ACR Policies


Looking for the College's policies regarding online privacy, internal and external linking, and copyright and disclaimer issues? Please review the information below and contact us if you have any questions.

The primary purpose of these principles is to support the mission of the American College of Rheumatology, which is to empower rheumatology professionals to excel in their specialty. The following principles were developed to ensure this reputation is maintained by safeguarding the independence of the College’s activities, policies, statements, and advocacy positions.

See ACR Guiding Principles for Interactions with External Entities

The American College of Rheumatology fully recognizes the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion within the rheumatology workforce. The ACR is committed to identifying barriers to enhancing diversity and offering policy recommendations to overcome these barriers in the future.

See Diversity and Inclusion Statement

This American College of Rheumatology Investigator Financial Conflict of Interest Policy (the “FCOI Policy”) is implemented to fulfill ACR’s responsibilities under the FCOI Regulations to maintain an up-to-date, written, enforced policy and process on investigator financial conflicts of interest.

See FCOI Policy

The interests of the public and the medical profession are best served when scientifically sound and unbiased expert witness testimony is readily available to plaintiffs and defendants in medical malpractice litigation. As members of the physician community and as patient advocates, rheumatologists may be asked to testify as expert witnesses in matters concerning potential medical malpractice. It is in the public interest that medical expert testimony be readily available, objective, and unbiased.

See ACR Policy and Guidelines for Expert Witness Testimony in Medical Malpractice Litigation

See ARP Policy and Guidelines for Expert Witness Testimony in Malpractice Litigation

The American College of Rheumatology (hereinafter “ACR”, the “Society”, “we”), is a professional membership organization based at 2200 Lake Boulevard, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30319, committed to improving the care of patients with rheumatic disease and advancing the rheumatology specialty. Founded in 1934, we are a not-for-profit, global medical society that serves physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide and our mission is to advance research and training to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases.
Learn more about the ACR

You can contact us at:
2200 Lake Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: 404-633-3777
Fax: 404-633-1870

This Privacy Policy details how we are processing personal data, including personal data of individuals in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and United Kingdom when they interact with our services.

In principle, ACR:

  • Collects, uses and stores the minimum amount of personal data that is necessary for one or more legitimate business purposes and to comply with legal obligations.
  • Limits who has access to the personal data in our possession to only those who need it for a legitimate business purpose.
  • Protects personal data through physical and technical security measures tailored to the sensitivity of the personal data we hold.
  • Communicates with our employees, customers, suppliers, business partners and others about how we intend to use personal data in our day-to-day operations.
  • Takes reasonable steps to ensure our personal data is accurate and up to date.
  • Integrates privacy in the design of our activities and projects that involve the use of personal data.

If you are based in the EU, EEA, or United Kingdom and you are interacting with the ACR in the context of us providing services or goods to you, or us monitoring your use of our services, then the related processing of your personal data may be governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its implementing national laws. We are a controller of the processing of your personal data. If you have any questions or inquiries, contact us at

Types of Information Collected

We recognize personal data as any information related to an identified or identifiable individual. Depending on the context of your interactions with ACR, we collect and use different types of personal data from website visitors, members and others that interact with us.

Types of information we collect:

  • For our virtual management apps: name, email address, password, country of residence, time zone, app language, postal code, the state of the device (on, off, standby, battery required), logins, account configurations, linking to nutritionist and physicians, errors, push notifications received, email notifications received, IP address. We may also process street and billing addresses or phone numbers if the user provides it.
  • Membership accounts on our website: name, email address, log activity, country of residence, professional affiliation, ABIM number and year of certification, memberships, or fellowships information to verify applications for membership.
  • Registration to events, conferences, and the annual meeting: name, race and/or ethnicity affiliation, contact details, accommodation preferences, and payment details.
  • Marketing activities: email addresses and information about the interaction with our communications (such as IP addresses, click-through data). We may also send surveys and collect various responses to these surveys which may include contact and professional information. These surveys may be sent directly from us or from an approved business partner. We do not send independent surveys on behalf of members or third parties.
  • Gallery of videos and photos: We have a gallery of videos publicly available and some of them include presentations and testimonies of people that have pre-authorized us to share these artifacts. We also share some before and after photos and information that has been provided by our different physicians and members with the appropriate authorizations.
  • CareerConnection: name, contact information, password, resume, preferred employment types/disciplines/specialties/locations, work authorization (visa or another document).
  • Information collected automatically: There is other information that we collect automatically when you visit our site through the use of cookies or similar technologies such as your IP address, browser type, access times. See our Cookies Notice for more information.
  • Our courses: name, affiliation, grades, credits toward certifications.
  • Diversity, equality, and inclusion: To improve annual meeting programming; to increase diversity among board and/or committee membership we also collect race and/or ethnicity information.
Why We Process Your Personal Data

The purposes for which we collect and use your personal data may vary depending on the type of relationship you have with us, such as if you are one of our members or a website visitor.

