The American Board of Veterinary Specialties (ABVS) has mandated that, beginning no later than 2016, all veterinary specialty college diplomate certificates must be time dated for a period of no longer than 10 years, with renewal of certification via a maintenance of certification (MOC) program. The ABVS does not dictate the specifics of the MOC program, instead leaving the details to be determined by each specialty college in accordance with the particulars of their disciplines and values. The ABVS indicated, however, that the scheme or rubric developed by each college should represent a concerted, good faith effort to demonstrate to the public the requirements for its Diplomates to stay up-to-date and to seek new knowledge in order to offer the most current and appropriate medical care.  The ABVO elected to initiate time-dated certificates beginning in 2015 with a 5-year certificate renewal requirement.

To this end, the ABVO MOC committee has developed a rubric, which lists the opportunities for attainment of credits toward the fulfillment of MOC requirements. In each five year period subsequent to board certification (for those Diplomates certified in 2015 or later) or voluntary entry into the MOC program (for Diplomates certified prior to 2015), each Diplomate must achieve 300 credits and submit documentation listing the activities and tasks that s/he has accomplished to achieve those credits by July 1st of the sixth year following board certification or following voluntary entry in the MOC program (i.e. for 2015 Diplomates, documentation is due to the ABVO office no later than July 1, 2021). The documents that are to be submitted will be available on the ABVO website. The MOC committee will review the documentation submitted and will notify the ABVO office and the candidate of the results by October 15th. Up to ten percent of applicants for MOC will be selected for audit. Those audited will be required to submit corroborative documentation (continuing education certificates, etc.). Following successful review of the MOC application, an MOC Certificate will be issued that reflects the updated dates of board certification status. Diplomates for whom MOC is mandatory that fail to comply with MOC requirements will lose their board certification status and all attendant rights and privileges. They will not be able to perform CAER examinations or train residents and they will be ineligible for membership in the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO).

For Diplomates who achieved board certification prior to 2015, participation in MOC is not required. However, the ABVO strongly urges voluntary participation as a way to demonstrate to the public our dedication as an institution to providing the best and most up-to-date medical care for our veterinary patients. If a Diplomate who voluntarily recertifies through the MOC program does not subsequently maintain this status in future cycles, that individual will suffer no penalty nor will s/he lose board certification status.

Diplomates who participate in MOC either by mandate [Board Certified (Time-Limited)] or voluntarily [Board Certified (Non Time-Limited)] will be designated as such to the public on the ACVO and ABVO websites.

As you will see when you review the rubric (below), the majority of MOC credits may be achieved solely by attending continuing education events. A variety of other options are available to supplement credit acquisition. If you have any questions about whether or not specific activities or proceedings will be accepted for credit, please contact the current chair of the MOC committee.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation.

Caryn E. Plummer, DVM, DACVO
Chair, ABVO MOC Committee, 2016-2018

All forms received between July 9th 2018 and July 1st 2019 will be considered for the MOC end of year, 2019 cycle.

MOC Application Form.

Download ABVO MOC Excel worksheet to track hours.

Definitions pertaining to Certification Status:

  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists: A board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist.
  • MOC: Maintenance of Certification. MOC ensures that Diplomates engage in life-long learning and continuous practice improvement, thereby providing the public with a credible indicator with which to evaluate commitment to this standard. The ABVO encourages all Diplomates to participate in MOC; however, this program is only required for Diplomates certified in 2015 or thereafter.
  • Board Certified (Non Time-Limited): Non Time-limited certificates awarded prior to 2015 do not require re-certification. However, the ABVO encourages all diplomates to voluntarily renew their certificates and participate in MOC.
  • Board Certified (Time-Limited): Diplomates certified by the ABVO in 2015 or later are certified for a period of 5 years, thereafter requiring certificate renewal via the MOC process.

Persons with questions about the ABVO MOC program are encouraged to contact the ABVO office.