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Beginning in 2019 and thereafter, all certifications which enter the CC Program are automatically registered in ABPCL. All diplomates already in the CC Program during 2019 will begin participating in ABPCL January 3rd, 2020 if they were not already.

New Diplomates! - Newly certified diplomates will begin ABPCL in January of the year following their certification. For example, if you were certified in 2021 you will begin ABPCL in January of 2022.

ABPCL participation requirements differ from and are determined independent of performance requirements. Only by fulfilling both will ABPCL meet the Assessment requirement for the CC Program.


Participation Requirements

ABPCL participation per quarter is defined as attempting all questions assigned for the quarter. Between 15 and 25 questions are assigned per quarter. Diplomates should carefully manage their participation so the minimum requirements to use ABPCL as an assessment are met. You can view your participation history on your dashboard when you log in to ABPCL.  

Your ABPCL Timeline

If your year of initial certification is listed below please click it to see the ABPCL participation timeline for your current 10-year cycle. Otherwise your requirements are based on the normal 10-year cycle below. Diplomates are expected to continuously participate in ABPath CertLink, even after the Assessment requirement for a cycle has been met.

ABPCL Normal Timeline

2006 & 2016 2007 & 2017 2008 & 2018 2011
2012 2013 2014 2015

Taking Sabbatical

Diplomates may request permission for time off for life events (sabbatical) by creating a support ticket directly in ABPCL or emailing Quarters approved for sabbatical do not count towards the overall participation requirement. Questions not yet attempted in a quarter approved for sabbatical will not be marked incorrect.

The current quarter may be requested for sabbatical up to one day prior to closing. Quarters cannot be retroactively requested for sabbatical.

Choosing to Stop Participation in ABPCL

If a diplomate no longer wishes to participate in ABPCL they may opt-out by submitting a support ticket. If a diplomate chooses to opt-out of participation in ABPCL a passing result from the CC examination will be required for all time-limited certifications during the current 10-year cycle.

Removal from ABPCL

A diplomate with a lapsed certification is automatically removed from ABPCL after one year if the certification is not reinstated. If the certification is not reinstated within one year, ABPCL cannot be used to meet the CC Assessment requirement for any certifications during the current 10-year cycle.

Reentry into ABPCL

Choosing to exit or being removed from ABPCL does not prevent future participation. If a diplomate is eligible for ABPCL registration they may register to participate again through their ABPath CertLink page in PATHway.

Performance Requirements

A longitudinal assessment considers:

  • If an individual’s knowledge held at the start of the assessment is maintained
  • If subjects and topics previously answered incorrectly are later answered correctly

ABPCL Assessment Design and Practice Areas

A custom assessment can be created from over 30 Practice Areas. A certain percentage of every assessment design will be automatically assigned based on your registered certifications. Assessment design currently occurs twice at the beginning and middle of each year. 

The ABPath CertLink® Practice Areas and the topics covered in each can be viewed here.

ABPCL Assessment Design Options

Overall Performance Decision

The performance decision for all registered certifications is made on overall ABPCL performance, evaluated as a whole, not for each certificate. Questions attempted but left unanswered will be scored as incorrect. Questions not attempted, unless during a quarter designated for a sabbatical, will be scored as incorrect.

Performance Feedback

Periodic feedback about meeting performance requirements will be provided by ABPath. Notice will be given prior to the end of a 10-year cycle stating if ABPCL has satisfied the Assessment requirement for the 10-year cycle. This notice will be given at the end of either Year 8 or Year 9 of a 10-year CC cycle based on a diplomate’s timeline.

Honor Code

The ABPath CertLink Honor Code asks that:

  • Diplomates attest that they are meeting all current certification requirements
  • Agree to maintain a fair and secure assessment process

View the Full ABPath CertLink Honor Code

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