Criteria and Stipulations for Endorsing Third-Party (Non-Industry) Educational Programs


1. The content of the program must be based upon the best and most updated evidence available in the content area(s) covered.

2. The program should be fair, balanced, and not promotional in nature and content.

3. The content cannot disparage other educational programs.

4. The content must be germane to the work of STS members.

5. The content must ultimately be directed toward the benefit of patients.

6. If CME credit is provided, the program must be approved for AMA PRA category 1 credit™ by the sponsoring organization.


1. The Workforce on Clinical Education will vet activities for which STS endorsement is sought with input from the Chair of the Education and Member Services Council (at his/her discretion) and make recommendations to the Executive Committee with regard to the request.

2. STS must approve the objectives and final program and if at all possible should be involved in the planning process.

3. The organization seeking endorsement must describe its disclosure process for speakers and planners, including the manner in which conflicts of interest are resolved and the way this resolution will be disclosed to learners.

4. STS must have an opportunity to provide comment/input regarding the speakers.

5. An appropriate percentage of speakers should be STS-member cardiothoracic surgeons.

6. The program as offered to physicians must be in compliance with The Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ Ethical Standards for Cardiothoracic Surgeons Relating to Industry.

7. The program must be in compliance with ACCME Essentials, Elements, Policies, and Standards if AMA PRA category 1 credit™ is awarded.

8. The program may not be scheduled to take place on the same dates as those of major meetings conducted by international, national and regional cardiothoracic surgery and related medical specialty societies.


1. Activities approved for STS endorsement will have the right to use the STS name and logo (trademark license) for that program only.

2. One set of STS member mailing labels will be provided to the industry partner for a one time use to market the program.

3. STS will retain approval rights for any marketing material that bears the STS name or logo.

4. A licensing fee may be assessed.

5. STS members will be granted a discount on the program if a registration fee is involved.

Amended by the Board of Directors of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons: May 10, 2009