Simulation-based education has grown significantly over the past 10 years. As a result, more professional organizations are developing or implementing accreditation processes to help define minimum standards and best practices in simulation-based training. However, the benefits and potential pitfalls of sponsoring and implementing such programs have yet to be fully evaluated across specialties. The board of directors of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) requested an evaluation of the potential to create an emergency medicine (EM)-based Simulation Consultation and Accreditation Service. In response to this request, the Simulation Accreditation and Consultation Work Group, a subgroup of the Committee on Technology in Medical Education (now Simulation Academy), was created. The work group was charged with: 1) reviewing current benchmarks and standards set by existing simulation accreditation programs; 2) analyzing current EM simulation program structures, including leadership, administrative, and financial components; and 3) proposing a potential model for EM-based simulation accreditation. This article outlines currently existing and proposed accreditation models and identifies components that support best practices. It then goes on to describe three general programmatic models to better understand how simulation training can be operationalized in EM. Finally, the work group uses this collective information to propose how an accreditation process, in concert with the SAEM Simulation Consultation Service, can enhance and advance EM simulation training.
© 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.