Background: The transition to the Next Accreditation System is well underway, and a shift toward competency-based assessment in the form of milestones is now the standard. A significant effort has been completed by the Plastic Surgery Milestones Working Group to develop specific milestones and assessment tools for plastic surgery training. Methods: The history of the development toward competency-based assessment was reviewed. Data regarding the trends and regulations associated with board certification and the role of maintenance of certification were reviewed. Results: The work of the Plastic Surgery Milestones Working Group has sparked interest in assessment and created an opportunity for further development. The efforts toward validating assessment tools by our colleagues working in other surgical specialties serve as a suitable roadmap for further progress. Board certification is an integral part of successful practice and should be regarded as an expectation. Despite the burdens associated with maintenance of certification, it serves a valuable function in ensuring optimal patient care and is often retrospectively seen as an important component of practice. Conclusions: The competency-based milestones are the new standard, and work on this new methodology of assessing plastic surgery trainees is expected to continue. Accurate assessment is critical to the pathways for board certification and maintenance of certification, which serve important roles for all parties involved in the delivery of medical care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas