The American Board of Optometry (ABO) presented its new Continuous Assessment Program (CAP) that will replace the 10-year recertification exam in 2019 earlier this week at the AAO Annual Meeting. Seeking to make board certification more meaningful, convenient, flexible and less costly for Diplomates, the ABO now provides 25-question assessments taken three times per year for a total of nine assessments over a three-year cycle.

Developed via guidance from evolving American Board of Medical Specialties Program for Maintenance of Certification structure, other medical boards and feedback from 800 Diplomates and a SECO focus group, the CAP will help Diplomates maintain their board certification without the stress and expense of a high stakes exam every 10 years, yet still be confident that they are keeping up with advancements in the profession while maintaining their commitment to continuous learning and excellent patient care. During each three-year cycle, Diplomates will be evaluated on the completion of the following requirements: (1) 100 Hours of CE, (2) 2 Self Assessment Modules (SAMs), (3) one Quality Improvement Initiative (QII), (4) and passing 7 of nine continuous assessments.

The assessments will emphasize on clinically relevant content and new clinical guidelines. They will cover a specific topic area, with emphasis on reinforced clinical knowledge, new research, new practice guidelines. The ABO states that there is no additional cost for CAP and, instead, a cost savings of over $1,000+ may be realized by not taking the recertification exam.