May 19, 2021By Lance Baily

SESAM Accreditation Available to Healthcare Simulation Programs Worldwide

The Society in Europe for Simulation (SESAM), formerly known as The Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine, provides healthcare simulation policy recommendations to simulationists across the world. This system of accreditation enables global simulation programs to better understand what is required to be successful in simulation. Then, if those simulation programs wish to meet these standards, they can apply for SESAM accreditation.

This SESAM accreditation program is based on the experience and expertise of the international multidisciplinary and interprofessional community of practice. The policies take into account the broad variety of clinical simulation modalities and the context of their usage.

“The program has been developed over several years, starting with a working group in 2015. The final version was piloted in 2017, several adjustments being made to the documents since. The reason behind this program was a needs-assessment of SESAM members, which indicated the wish and necessity to have European quality standards, that take into consideration specific aspects of healthcare simulation in Europe,” explained SESAM President Marc Lazarovici. “Using the accreditation to access fundings or to gain institutional recognition, while being founded on the profound expertise of the members of the SESAM Accreditation Group (SAG), were other drivers in developing the program.”

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The term Educational Institution (hereafter “Institution”) incorporates all facilities that provide educational sessions and exercise events for healthcare providers from all disciplines and professions. These can be simulation centers with dedicated space, mobile units that function completely ‘out-of-the box’, mannequin-based facilities or departments relying on standardized patient (SP) methodology.

“Which institutions seek out SESAM accreditation is very variable, ranging from private simulation centers to universities and prehospital based centers. Also, the geographic range is wider than expected initially, covering basically the entire world,” said Lazarovici.


By seeking accreditation an institution can demonstrate quality as having been judged and validated by an independent body who is internationally recognized as an opinion leader in the domain of healthcare simulation-based education. The use of the “Accredited by SESAM” logo is a quality marker which will allow the institution to stand out and further underline its high-quality standards.

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“Accreditation helps institutions stand out by demonstrating the adherence to high educational standards – the SESAM accreditation is based on the quality of education provided. Commitment to research also plays a role, as well as a sound theoretical basis for all activities and professional demeanour in every aspect,” Lazarovici said.

To apply for accreditations, applications are evaluated by members of the SESAM Accreditation Group, who are committed to objective assessment on the strengths and weaknesses of every submitting institution independently. SAG reviewing includes:

  • Integrity of documents submitted
  • Validation of data submitted
  • Comparison of documents with SESAM professional standards (core values and scopes)
  • Inspection of institution premises (on-site visit only)
  • Conversation with management, staff and trainees (on-site visit only)
  • Constructive feedback on the application

Watch our recorded 2021 webinar: “EU Simulation Resources From the SESAM Organization
Presented by SESAM President Marc Lazarovici, MD

Accreditation for institutions can be achieved at two levels. The first is based on document review by the SAG only the institution will get a confirmation that the document is “Endorsed by SESAM” and its activity is complying with the SESAM professional standards. This form of review will expire after two years and can be prolonged only once.

The second level of full accreditation (SESAM Accreditation) is achieved after an on-site visit and discussion with management, staff and trainees, in addition to a review of the provided documents. Full accreditation will also provide several advantages to the accredited institutions, such as entering a network of excellence in research and a higher eligibility for grants. All new accredited institutions will be presented at the next SESAM Annual Meeting.

“Provisional accreditation is based just on a document review and might be, as such, subject to certain uncertainties. That is why it cannot be obtained for an undefined period,” explained Lazarovici. “Full accreditation includes a site visit by two auditors who get a deep insight into the way of working at the institution seeking accreditation. Thus, a complete picture of the activity is available to SESAM, and with annual reports and repeated site visits every four years can be maintained indefinitely.”

More About SESAM

SESAM is the world’s longest running interprofessional healthcare simulation organization. The mission of SESAM is to encourage and support the use of simulation in healthcare for the purpose of training and research. The SESAM constitution shares that the purpose of the registered association is to develop and apply simulation throughout education, research and quality management in medicine and healthcare settings. The society also works to facilitate, exchange and improve upon the technology and knowledge related to healthcare simulation across Europe.

In working to achieve these goals, SESAM has established an official open access journal named Advances in Simulation. The journal includes articles relevant to simulation in the fields of healthcare practice, human factors, psychology, sociology, anthropology, communication, teamwork, human performance, education, learning technology, economics, biomedical engineering, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, therapeutics, scientific computation, simulation modeling, population studies, theatre, craft, program evaluation and more. All articles published by Advances in Simulation are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers.

Learn More About SESAM Accreditation

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