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Maintain Your Certification and Licensure

View resources to help members understand and meet MOC and MOL requirements.

Questions about Continuing Certification?

APA offers several educational initiatives that provide high quality and innovative continuing medical education (CME) for psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians with the goal of advancing patient care. For a list of CME activities that assist APA members and ABPN diplomates in meeting Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, please view the CME and MOC Activities Guide (.pdf).

The APA and ABPN are separate and independent organizations. ABPN sets Continuing Certification requirements that conform to American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) standards. As those requirements evolve, you may have questions about your individual situation. Those questions can be best answered directly by ABPN at [email protected].

APA is also working on its members’ behalf to reform MOC. Learn more about that work here.

Maintenance of Licensure (MOL)

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) represents the nation's state medical boards. Licensing requirements vary by state. In most states, physicians must show that they have obtained a required amount of continuing education credit. The FSMB maintains an index of state licensing boards.

Maintaining Your Board Certification

APA offers a wide variety of activities to help you achieve your CME, board continuing certification, and MOL requirements. View more in the APA Learning Center, APA's convenient online resource for completing and tracking CME, Self-Assessment, Performance in Practice(PIP), and professional development activities.

APA supports its members’ ability to choose from two distinct pathways to maintain their board certification. APA encourages members to consider both the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) for their board recertification needs.

National Board of Physicians & Surgeons (NBPAS)

The APA and NBPAS are separate and independent organizations. The National Board of Physicians and Surgeons (NBPAS) provides board recertification across a number of medical specialties for both M.D.s and D.O.s.

View additional information on the NBPAS website.

The NBPAS provides the following metric for continued certification:

  • Previous initial certification by an ABMS or AOA member board
  • Current, unrestricted medical license and NPI number
  • At least 50-100 hours of ACCME-accredited CME (depending on status of prior board certification) completed within the past 24 months (physicians-in-training are exempt)
  • Active hospital or outpatient facility privileges are required for selected specialties
  • Clinical privileges have not been permanently revoked

Physicians who elect to maintain only NBPAS certification should consult with their employer and other relevant stakeholders to understand any potential ramifications of holding NBPAS certification alone. NBPAS certification is currently accepted at many fewer hospitals than ABMS certification. Physicians should consult with the physician organization leadership at their institutions to determine if NBPAS certification alone is sufficient to meet credentialling requirements.

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN)

The APA and ABPN are separate and independent organizations. The ABPN sets MOC requirements that conform to American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) standards, implements the initial certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) program for psychiatrists, and monitors participation for its diplomates (board certified physicians).

The ABPN sets standards and requirements for certification and MOC for:

  • Psychiatry and psychiatric subspecialties, including:
    • Addiction Psychiatry
    • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    • Clinical Neurophysiology
    • Forensic Psychiatry
    • Geriatric Psychiatry
    • Neurodevelopmental Disabilities
    • Pain Medicine
  • Neurology and neurology subspecialties

The ABPN is a member board of ABMS. ABMS sets the general standards for its 24 member medical specialties and the ABPN implements the programs for psychiatry and neurology.

View more on the ABPN MOC Program here.

APA and MOC Reform: What APA Is Doing for You

Learn about APA's efforts on behalf of members to reform MOC, advocate against additional requirements, ensure requirements are relevant to psychiatric practices and establish a fair process for psychiatrists who demonstrate meaningful learning and improvement.

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