MOC Program

In an effort to move to a continuous certification process, ABPS announces dramatic changes in 2019.


The American Board of Plastic Surgery will institute sweeping changes in response to diplomate concerns regarding the burden, cost and relevance of the current Maintenance of Certification in Plastic Surgery (MOC-PS) Program.


Some of the planned changes for 2019 include:


1. Testing from home rather than travelling to a test center.

The 4 modular continuous certification exams (Hand, Cosmetic, Craniofacial and Comprehensive) will be Internet-based. Diplomates may log in as often as necessary during the month of April to complete the 200 questions from the comfort of their home.

  • Pre-test studying time dramatically reduced. Pertinent content for each question will now be incorporated into the exam. After answering a question, the diplomate will be directed to the rationale. After reading the rationale, the diplomate will be offered an additional opportunity to answer the question correctly if incorrectly answered on the first attempt.


2. Knowledge Check-Ins available.

The ABPS will offer annual 30-question assessments. The check-ins are part of a longitudinal learning program that will provide immediate feedback on subject matter and educational resources. The longitudinal assessment will start as a voluntary pilot study in 2019 – all diplomates are welcome to participate. After ABMS approval of this pilot, satisfactory completion of the annual knowledge Check-Ins, for a 10 year cycle, will result in an exemption from the 10 year exam.


3. Reduced Fees.

The ABPS will convert to a single annual fee that is a 15% reduction of the current 10-year total fee structure.


4. Reduced Reporting.

The Professionalism requirements will be reduced to reporting twice during the 10-year cycle rather than three times. A Professional Standing Update will be required in Year 3 of the 10-year cycle and a Professionalism Audit will replace the Examination Application in Year 9.


Many more changes have been enacted that will reduce the diplomate’s cost and time commitment. Look for greater detail throughout 2018. The ABPS appreciates all those diplomates who provided feedback and is pleased to offer these changes to make continuous certification less burdensome, more relevant and more valuable.


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The ABMS has launched an initiative, Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future, to help develop a continuous certification system that is "meaningful, contemporary and relevant."  Additional information can be found here.