The American Society of Dermatopathology

American Board of Pathology CC Requirements

This document serves a general guide for the American Board of Pathology (ABP) Continuing Certification (CC) requirements. However, for comprehensive information about the ABP CC requirements, please refer to the CC Booklet of information on the ABP website.

Diplomates report Part I, II, and IV requirements online by completing their Continuing Certification (CC) Reporting Form in PATHway (http://www.abpath.org) every two years. All CC requirements and deadlines are based on the year of enrollment in the CC program. Diplomates issued certificates after 1/1/2006 are automatically enrolled in the CC program. Diplomates with non-time limited (lifetime) certificates issued prior to 1/1/2006 may voluntarily enroll in the MOC program at any time.
 
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) has recognized the ABP’s CC program as substantively equivalent to the MOC program in Canada. Fellows of the Royal College who are living and practicing in the United States can use the ABP’s MOC program to maintain their membership and Fellowship with the Royal College without having to also participate in the Royal College’s MOC program. The ABPath has adopted a reciprocity policy for diplomates participating in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) MOC program. Diplomates participating in MOC with the RCPSC may submit documentation of current participation in lieu of reporting Part II & Part IV requirements. Diplomates must be living and practicing in Canada to have Part II & Part IV requirements waived.
 
The ABP has adopted a reciprocity policy for diplomates maintaining their primary certification with another ABMS member board’s MOC program. These diplomates may report current CC participation with another ABMS member board in lieu of reporting all Part II and IV requirements of the ABP’s CC program. The ABP’s CC program consists of the following parts:
  • Part I: Professionalism and Professional Standing – must be reported to the ABP every two years. 
    • Medical Licensure - Diplomates practicing in the United States or Canada must maintain a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in at least one jurisdiction of the United States, its territories, or Canada.
    • Substance Abuse or Impairment - A diplomate who, within the last three years, has been diagnosed as chemically dependent, has been treated for drug or other substance abuse, and/or has entered into a rehabilitation or remediation program for drug or other substance abuse will be required to provide the ABP with documentation showing that he/she has successfully completed a rehabilitation or remediation program authorized by the applicable medical licensing authority or is successfully enrolled in such a program. An applicant who has a mental or physical impairment that affects the applicant’s ability to practice safely and effectively will be required to provide medical evidence from the appropriate physicians, treatment centers and hospitals demonstrating to the ABP that the impairment does not compromise the applicant’s ability to practice safely and effectively.
    • Medical Staff Privileges – Unless not applicable, diplomates must provide information regarding medical staff membership and scope of health care organization privileges. 
    • Description of Practice – Diplomates must provide a brief description of their practice, including all areas and subspecialties of pathology and medicine. 
    • Other ABMS Boards – ABP diplomates should report if they are members of other ABMS Member Boards and submit documentation of current participation in lieu of reporting Part II & IV requirements. For diplomates maintaining their primary certification in CC with another ABMS Member Board, ABPath accepts documentation of current participation in lieu of reporting Part II & IV requirements. Diplomates are required to upload this documentation when submitting their CC reporting forms to ABPath. This does not affect the CC Part III examination requirement which must be met before the end of the 10-year CC Cycle.
  • Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment – These requirements must be reported to the ABP every two years. There are three ways to meet reporting requirements for Lifelong Learning: completing a fellowship, completing a Physician-Scientist Research Pathway, or receiving and reporting 70 AMA Category 1 CME creditsTM with at least 20 credits qualifying as Self-Assessment (SAM).
    • Fellowships – Completion of an ACGME-accredited 12-month fellowship during any two-year reporting period will meet all Part II and Part IV requirements (except for peer evaluations) for that period.
    • Physician Scientist Research Pathway – General Requirements:
      • A. The ABPath Physician-Scientist Research Pathway is intended for those pathologists who are committed to contributing to new scientific knowledge in basic science, and clinical or translational medicine through a career that will involve funded research.
      • B. A diplomate may transfer into or out of the pathway at any time without ABPath approval.
      • C. A diplomate has until Year 6 of their first 10-year CC Cycle in which to report the completion of the Pathway. The completion of the Pathway may only be reported once.
      • D. A research year, like a fellowship year, will meet the Continuing Certification Part II and Part IV requirements (except for peer evaluations) for that reporting period.
    • Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs) – Each diplomate must obtain a minimum of 70 AMA PRA Category 1 CME creditsTM for each two-year period of the CC cycle. At least 20 of the 70 CME credits must be obtained from completion of self-assessment modules (SAMs). Diplomates may claim credit for sixty (60) AMA Category 1 CME credits for successfully completing an ABMS board certification or a 10-year MOC cycle. Eighty percent of required CME must be directly related to the diplomate’s scope of practice. The remainder may be in areas of general relevance to medicine (e.g. ethics, practice management, informatics, etc.). The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Continuing Professional Development (RCPSC CPD) Accredited Group Learning (Section 1) credits in General Pathology are accepted as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 CME creditsTM. RCPSC Assessment (Section 3) credits are accepted as equivalent to SAM credits for meeting the ABP CC program’s Part II requirements. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Category 1A CME are acceptable as CME credits for Part II requirements.
