Why Longitudinal Assessment?

Longitudinal assessment has been demonstrated via educational research studies to be a valuable learning tool. This kind of ongoing assessment improves the ABMGG continuing certification process by making it more meaningful, relevant and less burdensome. The CertLink platform allows us to implement a convenient and customizable web-based longitudinal assessment program. One of the exciting components of longitudinal assessment is individualized learning – over time you get a fuller picture of how you are performing and where your knowledge gaps may be.

About the Longitudinal Assessment Program

  • All diplomates participating in the ABMGG Continuing Certification program are automatically enrolled in CertLink.
    • Newly certified diplomates will begin CertLink in July of the year following their initial certification. For example, if you were certified in 2023 you will begin CertLink in July 2024.
  • 24-28 questions are released at the beginning of each 6-month assessment period and must be completed by the end of that period. New questions are released when the next 6-month cycle begins and may include “clones” of questions answered incorrectly in the previous cycle to reinforce learning.
  • Questions may be answered at your own pace throughout the assessment period. You can answer as many or as few as you want while in the CertLink platform.
  • The assessment is “open book” – you may use reference materials as needed.
  • Longitudinal assessment is considered an individual activity. Diplomates are required to sign a legally binding statement of integrity.
  • Once you begin a question (by opening it), you must submit an answer within 5 minutes. Unanswered questions are marked as incorrect. If an option is selected but you don’t submit your answer before the time runs out, the selected option will be automatically submitted as your answer.
  • Once a question is answered, you will receive a “critique” which reviews and explains the key point of the question and why the options are correct or incorrect; a brief list of references is also provided. You may access the critique and references at any time.
  • Your progress is displayed in real-time on your personal dashboard where you will see how you are doing and how you compare to your peers.

Performance Assessment

Our goal in transitioning to longitudinal assessment was to make the continuing certification program more formative, enhance the value of board certification by integrating a continual knowledge assessment, and offer resources to improve.

The ABMGG will provide individualized updates on performance to remind you if you are falling behind. Your overall performance will be evaluated at the end of 4 years. 

  • If your performance is satisfactory, you may have the 5th year of the cycle off. 
  • If you do not meet performance standards, you will have an opportunity to remediate these deficiencies. Details for remediation (which may include secure examination) are still being finalized, but our goal is to identify diplomates early in the longitudinal assessment program to help improve performance.
  • Diplomates must also meet a participation standard; if three or more segments are missed in a 4-year cycle, you will also need to remediate these deficiencies through additional assessments (which may also include secure examination).

The vast majority of diplomates will stay on track simply by using the platform, which helps you learn and improve over time. Diplomates who do not participate or whose performance may be marginal will get notifications and suggestions for remediation long before the final assessment.