General questions
  1. What is continuing education (CE)?
    Continuing Medical Education (CME) refers to a specific form of continuing education (CE) that helps those in the medical field maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field. It is designed to enhance health professionals’ knowledge and skills, which will result in better health services provided.
  2. What is the purpose of continuing education (CE)?
    Continuing Education (CE) is designed to enhance health professionals’ preference, which will be reflected in better patient care, or public services or health system. It also helps health professionals to maintain a high level of professional competence.
  3. What does continuing professional development (CPD) mean?
    Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is ongoing systematic maintenance and growth of the knowledge and skills required for a health professional to remain competent in his/her occupation for the benefit of that particular profession. As an example please find below a list of competencies:
    - Communication: communication is increasingly recognized as a necessary element of all efforts to improve health. Health communication can contribute to all aspects of disease prevention, health promotion, and medical care. It is also relevant in a number of contexts of our lives as individuals, patients, members of families and communities.
    - Collaboration / Team Building: This is the skill to consult effectively with the healthcare team. It requires interdisciplinary team building skills.
    - Management / Leadership / Quality Issues: This requires skills in leadership, management of time, limited Resources, quality issues and risk management.
    - Strategic Plans: Healthcare professionals should acquire the skills to develop, implement and monitor strategies that will improve the health of the community by both comprehensive prevention and therapeutic research and planning the delivery of care.
  4. Is CME different from CPD?
    Continuing medical education: Refers to a specific form of continuing education (CE) that helps health professionals maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field. These activities may take place as live events, written publications, online programs, audio, video, or other electronic media. Content for these programs is developed, reviewed, and delivered by faculty who are experts in their individual clinical areas. Similar to the process used in academic journals, any potentially conflicting financial relationships for faculty members must be both disclosed and resolved in a meaningful way.
    Continuing professional development (CPD): is the means by which members of professional associations maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives.
    CPD is defined as the holistic commitment to structured skills enhancement and personal or professional competence.
    CPD can also be defined as the conscious updating of professional knowledge and the improvement of professional competence throughout a person's working life. It is a commitment to being professional, keeping up to date and continuously seeking to improve. It is the key to optimizing a person's career opportunities.
  5. Why a minimum requirement for CE being introduced for physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists?
    The minimum requirement will enable health professionals to stay abreast of the knowledge and developments in their areas of practice, including the introduction of new treatments and technology.
    Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) believes that all health professionals have a professional obligation to maintain, develop and expand their knowledge throughout their careers. This belief was reinforced in meetings with physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists in Abu Dhabi Emirate who supported the implementation of CE minimum requirements for health professionals.
  6. Is HAAD the first organization to introduce minimum requirements for CE?
    No, CE has already been introduced internationally by many health professional organizations throughout the world for health professionals. However, Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) has one of the most innovative international systems and standards to maintain competence and licensure amongst many healthcare workers
  7. What will continuing education (CE) provide me?
    Continuing education (CE) is purposed to improve health professional performance in his/her practice, and thus enhance the care that patients receive. Beside the benefits of acquiring new knowledge / skills, participating in CE:
    - Helps you to identify your individual learning needs and plan where you require additional knowledge and skills
    - Means you have taken responsibility for life-long learning, development and career advancement
    - Supports the basic principles and obligations of your chosen profession
    - Demonstrates to patients, peers and the public that you are taking appropriate steps to maintain and increase your level of competence
  8. How do I benefit from the HAAD continuing education (CE) Program?
    The HAAD CME program enables health professionals to keep abreast of the developments in their specialties, and helps them to provide high standards of care to the community. HAAD requires health professionals to participate in accredited CME/CPD activities and submit evidence of participation for Licensure renewal.
  9. Where can I get more information?
    Information on minimum requirements, the accreditation process and a full outline of upcoming events (including the introduction of "on line" CME) can be found on:
  1. Can I renew my license, if I fail to obtain the minimum requirement for CME credit hours?
    Yes, you can renew your license for one year only, but in next renewal cycle, you will submit the missing hours from the previous year plus the required CME hours for that year.
    Fulfilling the minimum requirements for CME credit hours will be one of the important criteria considered when:
    - Re-validating the license for renewal
  2. What is the difference between Category 1 and Category 2 CME hours?
    Activities under Category 1 comprise formal learning opportunities provided by recognized educational institutions or professional bodies, which are accredited by HAAD or any other recognized body. These activities are structured and generally entitle the participants to claim 1 credit hour for every hour of educational activity.
