Quick Tips & FAQs: MOC

An individual MOC Tracking Page is available upon secure log in to the Board's website.  Log in, click "MOC-PS", and review requirements by calendar year.  

Refer to the following general timeline of MOC requirements over the 10-year certification cycle:

  • Review the General MOC Timeline.
    • MOC Activities are required in Years 3, 6, & 9 of the 10-year cycle in order to maintain certification.
    • The Application & successful completion of the Examination are required only once during the 10-year cycle to renew certification for an additional 10 years.
    • A 6-month Case Log is no longer required with the Exam Application.
    • Log in to your personalized MOC Tracking page on the Board’s website to view current requirements and complete online activities. 
    • The Board will send e-mail reminders throughout the year in which requirements are due. 
    • Additional questions may be directed to staff@abplasticsurgery.org

*************************

  • The MOC Annual Contribution is required annually in order to maintain certification. 
  • It supports the online processes, administration of the MOC program, and updates to the program in order to remain relevant to our practicing diplomates. 
  • Because certification is considered a voluntary credential, the “fee” is designated as a “contribution.”  This may be deducted as a business expense.  The Board is a 501 (c) (6) nonprofit organization, ABPS Tax ID:  436000050.

************************* 

Step I: Tracer Procedure Log

  • Select one tracer procedure
    • Enter data from 10 consecutive patient charts (dated within the last 3 years)
    • Review Benchmarking Report
    • Complete a MOC educational activity aligned with the tracer procedure
    • Complete the Action Plan for Improvement

Step 2: Professional Standing Update

  • If NOT selected for audit: answer questions, upload CME documentation only.
  • If SELECTED for audit: answer questions, upload all supporting documentation.
  • Finalize the Professional Standing Update.

Step 3: Print your Annual MOC-PS® Participation Certificate and Annual Confirmation of Participation Letter

  • The ABMS Starmark Logo is also available to download for use on letterhead, website, etc.

*************************

  • PA-PS = Practice Assessment in Plastic Surgery, a self-assessment activity requiring a structured review of 10 cases on a specific procedure of your choice.
  • Benchmarking report = compares data to that of your peers.
  • MOC-CME = Practice improvement is achieved through an approved MOC course or article related to the tracer procedure. 
    • The MOC-PS Program is designed for diplomates to re-measure in three years and validate any practice improvement.
  • Action Plan = Allows you to document improvement.
  • Data Pearls are provided within the benchmarking report, highlighting practice data and practice standards.

*************************

  • 90% of diplomates completing the Professional Standing update are only required to upload CME documentation.  The remaining fields do not require supporting documentation.
  • REQUIRED:
    • List medical licenses, hospital privileges, outpatient accreditation, 3 peers and advertising media.
    • Upload CME report from an accredited CME provider. Automatic transfer of your CME records from ASPS now available.

*************************

  • 10% of diplomates completing the Professional Standing update annually are audited. 
  • REQUIRED:
    • In addition to CMEs, you must also upload copies of medical license(s), hospital privilege letters, outpatient accreditation certificates, peer evaluations and advertising material. 
    • All documents must be uploaded as PDF files. 
    • Contact the Board Office if you need assistance scanning or saving documents as PDF.

*************************

  • CMEs must be documented when completing the Professional Standing Update in years 3, 6, and 9 of the 10-year certification cycle and with the MOC Exam Application.
  • REQUIRED over the course of 3 years:
    • At least 60 hours in Category I
    • At least 50 hours in Plastic Surgery activities
    • At least 20 hours in Patient Safety activities
    • You can upload a CME report from an accredited CME Provider
      • If you are a member of ASPS, you may import those records automatically.
    • You can also upload CME certificates individually as PDF files.

************************* 

  • Links will become available as you progress through the MOC process. 
  • For example, the Benchmarking, MOC CME, and Action Plan links are not available until you finalize the tracer procedure log.  The MOC Reply Form link is not available until your MOC Application is approved.  The Confirmation of Completion and Certificate of Participation are not available until all MOC requirements are met in the calendar year.

