How to obtain and claim MOC credits in ophthalmology - Opportunities for additional learning

In this issue

Dear COS members,

As ophthalmologists and physicians, lifelong learning through continuing professional development (CPD) is at the heart of what we do. Taking care of our patients requires us to keep up with current standards and maintain and enhance our competence, knowledge and skills.

As members of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) committee, an arm of the COS Council on CPD, we would like to provide you with a list of CPD activities accessible to you. Below you will find a wealth of resources. They vary from online learning modules to live, interactive sessions.

Take advantage of these resources to earn all the credits you need to meet the annual requirements of the Royal College. Remember to enter your credits into MAINPORT as you complete CPD activities.

A big thanks to Cheryl Ripley for helping to synthesize these resources. Members of the COS MOC committee include: Dr. Colin Mann, Chair, Dr. Chloe Gottlieb, Dr. Phil Hooper, Dr. Rob Shertzer, and Dr. Glen Hoar.


Dr. Chloe Gottlieb, Ottawa, ON

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How many CPD credits do you need?

New Cycle requirements are such that all Fellows and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program participants will be required to complete a minimum of 25 credits in each section of the MOC Program during their new 5-year MOC cycle. The annual minimum of 40 credits and a cycle overall minimum of 400 credits are still applicable.

This new policy will only apply to new cycles starting in January 1, 2014 or later. If currently completing your MOC cycle, the minimum credit requirements will not apply until your next cycle begins. Not sure when your current cycle ends? You can find out by logging into your MAINPORT account (your cycle dates appear on the dashboard, under your name). You may also contact the Royal College Services Centre to find out.

Further information on the types of activities you can claim in each section.

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How to obtain credits in ophthalmology


Conferences, courses, rounds, journal clubs and small-group learning, either face-to-face or web-based

COS Section 1 opportunities

COS Annual Meeting and Exhibition 2016
Emerging and Emergent Care
Ottawa, Ontario, June 17-20, 2016

Register now!!

Friday, June 17, 1700-1745 - Don't miss the session How to Maximize your CPD Credits with Dr. Craig Campbell, Director of Continuing Professional Development, Office of Specialty Education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Many of the accredited meetings and activities listed below recur each year. Visit the COS webpage Accredited Meetings for updated listings of Section 1 Group Learning Activities.

McGill Research Day
Montréal, Quebec, May 20, 2016

APOS Annual Meeting
St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick, May 27-28, 2016

McGill Ophthalmology Clinical Day
Montréal, Quebec, June 3, 2016

48th Sally Letson Symposium
Ottawa, Ontario, September 15-17, 2016

Western Canada Retina Retreat
Calgary, Alberta, October 2016

Retina Case Conference Canada
Montréal, Quebec, November 2016

Canadian Retina Society Meeting
Whistler, BC, March 2-5, 2017


Activities planned to address specific needs, enhance awareness of new evidence potentially relevant to practice or enhance the quality of multiple systems are part of this section.

Simply attending a group learning activity does not equate with completing a personal learning project (PLP). However, attending a group learning activity could be the stimulus for the development of a PLP that may include some of the aspects of participating in the activity.

Personal learning projects are self-planned learning activities, developed to answer a question, issue, or problem identified in professional practice. When the activity is complete, the intention is to reflect what was learned and document (in MAINPORT) the conclusions or learning outcomes.

COS Section 2 opportunities

At the 2016 COS Annual Meeting

  • Poster Credits for poster viewing: Learning from poster presentations may be claimed as a scanning activity under Section 2. You may claim 0.5 credits per poster with a documented learning outcome.

Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology

  • For each journal article that you read and have deemed has had a significant impact on your learning or practice can be recorded individually and receive one (1) credit per article.
  • Peer reviewing journal articles, reviewing research grant applications can earn you 15 credits per year as a Peer Assessment activity. The 15 credits are eligible for your yearly contributions.

Guideline development

  • Developing clinical practice guidelines with your colleagues or participating in activities or groups that set clinical care standards for your hospital can earn you 20 credits per year.

