First Diplomates Complete Full CAP Cycle. Now What?

January 31, 2022

In January of 2019, our first group of over 1,000 Diplomates transitioned into the new MOC CAP program and took their first assessment, Systemic Health. Three years and nine assessments later, the first full cycle of CAP assessments is complete.

The nine CAP assessments reflect the topic domains of the initial board certification exam. Seven of the nine assessments must be passed to maintain board certification and begin a new CAP cycle. Continuously maintaining MOC exempts Diplomates from needing to take a recertification exam.

Throughout the first three years, we received an abundance of feedback on the assessments, leading ABO to incorporate several modifications to better serve the learning needs of Diplomates. And while the program changes have been well received and we continue to encourage feedback, what really drives our mission is whether or not Diplomates feel the CAP program is helping them to provide better patient care. We pay close attention to the survey results following each CAP assessment and are inspired by what this first CAP cycle has achieved.

In summary, an overwhelming majority of Diplomates indicated the CAP assessments provide valuable information, advancing better patient care.

In addition, over 84% of Diplomates felt the fundamental knowledge questions in each CAP assessment provided a good review and could be easily answered by all or most optometrists. An additional 12% felt that if optometrists did not know the answer immediately, it could easily be found in the 10 minutes allotted to answer the question and less than 3% of Diplomates felt the fundamental knowledge questions were too specialized for general optometry.

One final important measure of success in our mission is to ensure the CAP program is not too burdensome for Diplomates and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. While the process should be informative and challenging, it should also be realistic and achievable. Balancing the time demands of a lifelong learning and continuous assessment program with the educational value and competency measures it provides is an ongoing endeavor. We are reassured to find that a majority of Diplomates report the time and effort required is manageable.

As we begin a new series of CAP assessments, we want to remind everyone of the process for completing an MOC CAP cycle.

  • MOC cycles are 4 years in length
  • Requirements are scheduled to be completed by the end of year 3. Diplomates will have had the opportunity to take all 9 CAP assessments over the 3 years.
  • If all requirements have been completed and you have submitted your MOC for approval by the end of year 3, then year 4 is a “free” year with no requirements due.
  • If you have not completed all requirements by the end of year 3, then year 4 becomes a “remediation/catch-up” year and you will have until December 31 of year 4 to complete all outstanding requirements. All missed or failed CAP assessments will be reopened for a second attempt. MOC can be submitted at any time during year 4 once all requirements have been met.
  • Diplomates who have still not met all requirements by the end of year 4 will no longer be current in their board certification but will have the opportunity to take a recertification exam in year 5 or 6 without requalifying to take the exam. Passing the exam at any time during year 5 or 6 will reinstate board certification status and a new MOC cycle will begin the following year after passing he recertification exam.
  • Diplomates who have failed to become current in board certification by the end of year 6, either through maintaining MOC or passing a recertification exam, are not eligible for reinstatement.
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