UCNS Embarks on Development of New Continuous Certification Model

12-12-18 With the changing landscape of maintenance of certification (MOC), alternative models for recertification are emerging. The United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) Board of Directors focused their recent strategic planning session on evaluating the UCNS recertification process. After careful evaluation of examples of alternative models of MOC and feedback obtained through a survey of UCNS diplomates, the UCNS will embark on the development of a new MOC process. The new process will align with life-long learning, online knowledge assessment, and a continuous certification model. 

Ralph Jozefowicz, MD, Chair of the UCNS Board of Directors, stated, “The field of medicine is advancing at a fast pace. The objective of maintenance of certification is to ensure that physicians are keeping up with the advances in their subspecialty field to provide the best possible patient care. We believe this can be achieved through a process that actively facilitates life-long learning and the knowledge assessed by a means that is not burdensome for the physician.”  According to Matthew E. Fink, MD, UCNS Certification Council Chair, “We listened carefully to what our UCNS diplomats had to say. Working with other professional organizations, UCNS is developing a MOC plan consistent with the way most physicians prefer to accomplish lifelong learning – continuous, ongoing, and based on current needs.” The UCNS Certification Council has been charged with outlining a new MOC process that includes:
  • Certification requirements that are delivered and completed on a manageable and continuous basis to replace the current 10-year process/high-stakes examination
  • Involvement of sponsoring organizations and their subspecialty experts in identifying the topics and information that is relevant to life-long learning for their field
  • Identification of resources that are credible, accessible, and affordable and reflect the fundamental knowledge needed to stay up-to-date in the subspecialty field
  • Development of a process and identification of an online platform to assess knowledge related to the relevant topic content through short online “quizzes"
All recertification examinations scheduled for 2018 will take place as planned. No recertification examinations will be administered in 2019 during the new MOC-development phase. The goal is to implement a new MOC process in 2020. As per UCNS policy, diplomates with certificates expiring in a year when no recertification is offered will have their certification extended to the next examination or until the new recertification program is in place. All 2019 initial certification examinations will take place as scheduled. Additional information will be released as the new MOC process is finalized. Information relating to UCNS certification can be found at www.ucns.org. The United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization with a goal of enhancing the quality of patient care by accrediting physician training programs that meet the quality standards set by the UCNS and awarding certification to physicians who demonstrate their knowledge in one or more of the nine UCNS neurologic subspecialty areas. There are currently over 2,800 UCNS-certified physician Diplomates and 195 accredited physician training programs across nine subspecialties.