Increasing CME and CE Compliance Audits

Written by Sarah Lim, CA Lic# 0M52397

Increasing CME and CE Compliance Audits

Effective immediately, the Licensing Program of the Medical Board of California has increased the number of audits conducted for continuing medical education (CME) compliance by physicians as well as continuing education (CE) compliance by licensed midwives from 1% to 10%.

California law requires physicians to complete a minimum of 50 hours of approved CME every 2 years (every license renewal).  Licensed midwives are required to complete 36 hours of approved CE every 2-year renewal cycle. 

The Board is legally required to conduct monthly audits to ensure that licensees are complying with the CE and CME requirements.  These audits consist of a group of randomly selected physicians who have signed the CME certification statement or licensed midwives who have signed the CE completion statement on their renewal notice. 

Physicians and licensed midwives are also required to keep records of the CME and CE for at least four years.  Maintained documents must include course title, dates, number of credit hours, accrediting agency, and the name of the participating physician/licensed midwife.  CME or CE documentation is not necessary when applying for license renewal unless the physician/licensed midwife is audited. 

If an audited physician or licensed midwife cannot provide documentation showing that the CME/CE hours were completed, the Licensing program will allow a one-time renewal with the condition that the deficient CME/CE hours are made up.  It is important to know that the Board WILL NOT renew a second time without all CME/CE hours completed. 

The following are a few ways to earn CME/CE hours:

1)    A physician can receive 100 CME hours for four consecutive years by passing a certifying or re-certifying exam administered by a recognized specialty board. 

2)    Up to one-third of CME/CE hours can be earned by teaching or presenting a course that meets the CME/CE requirement.

3)    CME/CE hours may be waived in cases that involve illness, military service, and undue hardship. 


More information on CME requirements can be found on the following website: as well as Section 1379.26 of Title 16 of the California Code of Regulations and Section 2518 of the California Business and Professions Code.