For a study, it was determined that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affected 1% of the global population in 2015, and between 0.5 and 1% in Latin America (LA). Previously, in May 2014, a consensus conference in Barranquilla, Colombia, formed the Project for Implementation and Accreditation of Centers of Excellence (CoE) in RA in LA. Researchers were to define the methodological approach for the CoE accreditation procedure in RA in LA. In April 2015, a meeting was conducted with the involvement of members of the REAL-PANLAR Steering Committee and representatives from different LA nations, with the assistance of two experts in accreditation procedures and models from Colombia. The REAL-PANLAR Steering Committee then convened in November 2015 in San Francisco and November 2016 in Washington to debate the project’s final details.

The following accreditation stages were defined: application for accreditation, issue of the entity’s concept of assessment, accreditation decision, and accreditation monitoring. The goal of this second REAL-PANLAR consensus document was to specify the conditions for the certification procedure for future CoE in RA in LA.