Frequently Asked LEAD Questions

ABFAS has prepared a question-and-answer that lists several questions Diplomates frequently ask about the shift to the new LEAD program of Continuous Certification. More information is available on the LEAD webpage. If you have additional questions about the program, feel free to email ABFAS.


  • Why is ABFAS shifting to the LEAD program?
    ABFAS wants to support you in your professional commitment, and the LEAD program represents a powerful new tool to help ensure the continued success of ABFAS Board Certified foot and ankle surgeons. One of the main features of the new LEAD program of Continuous Certification will be your opportunity to demonstrate continual competence through bite-sized learning assessments. LEAD will replace the traditional, once-every-ten-years recertification and self-assessment examinations.
  • When and how was the LEAD program approved?
    In 2019, ABFAS announced the shift to Continuous Certification and conducted a survey of all Diplomates regarding their preference for a Continuous Certification program to replace 10-year recertification exams. More than 70 percent of survey respondents were in favor of a Continuous Certification program. The ABFAS Board of Directors approved the shift to Continuous Certification.
  • I recently recertified. Why do I need to start the LEAD program in 2022?
    The LEAD program emphasizes continuous, lifelong learning and provides an educational benefit to Diplomates. ABFAS anticipates that the LEAD program will be less burdensome, not more, than the now-retired ABFAS recertification and self-assessment exams. LEAD is not a pass/fail exam and Diplomates will no longer need to travel to a testing center; they’ll be able to complete each quarter’s questions where and when they choose on their own computer, laptop, or mobile device.
  • I already get CEs and educate myself, and I already met your recertification requirements recently. Why do I need to do this additional program?
    The LEAD program represents a shift from the now-retired ABFAS recertification and self-assessment exams to one of continuous, lifelong learning. LEAD is a powerful new tool to help ensure the continued success of Board Certified foot and ankle surgeons. ABFAS wants every Diplomate to participate right away when the program launches in 2022. Diplomates will receive instantaneous feedback on questions, keeping their skills sharp and protecting the public by ensuring rigorous standards. Other medical specialty boards are also moving in this direction.
  • I am certified in both Foot and RRA. Do I need to complete the LEAD program twice, once for each certification?
    No, the program will account for both certifications. You will see a combination of Foot and RRA Surgery content when completing the assessments.
  • Will the shift to the LEAD program change my certification expiration date?
    The shift to Continuous Certification does not change your current certification cycle. Your certification is valid through your current expiration date. If you participate and meet program requirements, your certificate will renew at the 10-year date.
  • What is the cost of the LEAD program?
    The LEAD program of Continuous Certification will be funded through your annual fee, not an additional, separate recertification examination fee.