See below why we use your information:

  • We process personal data collected through our mobile app for the purpose of facilitating communication with our members.
  • We process personal data of our members when they log into their online accounts for the purpose of managing their membership and providing them with membership-related services.
  • We process personal data in the context of article/abstract submissions for the purpose of publication of cutting-edge research in the field of rheumatology.
  • We process personal data of individuals who subscribe to our courses for the purpose of providing educational services.
  • We process personal data of participants to our events for the purpose of organizing the event/conference.
  • We process personal data in the context of marketing activities for the purposes of marketing our services and of communicating with our members. To keep our members and others who interact with the ACR informed of important ACR activities, services, and news pertaining to the rheumatology field, we send out certain marketing emails and publications. To better serve our constituents’ needs and target communications to their preferences, we collect information about their use of these communications.
  • We process personal data in the context of the gallery of videos and photos that we maintain, for the purposes of informing the public about different cases related to rheumatology.
  • We process personal data for the “CareerConnection” page on our website to match candidates with jobs in our field of activity.
  • We process personal data collected through cookies placed by our website to support the operation of our website and to analyze the traffic patterns on our site.
  • We process personal data of individuals that support or provide professional services to ACR including speaker payment, information includes their SSN/TIN, and bank details.
  • We process personal data for the RISE registry to ensure complete and accurate contact information.
Our Policy Towards Children

Our services are not directed to children.
We do not knowingly collect personal data from children. We may incidentally process personal data of children, for instance where participants in our events travel with family or when images we capture for our gallery of videos are those of conditions suffered by children. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with personal data without their consent, please contact us. If we become aware that a child has registered for our services and has provided us with personal data without the consent of their parent or guardian, we will delete such information from our files.

Disclosures to Third Parties

At times, ACR engages third party contractors, service providers, and other vendors to help us accomplish our business objectives. We also share address information with the Rheumatology Research Foundation, which is ACR’s 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, focused on advancing research and training to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases, to facilitate fundraising campaigns. There are other circumstances where we are required by law to disclose personal data to third parties such as public bodies or judicial authorities.

We engage with our agents, representatives, contractors, service providers or other third parties for the following services:

  • Authorization of credit card transactions (based in the US)
  • Order fulfillment (based in the US)
  • Cloud storage (based in the US)
  • Email blasting (based in the US)
  • Hosting virtual events and meetings (based in the US)
  • Mailing services for our journals
  • Software for conference registration and abstracts submission
  • Mobile apps for connection to ACR and online courses
  • Surveys for ACR research purposes
  • To provide you with information you may find interesting

If the engagement involves the transmission of personal data, we require the service provider to treat that data consistent with this Policy. A contract to protect the personal data is executed before any data is disclosed, if that vendor will process personal data of individuals in the EU, EEA, or United Kingdom on our behalf.

ACR sells lists of member names and address information to third parties that may wish to contact you with information that you may find interesting. You have the opportunity to opt-out of such sales at any time by logging in and editing your privacy settings.

ACR may also disclose information in special cases when it has a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to legal requirements or comply with legal process; (b) protect and defend our rights or property; (c) enforce the College's policies regarding online privacy, internal and external linking, and copyright and; or (d) act to protect the interests of our users or others.

Occasionally ACR may be required by law enforcement or judicial authorities to provide personally identifiable information to the appropriate governmental authorities. We will disclose such information upon receipt of a court order, subpoena, or to cooperate with a law enforcement investigation. ACR reserves the right to report to law enforcement agencies any activities that we in good faith believe to be unlawful.

Your European Privacy Rights

If you reside or otherwise find yourself in the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA), or the United Kingdom, ACR is committed to processing your personal data lawfully and facilitating the exercise of your rights granted by the European data protection law.

You can contact us at to discuss your privacy concerns or log into your account to update your privacy settings.

