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What are CME requirements in the UAE?

What are CME requirements in the UAE?

In the United Arab Emirates, as in most other countries, doctors are required to undertake a minimum number of hours of continuing medical education (CME) in order to maintain their licence to practise. CME requirements encourage lifelong learning and career development.

By reviewing their individual learning goals, doctors can ensure that they refresh their knowledge and skills, and stay up to date with new developments in their field. Doctors working in the UAE who maintain a licence to practise in their country of origin will also need to check the requirements for that country.

What are CME requirements in the UAE?

The general requirements are:

● To complete at least 40 hours of CME activity in the 12 months prior to annual

licence renewal.

● At least 20 of these hours must be category 1 CME activities: formal, structured,

accredited learning opportunities.

● The remaining hours may be category 2 CME, or self-documented, activities.

● To maintain records of all CME participation, including certificates for category 1

accredited CME courses, and retain original authenticated records for a period of at least three years.

● Generally, no less than 70% of the CPD points requirements shall be in the area of the professional specialty and 30% can be in the area of general professional development.

The specific CME requirements may vary slightly according to the regulatory authority in different emirates: the Department of Health (DOH) for Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) for Dubai, and the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) for all other emirates in the UAE. The DHA states that only 30% of the CPD points required per year can be gained from online CPD programs. The DOH states that credit hours designated to BLS & ILS (Basic and Immediate life support) courses are not counted towards the CME/CPD minimum requirements.

It is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the CME requirements for your licensing authority, as these may change over time.

What counts as Category 1 CME?

Category 1 continuing medical education activities are externally verified by the local licensing authority, or other CPD accredited body recognised by the licensing authority.

These may include conferences, workshops, symposia, meetings, seminars, and accredited educational programs, whether in-person or online. Participation in programs organised by accredited institutions abroad may be recognised as category 1, if the provider is recognised by the relevant licensing authority. All accredited CME activities would have a credit value assigned to them, indicated clearly in the certificate of attendance.

How can I find accredited CME courses and activities?

Conferences and courses relevant to your speciality can be found through professional membership associations, local hospitals, through recommendations from colleagues, or via an online search. Websites and promotional materials should clearly display the amount of CME credits available.

CME activities sponsored by pharmaceutical or medical device companies may be

accredited, as long as they comply with ethical guidelines on gifts to physicians from industry i.e. they are not promotional.

There are many websites and online learning platforms offering accredited webinars or CME

courses, such as:

● Medscape

● BMJ Learning

● BMJ Best Practice

● MIMS learning

● UpToDate

● CME List

● ClinicalKey for Physicians

● Cleveland Clinic


● The Royal College for your speciality (in the UK), or similar bodies in other countries.

If you are licensed by the DHA in Dubai, you can access a free CME Online platform with courses accredited and recognised by DHA. This includes free access to BMJ learning, UpToDate, and ClinicalKey for Physicians. This portal is accessed through the Rashid Medical Electronic Library, which is also home to more than 18 million articles, over 16,000 medical magazines, and over 220,000 books.

What else may count as accredited category 1 CME?

If you present at professional conferences, or publish a research paper in a peer reviewed journal listed in the MEDLINE Bibliographic Database, you may be able to claim extra CME credits. Similarly, having a textbook or chapter published by a professional body may qualify for CME credit points. The publication should not be older than 2 years at the time claiming for credit points. Check with your licensing authority in these cases.

If you are completing a recognised higher education program in your related field

(Certifications, Master or PhD degree, etc.), this may entitle you to CME exemption for the period of study.

What counts as Category 2 CME?

Category 2 CME includes continuing medical education activities that have not achieved accreditation for Category 1 but comply with the recognised definition of CME. They should be a worthwhile learning experience, directly related to your practice. Conferences, courses and workshops for which the relevant accreditation is not obtainable may be logged as

category 2. This category may also include consultations with colleagues and medical experts, internal teaching, journal clubs, reading and self-study relevant to medical speciality. You should keep a log of all category 2 activities throughout the year.

How do I submit my CME records before licence renewal?

Each regulatory authority has an online platform, such as Sheryan for DHA, through which you can submit your CME records. You can check requirements and upload scanned copies of certificates. Be sure to make sure that you meet the CME requirements in good time for your licence renewal.


CME Program for Applicant Detail | Department of Health Abu Dhabi

CME FAQ | Department of Health Abu Dhabi


DHA launches Continuing Medical Education online | Uae – Gulf News


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