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Continuous Certification and CertLink™

The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery (ABCRS) is pleased to announce the launch of our new MOC Continuous Certification Assessment Pilot.  We will be using a longitudinal assessment model delivered through the CertLink™ Assessment Platform powered by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).


CertLink™ is a platform with a personal dashboard that will deliver questions Quarterly to Diplomates of ABCRS for longitudinal assessment online as an alternative to the high-stakes 10-year MOC Examination. We anticipate this will foster growth in medical knowledge, continuous certification and professional development. CertLink™ was created through a partnership between ABMS and FIGmd, a leading provider of clinical data registry platforms.

The results of this pilot will help determine whether this assessment format can replace the current closed-book 10-year MOC Examination cycle. Rooted in contemporary adult learning theory, CertLink™ will help us evaluate a longitudinal assessment model that provides immediate, personalized feedback as an alternative to the high-stakes 10-year MOC Examination.  This method uses more frequent, smaller scale assessments with spaced repetition to help recognize deficiencies and provides resources to guided learning.

Introduction of CertLink™ coincides with the MOC cycle changing from three blocks of three-year cycles of Parts I, II, and IV within the 10-year secure written MOC Exam period, to a new continuous five-year cycle for all parts of MOC.

How much does this program cost?

There is no additional fee for CertLink™. Annual fees will remain at $500 for Diplomates initially certified after 1990, and $200 for those certified 1990 or prior who participate in MOC. If this platform proves to be acceptable for replacement, the 10-year Exam and the fees associated, will no longer be charged.

Are there incentives for participation?

30 Self-Assessment CMEs (required for Part II) will be waived once every 5 years for successful participation in CertLink™. These CMEs are not transferable to any other Board or Institution.


The ABCRS CertLink™ Pilot will be delivered through the secure CertLink™ platform, accessible via computer or tablet. Participating Diplomates will have an interactive assessment of 18 questions per Quarter (72/year). Each question is allotted five minutes to be answered; no remote proctoring is planned. A total of 288 questions will be answered in four years with continuous participation. Successful participation, also includes keeping up with the other parts of MOC which together will maintain Diplomates’ Board Certification.

The fifth year of the cycle can be a year free of questions, or used to extend the cycle if life events intervene. ABCRS understands that our Diplomates are people with busy lives and unexpected things happen. CertLink™ is designed for flexibility for life emergencies, life events, and long-term breaks. ABCRS must be contacted and appropriate documentation provided for the time away from the program. During the four remaining Quarters Diplomates must participate with an average score of 70% or higher (just as they did for the 10-year exam), turn in all Part I, II, and IV MOC materials, and stay up to date with MOC Annual Fees.

Diplomates will determine when and where they answer questions. Critiques and references are provided, which can be saved for later review as desired. Each Diplomate will have a personalized dashboard which summarizes performance on the assessment with comparison to peers, identifies knowledge gaps, and suggests appropriate resources to strengthen expertise.

Survey tools will be used for platform improvement, to identify and polish options, and it’s ABCRS’ hope that our Diplomates will help provide us valuable feedback. ABCRS wants to know what our surgeons find valuable for ongoing self-assessment activities—which questions further your “walking around knowledge” and which had no impact on your practice? How was the usability of the site? What can we do better?


The CertLink™ Pilot will begin April 2, 2018 with a “Soft Launch” incorporating a small pilot group and will coincide with a five-year MOC Cycle.  A formal “Hard Launch” for a larger group is planned for July 2018. Successive groups of Diplomates will be enfolded into CertLink™ according to timing of the last certification, as well as preference to enter CertLink™ sooner. More information regarding availability to enter CertLink™ will be forthcoming.


  • The Soft Launch will be comprised of those who passed their Oral Exam on September 16, 2017, Members of the ABCRS Board, and Members of the MOC Committee of the Board.
  • More information will be forthcoming for future cohorts, whom we expect to include within the year, based on the first Quarter Pilot.

NOTE: It is imperative that your ABCRS Profile is up-to-date with your correct email address. This will be your main point of contact with CertLink™ and your future CertLink™ Username!

Will I get a new certificate at the end of the pilot?

At the end of each five-year Continuous Certification cycle of CertLink™ Diplomates will be able to login to their ABCRS profile and go to the “Forms” section and download a certificate good for five years.

If I have a Lifetime Certificate and enroll in CertLink™, will my Lifetime Certificate be replaced with a new certificate?

Diplomates who were certified 1990 or prior will always hold a Lifetime Certificate and participation in MOC and CertLink™ will continue to be voluntary. Diplomates may choose to participate for the continuing educational benefits and to fulfill the requirements of MOC.


The MOC Continuous Certification Cycle will now run in a five-year term instead of three years. Over the five years of the cycle, Diplomates must achieve a 70% average pass-rate in CertLink™. In addition to the MOC Annual Fee, once every five years, each Diplomate must also complete the following requirements:

MOC Requirements

Part I: Professional Standing

  • Verification of Full Licensure – Submit a copy of your medical license to the board office.
  • Chief of Staff Evaluation – Form is located inside of your MOC Profile. Print, and have your Chief of Staff or Chief of Surgery sign and mail/fax/email to the Board office.
  • Documentation of Hospital Privileges – Form is located inside of your MOC Profile. Print, and have your Chief of Staff or Chief of Surgery sign and mail/fax/email to the Board office.

Part II: Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Requirements

  • Complete 90 AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credits™ every five years. Enter on MOC Profile Page.
  • Over a five-year cycle, 50 of the 90 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ must include a Self-Assessment Activity. CARSEP or SESAP are recommended; however, any accredited CME activity that provides AMA PRA Category 1 credits™, and a Self-Assessment component (with a passing score of greater than 75%), will be accepted for MOC Part II Self-Assessment. Enter on MOC Profile Page.
    • NOTE: 30 Self-Assessment CMEs will be waived once every five years for successful participation in CertLink™–an average score of 70% or higher over the course of the five-year cycle will full participation.

Part IV: Evaluation of Performance in Practice

  • Part IV of ABCRS MOC requires ongoing participation in a local, regional or national outcomes registry or quality assessment program every five years. Enter on MOC Profile Page.


The American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery was established to promote the health and welfare of the American people through the development and maintenance of high standards for certification in the specialty of colon and rectal surgery.  ABCRS heard your concerns about the secure 10-year MOC Examination, as well as your thoughts on the relevance of MOC to your practice. Assessments offered through the CertLink™ Platform have a goal of addressing these issues by offering repeated exposure to relevant information to better support Diplomates’ lifelong learning. This pilot will offer the required data to help advise significant changes made to the MOC program. The primary focus has been developing an easy to use longitudinal assessment pilot to explore and evaluate assessment methods that provide immediate, personalized feedback.


For more information feel free to contact the ABCRS office at CERTLINK@ABCRS.org or 734-282-9400 Monday through Friday between 8:30am-4:30pm EST.


For further information on the new CertLink™ pilot please look at our Fact Sheet and FAQs listed Below:

Fact Sheet ABCRS CertLink Soft Launch v.2

FAQ ABCRS CertLink Soft Launch v.2



Click here to be directed to CertLink login page!


ABMS Continuing Certification Directory: ABCRS

The ABMS Continuing Certification Directory (Directory), formerly known as the ABMS MOC Directory, provides continuing certification resources for Diplomates and CME stakeholders. It offers a more intuitive user experience and improved search functionality through enhanced search criteria, an ability to filter by provider, and inclusion of various resources to better support ABMS Board Certified physicians seeking practice-relevant, accredited CME activities that help meet their Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment MOC requirements.

Click here to be directed to the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory for ABCRS!