The Recognition Programme delivers an independent, transparent and rigorous method of ensuring that accreditation of medical schools worldwide is at an internationally accepted and high standard. WFME evaluates compliance of accrediting agencies with pre-defined criteria.
The Recognition Programme was established in response to two primary concerns:
- The existence of an accreditation system alone does not guarantee that the system will result in trustworthy decisions on the quality of programmes in medical education; this requires the accreditation system itself to operate in a robust, transparent and norm-referenced way.
- The rapid expansion in the number of medical schools worldwide has created a growing market for accreditation, and some private firms and individual consultants now offer an accreditation service of little worth.
WFME does not accredit individual medical schools, however through the Recognition Programme, WFME evaluates the legal standing, accreditation process, post-accreditation monitoring, and decision-making processes of an accreditation agency for programmes or schools of basic medical education. WFME Recognition Status of an agency confers the understanding that the quality of medical education in its accredited schools is at an appropriate and rigorous standard.
Through the Recognition Programme, WFME aims to ensure patient safety through competent practising doctors; and it aims to protect medical students from studying in poor quality schools.
Benefits of WFME Recognition Status
Global mark of recognition
Recognition Status is the indicator to the medical education community, to students and to employers that the quality of medical education in schools or programmes accredited by that agency is to an appropriate and rigorous standard.
Learning and driving up standards
Through the process of recognition – self-evaluation and feedback from the expert visiting teams – WFME shares best practice and provides quality improvement measures. Some of these will be a condition of Recognition Status; others will be quality improvement recommendations.
ECFMG eligibility for medical graduates
ECFMG has announced that effective in 2024, eligibility for USMLE and employment as a doctor in the United States will be restricted to graduates from medical schools/programmes accredited by an agency which is recognised by the WFME Recognition Programme or to an equivalent standard.