ABMS Assessment Services

Assessment Services support all the activities related to building and maintaining a successful assessment program for:

  • Evaluating a candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities to enter a profession
  • Determining an individual’s qualification to receive professional certification
  • Supporting a professional’s continuing education by helping them identify gaps in their knowledge and connect to relevant educational materials
  • Measuring the effectiveness of a professional’s learning activities for maintaining certification

ABMS International assessment development and consulting services and the CertLink assessment management and delivery technology platform comprise the ABMS Assessment Services offering from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). ABMS is recognized for setting professional and educational standards for medical specialty practice and certifying physicians in 24 medical and surgical specialties. We work with health care entities to support their unique assessment development needs for physician certification programs.


Assessment Development and Consulting Services

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ABMS International assessment consultants follow industry best practices to help you develop, manage and grow your program. Our philosophy emphasizes validity, defensibility and reliability. Choose from the following services or let us teach your team how to create valid and reliable assessments to meet your program needs:

Exam Design

Create blueprints and develop classification schemes and other specifications to ensure exam forms are equivalent over time and that the item bank is robust. We also can offer recommendations for how to organize item writing and review using a committee process.

Item Development

Build a robust item bank with targeted item writing assignments. We can train your content experts in writing application of knowledge items and in avoiding commonly occurring technical flaws in MCQ phrasing. Support and feedback are provided throughout the editing process to ensure the development of high-quality items.

Exam Publication and Administration

Establish publication and quality control processes to ensure your exam is ready for delivery. We also can work with the delivery vendor to assure a seamless examination event for your candidates.

Scoring and Standard Setting

Consult with our psychometric experts to score your examination and set the passing standard.

Score Reports

Design score reports and performance profiles that meet your program needs and goals for providing meaningful feedback to candidates about their performance and strengths and weaknesses.

What our clients are saying:

“Our collaboration with ABMS and its Member Boards builds upon Singapore’s continuing efforts to enhance specialist training. This certification process complements our structured formative training and allows us to better assess the competencies of our residents, both during and after completion of training.” —Mabel Yap, MD, Singapore Ministry of Health Director of Education and Assessment. Download the Singapore Story[PDF]

“The quality of the two-and-a-half day workshop given by ABMS to the Ethiopian Obstetrics and Gynecology Test Development team was impressive and provided an excellent foundation for their future certifying process. Nice to see the Ethiopian content experts working directly with the ABMS experts to write, review and approve MCQs resulting in a pool of well-written items ready for pilot testing.” —Leadership Team, ESOG/ACOG Collaboration on Professional Association Strengthening

“The comprehensive two-day workshop approach used by ABMS was extremely helpful for our faculty in understanding concepts of assessment as well as how to write and review MCQs. We will definitely have them back for additional sessions in the future.” —Thurayya Arayssi, MD, Senior Associate Dean, Medical Education and CPD, Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar

Contact the ABMS International Team

To learn more about how the ABMS International consulting services can help you with your assessment program, contact us international@abms.org

Download the ABMS International flyer[PDF]


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The CertLink® technology platform works at the intersection of assessment and learning to support physicians’ ongoing professional development. It features a secure web-based environment for developing and delivering online assessments including item authoring, item banking and reporting.

  • Robust capabilities to define assessment properties, manage assessment forms and maintain item statistics
  • Flexible assessment administration incorporates a variety of item types and offers the ability to link assessment questions to professional journal articles
  • Manage program performance information for analysis and improvement decisions

CertLink was originally created by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to support the development of longitudinal assessments for continuing certification of physician specialists. The assessments, which can be customized to practice, are helping physicians review their knowledge, identify areas for learning and connect with professional development resources.

VIDEO: David Swanson, PhD, ABMS retired Vice President of Academic Programs and Services, explains the concept of longitudinal assessment and the key benefits of applying it to physician testing, explaining that “longitudinal assessments draw on principles of adult learning and modern technology in order to promote learning, retention, and transfer of information to patient care situations.”


VIDEO: Learn how CertLink supports physicians’ continuing certification activities with online longitudinal assessments customized to their practice and interests, immediate performance feedback to inform learning, and links to resources for further study. Physicians using CertLink give the platform a 98% approval rating for its convenience and flexibility.


What users are saying about CertLink:

“We’ve gotten wonderful feedback from our diplomates. It’s all been positive. I’ve heard things like it’s actually fun, I learned something, that it’s really convenient, that I look up the references and it really helps improve my practice by expanding my medical knowledge.” —Rebecca L. Johnson, MD, CEO of the American Board of Pathology

“I think the format of periodic question with immediate feedback is the best way to fulfill the objective of lifelong learning and staying current with practices and knowledge. It is also much more manageable with the busy lives of most of us who at this point are working full time and balancing family and work demands.” —Katie O’Reilly, MD

“At least every three months you are asking me to check in and helping me to identify some areas I want to go and read more about. That is really the point of continuing certification, to keep us updated and competent to treat patients well.” —Neelam Sandhu, MD

Contact the CertLink Team

To learn more about how the CertLink platform may help your assessment program, contact us at connect@mycertlink.org.

Download the CertLink flyer[PDF]