About the MOC Program
The MOC Program supports the lifelong learning needs of Fellows and Health Care Professionals. We’re committed to not only supporting all MOC Program participants, but also ensuring that the program responds to Fellows’ feedback and addresses their needs and expectations.Introduced in 2000, the MOC Program demonstrates the Royal College’s commitment to sustaining the highest standards in specialty medicine, and is one of our core services for Fellows.
MOC Program Evaluation Report
The Royal College is committed to continually enhancing the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program and actively responding to Fellows’ input and concerns.
Updates to the MOC Program
As of April 3, 2013, the 75% rule, which restricted the number of credits in any section that could contribute to MOC cycle requirements, was eliminated.
Beginning with new (or next) MOC cycles starting on or after January 1, 2014, all Fellows and MOC Program participants will be required to complete a minimum of 25 credits in each program section during their five-year cycle.
As of July 1, 2013, Resident Affiliates who document learning activities in MAINPORT ePortfolio during their residency program can transfer up to 75 credits (25 in each of the MAINPORT ePortfolio sections of Group Learning, Self-Learning and Assessment) into their first five-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) cycle following certification and joining the Royal College as a Fellow.
Elimination of the 75% restriction
As of April 3, 2013, the 75% rule, which restricted the number of credits in any one section that could contribute to MOC cycle requirements, was eliminated. There is no longer any cap on the percent of credits that can be earned in each section during an MOC cycle.
The policy limiting the number of credits in any one section, which could contribute to a MOC Program cycle, was intended to promote engagement in multiple learning strategies to address professional practice needs. However, this policy had two important unintended consequences: some Fellows perceived the learning activities they completed and submitted beyond section limits “did not count”, despite the fact these learning activities met MOC Program standards. Some Fellows felt they had no incentive to continue to record legitimate learning activities. Having considered this important feedback, the decision was made to lift the 75% rule.
New minimum of 25 credits in each section of the MOC Program
Beginning with new (or next) MOC cycles starting on or after January 1, 2014, all Fellows and MOC Program participants will be required to complete a minimum of 25 credits in each section of the MOC Program during their new 5-year MOC cycle. The annual minimum of 40 credits and a cycle overall minimum of 400 credits are still applicable.
Our program is designed to encourage Fellows and MOC Program participants to intentionally integrate each section of the MOC Program as they develop and implement a continuing professional development (CPD) plan relevant to their professional practice. As part of this, the MOC Program has supported assessment (Section 3) as an educational imperative for lifelong learning in practice.
The CPD research literature has clearly demonstrated that physician’s self-assessment compared to external measures of performance is inaccurate, and assessment strategies that provide data with feedback have a higher likelihood of changing performance and improving patient outcomes compared to other forms of continuing professional development. Finally, assessment of competence and performance in practice is an increasing expectation of provincial medical regulatory authorities and the public. Participation in all sections of the MOC Program is a reasonable expectation if engaging in CPD is intended to change behaviour and improve patient outcomes.
How this change affects you
This policy only applies to new cycles starting on January 1, 2014 or later. Here is a breakdown of how this change will be phased in by year:
- Completed your MOC cycle on December 31, 2013? If so, this change took effect on January 1, 2014.
- Are you a Fellow or MOC Program participant who joined the MOC Program on or after January 2, 2013)? If so, this change took effect on January 1, 2014.
- Completed your MOC cycle on December 31, 2014? If so, this change took effect when your new cycle began on January 1, 2015.
- Completing your current MOC cycle on December 31, 2015? This change will not affect you until your new cycle begins on January 1, 2016.
- Completing your current MOC cycle on December 31, 2016? This change will not affect you until your new cycle begins on January 1, 2017.
- Completing your current MOC cycle on December 31, 2017? This change will not affect you until your new cycle begins on January 1, 2018.
Not sure when your current cycle ends? You can find out by logging into your MAINPORT ePortfolio (your cycle dates appear on the dashboard, under your name). You may also contact the Royal College Services Centre to find out.
Activities to report in Section 3
Remember, this is a cycle requirement and not an annual requirement. Section 3 is three credits per hour so this means that to achieve 25 credits in Section 3 you need to do just over eight hours of assessment during your five-year cycle.
Here are some examples of Section 3 activities you may already be completing:
- Do you live in Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia or another province that has the Physician Achievement Review (PAR) program? Doing a PAR assessment counts for three credits per hour in Section 3 for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data.
- Do you teach? Reviewing your annual teaching evaluations counts for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data and getting peer feedback (this includes assessments you receive over the year for teaching medical students, residents or practicing physicians in formal CME settings).
- Do you participate in a performance appraisal, 360° assessment or any other type of workplace assessment related to practice domains including communication, leadership or managerial ability? The time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data counts for Section 3.
- Do you write peer reviewed journal articles? The time spent reviewing the feedback you receive from your peers counts in Section 3 for three credits per hour.
- Do you conduct chart audits or other practice performance based assessments? That can also be claimed for Section 3.
The Royal College has several accredited self-assessment programs that are free. The Bioethics modules are available on our website and since they address ethics in medicine, they are applicable to anyone.
The CMPA also has accredited medico-legal self-assessment programs available on their website.
A list of all accredited self-assessment programs is available.
To learn more about how you may already be earning Section 3 credits, contact the Royal College Services Centre for personalized support.
Resident Affiliates can now carry forward MOC credits earned during residency
As of July 1, 2013, Resident Affiliates who document learning activities in MAINPORT ePortfolio during their residency program can transfer up to 75 credits (25 in each of the MOC Program categories of Group Learning, Self-Learning and Assessment) into their first five-year cycle following certification and joining the Royal College as a Fellow.
The Royal College’s MOC Program is a continuing professional development program designed to support lifelong learning and is mandatory for all Fellows. This policy will allow residents to become familiar with the MOC Program and MAINPORT ePortfolio throughout their residency, easing the transition into professional practice when continuing professional development becomes crucial for annual re-licensure.
How residents participate
To take advantage of this, residents must register as a Resident Affiliate, track their CPD activities in MAINPORT ePortfolio, then complete the online application form to join the Royal College as a Fellow following certification.