Legal basis for data collection and use: We only collect and use personal data when there is a fair and legal basis for its collection and use and/or when you have consented to our collection. For example, we collect personal data because it is necessary to become member of the College, to meet our legitimate interests to send marketing material, or to comply with legal obligations. See below the legal basis for each collection:

  • Our mobile app: Collection is based on our legitimate interest in providing services to our members.
  • Membership information and payment details: Collection is based on the necessity to enter into, or for the performance of, a contract and to provide you membership services and process or receive payments.
  • Account management and cookies: Collection is based on our legitimate interest in facilitating access to different services for our members, and to analyze traffic patterns.
  • Publications of articles and submissions: We publish cutting edge research in the field of rheumatology submitted by health professionals, based on our legitimate interest in advancing research to improve the health of people with rheumatic diseases.
  • Registration to events, conferences, courses, and the annual meeting (both virtual and in person): Collection is based on the necessity to enter into, or for the performance of, a contract and to put on the event for all attendees.
  • Marketing activities: Collection is allowed where you provide consent for email marketing, and collection for marketing conducted other than through email or phone call is based on our legitimate interests.
  • Gallery of videos and photos: Collection is allowed where you consent.
  • CareerConnection: Collection is allowed where you consent.
  • Sale of information: Collection and sale of information to third parties is allowed where you consent.

Your Privacy Rights:
We provide notice to our members, website users and other third parties who interact with us about how we use personal data in our day-to-day activities at the time of collecting personal data, or as soon thereafter as possible. We also publish this privacy notice for greater transparency.

In addition, in a written request to you have:

  • Right of access: Upon request, ACR will provide you with details of your personal information that we process, the purpose for which it is processed, and the recipients of such information, in an acceptable machine-readable format.
  • Right to rectification: Upon request, ACR will rectify any Personal Data errors, complete or make updates to your Personal Data upon your request.
  • Right to restrict processing: Upon request, ACR will suppress the processing of your Personal Data if our continued processing of such information is not justified. Note: Your Personal Data may still be stored.
  • Right to object to processing: You have the right to object to your Personal Data used in the following manners: (a) processing based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority (including profiling); (b) direct marketing (including profiling); and (c) processing for purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics. In such an event, ACR will cease to process the personal data unless when there are compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interests, rights and freedoms of the data subject or for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.
  • Right to erasure: Upon request, ACR will delete or erase your Personal Data from all or some of ACR systems, except in circumstances where the legal basis for such data retention outweighs the right to deletion.
  • Right to data portability: Upon request, you can obtain your Personal Data that you consented to us or that is necessary to perform fulfillment of member benefits with you or transfer your Personal Data to a Third Party.
  • Right to object and withdraw consent at any time: For all marketing materials, you can opt out any time and free of charge. The right to object for other processing activities will be balanced to ensure that it is not incompatible with local regulations or our legitimate interests.

These requests should be submitted as follows:

  • Opt-out of marketing communications: You can exercise your right to object and opt-out anytime by following the opt-out instructions in our commercial emails, by logging into your ACR account and navigating to the privacy settings to change your communication preferences or contacting us at
  • You will continue to receive emails relevant to course registrations or purchases (e.g. registration confirmations or purchase receipts) or necessary to your continued membership in the ACR (e.g., dues notices).
  • If you believe that SPAM has been sent from us, please contact us at so that we can investigate and rectify the situation.
  • To exercise the rest of your rights: you should send a communication in writing to
  • In order to fulfill this request, we may require you provide us with information to validate your identity and specify your request. We will attend to your request in a timely manner within 30 days after receiving your request.
  • If for any reason we need to extend this period of time, we will contact you.

If you are not satisfied with our response, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority of your habitual residence, place of work or place of the alleged infringement.

International Transfers of Personal Data

If you are located outside the United States and you interact with our website or provide us personal data, then your personal data may be transferred to the United States. We transfer your personal data to the United States whenever you interact with us. We transfer your personal data on the basis of the derogations in Article 49 GDPR, particularly:

  • Explicit consent, for newsletter subscribers and certain processing in relation to organizing events - such as storing photos.
  • Necessity to enter and for the performance of a contract for registration information to participate to our events; for processing personal data of our members to maintain their relationship with our organization, provide them services including when they log in to their member accounts; and, for processing personal data for online and offline courses.

As for safeguards to your personal data, we directly apply the GDPR provisions to your personal data. As a matter of principle, we do not engage in any onward transfers regarding your data beyond the access that our processors have to your data. We carefully select our processors, and we require that they are EU-US Privacy Shield certified, or that they provide equivalent safeguard mechanisms.

