Stay Certified

Ongoing Certification Requirements

Practice Improvement

Ongoing participation in a local, regional, or national outcomes registry or quality assessment program is a requirement of the ABS Continuous Certification Program.


Activities should be related to current practice

The goal of the Continuous Certification practice improvement requirement is for diplomates to regularly assess their performance by reviewing their outcomes, addressing identified areas for improvement, and evaluating the results. This can be satisfied by ongoing participation in a local, regional, or national outcomes registry or quality assessment program.

The activity should be related to some aspect of the diplomate’s current practice. Diplomates who hold multiple ABS certificates do not have to complete this requirement for each certificate.

Diplomates are encouraged to find out what programs are available through their hospital. Many hospitals already participate in outcomes registries or require participation in a performance improvement or quality assessment program, such as the ABMS Portfolio Program. In addition, some surgical organizations have programs available to individual surgeons.

Submitting Information

Information should be submitted through the ABS surgeon portal

The ABS does not collect individual results. When reporting on their ongoing certification requirements, diplomates will be asked to indicate or describe the type of practice improvement activity in which they are participating.

The ABS audits a percentage of the submitted forms each year. If audited, a diplomate will be asked to provide verification of enrollment or participation. No patient data will be collected.


Some available resources for practice improvement

The list below is not meant to be all inclusive, but rather to provide examples of good programs. Please be advised that the ABS shares these resources as a service to diplomates; it assumes no responsibility for the content of these programs. Posting of resources is at the discretion of the ABS.

Vascular surgery-related programs:
Pediatric surgery-related programs:
Examples of independent options:


Parameters for programs

The ABS approved in June 2012 the following parameters to guide organizations in the development of practice improvement resources. Programs are expected to adhere to these criteria.

Essential Characteristics
Desirable Characteristics