Whatever you do, change the name.
That was key among the final recommendations the Vision Initiative Commission submitted to the American Board of Medical Specialties on how to improve the maintenance of certification process.
“A new term that communicates the concept, intent, and expectations of continuing certification programs should be adopted by the ABMS in order to reengage disaffected diplomates and assure the public and other stakeholders that the certificate has enduring meaning and value,” according to the final report. A new term was not suggested.
The commissiona continuing certification system with four aims:
- Become a meaningful, contemporary, and relevant professional development activity for diplomates that ensures they remain up-to-date in their specialty.
- Demonstrate a commitment to professional self-regulation to both diplomates and the public.
- Align with international and national standards for certification programs.
- Provide a specialty-based credential that would be of value to diplomates and to multiple stakeholders, including patients, families, the public, and health care institutions.
Testing methods and situations must be simplified and updated, according to the report, which was submitted to ABMS on Feb. 12. Continuing certification “must change to incorporate longitudinal and other innovative formative assessment strategies that support learning, identify knowledge and skills gaps, and help diplomates stay current. The ABMS Boards must offer an alternative to burdensome highly secure, point-in-time examinations of knowledge.” In addition, the boards “must no longer use a single point-in-time examination or a series of single point-in-time assessments as the sole method to determine certification status.”