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2020 Continuous Certification Registration and Reporting Update

Aug. 5, 2020 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney , 215-568-4000

In recognition of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our diplomates, their practices, and their professional and personal lives, ABS is moving the due date for reporting requirements (CME, case logs, letters of recommendation) to Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.

We have also extended the window for taking the Continuous Certification Assessment, in order to provide more flexibility for those who are due for an assessment this year. Registration for the assessment will open on Aug. 10, and at that time, all diplomate profiles will be updated to reflect current standing with ongoing program requirements. Registration will remain open until the assessment window closes on Nov. 16, and the assessment itself will become available on Sept. 7. Please see below for more details.

Extended Deadlines

As announced in April, ABS has instituted hardship modifications to 2020 Continuous Certification reporting requirements in order to better meet the needs of diplomates during this time of uncertainty with COVID-19.

  • Diplomates now have until Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 to submit information regarding their ongoing program requirements, including CME, reference letters, and operative experience information. This is an additional extension beyond what was previously announced, and supersedes all other announcements. While all ongoing requirements can be submitted in Jan. 2021, the 2020 assessment must be completed within the Sept. 7 - Nov. 16 window.
  • The 2020 assessment window has been extended from eight weeks to ten weeks (Monday, Sept. 7 – Monday, Nov. 16, 2020) to give diplomates extra time for completion.
  • Diplomates who are required to take an assessment this year may do so prior to updating other CCA requirements.
  • Information about fee deferral in case of financial hardship will be posted on our website in coming weeks.
Grace Years

The ABS encourages the use of a grace year for those diplomates who are unable to take the assessment this year. Grace years are an existing part of the Continuous Certification Program, and are one-year assessment extensions which are provided to diplomates who are enrolled in the program and are not able to take or pass an assessment when it is due. For more information about grace years, see this page.

  • For diplomates with expiring 10-year certificates, you are considered enrolled in the program once you pay your annual fee for 2020.
  • If you were initially certified in the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 academic years, you were automatically enrolled in the program upon your initial certification, but you have no requirements due this year and do not need to take an assessment.

Diplomates who are participating in the lapsed pathway to regain certification will need to meet all requirements of the lapsed pathway (including providing all outstanding requirements BEFORE taking the assessment), pay for and pass the 2020 assessment by 11:59 p.m. ET on Nov. 16.

Updating Diplomate Certification Status

In order to accommodate the extended Continuous Certification timeline for 2020, diplomate certification statuses will be updated in December so that assessment results are posted to diplomates' portals by year end, and again in January after the extended reporting window closes on Jan. 15.

For this year, credentialing bodies should use the reverification date of Jan. 31, 2021 to determine the certification status of any diplomates who are enrolled in the Continuous Certification Program. For more information on reverification dates, please see Verifying Certification Status.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through the kinks and delays caused by COVID-19. If you have any questions at this time, please contact our Continuous Certification Coordinator.