MOC Part III Pilot Project FAQs

Download the full Frequently Asked Questions document for more information.

Pilot Project Description
What is the MOC Part III Pilot Project?

ABPN announced in September 2017 that it would begin to offer a new journal article-based assessment system as an optional alternative to the current ABPN secure, proctored MOC Part III Examination.


Must diplomates participating in the Pilot Project still participate in the other elements of the MOC program?

Yes.  All other MOC program requirements (CME, Self-Assessment, and PIP) remain the same and must continue to be met by eligible Pilot Project participants. Those in Continuous MOC (C-MOC) must continue to pay the annual fee.


What is the journal article-based assessment option?

ABPN diplomates who are eligible and who volunteer for the Pilot Project will be required to read and answer five multiple-choice questions on at least 30 but no more than 40 peer-selected and ABPN approved journal articles.  The questions will be administered in an online, open-book format accessed via the internet from a personal computer.


Which specialties and subspecialties are included in the Pilot Project?

The Pilot Project will be offered as an alternative to single MOC examinations in Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP), Neurology, and Child Neurology.

CAP is the only subspecialty offered during the Pilot Project.  All other subspecialty examinations will be delivered in the current MOC examination format during the Pilot Project.  There will be no combination MOC examination alternatives available during the Pilot Project.  The ABPN will work to make all its subspecialties available as quickly as possible upon successful completion of the Pilot Project.


Can a diplomate who is double-boarded in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry satisfy the traditional MOC examination requirement for both certificates during the Pilot Project?

Yes, but the diplomate must meet the pilot requirements for each certificate.  This means a diplomate would need to read and answer five multiple-choice questions on at least 30 but no more than 40 peer-selected and ABPN approved journal articles in Psychiatry and also in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to satisfy the traditional examination requirement for both certificates.


How long is the MOC Part III Pilot Project?

The Pilot Project will run for three years, from 2019-2021.  The length of time (eligibility period) for a diplomate to complete the Pilot Project varies by the expiration date of the diplomate’s certificate or by their current block and status in the Continuous MOC Program (C-MOC).


How will the journal article-based assessment option be administered?

It will be administered in an online, open-book format.  Mini-tests related to journal articles will be accessible via the internet from a personal computer.


Pilot Project Eligibility
Which diplomates will be eligible to join the Pilot Project?

A. Diplomates whose third Continuous MOC (C-MOC) block begins in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (these diplomates would have passed a Certification or MOC examination in 2012-2014) and are currently meeting MOC requirements.

Eligibility Period:  Diplomates in this group must successfully complete 30 journal article mini-tests and continue to meet all other MOC Program requirements (CME, SA, PIP) during the Pilot Project from 2019-2021.

B. Diplomates in the 10-Year MOC Program who need to take an MOC examination in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (these diplomates will have a certificate expiring in 2019-2021).

Eligibility Period:  Diplomates in this group must successfully complete 30 journal article mini-tests by December 15 of their certificate expiration year.  All other MOC Program requirements (CME, SA, PIP) must be attested to by September 1 of their certificate expiration year.


Are diplomates with lapsed certificates eligible to participate in the Pilot Project?

Lapsed certificate holders and lifetime certificate holders will not be eligible for the Pilot Project.  These diplomates must take the 10-Year MOC examination and meet MOC activity requirements to enter the C-MOC Program.


How will you know if you are eligible for the Pilot Project?

ABPN sent an email invitation and more details to all eligible Pilot Project participants in mid-December 2017.  Eligible diplomates who are reported as ‘Certified – Meeting MOC Requirements’ must enroll in the Pilot Project in March 2018.  More details will be sent to eligible diplomates with a specific enrollment date deadline for the Pilot Project.


Can a diplomate elect to take the 10-year MOC examination if they prefer it over the Pilot Project?

Yes.  The Pilot Project is OPTIONAL.  Eligible diplomates may still choose to take the 10-Year MOC examination instead of participating in the Pilot Project.


