Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

What is MOC?

  • Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is a continuous professional development program that goes beyond recertification once every 10 years to a process of ongoing learning, assessment and improvement throughout a surgeon's career.
  • The ABS MOC Program is developed by surgeons for surgeons. The ABS is working with specialty surgical organizations to ensure that ABS MOC is relevant to all practice areas.
  • The ABS is also coordinating its MOC requirements with those of other regulatory groups. The Federation of State Medical Boards has recognized MOC as satisfying Maintenance of Licensure (MOL). The ABS is also working with health insurers to gain recognition for diplomates participating in the ABS MOC Program.
    MOC Status: Check your MOC status at any time by going to

How Does it Work?

  • Diplomates are automatically enrolled in the ABS MOC Program once they successfuly complete any ABS certifying or recertification examination after July 2005. MOC requirements run in three-year cycles (Jan. 1-Dec. 31). After each cycle, diplomates report on these requirements by completing a brief online form.
  • A secure MOC (recertification) examination is also required at 10-year intervals. For diplomates who hold multiple certificates, the secure exam is the only requirement that must be repeated for each certificate.
  • For quick reference, print this one-page summary (pdf).

Why Now?

  • Board certification is considered to be the gold standard in assuring a surgeon has acquired and is sustaining a certain level of knowledge, skill and professionalism. MOC will ensure that board certification remains a recognized, surgeon-defined standard. MOC will provide diplomates with greater opportunities for learning and assessment, while giving patients further assurance that an ABS-certified surgeon is providing safe, effective care.

Staying in Contact

  • The ABS will keep diplomates informed about MOC through its newsletters and email updates, and will contact you directly by mail and email when submission of information is due. Please keep your contact information up to date through My Records.
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