    Activities within Category 2 are essentially of a self-learning nature, and should be beneficial to the practice. Many of the activities that fall within Category 2 may be less structured from the viewpoint of learning than those in Category 1. Activities in Category 2 would (in general) entitle the participant to claim 1 category 2 credit hour for every hour of participation.
  3. How do I calculate participation in CME/CPD activities?
    All accredited CME/CPD activities would have a credit value assigned to them and indicated clearly in the certificates of attendance. Participation in programs organized by accredited institutions abroad could be considered for recognition by HAAD.
  4. Which kind of documents should I keep to demonstrate that I have participated in continuing education (CE)?
    It depends on the type of activity. Often when you attend continuing education (CE) events, you will be given a certificate of attendance that clearly indicates the number of credits and the accrediting body. Sometimes you will get a receipt if you have paid to attend an activity or you might have a program that is distributed to you. Your employer may also track your attendance at CE and provide you with an annual transcript of attendance.
    Keep all these documents and file them (according to which category the credits belong) in your CE Portfolio. Also make a note of them on your continuing education (CE) Log Sheet. That is where you can record your participation in all activities, such as undertaking research, preparing literature review, reading journals and texts, etc.
  5. Many activities held locally are not in my best of interest, do not apply to my profession or my specialty and do not meet my learning needs. What should I do?
    Many local providers of continuing education (CE) (including the HAAD) will attempt to provide a wide variety of CE activities; however it is not always possible to meet specific needs, given such a diverse population of thousands of health professionals.
    If you have a specific learning need, we would recommend that you search for a topic that is of particular interest to you (which would be eligible for credits in Category 2) and then share that knowledge with others through a series of accredited lectures or workshops (eligible for category 1 credits).
  6. I live in a rural part of the Abu Dhabi Emirate and our small facility does not have regular training or education events. What should I do?
    We encourage you to discuss this with your administration and determine how you can work together to start a continuing education (CE) program, within your organization. Even though your facility is small, you could present interesting or difficult cases that could be discussed in multi-disciplinary rounds. Even two rounds per month (assuming they meet the standards for accreditation) would help to meet your minimum requirement for participation. Attending (or researching and presenting rounds) along with journal reading (there are many free journals available through the Internet) would be a good way to fulfill your total CE requirement.
    Sites such as Medscape ( ) make recognized (accredited) CE available to participants following a free registration process.
    Your facility might also want to start a “life support program” and becoming involved in that, as an instructor is another way to earn credit hours. Regularly checking the programs available in the larger centers of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain (through would allow you to select those that are of interest and importance and possibly plan to attend on your off time.
    Some health professional journals provide free access directly through the journal web page. Other can be accessed through the following sites:
  7. I have already gained more than 100 credit hours within one year, my minimum requirement is 50 hours per year, can I carry over the extra hours to next year cycle or do I need to collect new CME credit hours?
    It is possible that you reach and exceed the total hours required within 1 year cycle. However, you still need to engage in appropriate CME/CPD activities every year during the balance period in the 1 or 2 year cycle, and show evidence of it when requested. The goal of HAAD Program is maintenance of professional competence through continuing education that covers the whole year, therefore it is recommended that for a 2 year period the CME/CPD hours must be distributed to cover the 2 years cycle. Collecting credit hours is only an indicator but not it's the primary aim which is to continually update Health Professionals’ knowledge and skills
  8. What if I give a presentation? Can I earn credits for that?
    Yes – let's say for example you want to give a 60-minute lecture on "Optimal Patient Care in Minimally Invasive Surgery". You would earn 2 credit hours from Category 1 (accredited).
    Once you have developed the presentation (based on the learning needs of your audience and using specific learning objectives), you could submit it for accreditation by HAAD. Assuming the event was accredited for 1 credit hour, you would earn 2 credit hours as the faculty member providing the one hour lecture.
    Speakers may be awarded two (2) HAAD Category 1 credit hours for each credit hour they present at an accredited, live activity with a maximum of 10 credits per year
    Speakers may not claim simultaneous credit as participants in sessions at which they present; however, they may claim participant credit for other sessions they attend at an accredited live activity.
    Credit hours may only be claimed once for repeated presentations.
  9. The CME Program Guide indicates that watching CME video counts in Category 1 Credit hour. Is that the case?
    HAAD will allow the viewing of a taped, accredited CME event to be counted in Category1 (Accredited Group Learning Activities), provided it is viewed in a moderated group setting. The moderator is responsible for the following:
    - Previewing the program.
    - Verbally defining the learning objectives of the program for the attendees.
    - Preparing appropriate questions for discussion.
    - Conducting a formal Question and Answer period following the viewing.
