New ABFAS Board Certification Process

Effective September, 2020

The ABFAS board works continuously to review its certification process and as a result is announcing changes to the certification process effective in September 2020.  While these changes don’t have a major impact on the types of examinations ABFAS will require for certification, the changes do impact the number of examinations necessary for board certification.  

 The ABFAS Board’s goals through the new certification process:         -Simplify the certification steps with fewer exams
-Save candidates time and money
-Changes to the PGY 1 & 2 In-training (ITE) examinations will provide residency directors with additional    
          knowledge of how their residents are progressing

For more information on the new ABFAS Certification Process (Effective September 2020) click here


  Current  As of September 2020
In-training Examinations
PGY 1 & 2 take the same examinations:
     -Foot Didactic - 90 Items
     -Foot CBPS - 8 Cases

PGY 3 (& PGY 4 where applicable) in
PMSR/RRA programs:
      -Foot & RRA Didactic -
                90 Items
      -Foot & RRA CBPS - 4 Foot &
                4 RRA Cases
PGY 1 & 2 (and PGY 3 in 4-year programs)
take same examinations:
      -Foot Didactic - 80 Items
      -Foot CBPS - 8 Cases
      -RRA Didactic - 80 Items
      -RRA CBPS - 8 Cases


Final Year Residents take new Board
Qualification Examination Series  (see below)

 Part I Board Qualification Foot Didactic - 80 Items
Foot CBPS - 8 Cases
RRA Didactic - 80 Items
RRA CBPS - 8 Cases
Foot Didactic - 80 Items
Foot CBPS - 12 Cases
RRA Didactic - 80 Items
RRA CBPS - 12 Cases

Candidates will be able to use their passing
ITE scores for qualification purposes upon
payment of a qualification fee.
 Part II Board Certification Foot CBPS - 12 Cases
Foot Case Review 
RRA CBPS - 16 Cases
RRA Case Review
Foot Case Review 
RRA Case Review 

Board Responds to Residency Directors:

The concept for changes in the ITE examinations arose in a meeting that the ABFAS Executive Director and psychometrician had with 15 residency program directors in December 2017.  Discussions at the meeting centered on the ITE examinations and the directors’ preference to have the residents’ ABFAS ITE mirror the ABFAS Board Qualification examination experience.  The ABFAS Board agreed to that recommendation and based on other discussions at the residency director meeting began exploring ways to make the ABFAS Board Qualification less expensive and time-consuming for the residents. 

New Process Moving Forward:

Currently, residents in their final year of residency can take the ABFAS Board Qualification examination in the Spring of their final year.  That way they know whether they will be Board Qualified at the end of residency.  The new Board Qualification scenario will have residents take the Board Qualification examination series as their ITE in September of their final year – same timing as the current ITE.  Any exam that they pass can count towards their Board Qualification exam (upon application and payment of qualification fee).  If they do not pass, they still have the opportunity to retake the examination in the Spring, thus providing another chance to pass the qualification examinations before finishing their residency.  This model of becoming qualified upon residency completion mirrors many allopathic medical fields.

Board Certification Changes:

If you are, or become, Board Qualified under the current (pre-September 2020) Part I examinations requirements, you will still need to pass another CBPS exam (and Case Review) to become certified. If you take the CBPS exam to become certified in spring of 2019 or spring of 2020 -you will take the current Part II CBPS exam. If you choose to wait until after spring of 2020 -you will take the NEW CBPS exam.

Just To Recap:

- PGY 1 & 2 - Separate didactic and CBPS exams for foot and RRA
- Part I - Passing ITE in final residency year counts towards board qualification. New 12 Case Foot CBPS and 12 Case RRA CBPS examinations
- Only ONE examination for Part II Certification – Case Review
- All changes effective September 2020

The Board will present these new concepts to the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards as soon as it’s able and will implement the changes in September 2020.

Click here for 2020 Part I Qualification Flowchart

Click here for the 2020 Part II Certification Flowchart 

ABFAS will be providing more details regarding the new certification process on a regular basis.  If the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Kathy Kreiter, Executive Director at

Click here for FAQs about the new ABFAS Board Certification Process effective September 2020.