Data Security

ACR is committed to the security, confidentiality, and integrity principle. We take commercially reasonable precautions to keep all information obtained from our online visitors secure against unauthorized access and use and we periodically review our security measures.

We care about the security of your transactions and apply industry-standard practices of like organizations and technologies to safeguard your credit card information. We use high-grade encryption and the secure https protocol to communicate with your browser software, which mitigates the risk of interception of the credit card information you give us. We also employ several different security techniques to protect your personally identifiable information from unauthorized access by users inside and outside the organization. The Web servers for the College are located in a secure environment, and computer systems are maintained in accordance with industry standards of like organizations to secure information. You should be aware, however, that “perfect security” does not exist on the Internet, and third parties may unlawfully intercept or access transmissions or private communications. We encrypt the transmission of personal information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).

This site contains links to other sites. While ACR strives to link only to sites that share our high standards and respect for privacy, ACR is not responsible for the privacy practices employed by other sites.

Retention Periods

ACR applies the storage limitation principle to retain personal data in our records only for the length of time required to fulfill the purpose for which the data was collected.

We only keep personal data in our records as long as it is necessary for the purposes they have been processed. The retention period depends on the context in which we process data and on specific circumstances such as regulations requiring retaining information for a certain period of time. These circumstances may include local laws, the reasonably anticipated future business needs for the data, the benefit to the user to have the data available, legal requirements to hold the data, or similar circumstances.



Changes to This Policy

We reserve the right to modify this Privacy Policy at any time. We will duly inform you of any changes.

ACR may occasionally update this privacy statement and other statements referenced by it as new services and programs are introduced. Any changes to the Privacy Policy will be posted on this page and will become effective as of the Effective Date below. We encourage you to periodically review this page for the latest information on our privacy practices.

The time stamp you see on the policy will indicate the last date it was revised.

Updated May 14, 2024

Privacy Policy Archives
ACR Privacy Policy 2022
ACR Privacy Policy 2020

Links to Other Websites

The College’s Site includes links, some temporary and some permanent, to other websites. We use the following criteria to evaluate sites for linking. The linked site should:

  • Relate to the mission of the College;
  • Complement and enhance the information on our site;
  • Provide credible, accurate, current, science-based information

We are not responsible for the privacy and security practices of any other website or the nature of the content contained therein. Users are encouraged to be aware when they leave the College's Site and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this website.

Incoming Links to the College

The College grants a nonexclusive, limited permission to websites to place a text link to containing the exact words "American College of Rheumatology" or our domain name (presently on their Site to develop a link between their site and the College Site(s).

Content Integrity, Link Location

The College requests that sites do not use links to other than a text link. The materials on the linking site should not imply any association with or in relation to the College or imply in any way that any materials from our Site are maintained within or originate from the linking website. The College does not permit any content from our Site to be framed within another site. Material may not be copied from our Site for publication in any form without the College's express written permission. Companies advertising products are requested to not link to the College Site from any advertising or marketing pages, or to include any pages that refer specifically to a particular drug by brand name through overt logo use or textual reference. All links should be for nonprofit or educational purposes only. The College shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, liability or expense that may accompany or result from your use of a text link to the College.

Updated August 2015

All materials posted on this Site are subject to copyrights owned by the College. The College hereby provides limited permission for the user of this Site to reproduce, retransmit or reprint for such user's own personal use (and for such personal use only) part or all of any document on this Site as long as the copyright notice and permission notice contained in such document or portion thereof are included in such reproduction, retransmission or reprinting. All other reproduction, retransmission, or reprinting of all or part of any document found on this Site is expressly prohibited, unless the College has expressly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or reprint the material. All other rights reserved.


The names, trademarks, service marks and logos of the College appearing on this Site may not be used in any advertising or publicity, or otherwise to indicate the College's sponsorship of or affiliation with any product or service, without the College's prior express written permission.


The College is providing information and services online as a benefit and service in furtherance of the College's mission. The College makes no representations about the suitability of this information and these services for any purpose.

The College does not exert editorial control over materials that are posted by third parties and specifically disclaims any and all liability for any claims or damages which may result from any postings by third parties. Although the College's Site includes links providing direct access to other Internet sites, the College has not participated in the development of those other sites, and does not exert any editorial or other control over those other sites. The College accepts no responsibility for the opinions and information posted on this Site by users other than the College.

