Policy Book

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

2019 Policy Book: Revised July 1

The Policy Book was updated on July 1 to include the new Absence from Training Policy, and revisions to the Alternate Entry Path Clinician Educator Pathway and the Assessment Score Verification Policy.

This book contains the policies and procedures for:

- Traditional Exams (Part 1 and Part 2 Exams)
- Staged Exams (BASIC, ADVANCED and APPLIED Exams)
- MOCA 2.0 (for maintaining anesthesiology and subspecialty certifications)
- Subspecialty Certification Exams

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.