Continuing Medical Education Requirement for ACSCs and QACSCs

All (Q)ACSC holders must ensure that they provide the best possible care to their patients by participating in CME activities specific to the prescribing of controlled drugs.

Board and Commission rules require (Q)ACSC holders to obtain certain CME credits for renewal. QACSC holders must also obtain certain credits before applying for an initial registration.

The Licensee Portal features a CME documentation upload that our (Q)ACSC holders can use as a repository. We urge you to take advantage of this feature.

Requirement for ACSCs (MD/DO)

Two (2) AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ or equivalent every two years in the areas of:

  • Controlled substance prescribing practices,
  • Recognizing signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, or
  • Controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.

Any program in these areas is acceptable to meet the CME credits required of all ACSC holders every two years.  You do not need to obtain pre-approval of the courses you choose. 

NOTICE: Beginning with ACSC renewals for 2024, applicants must attest that they have obtained the required CME.

Requirement for QACSCs (CRNP/CNM/PA)

  • Initial QACSC:
    • Complete within 12 months preceding the application twelve AMA PRA Category 1 credits that include the course “Prescribing and Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs: Current Issues and Strategies for Successful Patient Care" (8 credits) and four credits through a Board-approved course relating to advanced pharmacology and prescribing trends.
  • QACSC Renewal:

List of Approved Prescribing Courses


Yes. ACSC holders who are otherwise exempt from the CME requirement (residents, fellows, initial licensure year, military service) must still obtain the two credits every two years.

No. You do not need to obtain pre-approval from the Board for the course you choose. Just be sure the course confers AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and is in one of the required areas. The course may be live, through the internet or any other method as long as the activity confers AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. It does not have to be obtained from a CME activity in Alabama.

Yes. All physicians holding an ACSC are subject to the new CME requirement. The CME can be in the areas of prescribing controlled substances generally and recognizing signs of abuse and misuse. Activities in specific areas such as the use of controlled substances in the treatment of ADD or mental disorders, for example, would meet the requirement.

Keep with your certificate a copy of the conference agenda that shows the controlled substances topic(s) and the time(s) those topics were covered.


The two-year period is determined by calendar year. If you received your ACSC in July 2019, for example, you have until Dec. 31, 2020, to obtain the two credits.


The eight-hour course, “Prescribing Controlled Drugs; Critical Issues and Common Pitfalls,” is presented by the Board and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. Please see the Medical Association’s education web page.

The four-hour course(s) must be approved by the Board. The approved courses are listed here.

No. As a QACSC holder, you have an existing CME requirement to which you must adhere (see Rules 540-X-12- .05(3) and 540-X-18-.05(2)).