The College disclaims all warranties with regard to information posted on this Site, whether posted by the College or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall the College be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on this Site.

Updated August 2015

Please read this page carefully before using the ACR Rheumatology Image Library. This is a legal agreement between you (the end user) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Your use of the ACR Rheumatology Image Library signifies your acceptance of the terms of this License. If you do not agree to the terms of the License, you must not proceed into the ACR Rheumatology Image Library, and you must return to ACR or delete/destroy any images from the ACR Rheumatology Image Library currently in your possession.

  1. License: By this license, you are granted the right to use the ACR Rheumatology Image Library for non-commercial educational, informational, and research purposes only. You are not granted a right to use the ACR Rheumatology Image Library for the purpose of journalism, investigation, or reporting absent a specific license granted by ACR, and you may not use the ACR Rheumatology Image Library for any commercial purpose. The images and associated captions of the ACR Rheumatology Image Library may be copied and used for oral educational presentations delivered by you along with any supporting documents needed for the presentation. ACR requests that you appose to images taken from the ACR Rheumatology Image Library a notice of Copyright ownership to ACR in the form of “Copyright (year of creation of presentation) ACR.” You may not use or share (e.g. in the form of a link) the ACR Rheumatology Image Library on any network, internet, or intranet without express written permission from ACR. Images and associated captions may not be incorporated into any work that is published, such as a journal without express written permission from ACR.
  2. Media Usage: All images (and the associated captions) in the ACR Rheumatology Image Library are provided free of charge, upon approval, to media for purposes of news coverage only. Any other use falls under the ACR Rheumatology Image Library's terms of License. Media includes television, print, radio, online (e.g., bloggers), trade publications, and other approved outlets that cover rheumatology news. Images are provided for one-time, news-related use only. Use of images in commercial, non-news-related publications or any other for-profit use is strictly prohibited. Images from the ACR Rheumatology Image Library cannot be published, reproduced, transferred, or distributed without advance written approval from the ACR. Images showing a patient's face, either in part or whole, must be pixilated or otherwise blurred. Other image-specific terms may apply and will be provided once use of an image is approved. An appropriate image credit for each image is required and will be provided once use of an image is approved. To request permission to use an image in your media coverage, contact ACR’s public relations staff at or 404-633-3777.
  3. Restrictions: The ACR Rheumatology Image Library is a proprietary, copyrighted work, derivative work, and compilation owned by ACR. You agree that you will not use the ACR Rheumatology Image Library except as permitted by this License and Terms of Use, and you expressly agree not to modify, rent, lease, sell, or create derivative works using the ACR Rheumatology Image Library. You agree that you will not remove any notice of copyrights, trademark, or other proprietary right from any place where it is on or embedded in the content of the ACR Rheumatology Image Library . If you have any reason to believe that images from the Image Library are attributed a wrongful ownership, you must report the discrepancy to ACR.
  4. Terminations: A license is granted each time an image from the ACR Rheumatology Image Library is downloaded. The license is specific to the copyrighted single work obtained from ACR. A license is effective until terminated or until the natural expiration of the Copyright in the images downloaded from the ACR Rheumatology Image Library. ACR may terminate any license at any time in its sole discretion. In the case of termination of any license, all copyrighted materials or copies associated with this specific grant must be destroyed.
  5. Disclaimer of Warranty on ACR Rheumatology Image Library and Data: You expressly acknowledge and agree that use of this ACR Rheumatology Image Library is at your sole risk. THE ACR RHEUMATOLOGY IMAGE LIBRARY IS PROVIDED “AS IS” AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTION QUALITY, MEDICAL INFORMATION, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND FREEDOM FROM INFRINGEMENT OR ORIGINALITY. No warranties are made that the ACR Rheumatology Image Library will meet your requirements, or that the operation of this website will be uninterrupted, virus free, or error free. No warranty is given as to the accuracy or reliability of the data on the ACR Rheumatology Image Library.
  6. Limits of Liability: ACR shall not be liable for any damages, including direct, indirect, digital, incidental, special or consequential damages, or damages for loss of profits or revenues incurred by you or any third party, whether in an action in contract or tort, arising out of the use or application by you of the ACR Rheumatology Image Library or any component within.
  7. Indemnification: You agree to indemnify and hold ACR harmless from and against any claims, expenses, losses, or liabilities (including professional fees and expenses) in connection with any claim by a third party arising out of your use of any component of the ACR Rheumatology Image Library or the application by you of the medical information contained by the ACR Rheumatology Image Library.
  8. Transferability: The rights granted to you by ACR under this License Agreement may not be assigned, transferred, or licensed to any third party. ACR may transfer and/or assign at will this License to any third party including any personal data associated with the ownership of the License.
  9. Governing Law, Jurisdiction, and Enforcement: This License will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois, without regard to conflict of law principles. All suits, proceedings, or claims in connection with this License shall be brought in the courts of the State of Illinois in the County of Cook and you hereby consent to the jurisdiction and venue of those courts. If any provision of this License is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, unreasonable, or unenforceable, such provision or requirement will be enforced only to the extent that it is not invalid, unreasonable, or otherwise unenforceable and all other provisions of this License shall remain in full force and effect.
  10. Contact: If you have comments, suggestions, or questions about the content of the ACR Rheumatology Image Library, please contact:

