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Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

bullet (MOC) Program Overview
10YR-MOC, C-MOC
bullet ABPN Approved Products
bullet Information for MOC Examinations
bullet Application for MOC Examinations
bullet MOC Combined Examinations
bullet Examination Schedules

2013 MOC: PQRS and the MOC Matters Website
Visit the MOC Matters Website to fulfill and document your 2013 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 (C-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



Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning (C-MOC)
For Diplomates Certified or Recertified in 2012 or Later

ABPN Announces New Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning Program
* Read Announcement to Diplomates Letter about the new program.
* Download CP-MOC FAQ.
* Download Continuous Certification Approach.


Introuction to C- MOC

The Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning Program (C-MOC) is a four-part MOC program, where all component requirements must be met to maintain certification. Beginning in 2012, diplomates who pass their initial certification or MOC examination will enter into the Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning. Diplomates who passed their initial certification or MOC examination prior to 2012 may elect to participate.

The Program will assist diplomates to comply with Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements and timeframes and facilitate the required annual recording and reporting of diplomate MOC participation. Instead of a single fee at the time of the MOC examination, participants in the Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning will pay a small annual fee. This annual fee covers participation in the ABPN Physician Folios and includes one MOC cognitive examination in a ten-year period. Less than 10 years of participation, or applying for a combined examination, may require an additional fee.

The focal point of the Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning Program is the ABPN Physician Folios, which offers a single source for personalized information regarding certification and MOC status. You must activate a ABPN Physician Folios account on the ABPN website to begin the MOC process.

While passing a cognitive examination is still required at least every ten years, a diplomate's certification status is dependent upon fulfillment of all four MOC Program components (Professional Standing, Self-Assessment and CME, Cognitive Expertise, and Performance in Practice), along with annually logging completed MOC activities into ABPN's Physician Folios and payment of an annual MOC registration fee.

Continuous Pathway to Lifelong Learning Program Requirements
* Maintaining an unrestricted license(s) and no restrictions on any license.
* Passing an MOC cognitive examination at least every 10 years for every time-limited certificate. Apply Now
* Completing MOC activities every 3 years (one stage): See Example PDF
* 24 CME hours of self-assessment activities See Examples
* 90 Category 1 CME hours total (including 24 CMEs from SA activities) See Examples
* 1 Performance in Practice (PIP) Unit
(one clinical module & one feedback module) See Examples

1. Professional Standing (continuously 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.

2. Self Assessment and CME

A. Self-Assessment Program
See Examples
Diplomates of the ABPN are required to participate in broad-based self-assessment activities. 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 comparative performance to peers. Beginning in 2014, diplomates are required to use only ABPN- approved products for self-assessment activities.

  • At least an average of 8 of the CME credits per year (averaged over 3 years) should involve self-assessment.
  • 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. See Examples
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 See Examples
Diplomates of the ABPN are required to complete an average of 30 specialty or subspecialty Category 1 CME credits per year. 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.

  • Diplomates must accrue an average of 30 specialty or subspecialty Category 1 CME credits per year (averaged over 3 years).
  • At least an average of 8 of the CME credits per year (averaged over 3 years) should involve self-assessment.

3. Cognitive Expertise (effective 1994) Apply for an MOC examination
Diplomates of the ABPN fulfill the cognitive expertise component by passing a cognitive examination. 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 extends the examination renewal date to December 31, 10 years from the year of the examination. 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 through both chart review and second-party external review. Diplomates will be required to complete one PIP Unit every 3 years, 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. Beginning in 2014, diplomates are required to use only ABPN-approved products for Performance in Practice Activities.

A. Clinical Modules (Chart Review) See Examples

  • 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) See Examples | ABPN Forms

  • 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.

One stage of MOC activities will be waived for diplomates who complete an ACGME-accredited ABPN subspecialty training program completed in 2012 or after.  The diplomate must sit and pass the ABPN subspecialty examination at the first opportunity that the subspecialty examination is administered.


Clinically Active Status
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. Update your Activity
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.





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