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Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

bullet (MOC) Program Overview
bullet MOC Activity Requirement Explanations
bullet ABPN Approved MOC Products
bullet Information for MOC Examinations
bullet Application for MOC Examinations
bullet MOC Combined Examinations
bullet Examination Schedules

2014 MOC: PQRS and the MOC Matters Website
Visit the MOC Matters Website to fulfill and document your 2014 MOC and PQRS requirements. It consists of the MOC: PQRS Attestation Module, the PQRS Registry Module and the Patient Experience of Care Survey Module. As an added feature, the freestanding Patient Survey Module is available to diplomates of all Member Boards, whether or not the diplomates are participating in MOC:PQRS. The Website also includes an updated MOC:PQRS Facts & FAQs.
Click to find PDFs pdf icon.



Maintenance of Certification (10YR-MOC)
The ABPN MOC Program reflects the Board’s commitment to lifelong learning throughout one’s profession. The mission of the ABPN's Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program is to advance the clinical practice of psychiatry and neurology by promoting the highest evidence-based guidelines and standards to ensure excellence in all areas of care and practice improvement.

Maintenance of Certification applications are availabe for; Neurology/Child Neurology, Psychiatry, and for Subspecialties; Addiction Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical Neurophysiology, Forensic Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and Pain Medicine.

For a list of ABPN approved products, click here.
For more about why certification and maintenance of certification matters, click here.

Apply for an examination | ABPN Physician Folios site | Visit the Pearson VUE Website



Ten Year Maintenance of Certification Program (10YR-MOC)
For Time-Limited Diplomates Certified or Recertified in 2011 or Earlier

Introduction

As mandated by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Board has developed a Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program that includes four components:

1. Professional Standing;
2. Self-Assessment and CME;
3. Cognitive Expertise;
4. Performance in Practice.

As of October 1, 1994, all individuals achieving Board certification by the ABPN are issued 10-year, time-limited certificates. Certificates issued in the subspecialties of addiction psychiatry, clinical neurophysiology, epilepsy, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, hospice and palliative medicine, neurodevelopmental disabilities, neuromuscular medicine, pain medicine, psychosomatic medicine, sleep medicine, and vascular neurology, including those issued prior to October 1, 1994, are 10-year, time-limited certificates. Time-limited certificates for child and adolescent psychiatry began in 1995.

Diplomates who are not recertified before their certificates expire are no longer Board certified in that area of certification. Once a former diplomate completes all MOC requirements and passes the MOC examination, however, he or she will regain certification status.

Record Keeping, Attestation, Multiple Certificates, and Auditing

Diplomates are responsible for choosing their self-assessment activities, CME activities, and performance in practice components. Completed activities can be applied to multiple certifications thus fulfilling MOC criteria for one or more specialty or subspecialty areas.

Diplomates of the ABPN are required to maintain records of their self-assessment (SA) activities, Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, and Performance in Practice (PIP) Units. Diplomates must provide their signature attesting to completion of these activities (as determined by the phase-in schedule) on their applications for the MOC examinations. When the MOC Program is fully operational, attestation to all components will be required on applications for the MOC examinations.

Diplomates are responsible for choosing their self-assessment activities, CME activities, and performance in practice components. Completed activities can be applied to multiple certifications thus fulfilling MOC criteria for one or more specialty or subspecialty areas.

The ABPN will audit approximately five percent of the applications submitted for the cognitive examination. Candidates whose applications are audited will receive a letter detailing the documentation required as evidence of completion of stipulated components (professional standing, self-assessment program, CME activities, and Performance in Practice Units) as determined by the phase-in schedule. Failure to return this documentation may result in the denial of the application for the MOC cognitive examination.

Phase-in Schedule for ABPN Program Component Requirements

Phase-In Schedule for ABPN Ten Year MOC Program Component Requirements
Original Certification or Recertification Year
MOC Application Year
MOC Exam Year

TOTAL CME Credits Required

CME From SA
First SA Activity required
Second SA Activity required
First PIP Unit required
Second PIP Unit required
Third PIP Unit required
2003
2012
2013
210
0
X
       
2004
2013
2014
240
20
A minimum of two self-assessment activities must be completed*
X
   
2005
2014
2015
270
40
X
   
2006
2015
2016
300 CME credits*
60
X
X
 
2007
2016
2017
80 CME credits* Three PIP Units Required*
2008
2017
2018
2009
2018
2019
2010
2019
2020
2011
2020
2021
2012

Notes:

bullet MOC Program component requirements fully implemented for 2017 MOC Examination Year.
bullet Every ABPN diplomate must possess an active medical license in the U.S. or Canada, and all licenses must be unrestricted.
bullet At least an average of 8 of the CME credits per year (averaged over 2-5 years) should involve self-assessment.
bullet Only after completing licensure, CME, SA and PIP requirements are diplomates qualified to complete the ABPN MOC Cognitive Examination.
* See requirements in the appropriate section for Self-Assessment, CME, PIP.

