CertLink FAQ

What is CertLink™?
CertLink™ is an online platform profile similar to the ABA’s MOCA Minute that will deliver longitudinal assessments to MOC participating diplomates certified in Otolaryngology. It is designed as an alternative to the current MOC Part III high-stakes exam required every 10 years. Successfully completing CertLink™ assessments will fulfill the MOC Part III Assessment of Knowledge requirement.

What is Longitudinal Assessment?
Longitudinal assessments are a means of gathering data repeatedly over a specified period of time. This means you will be evaluated periodically on your performance in CertLink™ over a period of time.

How does CertLink™ work?
Questions will be released quarterly to each participating diplomate. Diplomates will be able to submit their answers any time during the quarter period. Five minutes will be allotted to answering each question. Upon answering the questions diplomates will be given immediate feedback including the rationale for the correct answer and references once submitting their answers. Participants in CertLink™ who do not do well after the evaluation period will be required to take the exam within the last three years of their certification.

Who is eligible to participate in the pilot?
Those whose certificate expires in 2018 are not eligible to participate in the CertLink™ pilot. The Board is still determining eligibility criteria for those whose certificates expire in 2019 or after. If you are currently scheduled to take the MOC Part III Exam, we encourage you to keep your exam appointment until further details are released.

When will the pilot start?
Development of the ABO CertLink™MOC Assessment Pilot is underway and is targeted for launch in 2018. The Board will have an exact launch date in the coming months.

Is there an additional fee to participate in CertLink™?
No. The annual $310.00 fee covers all components of MOC including CertLink™.

Will CertLink™ replace, or phase out, the MOC Exam?
No. CertLink™ will be an alternative to fulfill the MOC Part III requirement. The ABOto will still offer the one-time exam if diplomates choose to take the exam versus CertLink™ .

What if I don’t want to participate in CertLink™?
That’s ok. Diplomates who prefer to take the one-time exam every ten years can still do so without participating in Certlink™.

What is the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABO) CertLink™ pilot?
The ABOto will launch the pilot or “initial” phase of CertLink™ in 2018. The exact launch date is still under determination. In the development process points of consideration are: program structure including the question format, the number of questions asked, and the frequency of the assessment.

What specialty areas will be offered?
Currently, we will have questions in the area of head and neck, facial/plastic and reconstructive as well as general.

How long do I have to participate in CertLink™?
CertLink™ is an ongoing assessment. Diplomates will be required to participate as long as they are enrolled in Maintenance of Certification. If you no longer wish to participate in CertLink™, you will be required to take the MOC Exam within the last three years before your certification expires.

Why is the ABOto launching CertLink™?
We heard your concerns about the secure MOC examination as well as your thoughts on the relevance of MOC to your practice. Assessments offered through the CertLink™ platform address these issues by offering repeated exposure to relevant information to better support diplomates’ lifelong learning. It also helps fulfill the ABO’s mission to protect the public by ensuring board certification continues to stand for quality long after initial certification. Conducting the pilot will give us the necessary information to help inform any significant changes made to the MOC program.

Can anyone sign up for CertLink™?
All diplomats participating in MOC are eligible. Any MOC participant can elect to start CertLink™ in 2018 if their last opportunity for the Part III exam is in 2019 or later.