Do You Need CAPCE CE?

Changes to CE requirements in recent years have EMS providers who have always taken our state-approved CE asking if they now need to take our CAPCE CE. We understand the confusion because American CME has two libraries of CE courses: Free CE and CAPCE CE, and the courses in both libraries are the same. So, what’s the difference between them? The simple answer is that the credit-issuing bodies are different. American CME issues the credits for our state-approved, Free CE courses. CAPCE issues the credits for our CAPCE CE courses. 

What Is CAPCE?

The Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education, or CAPCE, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accrediting EMS continuing education programs. They evaluate and accredit educational providers, courses, and instructors in the prehospital care field. CAPCE aims to promote consistency, quality, and relevancy in EMS continuing education across the United States. CAPCE accreditation signifies that the course is up-to-date, evidence-based, and aligned with the latest industry standards and guidelines. 

American CME has been a CAPCE-accredited provider since 2017. In 2017, American CME’s state-approved, Free CE credits were accepted in 36 states and 22 countries. Our purpose for becoming CAPCE-accredited was to gain CE approval within the remaining 14 states.

Since 2017, however, and more so in 2020 when many CE courses moved online due to the pandemic, most states have begun accepting CAPCE-accredited online courses in addition to or in lieu of state-approved courses. Accepting CAPCE CE has provided states a means to align their state-level requirements with the standards of The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). This alignment helps maintain consistency and quality in EMS education across the country and ensures that EMS providers meet the necessary criteria to maintain their certification at both the state and national levels. 

Which Courses Do You Need to Take?

For EMS providers licensed in Michigan, however, any American CME credits earned prior to November 11, 2021, are state-approved CE. Michigan changed its rules in 2020 to also accept CAPCE-accredited CE, however, and with American CME being an established CAPCE-accredited CE provider, Michigan started accepting our CAPCE-accredited courses only. Michigan paramedics, EMTs, EMRs/MFRs, and specialists taking courses on American CME now for their state recertification or for their NREMT recertification need to take the CAPCE CE. 

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