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Maintain Board Certification

Maintaining American Board of Optometry Board Certification is a four-part process for continuous learning, based on a model developed by the American Board of Medical Specialties.*

Patterning optometry’s process after that of medicine ensures our place in health care, offers the ability to withstand the scrutiny of the accreditation process, and successfully demonstrates competence to the public with integrity.

Click here to download a printable PDF outlining the basics of the MOC program.

ABO Maintenance of Certification Requirements:

  1. Possession of a valid therapeutic license
  2. Passing of a validated computer-based patient assessment and management examination
  3. Continuing education and Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs)
  4. Performance in Practice Modules (PPMs)

The 10-year Maintenance of Certification process is divided into three 3-year stages and a recertification examination year. In each of Stages 1, 2, and 3, Board Certified optometrists must complete specified educational requirements within the three years, including:

  1. Two Self-Assessment Modules
  2. Performance in Practice Module
  3. 100 total points over the three years from continuing education activities, with at least 50 percent from Category 1 education.

One module (either SAM or PPM) must be completed each calendar year. The 100 educational points may be completed anytime over the three-year stage.

All Stage 3 requirements must be completed for a Diplomate to be eligible for the recertification examination. The Board Certified optometrist may take the examination in either the ninth or tenth year of the certification cycle.

For 2017, the Annual Maintenance Fee is $225, which includes ongoing portal access and the annual SAM or PPM.

Click here for an overview of the continuing education point system.  Click here for a printable list of online continuing education resources under Category 2B.

American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)*

ABMS comprises 24 American medical specialty boards. Since its founding in 1933, it has continually sought higher, more rigorous professional standards to ensure competent care for the public. It has emerged as a leader in the national movement for health care quality. Its four-part process for continuous learning, the basis for its maintenance of certification process, has become the standard for the demonstration of competence. The four-part process is as follows:

  1. Professional Standing
    Medical specialists must hold a valid, unrestricted medical license in at least one state or jurisdiction in the United States, its territories or Canada.
  2. Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment
    Physicians participate in educational and self-assessment programs that meet specialty-specific standards that are set by their member board.
  3. Cognitive Expertise
    Physicians demonstrate, through formalized examination, that they have the fundamental, practice-related and practice environment-related knowledge to provide quality care in their specialty.
  4. Practice Performance Assessment
    Physicians are evaluated in their clinical practice according to specialty-specific standards for patient care. They are asked to demonstrate that they can assess the quality of care they provide compared to peers and national benchmarks and then apply the best evidence or consensus recommendations to improve that care using follow-up assessments.

*The American Board of Optometry is not affiliated with ABMS. The ABMS has not endorsed the ABO process. Information obtained from www.abms.org.