Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

A process of physician certification maintenance through one of the 24 approved medical specialty boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the 18 approved medical specialty boards of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). ​ ​​

The Maintenance of Certification program was designed to help physicians keep abreast of advances in their fields, develop better practice systems, and demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning. ​ ​​

Maintenance of Certification Competencies

The ABMS Program for MOC involves ongoing measurement of six core competencies defined by ABMS and ACGME:

  • Practice-based Learning and Improvement
  • Patient Care and Procedural Skills
  • Systems-based Practice
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Professionalism

Maintenance of Certification Components

These competencies, which are the same ones used in the ACGME’s Next Accreditation System, are measured in the ABMS Program for MOC within a four-part framework:

  • Part I: Licensure and Professional Standing, which means holding a valid, unrestricted and unchallenged medical license in the United States, its territories, or Canada;
  • Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment, to include participation in educational and self-assessment programs;
  • Part III: Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment and Skills, as demonstrated through formal examinations; and
  • Part IV: Practice Performance Assessment, whereby physicians assess the quality of care they provide, compare to national guidelines, benchmarks and peers, apply the new recommendations to their care, and conduct follow-up assessments to gauge improvement of patient care.

NASS Engagement with MOC

While NASS does not offer direct support to physicians engaged in the MOC process, we have contributed content to the MOC process through ABMS. This section will be updated with related efforts.

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