American College of Rheumatology
2200 Lake Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Phone: 404-633-3777
Fax: 404- 633-1870

See the American College of Rheumatology’s policies, terms, and conditions for our educational activities.

COVID-19 Waiver and Release 2023

By registering for and attending ACR Educational Activities, you understand that you may be exposed to persons who, knowingly or unknowingly, are infected with the novel coronavirus and/or have contracted COVID-19 and/or another communicable disease, whether pandemic or endemic. You acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and other prevalent pandemic and endemic communicable diseases and voluntarily assume all risk that you may be exposed to or infected with the same and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death to me or to those with whom you come into close contact.

You hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless ACR, its employees, agents, and representatives, of and from any injuries (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illnesses, damages, losses, claims, causes of action, liabilities, judgments, costs and expense, of any sort or kind, that may arise to you or to those with whom you come into close contact (including household members).

Learner Bill of Rights

The ACR recognizes that as a lifelong learner who has chosen to engage in CME to identify or fill a gap in knowledge or skill; and to attain or enhance a desired competency you expect and deserve quality educational content. Therefore, the CME opportunities available through the ACR have and will continue to be developed to include:

Rigorously developed content that:

  • Responds to the needs of learners based on independent survey or other analyses;
  • Promotes improvements and/or quality in the delivery of healthcare;
  • Is scientifically rigorous, accurate and evidence-based;
  • Has been designed to meet the stated learning objectives;
  • Includes balanced and objective presentations free from commercial bias;
  • Is evaluated and assessed for its effectiveness in meeting the identified educational need.

Disclosure of:

  • All financial relationships with ineligible companies (within the prior 24 months) of all individuals involved in the development or presentation of activity content
  • Commercial support of the activity

A learning environment that:

  • Is based on adult learning principles that encourage the use of various modalities of knowledge transfer;
  • Supports learners’ abilities to meet their individual needs and respects their privacy in doing so;
  • Respects and attends to any special needs of our learners;
  • Is free of promotional, commercial and/or sales activities

The ACR fully complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). If an ADA accommodation is required for participation in any ACR meeting or event, notify us using the event registration form and please provide a reliable method of contact for questions and/or follow-up.

For more on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, visit

Needs Assessment

The educational needs of rheumatologists span the breadth and depth of the medical knowledge base of the specialty. For purposes of certification and maintenance of certification, the American Board of Internal Medicine Subspecialty Board on Rheumatology has defined several broad categories, with associated subtopics, in its examination blueprint.

Clinical content presented at ACR activities falling under the categories in the Blueprint and their subtopics are critical to the certification, ongoing competency and quality of care provided by physicians and health professionals to those with or at risk for arthritis and other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

ACR CME Mission Statement

Copyright and Intellectual Property

ACR educational activities are not public events. Information presented at these activities is for the education of attendees and/or purchasers as authorized by the ACR. Any materials or information displayed during these activities are the property of the ACR and the presenter and should not be photographed, copied, photocopied, transferred to electronic formats, reproduced or distributed without written permission of the ACR and the presenter.

Any use of ACR educational content for commercial purposes, which includes but is not limited to oral presentations, audiovisual materials used by speakers and/or program handouts without written consent from the ACR is prohibited. This policy applies before, during and after each activity. The ACR will enforce its intellectual property rights and penalize those who infringe upon it.

The names, insignias, logos and acronyms of the ACR, the ARP and the Foundation are proprietary marks. Use of these in any fashion, by any entity, for any purpose, is prohibited without the express written permission of the ACR.