*************************

  • You have 3 opportunities to apply in years 7, 8, or 9 of the 10-year certification cycle.
  • The MOC Application should be submitted in the year prior to taking the April MOC Examination. 
  • REQUIRED:
    • In addition to CMEs, you must also upload copies of medical license(s), hospital privilege letters, outpatient accreditation certificates, peer evaluations, advertising material and valid driver’s license or passport. 
    • All documents must be uploaded as PDF files. 
    • The 6-month CASE LIST is no longer required.  Also, the exam fee was reduced by 10% for 2015.

************************* 

  • Once the application is approved, the Reply Form will become available
  • For approval, all MOC requirements must be current
  • REQUIRED:
    • Online Reply Form with credit card payment.
    • All hospital appointment letters verifying active, admitting privileges in plastic surgery from all hospitals held during the examination.
    • Review all outpatient accreditation certificates previously uploaded with application. Accreditation must be current through the examination.
    • Review all state medical licenses previously uploaded with application. License must be current through the examination.

*************************

  • The Board works closely with the ASPS to provide a study guide for the MOC Examination.  The study guide is available on www.psenetwork.org.
  • Examination Modules:  Comprehensive, Cosmetic, Craniomaxillofacial, or Hand.
    • Each module also includes 50 common “core” questions applicable to all plastic surgeons regardless of specialization. 
    • The exam consists of 200 questions/4-hour testing appointment.
    • The ASPS study guide is modular to mirror the examination.  This allows diplomates to focus on their area of practice as selected on the MOC Exam Application. 
    • Confirmation of specialty module is provided in the Application Approval Letter.

************************* 

  • Prometric Test Centers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
  • Visit www.prometric.com for a list of locations.  The test sponsor = ABPS.

*************************

  • Scheduling permits are available once the Reply Form is approved by the Board.
  • Contact Prometric as soon as possible to schedule your testing appointment at a time/location that is most convenient.

*************************

Why do I have to participate in MOC? 

  • The goal of MOC for all 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is that lifelong learning and practice self-assessment helps to improve patient care. The ABMS is focusing on producing outcomes data that will better support diplomate questions about how MOC can improve practice.
  • More than 800,000 physicians are Board Certified by an ABMS Member Board.
  • Currently, over 500,000 physicians across ABMS specialties have met the requirements or are engaged in ABMS MOC program activities.
  • For more information, refer to the ABMS Evidence Library.

************************* 

The Board will accept MOC credit to satisfy Professionalism and Lifelong Learning requirements if already completed through the American Board of Surgery, or another ABMS member board.

Contact the Board Office at staff@abplasticsurgery.org for assistance.

************************* 

Diplomates who successfully complete an approved Portfolio Program quality improvement effort will now receive credit for satisfying the Board's Part IV Practice Assessment Module.  

Check the list of approved sponsors and contact the Board Office at staff@abplasticsurgery.org for assistance.

************************* 

  • Diplomates with time-limited certificates are required to participate in MOC in order to maintain certification.
  • Lifetime certificate holders are strongly encouraged to participate in MOC on a voluntary basis. 
    • Over 200 ABPS diplomates with lifetime certificates voluntarily participate
    • Directors, Advisory Council members, Examiners, and MOC course presenters are required to participate in MOC whether they have time-limited or lifetime certification.
    • The Board of Directors of ASPS, PSF, ASAPS, AAPS, and all Program Directors are strongly encouraged to participate in MOC.

*************************

  • All diplomates have an MOC status reported on the ABPS website and the ABMS website. 
      • Diplomates who are participating in MOC are distinguished from those who are not. 
        • More than 47,000 consumers/patients search the ABPS website annually.
        • More than 800,000 consumers/patients visit  the ABMS website annually, www.certificationmatters.org
      • Diplomates participating in the MOC program, may further distinguish themselves with the use of the ABMS StarMark Logo shown below.  It is available for download from the Board’s website once MOC requirements are met.
      • Completing the Tracer Procedure Log allows each diplomate to perform a self-evaluation of case data and compare it to the data collected nationally by the Board.

StarMark Full Logo