American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) maintenance of certification (MOC) involves ongoing activities covering four key components: Professional Standing; Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment; Cognitive Expertise/Secure Exam; and Performance in Practice.

As opposed to previous certification/recertification processes which relied only on exams, the current model strives to integrate MOC into a pediatrician’s practice and encourage lifelong learning and self-assessment while improving the effectiveness, safety, and quality of patient care.

Physicians must meet the following requirements for ABP maintenance of certification:

Part 1: Professional Standing

A physician must have at least one valid, unrestricted medical license, and no restricted licenses.

Part 2: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment

Part 2, Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment, assesses and enhances the knowledge an individual pediatrician needs to remain up to date in practice. You can meet the Part 2 requirement through a variety of activities; some examples from the ABP include the Knowledge Self-Assessment, Decision Skills, Subspecialty Self-Assessments, and the ABP Question of the Week activity. NEJM Knowledge+ Pediatrics Board Review also fulfills Part 2 of the ABP MOC program: pediatricians can earn up to 104 ABP MOC points in the Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment segments.

Note: Part 2 and Part 4 of the MOC process are known as the “Activities/Points Cycle.” These activities should be completed every 5 years. Upon completion of the cycle, candidates re-enroll and pay a fee, initiating the next MOC activity/points cycle.

Part 3: Cognitive Expertise/Secure Exam

Part 3 of ABP MOC is referred to as “The Exam Cycle.” Every 10 years, pediatricians must pass a secure exam at a testing center. (The 2017 pilot program, Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics, or MOCA-Peds, is discussed below.) Exam cycles are unique to each candidate; more information can be found on the Taking the Exam Page.

Part 4: Improving Professional Practice

The other half of the “Activities/Points Cycle” is Part 4, Improving Professional Practice. In this segment, pediatricians participate in collaborative or individual Quality Improvement (QI) projects, including web-based QI activities. Because QI activities focus on assessing and improving quality of patient care, they can often be performed concurrently with the activities that make up a physician’s daily practice of pediatric medicine.

MOC Requirements

The table below provides a summary of the ABP certification maintenance requirements that are detailed above:

MOC CyclePointsRequirementCycle Span
Activities Cycle: Part 240 points1 activity5 years
Exam Cycle: Part 3N/APass recertification exam10 years
Activities Cycle: Part 440 points1 activity5 years
Part 2 or 420 additional pointsApproved activities5 years

Some ABMS Boards offer reciprocal MOC credit for pediatric medicine. Diplomates who have completed training in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) residency or fellowship may receive 10 MOC points in Part 2 and 10 MOC points in Part 4 for each 12 months of training completed during their current MOC cycle.

Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics (MOCA) Pilot Program

In 2017, the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) launched a pilot program within maintenance of certification, MOCA-Peds (Maintenance of Certification Assessment for Pediatrics). This new model includes shorter, more frequent assessment of pediatric knowledge with a unique learning component and will be available online. Physicians currently maintaining certification in general pediatrics who are taking their exam in 2017 were eligible to register for this pilot program in 2016; registration has now closed.