Committee work

  • 15 credits per year/per committee. This can be submitted as a Quality Care/Patient Safety Committee activity. (Note that the purpose or activity of the committee - working group, task force or similar title - must be to improve or enhance the quality, safety, or effectiveness of the health care system. They must have a formal structure with an appointment process and defined terms of reference and must also meet on a regular schedule.) Are you already a part of a committee in your hospital or local area? Claim your credits. Are you interested in committee work with the COS? If so, contact


Activities that provide data and feedback to physicians or health teams that facilitate the identification of needs in areas of knowledge, skills, competencies and performance are part of this section.

"Section 3 is three credits per hour so this means that to achieve 25 credits in Section 3 you need to do just over 8 hours of assessment during your five-year cycle."

  • Do you live in Alberta, Manitoba, or another province that has the Physician Achievement Review (PAR) program? Doing a PAR assessment counts for 3 credits per hour in Section 3 for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data.
  • Do you teach? Reviewing your annual teaching evaluations counts for the time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data and getting peer feedback (this includes assessments you receive over the year for teaching medical students, residents or practicing physicians in formal CME settings).
  • Do you participate in a performance appraisal, 360° assessment or any other type of workplace assessment related to practice domains including communication, leadership or managerial ability? The time you spend reviewing and reflecting on your data counts for Section 3.
  • Do you write peer reviewed journal articles? The time spent reviewing the feedback you receive from your peers counts in Section 3.
  • Do you conduct chart audits or other practice performance based assessments? That can also be claimed for Section 3.
  • The Royal College has several accredited self-assessment programs that are free. The Bioethics modules are available on the RCPSC website and since they address ethics in medicine, they are applicable to anyone.

COS Section 3 opportunities

Online Section 3

At the 2016 COS Annual Meeting

  • Surgical Skills Transfer Courses (STCs)
    • Sutured intraocular lenses (IOLs) and repair of iris defects including pupillary cerclage - Saturday, June 18, 2016, 1045-1215
    • Anterior Vitrectomy - Saturday, June 18, 2016, First Course 1330-1500, Second Course 1545-1715
    • Strabismus Surgery Review and New Techniques - Sunday, June 19, 2016, 1545-1715
    • MicroInvasive Glaucoma Surgery: Emerging Procedures - Sunday, June 19, First Course 1045-1215, Second Course 1330-1500
    • Oculoplastics for the Comprehensive Ophthalmologist - held at the uOSSC, Monday, June 20, 2016, 1030-1300

Read more about the COS Surgical Skills Transfer Courses and the Royal College Innovation Award.

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CanMEDS at the COS Annual Meeting - New in 2016!

CanMEDS is a physician competency framework aimed at improving patient care by enhancing physician training. Since implementation in the 1990's, CanMEDS continues to define the necessary competencies for all areas of medical practice and provides a comprehensive foundation for medical education. CanMEDS has become the most widely accepted and applied physician competency framework in the world. It reflects the work of hundreds of Royal College Fellows and volunteers and is based on empirical research, sound education principles and broad stakeholder consultation.

CanMEDS identifies and describes seven Roles that lead to optimal physician performance, care delivery and health care outcomes. These roles include: Medical Expert (central Role), Communicator, Collaborator, Leader, Health Advocate, Scholar and Professional.

New this year, the 2016 COS Annual Meeting program will highlight the CanMEDS Roles applicable to each session, allowing delegates to better understand the focus of each session and target their education to their practice needs. Look for the diagram below next to the session title. Only the abbreviation for the relevant Role(s) will be listed on the diagram.

This year at the Annual Meeting we are hosting for the first time a session entitiled, How to Maximize your CPD Credits with Dr. Craig Campbell, Director of Continuing Professional Development, Office of Specialty Education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Don't miss out, Friday, June 17 from 1700-1745 at the Shaw Centre.

COS obtained permission from the Royal College for use of the CanMeds framework. For more information on CanMEDS, please contact the Royal College.

More on the CanMEDS Framework

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