1. Professional Standing (continously effective)

To show evidence of professional standing, the ABPN requires that diplomates must hold an active and unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States or province of Canada. Such license must be maintained even if the physician is out of the country for extended periods of time. All medical licenses must be unrestricted.

A. Self-Assessment Program

Diplomates of the ABPN are required to participate in at least two major broad-based self-assessment activities during the 10-year MOC cycle. The self-assessment activities can come from multiple self-assessment programs. Each self-assessment activity must cover new knowledge and/or current best practices in one or more of the competency areas, and provide feedback to the diplomate that can be used as the basis for focused CME, lifelong learning, and/or career development. That feedback must include the correct answer and recommended literature resources for each question, and (by 2014) comparative performance to peers. This requirement began in 2010 for those applying for 2011 MOC examinations. Beginning in 2014, diplomates are required to use only ABPN-approved products for self-assessment activities.

When this component is fully implemented in 2014:

  • At least an average of 8 of the CME credits per year (averaged over 2-5 years) should involve self-assessment.
  • The first self-assessment activity must be completed in years 1-3 of the 10-year MOC cycle.
  • The second self-assessment activity must be completed in years 6-8 of the 10-year MOC cycle.
  • Feedback must include comparative performance to peers.
  • Self-assessment examinations must include no fewer than 25 questions per examination and 2 CME credits per activity.
  • The self-assessment examination must take place before the activity.
The Board may approve additional programs over time. The ABPN reserves the right to approve or reject any course or guideline submitted for approval.

B. CME Activities -- Return to top

Diplomates of the ABPN are required to complete an average of 30 specialty or subspecialty Category 1 CME credits per year over the 10-year MOC cycle. CME activities must be accredited by ACCME or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and CME must be relevant to the specialty in which the diplomate is certified. Diplomates certified in more than one area only need to accrue an average of 30 CME credits per year, as the same CME credits can be used to satisfy the MOC requirements for multiple specialties and subspecialties. This requirement was phased in beginning in 2006 for those applying for 2007 MOC examinations.

When this component is fully implemented in 2014:

  • At least an average of 8 of the CME credits per year (averaged over 2-5 years) should involve self-assessment.
  • 150 CME credits must be earned during the first 5-year block of the 10-year MOC cycle,
  • 150 CME credits must be earned during the second 5-year block of the 10-year MOC cycle,
  • Diplomates must accrue 300 Category 1 CME credits over the 10-year MOC cycle.

3. Cognitive Expertise

Diplomates of the ABPN fulfill the cognitive expertise component by passing a cognitive examination prior to the expiration date on their certificates. To sit for a cognitive examination, all current MOC requirements must be satisfied at the time the MOC application is submitted. A passing score on the cognitive examination automatically enrolls the diplomate into the Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning Program. Practice-relevant, clinically oriented, multiple-choice, computer-administered examinations are delivered in over 200 Pearson VUE testing centers throughout the country. To prepare for the MOC cognitive examinations, a diplomate should keep current with research and developments in the respective field, read specialty-specific journals and practice guidelines, and attend relevant CME programs.

MOC Program participation includes meeting all MOC requirements, not just passing the MOC cognitive examination.

4. Performance in Practice (PIP)

The Performance-in-Practice (PIP) component is a two-part quality improvement program designed for "clinically-active" physicians (see definitions below) to participate in practice improvement activities over the 10-year MOC cycle by both chart review and second-party external review. Diplomates will be required to complete three (3) PIP Units, each consisting of both a Clinical Module (chart review) and a Feedback Module (Patient/Peer* second-party external review).

If a diplomate participates in an institutional quality improvement program that involves collection of chart data and comparison, and establishment of a plan to improve clinical activity for the individual physician, that institutional participation may also fulfill the Clinical module. If a diplomate participates in peer review in his/her clinical setting, that institutional activity may also fulfill the PIP Feedback Module criteria.This requirement is currently slated to begin in 2013 for those applying for 2014 MOC examinations. Beginning in 2014, diplomates are required to use only ABPN-approved products for Performance in Practice Activities.

When this component is fully implemented in 2017:

  • The first PIP Unit must be completed in years 1-3 of the 10-year MOC cycle;
  • The second PIP Unit must be completed in years 4-6 of the 10-year MOC cycle;
  • The third PIP Unit must be completed in years 7-9 of the 10-year MOC cycle.

A. Clinical Modules (Chart Review) -- Return to top

  • Diplomates are required to collect data from at least five patient cases in a specific category (e.g., diagnosis, type of treatment, treatment setting) obtained from the diplomate’s personal practice over the previous 3-year period.
  • A minimum of 4 quality measures must be collected for each Clinical Module.
  • Each diplomate must then compare data from the five patient cases with published best practices, or practice guidelines, or peer-based standards of care (e.g., hospital quality improvement programs), and develop a plan to improve effectiveness or efficiency of his/her clinical activities.
  • Remeasurement: within 24 months, each diplomate must collect the same data from at least another five clinical cases in the same specific category, to see if improvements in practice have occurred. The same patients may be assessed in the original and follow-up data.