Disclosure and Mitigation of Relevant Financial Relationships

ACR Disclosure Statement
It is the policy of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to ensure that Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities are independent and free of commercial bias. To ensure educational content is objective, balanced, and guarantee content presented is in the best interest of its learners' and the public, the ACR requires that everyone in a position to control educational content disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. An ineligible company is one whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. Examples can be found at

If there are identified relevant financial relationships, these must be mitigated, in accordance with the ACR’s policies regarding mitigation of relevant financial relationships, prior to the individual’s participation in the development or presentation of ACE content. Any individual who refuses to disclose all financial relationships will be disqualified from involvement in the development, management, presentation, or evaluation of the ACE activity. Disclosure information is made available to learners prior to the start of activity.

Nature of Financial Relationships
Faculty participating in an ACR-sponsored activity must disclose to the planning committee and audience all financial or other relationships with ineligible companies including, but not limited to:

  1. Advisor or review panel member
  2. Consultant
  3. Employee
  4. Officer or Board Member
  5. Grant/research support
  6. Speaker/honoraria includes speakers bureau, symposia, and expert witness
  7. Independent contractor
  8. Ownership interest
  9. Royalties
  10. Intellectual property/patents
  11. Stock options or bond holdings in a for-profit corporation or self-directed pension plan
  12. Other financial or material support

None: Has no relevant financial relationship(s) with ineligible companies to disclose.

See information about commercial support.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Your attendance in various rooms at the ACR/ARP annual meeting will be captured by a chip embedded in your badge using RFID technology. The information captured will be used exclusively by the ACR to plan for future meetings. No information will be sold or shared with any parties outside of the ACR.

Photograph and Video Recording Policy
Official ACR photographers will be present at live ACR activities. Registration and attendance at, or participation in, ACR meetings and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant for the ACR’s use and distribution (both now and in the future) of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videotapes, digital reproductions, and audio tapes of such events and activities.

The ACR encourages the dissemination of educational content to benefit others. Our presenters have the right to request no photographs during their session and can announce this directly to attendees and/or include an icon to indicate their preference (see icon below). If permitted, photos must be captured in a non-disruptive manner so as not to disturb the presenter and other learners and should be for personal, non-commercial use. Flash photography, video recording, and live streaming of any  materials, including posters, exhibits, and all presentations are strictly prohibited. In the context of virtual meetings, this includes a prohibition on logging, recording, or otherwise capturing group chats, video chats, and virtual presentations. See Press Photography and Video Recording Policy

No photography

Copyright Materials Policy

ACR educational activities are private events. Programs presented during the activities are for the education of attendees and purchasers of recorded presentations as authorized by the ACR. The information and materials displayed and presented during ACR events are the property of the ACR and the presenter and cannot be photographed, copied, recorded, photocopied, transformed to electronic format, reproduced, or distributed without written permission of the ACR and the presenter. Any use of the program content for commercial purposes, which includes, but is not limited to live and on-demand, recorded oral presentations, audiovisual materials used by speakers, and program handouts without the written consent of the ACR is prohibited. This policy applies before, during, and after the meeting. The ACR will enforce its intellectual property rights and penalize those who infringe upon it. The names, insignias, logos, and acronyms of the ACR, ARP, and Foundation are proprietary marks. Use of the names in any fashion, by any entity, for any purpose, is prohibited without the express written permission of the ACR.

Abstract Policies

Abstracts Embargo Policies
Abstract Permissions and Reprints

ACR educational activities provide a collaborative and constructive learning environment for clinicians, researchers and members of industry to learn, discuss and develop the latest advancements in the field of rheumatology. Such an environment cannot be created without open-mindedness and respect. ACR is committed, and expects its staff, guests and participants to be committed, to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. ACR attendees, media, speakers, volunteers, venue staff, sponsors or exhibitor, or the employees, subcontractors or agents are expected to further this goal and ensure a safe and positive conference experience for everyone. This Code of Conduct outlines ACR’s expectations for anyone in attendance or contributing to an ACR meeting or educational activity, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.


  • Be professional, considerate, respectful of and collaborative with everyone;
  • Respect individuals’ personal space and expectation of privacy;
  • Refrain from demeaning, disruptive or discriminatory behavior and speech;
  • Support, and do not act in contravention of, others’ right to participate, as a teacher or a learner;
  • Honor and abide by confidentiality requests by speakers and other participants; and
  • Be mindful of events around you, and alert ACR staff of any situation which may be dangerous or likely to cause someone distress.

