UCNS Continuous Certification Details Released

3-12-19 The United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) is pleased to announce the details for the transition and implementation of continuous-certification (C-cert).  After obtaining feedback from UCNS diplomats and over a year of careful evaluation and development by the Certification Council, the UCNS Board of Directors has approved a new C-cert model that is designed to provide a more timely, relevant, and convenient means for physicians to maintain UCNS certification. 

Transition to Continuous-Certification
In 2019, all UCNS diplomates will begin the transition to C-cert by attesting they have participated in subspecialty-specific continuing medical education (CME) requirements from the time their most recent certificate was issued through 2019. The CME requirements are prorated based on the previous 60 subspecialty-specific CME credits that were expected over the course of a 10-year period. The prorated scale of subspecialty-specific CME requirements will be available on the UCNS website and all diplomates will be notified directly by email of their CME requirements along with instructions on how to log into the UCNS website where they can attest to meeting the CME and other C-cert requirements. After the one-time CME attestation in 2019, there will no longer be any AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM required for UCNS C-cert and primary specialty CME credit reporting will not be required for the transition to C-cert. 

Relevant Lifelong Learning and Knowledge Assessment
The new C-cert model focuses on physicians knowing the most important developments in their field and assisting diplomates in staying up-to-date and integrating the new knowledge into their medical practice.
  • Diplomates and subspecialty stakeholder will have an active role in identifying and submitting the topics and supporting journal articles that reflect the most important developments in their field
  • An easy-to-use electronic submission form will be available for topic and journal article submissions by diplomates and subspecialty stakeholders
  • Examination committees who are nominated by a subspecialty’s sponsoring organization(s) will select up to 10 topics with supporting journal articles references that will be compiled annually into a reading list that will be made available online to diplomates in each UCNS subspecialty
  • Diplomates will take a 25-question, multiple-choice, online quiz each year that will assess their knowledge of the annual reading list content
  • Physicians receive real-time feedback on incorrect quiz answers providing an opportunity to close knowledge gaps
  • Diplomates may take the quizzes on their own computers at a time and place of convenience wherever they have online access
  • An 80% minimum passing rate is required on each annual quiz and diplomates will be allowed three attempts to pass each quiz in a given year

C-cert Requirements
UCNS certification is continuous when diplomates meet the annual requirements that include:
  • Possess a current unrestricted medical license
  • Be a diplomate in good standing of the American Board of Medical Specialties or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
  • Pay an annual C-cert fee of $175 
  • Complete and pass the annual 25-question online assessment quiz with a passing score of 80% or higher

Certification Status
A diplomate’s certification status will be contingent on meeting the C-cert requirements annually. Certification status for diplomates will be available online for easy verification by institutions and the public.

During the C-cert phase-in, diplomates issued certificates between 2009 – 2018 who meet the transitional CME requirements and complete the online CME attestation statement by December 2, 2019, will be considered “Certified – Meeting Requirements” when the program launches in 2020.  Diplomates who do not meet the transitional requirements will be considered Certified – Not Meeting Requirements until the requirements are met. If requirements are not met within two years a diplomate will be considered not certified. Diplomates with a status of “meeting requirements” will be issued a replacement certificate that shows their original certification date and will reflect there is no expiration date after they pay the first annual C-cert fee in 2020. There will be a pathway for lapsed diplomates to reinstate their certification and those eligible will be advised of the requirements and timeline.
Additional information and details regarding the C-cert are available on the UCNS website including Frequently Asked Questions, an easy-to-read flyer that outlines the C-cert process, and the Transitional Prorated CME Schedule. Additional information regarding the transition to C-cert will be sent by email directly to all diplomates in coming weeks.