Policy Book

The Policy Book provides a comprehensive description of our policies and requirements for certification and maintenance of certification programs. Please click on the image below to view the book.

2020 Policy Book & List of Major Updates

Electronic Recording Device Policy (Sections 2.08, 3.08 and 7.14) - Candidates at the Assessment Center are prohibited from using a mobile or recording device to record, transmit or transcribe any portion of the exam.

Attestations for MOCA 2.0® (Section 4.03.E) - Diplomates no longer need to provide three references to verify their clinical activity.

Reporting Quality Improvement (Part 4) Activities for MOCA 2.0 (Section 4.03.E) - Diplomates no longer need to upload templates or documentation in their portal account. Just select the activity completed from the dropdown list, enter the time spent completing it, and click submit.

MOCA Participation Exceeding 10 Years for Non-time Limited Certificate Holders (Section 4.04.B) - Effective Dec. 31, 2020, all diplomates with non-time limited certificates who do not meet all MOCA program requirements by the end of their 10-year cycle will have their current cycle voided and will be required to re-register if they wish to continue in the MOCA program.

Reestablishing Eligibility for Initial Subspecialty Certification (Section 5.12) - Physicians who did not satisfy all requirements for initial subspecialty certification in critical care medicine, pain medicine or pediatric anesthesiology within the initial seven-year period may take and pass the relevant subspecialty Anesthesiology Special Purpose Exam (ASPEX) to reestablish their eligibility to take the initial subspecialty exam.

For hospice and palliative medicine or sleep medicine, physicians must satisfactorily complete four additional consecutive months of training in an ACGME-accredited subspecialty program to reestablish their eligibility to take the initial subspecialty exam.

Professional Standing (Section 7.06) - Failure to respond to ABA communications regarding the initiation of revocation proceedings constitutes grounds for action to revoke diplomates’ certification(s).

Alternate Entry Path Clinician Educator Pathway (Section 7.08) - Applicants must be clinically active with a faculty appointment for four continuous years in an ACGME-accredited anesthesiology program, not specifically the program that nominated the physician.

Revised Absence from Training Policy Effective July 1, 2019

The ABA has established certain training requirements for a candidate to enter its examination system. The following outlines permissible absences that will not result in delay in a candidate being eligible to enter the examination system:

  • Without prior approval from the ABA, a resident may be absent from training up to a total of 60 working days (12 weeks) during the CA 1-3 years of training.

  • Attendance at scientific meetings, not to exceed five working days per year, shall be considered part of the training program and not count toward the absence calculation.

  • Residents should also comply with the policy of the institution and department in which that portion of the training is served for the duration of any absence during the clinical base year.

  • The ABA will consider requests for up to 40 additional days (8 weeks) away from training (over and above the 60 working days). Such additional leave of absence time must be approved by the ABA as follows:

    • Any request for such leave must be received by the ABA within four weeks of the resident’s resumption of the residency program. 

    • The request shall be in writing from the program director, countersigned by the department chair (if that person is different than the program director), and the resident.

    • The request must include: (1) the reason for the absence training request (as an example, serious medical illness, parental or family leave that are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act would be reasons acceptable to the ABA) and (2) documentation about how all clinical experiences and educational objectives will be met.

Absences in excess of those described above will require lengthening of the total training time to compensate for the additional absences from training.  The additional training days required will be equal to the total number of working days missed beyond (1) the 60 working days (without need for ABA approval); and (2) the additional 40 working days (approved by the ABA). 
Residents who have their residency extended may sit for the Summer ADVANCED examination if they complete all requirements by Sept. 30 of the same year. They may sit for the Winter ADVANCED examination if they complete all requirements by March 30 of the same year.
A lengthy interruption in training may have a deleterious effect upon the resident’s knowledge or clinical competence. Therefore, when there is an absence for a period more than six months, the ABA Credentials Committee shall determine the number of months of training the resident must complete subsequent to resumption of the residency program to satisfy the training required for admission to the ABA examination system.


Anesthesiologists and Capital Punishment

The ABA has incorporated the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics in its Professional Standing Policy. ABA certification includes more than passing examinations; it also includes maintaining high professional and ethical standards. Specifically, it is the ABA’s Professional Standing Policy that diplomates should use their clinical skills and judgment for promoting an individual's health and welfare. To do otherwise would undermine a basic ethical foundation of medicine which is – first do no harm. If diplomates of the ABA participate in an execution by lethal injection, they may be subject to disciplinary action, including revocation of their ABA diplomate status. Click here for additional information on anesthesiologists and capital punishment.