Unacceptable Conduct
Unacceptable behavior includes conduct or language that is intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogative or demeaning towards another individual or a group of individuals. Discussion of opposing or different points of view (including political views, where appropriate) is encouraged, but should be done in a manner that is respectful and avoids personal attacks.  ACR considers unacceptable conduct to include:

  • Gestures, comments (whether verbal, written or otherwise), or other conduct intended to target someone or a group of people’s race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in a negative or demeaning manner;
  • Inappropriate, unwelcome or unwanted physical contact;
  • Comments, actions or gestures of a sexual nature, including the inappropriate (e.g., non-clinical) use of nudity or sexual images;
  • Stalking;
  • Conduct intended to intimidate or has the effect of being intimidating;
  • Physical or verbal abuse, including without limitation, threats, pushing, shoving, or the use of any physical force against another person;
  • Conduct which is abusive, hostile or demeaning to other speakers or participants;
  • Any conduct which creates a disturbance, and which may be considered dangerous, or creates the reasonable apprehension of danger, in ACR’s sole discretion;
  • Public intoxication; or
  • Taking or distribution of (including posting to online media sources) any photographs or videos without the consent of every person who can be seen (including in the background) or heard audibly in such recordings, or the failure to honor a good faith request from ACR staff to remove an offending image or video taken in violation of this Code of Conduct.

Reporting Violations
All actual or suspected violations of the ACR Code of Conduct should be reported to ACR promptly using our name-optional reporting form or to the attention of any ACR staff member at the event. You are encouraged to share as much information as you can to help us conduct a thorough investigation of the onsite incident.

Report an Educational Activity Code of Conduct Violiation

Enforcement Action
Unacceptable conduct will not be tolerated at any ACR meeting or educational event, whether by ACR attendees, media, speakers, volunteers, venue staff, sponsors or exhibitors, or the employees, subcontractors or agents of any of the foregoing.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

ACR reserves the right to remove, or prohibit entry or re-entry to anyone who violates this Code of Conduct for all or part of the event. Violators of this Code of Conduct may also be prohibited from attending or participating in future ACR events. Speakers who are found to be in violation of this Code of Conduct may be prohibited from providing a planned presentation, and/or precluded from future opportunities to speak at ACR events. In the event of exclusion due to a violation of this Code of Conduct, ACR may deny a refund of any registration fees paid by such offender for the subject event in its sole discretion.

ACR policy and procedures regarding ownership of data and other work product generated by the ACR, its committees, subcommittees, and task forces

Committees, subcommittees, task forces, and other work groups of the American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP) frequently develop and conduct surveys and various other types of research and create educational products, position papers, and other materials. Described below are policy specifying ownership of the data and other work product generated from these activities, and procedures for requesting use of these data and other work products. Below, the word “committee” throughout refers to ACR or ARP standing committees, subcommittees, and task forces or other ad hoc work groups.

The data and other results generated from work done by a committee* of the ACR or ARP are the property of the ACR, and not of the committee members as a group or as individuals. This policy pertains as well to other work products of the committee (e.g., a novel method generated by the committee, a patient education document, a position paper, etc.).

If a current or former member of a committee wishes to reuse data or other work product generated by a committee, the individual must first request permission to use it. The request must be sent in writing to the ACR Executive Committee in the form of a letter of intent. The letter of intent should not exceed 1 page and should include the following information: 1) brief description of the project, 2) source of the data, 3) specific venue (ACR or non-ACR) desired for publication/dissemination (journal or any other print or online product/publication), 4) the proposed type of document to be published (evidence-based research article, review, commentary, images or any other), and 5) the projected timeline for completion of the project, preparation of the manuscript (or other document as appropriate), and submission of the material for publication.

All members of ACR committees will, upon becoming a member of the committee, sign an agreement confirming their understanding that any work generated in the course of the committee’s work is owned by the ACR and not by the committee or its individual members. ACR governance staff, in conjunction with the staff member who works with the given committee, will be responsible for assuring that each member has signed the agreement and for retaining the agreements.

Approved by ACR Board of Directors: August 2013

We use cookies on our website to improve our service to you and for security purposes. By continuing to use our site without changing your browser cookie settings, you agree to our cookie policy and the use of cookies. See ACR Policies