ABS MOC Requirements
- ABS diplomates who certify or recertify in any ABS specialty after July 1, 2005 are required thereafter to participate in the ABS MOC Program to maintain their certificate. ABS MOC requirements run in three-year cycles (July 1-June 30). After each cycle, diplomates complete a brief online form about their MOC activities. A secure recertification examination is also required at 10-year intervals.
- MOC is surgeon-specific, not specialty-specific. Diplomates who hold multiple ABS certificates must only repeat the secure exam for each certificate. Other activities completed for MOC should be relevant to your current practice. Once enrolled, diplomates must be in compliance with MOC to certify or recertify in any ABS specialty.
- MOC is an evolving process, meant to document a surgeon's commitment to lifelong learning and practice improvement. As it develops, the ABS intends for MOC to be as flexible as possible so surgeons can participate in ways most compatible with their practice.
- Diplomates are automatically enrolled in MOC as of the July 1 following certification or recertification. MOC years run from July 1 to June 30.
|MOC Part||ABS Requirement|
|Part 1 -|
|Part 2 - Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment||
|Part 3 - Cognitive Expertise||
|Part 4 - Evaluation of Performance in Practice||
- For easy reference, print this one-page MOC Summary (pdf). Or for a broader overview, view our MOC Slide Presentation (pdf).
- After the end of a three-year MOC cycle, you will be contacted and asked to complete the MOC Status Form, a brief online form, for Parts 1, 2 and 4. The form must be submitted by December 31 (six months after end of MOC cycle).
- Make sure we can reach you! Keep your contact information up to date through My Records/My Account.
- The form will be posted on your MOC Timeline (login required). You will be asked to:
- Provide information about your state medical license.
- Indicate whether you completed a fellowship in the last three years, and if so, provide information about your training.
- List where you hold or have held any type of hospital privileges during the three-year cycle (or explain your lack of privileges, e.g., you are clinically inactive).
- Provide contact information for the chief of surgery and chair of credentials/privileges at the institution where you performed most of your work over the three-year cycle.
- List your Category I CME activities from the past three years and indicate which ones included self-assessment. (You may also transfer CME data from the ACS or SAGES.)
- Indicate or describe which type of outcomes registry or quality assessment activity you are participating in for Part 4 (individually or through your institution). No operative data or evidence of participation is required unless requested.
- At the conclusion of the form, attest to the accuracy of the information provided and acknowledge the ABS may contact you or the institutions involved to verify this information.
- The form also contains a section where you may opt to have your MOC participation noted in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Assocation's national provider directory, if applicable (see www.bcbsa.com). This is completely optional and has no bearing on your status.
- Once you submit the MOC Status Form, no further action is required unless you are contacted by the ABS. You will receive an e-mail confirmation that your form has been received.
- MOC Audit: The ABS audits a percentage of forms each year to verify the information entered. If you are selected for audit, you will be contacted and asked to submit documentation of the information in your form (e.g., copy of medical license, CME certificates, etc.). Once your documentation is received and approved, you will be in compliance with MOC.
- Note: If you are applying for a recertification exam the same year your MOC form is due, the MOC form must still be submitted.
Compliance and Re-entry to MOC
- Diplomates are given six months after the end of a three-year cycle (until December 31) to submit the completed online form. Diplomates who do not submit the online form by Dec. 31, fail to respond to an audit of their MOC form, or otherwise do not meet MOC requirements are considered out of compliance with MOC and will be reported as "Not Meeting MOC Requirements." They also cannot certify or recertify in any ABS specialty until MOC re-entry requirements are met. See the ABS MOC Re-entry Policy for further details on re-entering MOC. Please note the ABS no longer offers grace periods.
- Diplomates who do not participate in MOC will be reported as not meeting MOC requirements and cannot certify or recertify in any ABS specialty until MOC re-entry requirements are fulfilled
- A personalized MOC Timeline is available for diplomates enrolled in MOC to help you track your participation. Diplomates who recertify "early" (prior to their certificate's final year of validity) will have an extended timeline with additional years in MOC.
- MOC Year = July 1 to June 30
|MOC Year 0||
|MOC Year 1|
|MOC Year 2|
|MOC Year 3|
|MOC Years 4-6|
|MOC Years 7-9|
|MOC Years 8-10|
- Diplomates with multiple ABS certificates do not need to repeat Parts 2 and 4 for each certificate; these requirements may be fulfilled in whichever areas best reflect your practice. Only the secure recertification exam (Part 3) must be completed for each certificate you hold. You will report to the ABS every three years according to the timeline of your enrollment in the ABS MOC Program. The reporting does not have to be repeated for other ABS certificates.
- Diplomates with certificates from other ABMS boards or RCPSC must still report to the ABS every three years. Activities completed for the MOC programs of other boards or RCPSC that meet ABS requirements may be listed on the ABS' online form for Parts 2 and 4. Please note other ABMS boards may have different MOC requirements; there is no automatic reciprocity among boards.
The RCPSC has recognized ABS MOC as equivalent to its MOC program. ABS diplomates who belong to the RCPSC and practice in the U.S. may use the ABS MOC Program to maintain their RCPSC membership.
- Fellowships: For diplomates who complete a fellowship during a three-year cycle, the ABS will waive Part 2 and Part 4 requirements for the year(s) in which you were enrolled in fellowship training. Details about the fellowship must be entered into the MOC form. Fellowships must be accredited by the ACGME or a surgical organization with a formal accreditation process (e.g., SSO, ACS, Fellowship Council), and be at least 27 weeks (per year) in duration.
- Part 2 and Part 4 requirements must be fulfilled for any non-fellowship years in the three-year cycle. CME required for Part 2 will be prorated (i.e., 60 hours with 40 including self-assessment for two years remaining; 30 hours with 20 including self-assessment for one year remaining).
- Clinically Inactive/Retired: Diplomates who are no longer in active practice but wish to participate in MOC must still complete the online form at three-year intervals and should provide details about their status at that time. For Part 1, you must maintain a full and unrestricted medical license and submit as references the names of two supervisors or peers familiar with your current situation. Parts 2 and 3 of MOC must also be fulfilled, but not Part 4, practice assessment. See also Clinically Inactive Policy.
- Not Yet Enrolled/Unlimited Certificates: Diplomates who are not yet enrolled or have a time-unlimited certificate may enroll in MOC by taking and passing a secure recertification exam. All application requirements for the recertification exam must be fulfilled. Diplomates with time-unlimited certificates will not have their certificate status affected by entering MOC.
Updated: November 2013