The processes that lead to certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) emphasize surgeons' training and qualifications. Moreover, the need for periodic recertification appears to provide strong motivation for surgeons to remain current. Such certification is regarded as having great value among patients, but concerns about quality and safety have increased pressure to assess what surgeons actually do in practice. As a result, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards have recently initiated Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs that add a requirement for assessment of practice performance to the elements of traditional certification. This article describes the current ABS certification process and the ABS MOC program in greater detail.