    - Ensuring that a written evaluation is completed by the participants.
    - Reviewing the evaluations to assist in quality improvement and planning future CME/CPD activities.
  10. I am busy with extra shifts and find it difficult to attend lectures. Is there anything new to assist me?
    Completion of accredited Online CME: Medscape ( is an accredited CME provider in accordance with the standards established by the Accreditation Council for CME (ACCME). If a health professional successfully completes an online Medscape activity, a Letter of Completion which indicates the maximum number of CME hours allowed for this activity will be accessible online to the participant.
    The number of hours indicated in the “Letter of Completion” will be accepted by HAAD and may be counted in Category 2 (Self-Learning and Professional Development Activities) Letters of Completion (CE Tracker) must be printed and filed in the health professional's CME portfolio, to substantiate his/her claim of completion.
    Health Professionals The maximum number of CME hours allowed for this activity How these hours are counted or
    Physicians Dentists Maximum of 30 hours out of 50 per year A maximum of 5 hours will be counted as category 1 and 25 hours as Category 2
    Nurses Maximum of 12 hours out of 20 per year A maximum of 2 hours will be counted as category 1 and 10 hours as Category 2
    Pharmacists Maximum of 12 hours out of 20 per year A maximum of 2 hours will be counted as category 1 and 10 hours as Category 2

    Other online activities such as literature and information searches (MEDLINE®) remain in Category 2 and a maximum of 25 hours may be claimed in this section.
  11. Are live operative procedures relayed to an audience or clinical sessions accepted as CME/CPD?
    Operative procedures relayed live to a group of practitioners do not qualify to be registered as CME/CPD. However, segments that are planned and presented as practical components of a learning activity could be considered for registration, provided the organizer gives information on the learning objectives, content area and how the observers are to be guided during the demonstration to ensure that the event becomes a learning experience
  12. I attended Basic Life Support (BLS) Course; will it be counted towards my continuing education minimum requirements?
    - All healthcare professionals, regardless of their area of practice in all health facilities are mandated to undertake BLS & ILS (Basic and Immediate Life Support) courses. Credit hours designated to this course are not counted towards the CME/CPD minimum requirements
    - Staff members who provide direct care and services and other staff identified by the hospital to directly communicate with the referred or ICU patients are annually trained in Basic Life Support, International Trauma Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support ( BLS, ITLS & ACLS), Pediatric Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Advanced Trauma Life Support (PLS or PALS, and ATLS) certification according to the direct care provided
    - Staff members are recertified every two years
  13. How do I find suitable continuing education (CE) activities for me to participate?
    Everyone will start from a different perspective – CE is a very personal journey – and you are best qualified to assess your own learning needs as well as your individual learning style. However, the following questions might be a good place to start:
    - Is the activity essential or important to my professional practice?
    - Is the activity related to a career aspiration that I have?
    - Is the activity accredited (a minimum requirement exists for each professional group related to accredited CE)
    - What learning materials and methods do I find most useful? Lectures – workshops -books, etc.? Do I prefer to learn alone or in groups where I exchange information?
    - Is this activity within my resources – time, budget, etc.? If not, is there another way that I can access this information?
    - Does this appear to be a quality activity? Are the organizers experienced as providers of CE? Is the location easily accessible?
    - Does this represent “new learning” for me that is clearly related to my profession and my specialty – that will provide me with original ideas that I can incorporate into my practice with a goal of improving patient care?
Gap of practice
  1. How many CME hours required for one year?
    All healthcare professionals are asked to submit 50 hours / year in a gap of practice case
  2. When can I say that I have a gap of practices?
    Gap of practice is when you are out of practice (in your specific filed) for more than two years.
  3. What is the process to cover my gap?
    - You need to count a number of required hours
    - Start to collect these hours by attending events and visiting some websites
    - Visit the CME/CPD office at the HAAD building to submit a hard copy of all certificates and CE tracker, pulse print out the comment you received from HPL section regarding your last date of experience and gap of practice.
    - CME/ CPD officer will check all documents and prepare a completion paper mentioning that you covered your gap.
    - Scan and attach the CME Gap of practice verification sheet into your online application under the attachments tab
  4. Can you explain how a Gap of practice is calculated?
    - Check last day of experience
    - First two years is exempted
    - Count number of months after the two exempted years
    - Multiply number of months preceding the current date by 4.5 hours
    - From the total number 50% of the total hours will be category one and the other 50% of hours can be either category one or category two
  5. What happens if I fail to obtain the minimum requirement for CME credit hours to cover my gap of practices?
    You cannot obtain a license to practice if you fail to complete the required hours.
