Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

What is MOC?

  • The ABS Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program documents a surgeon's ongoing commitment to professionalism, lifelong learning and practice improvement following initial certification.
  • Through MOC, ABS diplomates engage in continuous learning and assessment activities. Every three years, they report on these activities via this website; a secure exam is also required at 10-year intervals.
  • The ABS MOC Program establishes a national, surgeon-defined standard for staying up to date in surgical practice. Its requirements are intended to be as flexible as possible. The ABS is working with surgical specialty organizations to ensure ABS MOC is relevant to all practice areas, and is coordinating its requirements with those of other regulatory organizations.
    MOC Status: Check your MOC status anytime by going directly to

When Do I Start?

  • Diplomates are automatically enrolled in the ABS MOC Program once they successfuly certify or recertify in any ABS specialty. MOC requirements begin the January 1 following the academic year of the exam that enrolled you in MOC. For example, if you passed a General Surgery Certifying Exam in October of 2015, MOC begins for you as of January 1, 2017.

Why Now?

  • Board certification is considered to be the gold standard in assuring a surgeon has acquired and is sustaining a high level of knowledge, skill and professionalism. MOC will help ensure that board certification by the ABS remains a recognized, surgeon-defined standard of quality. MOC will provide diplomates with greater opportunities for learning and assessment, while giving patients further assurance that an ABS-certified surgeon is providing safe, effective care.

Staying in Contact

  • The ABS will keep diplomates informed about MOC through its newsletters and email updates, and will contact you directly by mail and email when submission of information is due. Please keep your contact information up to date through My Records.
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