  • Part III: Assessment of Knowledge, Judgment, and Skills – must be met once each 10-year cycle. Examination deadlines, dates and schedule information is available on the ABP website
    • The CC assessment is mandatory for all participants in CC. The CC examination is given twice each year, in Spring and Fall sessions, and may be taken as soon as eight years after CC enrollment, but must be passed no later than 10 years after certification. Satisfactory completion of the CC examination does not change any CC Program deadlines or certification expiration dates. The examination is a proctored assessment based on practical, need-to-know, day to-day skills and knowledge that a competent practitioner would be expected to possess. Comprehensive study guides are available on the ABPath website. 
    • Each CC examination (primary and subspecialty) is composed of 150 multiple-choice questions in the single best answer format. A diplomate may opt to complete more than one examination in an examination session. Diplomates who hold both a primary and a subspecialty certificate may elect to take a single examination that includes a 50-question primary certification module (AP and/or CP) and a 150-question subspecialty examination. The combined primary and subspecialty examination is graded as a single 200-question examination for purposes of pass/fail. A passing score will fulfill the 10-year Part III requirement for both certificates. 
    • The examination may be taken at the ABP Examination Center in Tampa, Florida (offered for 1-2 days only) OR via secure, remote computer access from their home or office during a scheduled 2-week period for examination access.
  • Part IV: Improvement in Medical Practice – must be reported to the ABP every two years, except for peer attestations which are only required in the 4th and 8th years of the cycle. 
    • Laboratory Accreditation – diplomates must report accreditation status of their primary laboratory to the ABP. Laboratory accreditation is voluntary. 
    • Laboratory Performance Improvement and Quality Assurance (PI/QA) - Each laboratory with which a pathologist is associated must participate in inter-laboratory performance improvement and quality assurance programs appropriate for the spectrum of anatomic and clinical laboratory procedures performed in that laboratory.
    • Individual Pathologist Performance Improvement and Quality Assurance (PI/QA) - diplomates must participate in at least one PI/QA activity or program per year appropriate for their principal professional activities. Programs recognized and approved to meet this requirement include those sponsored by a Cooperating Society of the ABPath. See the ABPath Website for a list of the Cooperating Societies approved for Part IV activities.
  • Peer Attestations/Evaluations – All diplomates are required to provide peer attestations as to their interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, ethics and effectiveness in systems-based practice. At the end of the 4th and 8th years of the CC cycle, diplomates must provide four individual references that can attest to their abilities and effectiveness in practice. These individuals must include: 1) an ABP-certified pathologist, 2) the Chair of the Credentials Committee (or designate), Chief Medical Officer, Department Head, or Chief of Staff of the primary health care facility where the diplomate practices, 3) a board-certified physician in another specialty, and 4) a technologist/CLS or pathologists assistant.
  • Patient Safety – All diplomates are required to complete a Component I Patient Safety Course (PSC) at least once during each 10-year CC Cycle. Component I PSCs have been approved by either ABMS or ABPath for content and are the only PSCs acceptable to meet this CC requirement. Component II PSCs have not been approved by ABMS or ABPath for content and do not meet the CC requirement. Component II PSCs may only be reported as Part II CME activities.
    • Diplomates enrolled in the CC program 2006-2011 must complete the course by the 10th year of the cycle for the first 10-year Cycle only. For each subsequent cycle, the course must be completed within the first two reporting periods (or by the 4th year) of the cycle. For all other diplomates, the course must be completed within the first two reporting periods (or by the 4th year) for each cycle. ABP allows all Component I Patient Safety Courses to be reported for both Part II SAM credit and Part IV PI/QA activity requirements.
 
Annual Fees:
ABP MOC fee $50/year with a total of $100 per physician due at the end of the 2 year reporting period.
Non-time limited certificate holders pay a one-time fee of $100 to enroll and initiate participation in the 2 year reporting period of hte CC program.
 
Difference between SAMs and CME credit?
The term “SAM” was developed by ABPath and is not recognized as a unique type of CME by the ACCME. As all SAM must be AMA Category 1 CME, a diplomate may use SAM-eligible CME to satisfy CME requirements for licensure, etc., as well as the requirements of the CC Program. SAM credits are CME credits which are eligible to be reported to ABPath's CC Program as self-assessment.

SAMs must be approved for AMA Category 1 CME credit by an organization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).  The diplomate must meet a minimum performance level defined by the sponsor, and performance feedback must be provided to the diplomate for SAMs credit to be awarded.
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Sources of MOC

The ASDP offers a wide array of live end enduring activities that satisfy Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment:
For a list of other ABP-approved MOC programs visit https://www.abpath.org/index.php/continuing-certification/educational-providers-and-sponsoring-organizations

Updated 11/7/18