Best Practices for Certifying Boards

Certifying Board Stamp

Certifying boards are in a tricky position in that they have to serve many markets at once. First, they must maintain a domain authority in order to prove value to the institutions that rely upon the certifying board's stamp of approval. A typical example of this would be a hospital system that requires a specific certification in order for a physician to practice specialized medicine within their facility.

Next, a certifying board must also serve its certificants, diplomates, or otherwise labeled constituents, providing them service, skills, and tools that justify the dues and fees that keep the organization running.

Finally, the certifying board has to satisfy the demands of a broader consumer base that looks to the board for verification that a practitioner has the necessary expertise to provide the certified services.

With these many demands to juggle, it's a wonder that best practices for the certification industry aren't yet codified. Today we are listing the best practices we have identified through our work with many certifying boards, whose collective experience totals over 100 years of operation.


The value of a certifying board is tied directly to the rigor of their qualifications. Certifying boards test their applicants, users, diplomates, and certificants through a variety of examination processes. In order to meet best practice standards, testing should be thorough and cover both practical and theoretical concerns. The boards we work with use combinations of paper testing and oral examinations in order to receive a well-rounded view of an individual's level of expertise. Examination questions must be developed and vetted by industry leaders. 


There's no point in putting together an outstanding test if it isn't scored by the best people in the field. Examiners should be pre-eminent experts, well-versed in all of the nuances of their specialty. Additionally, each certifying board must execute due diligence to ensure that test-takers are being evaluated by examiners who are completely free of conflicts-of-interest.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

Many areas of expertise that require board certification make extreme demands of their practitioners' time. Time is valuable in and of itself, but also for the value it represents in the earnings that people could generate during any wasted hours. For this reason, it is imperative that special care be taken to ensure Continuing Education and MOC requirements are not duplicative. Exams and certifications already require a financial investment. Don't make your certificants, applicants, and diplomates waste their time and resources on unnecessary busywork. 

In the continued interest of efficiency, board leaders should also make every reasonable effort to ensure that maintenance and re-certification periods are scaled to match the pace of innovation in a given specialty.

Primary Source Verification

Board certification has little value if there is no mechanism for confirming a certificant's status. Any institution or individual requesting verification that a person is certified should receive that information quickly and simply--life-altering decisions may be hanging in the balance.

Signaling for Consumers

There is no shortage of articles and blog posts that attempt to answer the question: Why is it important to be board certified? It is incumbent upon each and every certifying organization to demonstrate their values and worth to the public, in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way. This can be done on a website, in marketing materials, and in every public interaction. It is up to each organization to prove their worth.

ROC-P helps certifying boards meet and exceed the standards of excellence. We efficiently and securely put an organization's data directly into the hands of the people who need it. Saving time on mundane tasks gives you a greater opportunity to serve your certificants and educate the general public about your value. Contact ROC-P today to learn how your organization can scale new peaks of performance in as few as four weeks.

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