The Guide to the Common Program Requirements is a companion resource to assist programs with meeting ACGME accreditation requirements. By providing an easily accessible reference with useful information and various tools, the Guide is intended to help reduce the burden of fulfilling accreditation requirements.

About the Guide

Formerly known as the Program Director’s Guide to the Common Program Requirements, the revised name--Guide to the Common Program Requirements-- reflects the fact that the Guide is useful not just for program directors, but also for coordinators, assistant/associate program directors, designated institutional officials, and other personnel who work with ACGME-accredited programs.

There are two versions of the Guide: one which maps to the Common Program Requirements (Residency), and one which maps to the Common Program Requirements (Fellowship). Some sections are the same across versions, but others differ in areas where the Common Program Requirements diverge based on whether they are applicable to residencies or fellowships.

Residency: Download the PDF (Updated 10/18/2023)
Fellowship: Download the PDF (Updated 2/15/2024)

Every set of specialty-/subspecialty-specific Program Requirements includes content that is specific and unique to the respective specialty/subspecialty. Specialty and subspecialty Program Requirements are not addressed in this Guide. When dealing with questions directly related to an individual specialty or subspecialty, the specialty-/subspecialty-specific FAQs and other resource documents provided by the respective Review Committee should be consulted; these documents are available on the respective specialty section of the ACGME website. Contact Review Committee staff members with specific questions.

The Guide is not to be interpreted as additional requirements; it provides only a description and explanation of requirements. The complete Common Program Requirements can be found on the ACGME website. Additional resources related to the Common Program Requirements include the Common Program Requirements FAQs and the Coordinator Timelines developed by the ACGME Coordinator Advisory Group.

The Guide will continue to be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect revisions to the Common Program Requirements.

How to Use the Guide

One of the key features of the Guide is its “search” function. The Guide is not meant to be read cover to cover; it is a reference tool to be utilized as needed throughout the academic year. Users can search the Guide for the meaning of a specific requirement, how to apply a requirement, or to find and clarify specific terms. A table of contents linked to each section allows users to jump immediately to a particular section.

The Guide also includes sample templates, screen shots, and step-by-step instructions for completing documentation in the Accreditation Data System (ADS), examples of how to meet the requirements and complete required tasks, and references to additional relevant resources.

The Guide may be particularly helpful for those who are applying for ACGME accreditation for the first time and for those new to their role in graduate medical education.

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