ABS Collaborates with ACCME to Streamline CME Reporting for Diplomates

Diplomates who completed a Continuous Certification Assessment this year but did not fulfill all ongoing certification requirements OR were due to report on their ongoing certification requirements now have until Nov. 7, 2022, to submit any currently outstanding requirements.

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME®) are pleased to announce a collaboration that will make it easier for diplomates to monitor and report their Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits in order to fulfill ABS Continuous Certification (CC) Program requirements.

ABS is thrilled to offer this service to diplomates, with the intention that it will make the process of reporting CME to meet ABS Continuous Certification Program requirements easier and less time consuming. This collaboration will increase the number and diversity of accredited CME activities that meet the requirements for ABS CC, and streamline the process for both surgeons and accredited CME providers. This new process is designed to:

  • Allow surgeons to spend more time on their own professional development and less time managing credits and requirements
  • Simplify the finding of relevant CC activities locally and nationally
  • Automate the reporting of CME credits directly to ABS

The ABS and ACCME share a commitment to promoting safe, high-quality patient care, as well as support for diplomates’ participation in meaningful and practice-relevant learning activities that can be easily integrated into any surgeon’s daily workflow.

As an ABS Diplomate, What Do I Need to Do?

ABS diplomates can use the CME Finder to search for relevant activities that have already been registered by accredited CME providers and will count towards ABS CC requirements. The activity must provide AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, and must be obtained from CME providers accredited in the ACCME System, or providers accredited by Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education™.

When registering for a CME activity with an accredited CME provider, ABS diplomates must provide their first name, last name and month and day of birth for the provider to report CME credit, as well as give permission to share this information with ACCME and ABS. CME organizations are asked to report completed CME credits to ACCME within 30 days of successful completion of the activity.

Once the data is transferred, ABS will have a digital record of the diplomate’s participation in that activity, the number of credits earned, and what kind of credit. This information will automatically appear in the individual’s ABS Diplomate Portal. There is nothing more that the diplomate must do.

Note that it will take some time for CME organizations to register their activities with ACCME and begin collecting and reporting completed CME credit. In the meantime, diplomates can continue to self-report credit earned through accredited CME organizations using the classic method of manual submission.

As an Accredited CME Provider, How Do I Get Involved?

All accredited CME providers in the ACCME system will be able to register their activities in the Program and Activity Reporting System (PARS) for ABS CC. Accredited CME providers do not need to receive direct approval from the ABS.

Additional information for CME providers:

  • No pre-approval needed: Accredited CME providers are not required to submit applications to ABS to award CME credit that will count towards ABS Continuous Certification Program requirements.
  • Effective date: Accredited CME providers can register their 2021 activities for ABS Continuous Certification and report learner completions from March 1, 2021, onward. Providers will not be able to report completions that took place prior to launch.
  • Credit types: ABS will accept activities registered as Accredited CME and Self-Assessment (Accredited CME with Evaluation and Feedback). ACCME has published a CME for MOC/CC Program Guide that you can review to understand how the program works Any CME activity that is relevant to surgical practice can be registered. To grant self-assessment credit, CME providers will also need to inform learners about their required participation in the evaluation component and provide feedback to them about whether they met the requirements to earn Continuous Certification credit for the activity.
  • Learner participation reporting: Accredited CME providers are responsible for collecting the required individual learner completion data (first name, last name, and month and day of birth) and submitting it into PARS. Learner completion data should be reported in PARS within 30 days of successful completion. Once in PARS, the data will be transmitted directly from the ACCME to the ABS, simplifying the process for your members and ABS diplomates.
  • CME Finder: Activities that providers register in PARS for ABS Continuous Certification will appear in the CME Finder, a one-stop resource for physicians searching for accredited CME that meets the requirements for ABS Continuous Certification.

Next Steps

Diplomates and providers are now able to take advantage of this new process. For more information on how the process will work for diplomates, please see this process overview and CME FAQs. Diplomates can begin to use the CME Finder to search for relevant activities that have already been registered by accredited CME providers. As this program just launched on March 1, the activity offering may be limited at this time. Please keep checking back, as accredited CME providers are registering new activities daily.

Accredited CME providers should begin registering their 2021 CME activities for ABS CC in the ACCME PARS system. For assistance with this, please contact the ACCME team directly.

In collaborating with the ACCME, ABS joins other American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards who already collaborate with the organization, including the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO), the American Board of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS), the American Board of Pathology (ABPath), and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).


Accredited CME providers: Please contact the ACCME team directly.

ABS Diplomates: Please direct any questions to our communications department.

About the ABS

The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 for the purpose of certifying individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Surgeons certified by the ABS have completed at least five years of surgical training following medical school and successfully completed a written and oral examination process administered by the ABS. They must then maintain their board certification through ongoing learning and practice improvement activities.

The ABS offers board certification in general surgery, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, complex general surgical oncology, surgery of the hand, and hospice and palliative medicine. It is one of the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

About the ACCME

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, responsible for accrediting organizations that offer continuing medical education (CME) and for recognizing state medical societies as accreditors of local CME programs.

The ACCME sets standards for CME that reflect the values of the educator community and aim to accelerate learning, inspire change, and champion improvement in healthcare. These standards ensure that accredited CME is designed to be relevant to clinicians’ needs, evidence-based, evaluated for its effectiveness, and independent of commercial influence. Through participation in accredited CME, clinicians and teams drive improvement in their practice and optimize the care, health, and wellness of their patients.

Accredited CME facilitates engagement with physicians and healthcare teams where they live, learn, and work. There are approximately 1,800 accredited CME providers within the ACCME System, across the country and internationally, representing a range of organizations including medical schools, hospitals/health systems, government/military agencies, specialty societies, and insurance/managed-care companies. Accredited providers offer about 163,000 activities each year, comprising more than one million hours of instruction and including more than 28 million interactions with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

For more information, visit www.accme.org.

May 24, 2021  Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

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