B. Feedback Modules (Patient** and Peer* Second Party External Reviews) -- Return to top

  • Diplomates must solicit personal performance feedback from at least five peers* and five of their own patients** concerning the diplomate’s clinical activity over the previous three years.
  • Diplomate must then identify opportunities for improvement in the effectiveness and/or efficiency in their practice as related to the core competencies and take steps to implement suggested improvements.
  • Remeasurement: within 24 months, each diplomate must collect the same data from at least another five peers* and five patients to see if improvements in practice have occurred. Feedback may be obtained from the same or different patients and peers as in the original and follow-up feedback.
* Peers include other professional healthcare staff such as, psychologists, social workers, physicians, counselors, and nurses.
** Patients can include those for which the diplomate supervises the care of another provider (e.g., resident).
bulletModel MOC PIP Peer Feedback and MOC PIP Patient Feedback forms are available on the Forms page.


The ABPN recommends that diplomates allow ample time for completion of PIP Units. It may take diplomates 24 months from the date that the original data is collected from patients and peers to complete one PIP Unit.

The Board may approve additional programs over time. The ABPN reserves the right to approve or reject any course or guideline submitted for approval.

Clinically Active Status -- Return to top
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has issued definitions of “Clinically Active” and “Clinically Inactive” and requires that all diplomates self-report their status once every 24 months in each area of certification. This information will be available to the public.

1.“Clinically Active”: Any amount of direct and/or consultative patient care has been provided in the preceding 24 months. This includes the supervision of residents.

A. Engaged in direct and/or consultative care sufficient to complete Performance-in-Practice (PIP) Units.

B. Engaged in direct and/or consultative care not sufficient to complete PIP Units.


2.“Clinically Inactive”: No direct and or/consultative patient care has been provided in the past 24 months.

3.“Status Unknown”: No information available on the clinical activity of this diplomate.

  • Diplomates who are in category 1.A. above are required to complete all components of the MOC Program including PIP Units.
  • Diplomates who are in categories 1.B. or 2 above are required to complete all components of the MOC Program, except for PIP Units.
  • A change in diplomate status from 1.B. or 2 to 1.A. requires the completion of at least one PIP Unit.

What Do You Need To Do And When

IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED IN 2003…
Apply for the 2013 MOC examination in 2012.
Requirements: 210 Category 1 CME credits (150 in past 5-yr block)
1 completed self-assessment activity
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2004...
Apply for the 2014 MOC examination in 2013.
Requirements: 240 Category 1 CME credits (150 in past 5-yr block), at least 20 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 completed self-assessment activities
1 completed PIP Unit
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2005...
Apply for the 2015 MOC examination in 2014.
Requirements: 270 Category 1 CME credits (150 in past 5-yr block), at least 40 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 completed self-assessment activities
1 completed PIP Unit
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2006...
Apply for the 2016 MOC examination in 2015.
Requirements: 300 Category 1 CME credits (150 in past 5-yr block), at least 60 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 completed self-assessment activities
2 completed PIP Units
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2007...
Apply for the 2017 MOC examination in 2016.
Requirements: 300 Category 1 CME credits (150 in past 5-yr block), at least 80 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 completed self-assessment activities
3 completed PIP Units
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2008...
Apply for the 2018 MOC examination in 2017.
Requirements: 300 Category 1 CME credits (150 in 1st 5-yr block, 150 in 2nd 5-yr block), at least 80 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 self-assessment activities (complete 1st SA 2009-2011; 2nd SA 2014-2016)
3 completed PIP Units
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2009...
Apply for the 2019 MOC examination in 2018.
Requirements: 300 Category 1 CME credits (150 in 1st 5-yr block, 150 in 2nd 5-yr block), at least 80 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 self-assessment activities (complete 1st SA 2010-2012; 2nd SA 2015-2017)
3 completed PIP Units
IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2010...
Apply for the 2020 MOC examination in 2019.
Requirements: 300 Category 1 CME credits (150 in 1st 5-yr block, 150 in 2nd 5-yr block), at least 80 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 self-assessment activities (complete 1st SA 2011-2013; 2nd SA 2016-2018)
3 PIP Units (complete 1st PIP 2011-2013; 2nd PIP 2014-2016; 3rd PIP 2017-2019)

IF YOU WERE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2011...
Apply for the 2021 MOC examination in 2020.
Requirements: 300 Category 1 CME credits (150 in 1st 5-yr block, 150 in 2nd 5-yr block), at least 80 of the CME credits should involve self-assessment*
2 self-assessment activities (complete 1st SA 2012-2014; 2nd SA 2017-2019)
3 PIP Units (complete 1st PIP 2012-2014; 2nd PIP 2015-2017; 3rd PIP 2018-2020)

FOR THOSE CERTIFIED/RECERTIFIED IN 2012 AND LATER...
Requirements: See Continuous Pathyway to Lifelong Learning (CP-MOC)