  6. If I attend courses outside UAE can these be counted as Category.1?
    There are many acceptable CE accreditation systems throughout the region and the world and HA-AD recognizes many of these systems as “equivalent”. That is, participants in CE accredited by one of these recognized bodies can count the CE for Category 1 credit hours, just as they would if they had attended a HA-AD-accredited event.
    (Check our website » Accreditation » Accreditation Equivalency)
  7. Where I can find CME events?
    For Category 1 events, you can visit our website:
    - Call healthcare organization (e.g. hospitals) to learn about the activities they are offering in their establishment.
    For Category 2, check websites that provide CME such as:
  1. What do I need in order to apply for HAAD accreditation?
    - You need to send a company profile to CME/CPD officers
    - After CME/CPD section approve your case, you will contact IT to give you access (password and user name)
    - Enter the system, complete the application online and attach all the required documents
    - The application will be reviewed by CME technical and scientific reviewers
    - If your request is approved you will receive an approval letter
  2. Why do you have many criteria and why does an organizer need to submit all contents and speaker CVs?
    This policy exists to ensure that Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities accredited by Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) fulfill certain criteria, thus fostering a standard of excellence for continuing education and continuing professional development.
  3. What are the requirements to get HAAD accreditation?
    - All activities* to be accredited by HAAD must be submitted for approval in advance, with the information received no less than six weeks prior to the activity being held.
       o Information must be submitted on a CME Accreditation Application form and be accompanied by any relevant supporting documentation. A contact person must be clearly identified for all communication related to accreditation of the activity. Details on sending the completed CME Accreditation Application form to HAAD are included at the end of the form.
    - In order to gain HAAD accreditation, all activities must meet the following criteria:
    Criteria Description
    TIME Activities must be no less than 60 minutes in duration
    NEED Activities must meet an identified learning need(s) amongst those likely to participate (i.e., the target audience)
    PLANNING Activities must be planned and developed in such a way to maximize input from those in the field of expertise and those from the target audience
    ACCESS Activities must be advertised well in advance and encourage widespread participation amongst the target audience
    PURPOSE Activities must have a specifically defined purpose including learning objectives, which are clearly identified and communicated
    PARTICIPANT INVOLVEMENT Activities must allocate no less than 25% of the total time for interactive learning (e.g., audience participation, questions and answers, etc.)
    ASSESSMENT AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Activities must have a comprehensive evaluation on format, venue, content, relevance, speaker(s), contribution to learning, etc. The evaluation must be tabulated and the results used to improve future activities
    DOCUMENTATION Activities must have a formalized method of documenting and tracking participant attendance so that confirmation can be provided to participants
    SPONSORSHIP Activities with sponsorship or financial assistance (e.g., industry funding) must be managed (i.e., content, format, choice of speakers, etc.) by a planning body of professionals from the field of expertise and from the target audience. Advertising of the sponsor’s specific products on written materials associated with the activity is not permitted.

    - Those activities that fulfill the criteria will be accredited as follows: 1 HAAD credit for each hour of activity. HAAD will inform the contact person of the approved credit allocation no less than one week prior to the activity.
    - Should credits not be awarded, HAAD will specifically outline to the contact person, the reason an activity is not eligible for accreditation (i.e., which criteria are not fulfilled). If the contact person can demonstrate steps to rectify the situation so that an activity will meet the criteria in advance of being held, accreditation may be possible.
    - Where reciprocal arrangements have been established, activities that have already received accreditation by a body recognized by HAAD (e.g., Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) will automatically receive HAAD recognition.
  4. Who organizes CME/CPD activities?
    Institutions and organizations possessing the essential expertise to function as CME/CPD providers, after accreditation by HAAD or by recognized bodies that have assessed the quality of the activity according to generally accepted standards and count the CE for Category 1 credit hours.
  5. What are the procedures for CME/CPD activities participation?
    Participation in CME/CPD activities is open to all interested health professionals. Organizers will provide information about accredited programs by distribution of flyers, brochures, advertisements on websites, or through circulars. For any updated information regarding registration procedure, re-scheduling, venue and other relevant details, health professionals should contact event organizers directly via their contact details provided in the activity advertisement.
  6. How can I gain credits from accredited activities and events?
    Look for accredited activities – those which have the recognition of a legitimate body that has assessed the scientific contents and the quality of the activity according to generally accepted standards. Please refer to HAAD website and to find out the list of activities from which you can choose to attend that are relevant to your area of practice. You can also register in to subscribe and you will receive the announcement of the upcoming activities via your registered e-mail.


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