What if you are not in the eligible group of diplomates for Pilot Project participation?

Diplomates who took a Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, or Child Neurology Certification or MOC examination in 2015-2018 are in the early stages of the C-MOC Program during the Pilot Project. These diplomates will not be eligible for the Pilot Project.  The ABPN will develop a plan to transition these diplomates into this program in 2022 if the Pilot Project is approved in 2021 by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as a permanent alternative to the secure MOC examination.  This means that, if the Pilot Project is approved by the ABMS, all current Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Neurology, and Child Neurology diplomates in good standing in the ABPN C-MOC Program will have the option of NOT taking the traditional 10-year MOC examination.


Do diplomates still have to complete MOC activities (CME, Self-Assessment, PIP) during the Pilot Project?

Yes.  All diplomates, including Pilot Project participants, must meet all MOC Program requirements to be reported as ‘Certified – Meeting MOC Requirements’.


What will happen if a diplomate is unsuccessful or does not complete the Pilot Project?

Diplomates are then required to pass the traditional 10-Year MOC examination to remain board certified. Diplomates will be allowed two consecutive attempts at the traditional 10-Year MOC examination if he/she fails or does not complete the Pilot Project in order to remain certified.  The first examination will be at no additional cost; however, there will be the standard fee if a second examination is needed.


Pilot Project Design
How many questions will be in the journal article-based assessment and how will it be scored?

• Diplomates must answer 5 questions (mini-test) associated with each journal article at any time during the Pilot Project in an online, open-book format.

• During the eligibility period of the Pilot Project, those diplomates who answer at least 4 out of 5 questions correctly on the first attempt will have successfully completed one mini-test.

• Diplomates who successfully complete 30 article readings and mini-tests will not be required to complete the Part III MOC examination.

• Diplomates will receive immediate feedback after completing the mini-test related to an article.

• Diplomates can select articles from a library of approved articles.

• For a given article, once a mini-test has been started, it must be completed.  Only one mini-test can be open at a time during the Pilot Project eligibility period. A diplomate must submit the answers of a completed mini-test before opening the next mini-test.  A mini-test can be answered during multiple-sittings.

• Diplomates can complete their 30 articles and mini-tests at any time during their approved Pilot Project eligibility period.


How many articles must be read for successful completion of the pilot?

30 out of 40 journal article mini-tests must be successfully completed in order for a diplomate to meet the MOC Part III examination requirement.  A diplomate must read a minimum of 30 articles but no more than 40 articles and answer 4 out of 5 questions correctly on the first attempt on 30 journal article mini-tests.

If you score 5 out of 5 correct on 29 article mini-tests, you still must successfully complete a 30th article with 4 out of 5 correct questions on the first attempt to complete the pilot.


Who chooses the journal articles and writes the questions for the journal article-based assessment option?

The Pilot Project Test Writing Committees include nominated members from the ABPN and from professional societies (APA, AACAP, AAN, and CNS).  The Committees develop a content outline, select journal articles relevant to clinical practice, and write questions related to those articles.  The articles reflect topics on the content outline.


What are the fees for the Pilot Project?

The usual MOC fee structure will be in place for Pilot Project participants. Specifically, those transitioning from 10-year MOC into C-MOC will be required to pay a fee equal to the amount for the 10-year MOC examination. Those currently in C-MOC will not be required to pay any additional fees to participate in the Pilot Project. If a diplomate is double-boarded in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, they will pay a fee equal to the combined MOC examination fee, but they are required to complete the Pilot Project design for each certificate.


Will ABPN provide access to the journal articles?

No. While the ABPN will provide links on its website to the journal articles chosen for the Pilot Project, those journal articles may or may not have a fee associated with them. Diplomates may choose to contact their professional associations, medical schools, or local libraries to determine if the articles are available at low or reduced cost as part of their affiliation or appointment.


Please verify and update your contact information in your ABPN Physician Folios account.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc.

7 Parkway North, Deerfield, IL 60015

Phone 847.229.6500 | Fax 847.229.6600