Part 3 of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is designed to measure the knowledge that sets certified pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists apart from non-pediatricians and other noncertified physicians with less training and experience in pediatric care. It helps to assure that board-certified pediatricians are up to date on the latest information and best practices and are qualified to offer children the best possible medical care.
Five-Year Exam Cycles
Beginning in 2019, Part 3 was aligned with your five-year MOC cycle. The exam cycle was shortened from 10 years to five years to improve reliability, consistency, and face-validity. See the rationale below.
The MOCA-Peds online assessment platform is now the default option for pediatricians who enrolled in MOC in 2018 or 2019 for:
- General Pediatrics
- Child Abuse Pediatrics
- Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
- Neonatal Perinatal Medicine
- Pediatric Gastroenterology
- Pediatric Infectious Diseases
- Pediatric Nephrology
- Pediatric Pulmonology
MOC enrollment fees cover the cost of MOCA-Peds.
MOCA-Peds will be available for other subspecialty exams — administered by the ABP only — over the next several years, but for now, exam due dates for all subspecialties has been postponed until MOCA-Peds is available for them. (Pediatricians certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine,Medical Toxicology, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Pediatric Transplant Hepatology, Sleep Medicine, and Sports Medicine will continue to take proctored exams. Those exam dates have not been postponed.)
Pediatricians who are newly certified in General Pediatrics also will be sent MOCA-Peds questions and can earn MOC Part 2 (Self-Assessment) credit for answering them.
Proctored Exam Option
Pediatricians who prefer a proctored exam over MOCA-Peds can still choose to take the proctored exam at a secure testing facility. You also might apply to take a proctored exam because you tried MOCA-Peds and did not meet the passing standard or you wish to regain your certification.
Those who choose the proctored exam will incur an additional fee that covers the costs charged by the testing center and associated expenses (see Enrollment and Fees).
You have the option to take proctored exams before the year they are due. Requests should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every person's exam cycle is unique. The best way to see your specific exam deadlines or to learn when you can transition to MOCA-Peds, log in to your ABP Portfolio.
Questions related to the proctored exam, exam eligibility, or MOCA-Peds may be directed to email@example.com.
The rate of increase in medical knowledge is exponential. Patients and family members in professions that also have recertification requirements (e.g., engineers, pilots, teachers, physicians’ assistants, etc.) say in focus groups that a 10-year assessment interval was longer than used in their professions and too long, given the exponential increase in medical knowledge and the importance of physicians being up to date with the most current information.
In addition, the fairness of exams and cognitive assessments is a core value at the ABP. To be fair, an assessment must be psychometrically reliable, meaning the random error inherent in scoring should be minimal. Although several variables affect reliability, sample size (or the number of test questions) has the greatest impact.
MOCA-Peds, which has been extremely well received by more than 10,000 pilot participants, provides more than twice the number of test questions than the every-10-year proctored exam, making it more reliable and fairer. Therefore, aligning proctored exam cycles with the five-year MOCA-Peds cycle ensures, as best as possible, the most consistent and reliable assessments for all board-certified pediatricians, whether they choose MOCA-Peds or the proctored exam.