiate an accreditation application, the program’s Sponsoring Institution must already be ACGME-accredited or hold pre-accreditation status. Learn more about Sponsoring Institution accreditation here.

Steps to Submitting a Successful Program Application

Step 1: Locate and read the ACGME Program Requirement document and associated FAQs for the applicable specialty.

Each specialty and subspecialty accredited by the ACGME has its own set of Program Requirements and an associated FAQs document. These documents are posted on the Program Requirements and FAQs and Applications page of the specialty section of the website. The Review Committee typically oversees a core specialty and all associated subspecialties of that core specialty.

The specialty web pages offer a number of resources for new and existing programs, including recent Review Committee presentations when available, and other communications. This document will help to navigate specialty web pages to locate the resources prepared by the Review Committees for programs in their covered specialty and subspecialty areas.

Step 2: Locate the contact information for the ACGME Review Committee Executive Director for the applicable specialty and/or subspecialty and keep it accessible.

Locate the Executive Director’s contact information here or in the top right-hand corner of the specialty section of the website. More information can be found in this guide.

The Review Committee Executive Director is the primary resource for programs as questions arise during the application process. Routine communication with the Executive Director is essential to successfully navigating application development and submission.

Step 3: Gather the information needed to prepare and complete the application.

There are two parts to the application: the common application, which is housed in the Accreditation Data System (ADS), and the specialty-specific application—a Word document the program must complete and upload into ADS. All information necessary to complete the program application must be either entered directly or uploaded into ADS. Systematically gathering this information will allow for smooth entry of application information in ADS.

Instructions on how to Download the Specialty-Specific Application Questions
Faculty CV Information Collection Table
Faculty Scholarly Activity Collection Table (last 5 years)

Program Letters of Agreements (PLA) Information

Attachment Documents

This Application Guide provides the common program application questions that are completed in ADS.

Step 4: Complete the program application in ADS after it has been initiated in the system by the designated institutional official (DIO) of the Sponsoring Institution.

Each ACGME-accredited program must be associated with an ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institution. The DIO of the ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institution must initiate the program application in ADS.

Once the DIO has initiated the application, entered basic information about the program, and identified the program director; the program director will receive an e-mail with ADS login information. It is expected that the program director will complete the application and prepare it for submission.

To learn more about how to complete a program application for ACGME accreditation, view this video.

Total Viewing Time: 30 minutes

Step 5: Submit the Application.

Once the program director has entered all necessary information, he or she should review the application and ask other faculty members, program directors, and administrators to review it for completeness, clarity, and accuracy.

After the application has gone through a thorough review process, the program director must submit the application, which will be routed in ADS to the DIO. Program coordinators cannot submit new applications. The DIO is responsible for the final step in the submission of the application to the ACGME. Once the DIO has submitted the program application by electronically signing it in ADS, it cannot be changed, altered, or amended. Upon submission of the application, the program will immediately receive a status of pre-accreditation. At this point in the process, ACGME staff members will begin processing the application for review by the Review Committee. More information about programs in pre-accreditation status can be found on the Program Pre-accreditation page.

Application Resources

The resources below are organized according to each step in the application process, as broken down in the ADS application.

Step 0: Initiate the Application

Step 1: Participating Sites

Step 2: Program Director

Step 3: Program Details

Update the program’s basic information, such as the address and program director’s contact information.

Step 4: Other Program Personnel

At least one program coordinator (max. = 2) must be added. A co-program director and department chair may also be added.

Step 5: ACGME Requested/Filled Resident Positions

Step 6: Duty Hour, Patient Safety, and Learning Environment

Step 7: Additional Application Questions

Step 8: Overall Evaluation Methods

Step 9: Faculty Information

Step 10: Resident Roster

Step 11: Specialty-Specific Application

Step 12: Application Attachments

  1. Policy for Supervision of Residents
  2. Program Policies and Procedures
  3. Overall Educational Goals
  4. Competency Goals and Objectives
  5. Letters of Agreement
  6. Semiannual and Summative Evaluations
  7. Program-Specific Evaluation Tools
  8. Forms Used for Faculty and Program Evaluation
  9. Sample Block Diagram
    Guide to the Construction of the Block Diagram
  10. Specialty-specific Application Questions

Step 13: Review Application

Step 14: Verify and Submit Application to DIO

After clicking "Verify Application and Submit to DIO" button in the header, the completed application will be sent to the DIO for review and final submission. After verification, the DIO will electronically submit the application to the ACGME. Program coordinators cannot submit new applications.

Once the DIO has submitted the program application to the ACGME for final review, it cannot be changed, altered, or amended.

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