May 18, 2021

ABMS Opens Call for Comments in Lead Up to New Standards on Continuing Certification

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) has issued new Draft Standards for Continuing Certification, which upon approval will inform future Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology® (MOCA®) program designs. ABMS is collecting feedback on the draft standards until July 8 through a call for comments; an integral part of the process to develop and adopt new standards.

ABMS is encouraging all stakeholders “who possess, use, or rely upon the board certification credential as an indicator of a diplomate’s professionalism and proficiency in specialty knowledge and skills” to review and comment on the Draft Standards. The standards include commentary on program cycle lengths, participation displays, assessment models and quality improvement expectations, among other program details.

ABMS developed the standards after a year of deliberation with key stakeholders in response to the recommendations of the Continuing Board Certification: Vision for the Future Commission as well as of the wider stakeholder community. Stakeholder feedback will inform the development of the final standards to be considered by the ABMS Board of Directors in October 2021.

ABMS establishes the standards its 24 Member Boards use to develop and implement assessment programs used in the certification of diplomate specialists. The new Draft Standards reflect foundational changes to the way ABMS and its Member Boards deliver on their mission, bringing value to both the profession and the public at large. The new standards are structured to support and provide diplomates with the tools they need to stay current in medical knowledge, prepare them to address emerging medical and public health issues, and help them identify and address opportunities for practice improvement; all in a manner that enhances relevance and reduces burden.

The Draft Standards also address the needs of patients, families, and communities by assuring that board-certified diplomates maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver the quality specialty care upon which they rely.

ABA diplomates are encouraged to comment on the Draft Standards via the survey below, and to share the link with others who may be interested in providing input.


ABMS has engaged an external party to ensure that the call for comments process is unbiased, objective, and thoughtful. The process is part of an ongoing and deliberate dialogue that encourages continued engagement and collaboration throughout the ABMS community. All comments will be reviewed and considered to ensure the final draft presented to the ABMS Board of Directors offers a balanced, consistent and understandable set of criteria with specialty-specific variances where appropriate.