Verifying Certification Status

Online Verification

  • To verify a surgeon's current status with the ABS, please use Check a Certification. This website serves as primary source verification.
  • Note: In 2014, the ABS shifted its certificates from the academic year to the calendar year. All current time-limited (10-year) ABS certificates now expire on Dec. 31. More details
  • Diplomates participating in the Continuous Certification Program are issued certificates with no end dates to certification, and therefore do not have expiration dates. As such, we encourage credentialers to utilize the annual reverification date in any given year to accurately determine a surgeon's current certification status. For more information about utilizing an annual reverification date, please see the section below.
  • The ABS can verify certification in surgery (general surgery), vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical critical care, complex general surgical oncology, and surgery of the hand.
  • To verify certification in other specialties, visit the ABMS website at www.certificationmatters.org. Note there may be a lag between ABS real-time data and what is displayed on the ABMS website.

Contacting the ABS Office

  • You may also call the ABS office at 215-568-4000 to obtain verbal verification. Have the surgeon's identifying information (first, middle and last name) ready before you call. Certificate number may also be needed. Telephone inquiries are limited to five verifications per phone call, one phone call per day.
  • For written verification, use Check a Certification or contact the ABS in writing by email, fax (215-563-5718) or mail. Written verifications are sent by mail only (not fax or email)—please provide your mailing address and as much identifying information about the surgeon as possible. No fee is charged for this service. There is no limit to the number of written verifications you may request.
  • In addition, please see our FAQs regarding certification status inquiries.

Information Provided

  • The ABS considers the personal information and examination record of an individual to be private and confidential. In response to an inquiry, the ABS will provide a general statement indicating the person's current situation in regard to ABS certification, along with his or her certification history. The ABS, however, may be legally required to produce personal information and/or examination records of an applicant or diplomate pursuant to a validly-issued legal order or subpoena or as part of any litigation involving ABS.
  • The ABS reports all individuals as having one of two statuses: Certified or Not Certified. In addition, an individual may be described as In The Examination Process, Clinically Inactive, Retired, Suspended, or Revoked. Information regarding an individual's Continuous Certification status will also be provided; surgeons are enrolled in the ABS Continuous Certification Program upon certification or recertification after July 2005. This status is reported using one of three different designations: Meeting Requirements, Not Meeting Requirements, or Not Required to Participate.

Utilizing an Annual Reverification Date

As long as a diplomate continues to meet their ongoing certification requirements via their ABS portal (including updated CME, references, payment of the annual fee for Continuous Certification when required) and take their assessment when due, anyone will be able to confirm their continued certification status in January, each year, as of the annual reverification date (which is the same date for all ABS diplomates participating in Continuous Certification as outlined below).
  • As part of the ABS Continuous Certification Program, board certification is contingent upon meeting the ongoing requirements of the program. Consistent with other ABMS Member Boards who have moved to a longitudinal assessment model, surgeons who were initially certified and/or took the Continuous Certification Assessment after September 2018 are issued certificates with no end dates to certification.
  • ABS recognizes that some entities require a certification end date to complete primary source verification. To assist in this process, we encourage credentialers to utilize the annual reverification date in any given year to accurately determine a surgeon's current certification status. For this year, credentialing bodies should use the reverification date of Jan. 5, 2025, to determine the certification status of any diplomates who are enrolled in the Continuous Certification Program.
  • For more about publicly reported information, see Public Reporting of Status.
    Surgeon Representation of Status
    For information on how a surgeon certified by the ABS should properly state his or her status, see Representation of Certification Status. Please note that use of the ABS seal or logo for promotional purposes on websites, brochures, letterhead, etc., is not permitted.