The accreditation of graduate medical education through the evaluation of residency programs and the teaching hospitals that offer them in the United States is the primary mission of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). In 1999, the ACGME formulated the six ACGME competencies and, ten years later, developed a multi-year plan to restructure the accreditation process in order to assess educational outcomes. The result of these evolving efforts has been termed the Next Accreditation System (NAS). The stated goals of the NAS are 1) to enhance the ability of the peer-review system to prepare physicians for practice in the 21st century; 2) to accelerate the ACGME's movement toward accreditation on the basis of educational outcomes; and 3) to reduce the burden associated with the current structure and process-based approach. The NAS is an interesting and novel approach to re-engineer the GME accreditation process to become more equitable, fair, and transparent and less costly and burdensome, and to improve resident education and ultimately patient care. The new process will rely upon measurable and meaningful outcomes rather than simply structure and process assessments. Instead of the episodic program biopsies with site visitor reports, detailed program information forms, and formal residency review committee evaluations that characterized the old accreditation system, the NAS will be based upon annual reports of specific quantitative, trended, performance benchmarks; the ACGME milestones; and an institutional clinical competency committee. In addition, a separate but related specialty-specific Clinical Environment Learning Review (CLER) will be a more detailed examination of the learning environment and infrastructure. The CLER, however, will not have a direct role in the accreditation decision-making process of the NAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-85
Number of pages4
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Next accreditation system
  • Ophthalmology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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