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ABO’s New Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) Announced at Optometry’s Meeting

Cap_GraphicOptometry’s Meeting, held in Denver, Colorado June 20 – 24, proved to be the perfect venue to announce ABO’s new Continuous Assessment Program known as CAP. Dr. Erich Hinel, ABO Board Chair, presented CAP to the Presidents’ Council and to the AOA Board of Directors on Wednesday June 20th.

“Beginning in 2019, Diplomates will be able to maintain their board certification without the stress and expense of a high stakes exam every 10 years,” said Dr. James Vaught, ABO’s Executive Director. “And at the same time, they can still be confident that they are keeping up with advancements in the profession while maintaining their commitment to continuous learning and excellent patient care. Leading ABMS boards are also moving in this direction, which is supported by contemporary adult learning theory.”

CAP will replace ABO’s 10-year re-certification exam and the current MOC program. It will incorporate the existing requirements of 100 hours of CE and completion of 2 self-assessment modules (SAMs) during each 3-year cycle, as well as a series of smaller, 25-question mini-assessments taken 3 times per year for a total of 9 assessments over a 3-year cycle. Diplomates will conveniently access the assessments on a home or office computer, tablet or mobile device at any time during the 4 months each assessment is available. Each assessment will cover a specific topic area, with emphasis on advancements within the profession and updates in clinical practice guidelines. Ample time will be allotted to each question to allow outside resources to be consulted, and Diplomates may choose to answer the questions in a single session or over multiple sessions. Diplomates will also have the option to skip or drop 2 assessments during each 3-year cycle.

“Our goal in developing CAP was to make board certification a more meaningful, convenient, flexible and less costly program,” said Vaught. “This new maintenance structure focuses on assessment for knowledge rather than assessment of knowledge, by utilizing shorter, more frequent assessments with spaced repetition and immediate feedback to improve learning and retention.”

Initial feedback on CAP has been overwhelmingly positive. Many Diplomates, as well as potential candidates stopped by the ABO booth during exhibit hall hours to learn more about CAP and when the transition to the new program will occur. ABO staff answered a range of questions and assured Diplomates that there would be an overabundance of communication this fall regarding CAP and the planned 2019 phased-in rollout. CAP details are also available on the ABO website at www.americanboardofotpometry.org.