CertLink™ Program Updates for 2022

Posted 02/03/2022 | Continuing Certification, Subspecialities

The ABOHNS administered the last every 10-year, point-in-time MOC Exam in 2021. As a reminder, to maintain certification Diplomates instead need to participate in CertLink, an online program that presents 10-15 practice-focused questions per quarter that can be answered on the Diplomate’s schedule. Questions not answered in a quarter are available in subsequent quarters, but any questions not answered by the end of the year are counted as skipped questions.  

There is a significant formative component to CertLink, with immediate feedback on the correctness of the answer choice, explanation of the correct answer, and other choices, and helpful reference links to pursue more learning opportunities based on the knowledge being tested.  

For 2022, the ABOHNS is adding several enhancements to the CertLink program. 


Dashboard Change – Annual Performance Goal  

Likely in Quarter 2, the Diplomate dashboard will begin to display an Annual Performance Goal. This goal is based on the percentage correct of primary (first attempt) questions answered and approximates the anticipated cut-score based on available questions to date. The actual Performance Standard for the cut-score will not be determined until each Diplomate reaches their 160th new question answered. The Annual Performance Goal can be used by Diplomates as a gauge of whether performance is at a concerning level of possibly not achieving a passing result upon reaching the 160th new question.  


Dashboard Change – Skipped Items  

Likely during Quarter 1, the Diplomate’s dashboard will display the cumulative number of skipped questions and the remaining number of skippable questions before the certification renewal date. These numbers will be updated annually since questions are not counted as skipped until the last quarter has ended for the year. 


Complex Pediatric Otolaryngology (CPO) Module  

The ABOHNS has added a CPO module to the available practice focus areas for Diplomates newly certified in the subspecialty. These Diplomates will automatically be moved from their current module into the CPO Module for 2022 


Reminder – Opportunity to Receive 10 CME Credits 

Eligible Diplomates who complete at least 30 new questions annually will receive 10 Category I AMA PRA CME credits, which are awarded by the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNS/F). Questions about how to receive these credits can be directed to cc@abohns.org.  


As additional reminders, the ABOHNS Continuing Certification program requirements are explained below.  

Part 1 

Part 1 consists of an annual attestation of medical licensing and credentials, and a review of any adverse professional actions taken against the Candidate. An annual fee will be paid. 




Part 2 

Part 2 consists of 25 AMA PRA Category 1 credits annually and either: 

  • Reaching an annual participation standard forCertLink  of ≥ 30 new questions answered in that year, OR 

  • One ACCME registered self-assessment CME activity annually. A list of those activities can be found at www.cmepassport.org. One activity counts for one year, regardless of the number of CME credits received. 




Part 3 

Part 3 consists of meeting the CertLink participation and performance standards before your current certification expiration date. The Diplomate must answer at least 160 new questions (participation standard) in order to determine if the percent correct is above the performance standard. Forty new questions will be offered each year. A performance goal will be communicated annually to longitudinally track performance. 

As the ABOHNS transitions from the every 10-year point-in-time MOC Exam to CertLink, all current certificate expiration dates will remain unchanged, and all Diplomates will have the same participation/performance standards for certification renewal: 

  • Those whose certification expires in 2021 through 2025 must meet the 2025 CertLink participation and performance standards. These Diplomate’s certificates will be extended until April 1, 2026, so long as they meet all other Continuing Certification criteria as outlined above. 

  • Those whose certificates expire in 2026 through 2030 must meet the CertLink Performance standard determined for the year in which their certificate expires. Depending on the expiration year, these diplomates will have five years or more to complete the 160 items needed to determine if their percent correct is above the performance standard (see Transition Plan into CertLink). 

  • Upon certification renewal,  Continuing Certification will change to a 5-year cycle beginning the year in which the Diplomate renews their certification.  


Part 4 

Part 4 is in development. More details will be communicated as they become available. 


Remediation Pathway 

For those that do not meet the participation or performance standard for CertLink at the time of the certification expiration date, there will be the opportunity to participate in a remediation pathway prior to loss of certification. More details will be communicated when available.