Policies

This webpage outlines policies of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. For more information on any ABFAS policy, contact ABFAS at info@abfas.org or 415.553.7800.

 

Advertising Policies

The Board of Directors has adopted policies to assist in communicating and advertising ABFAS status appropriately and professionally: distinct Advertising Policies for Diplomates and for those holding Board Qualified and candidate statuses. All advertising should convey professional values, attitudes, and demeanor. These polices can help protect and enhance the public image of foot and ankle surgery. Board Qualified and candidate statuses are not official categories, so do not use these terms in advertising or public-facing documents.

Case Review Exam Appeal Policy

In response to candidates’ concerns, ABFAS has developed an appeal policy for its Case Review exam, effective with the 2020 Case Review exam. Case Review is the only ABFAS exam that has an exam appeal policy. Our expectation is that most candidates will find that the first step in the policy—a conversation about their concerns—will address most issues, at no cost. If not, candidates can choose to make a formal appeal. ABFAS set the cost of the formal appeal at a level that will cover expenses and time for three DPMs to travel to the ABFAS San Francisco office to review each exam appeal, plus staff administrative time, and legal review. If a candidate is successful with their appeal, ABFAS will refund the fee.

Extension Request

Board Qualified candidates in their final year of Board Qualification who, because of extenuating circumstances, believe that they will be unable to complete their certification before their seven (7) years of qualified status expires may petition the Board of Directors in writing for a one-year extension. The extension request must detail all extenuating circumstances explaining why the candidate could not complete the Part II/NEW CBPS and/or Case Review exam requirements within the seven-year period. If the candidate has not yet passed Case Review, they must have up-to-date PLS case logs and demonstrate their ability to submit for Case Review if the extension request is approved.

The Board of Directors may grant extensions to Board Certified members during the transition to the Continuous Certification program.

Non-compliant Reinstatement

If an ABFAS member certified prior to 1991 does not meet Continuous Certification requirements within each five-year cycle within the ten- (10-) year period, they are “non-compliant” with Continuous Certification requirements. To become compliant, they must participate in LEAD and pay a $500 penalty.

Reestablish Request

A former ABFAS member who has lost certification due to not fulfilling the LEAD requirements or having their certification expire can apply to the Board of Directors to reestablish certification. Requirements are:

  • Proof of active, unrestricted medical license. 
  • Documentation of one hundred (100) hours of continuing education credits within the last 24 months, of which sixty (60) hours must be in areas of foot and ankle surgery. 
  • Proof of active hospital privileges commensurate with the level of certification (foot and/or reconstructive rearfoot and ankle). 
  • Payment of a special reinstatement fee of $1,000, and payment of all past due annual fees. 
  • Completion of the following: 
    • Take one year of LEAD assessment in LEAD site  
      • One year in length during which the Diplomate will have no ABFAS status  
      • Must complete four quarters and be at or above MDT p-value standard.  
    • Pass the applicable CBPS exam(s) with required tutorial in advance 
      • Three opportunities to pass the exam 
    • Note: Diplomate will proceed with the current LEAD 5-year cycle, if the above is successful.

 

The former member will have no ABFAS status until they complete all requirements including the full year of LEAD assessment participation. If a former member successfully meets the requirements, ABFAS will restore them to their former status, with membership dates and any required recertification dates restored as originally established.

If a former member is unsuccessful in meeting the requirements, they must apply as a new candidate and meet all examination requirements in effect at the time of new application. A former member may exercise use of this policy only once.

This policy applies to all former members certified beginning in 1991, even if said member no longer meets the eligibility requirements for access to Board Certification. A former member who had a retired status but wishes to return to the new category of "certified – surgically inactive" does not need to pay the $1000 fee to reestablish.

Reinstatement

Reinstatement: Board Certified
Reinstatement Fee: $200

If ABFAS revokes your status because of non-payment of your annual fee, you may apply for reinstatement. The following criteria must be met in order to reinstate your board status for non-payment of your annual fee:

  • Your Time-limited ABFAS certificate has not expired, and if reinstated, there are a sufficient number of quarters remaining to fulfill LEAD participation requirements before your certificate expiration date.
  • You must submit documentation to ABFAS that you have:
    • met your state's continuing education requirements.
    • an active, unrestricted, podiatric license.
    • active surgical hospital privileges.
  • You must pay all past-due annual fees and late penalties for each year as well as an administrative reinstatement fee. ABFAS does not pro-rate annual fees.
  • You must begin participating in LEAD assessments immediately upon reinstatement. 


Reinstatement: Board Qualified
Reinstatement Fee: $200

If ABFAS revokes your status because of non-payment of your annual fee, you may apply for reinstatement. The following criteria must be met in order to reinstate your board status for non-payment of your annual fee:

  • Your seven years of Board Qualified status has not expired.
  • You must submit documentation to ABFAS that you have:
    • met your state's continuing education requirements.
    • an active, unrestricted, podiatric license.
    • active surgical hospital privileges.
  • You must pay all past-due annual fees and late penalties for each year as well as an administrative reinstatement fee. ABFAS does not pro-rate annual fees.