Precepting Performance Improvement Toolkit

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can offer credit through the ABFM Precepting Performance Improvement Program?

Academic unitsmedical school departments, residency programs, and other entitiescan apply to be Sponsors. Sponsors have to reapply every three years.

What is a portfolio manager?

A portfolio manager is a person designated by the Sponsor to be responsible for communication with the ABFM. The portfolio manager oversees the Sponsor's portfolio of improvement activities and submits physician completion results to the ABFM.

Can preceptors who are not family physicians earn this credit?

This is an American Board of Family Medicine program that's part of certification for family physicians. Only family physicians can earn the credit. 

What is an intervention/performance improvement activity?

This is basically, at least one round of a PDSA (plan-do-study-act) cycle:

  • Identify an area of need based on data
  • Write an explicit aim for improvement that describes what will be improved, a desired goal, and a timeframe for achieving improvement
  • Undertake a learning activity such as an online course, evidence-based reading, or in-person training 
  • Implement what was learned through the teaching of medical students or residents
  • Measure to see if there's been an improvement

What can be used for baseline/post intervention data?

There are many options. Some include:

  • A self-evaluation of teaching skills performed by the teaching physician
  • An assessment of the teaching physician by the Sponsor
  • Student evaluations of preceptors

What does 180 1:1 contact hours mean?

To earn this credit, a preceptor must spend 180 hours precepting medical students and/or residents. This does not include didactic presentation time. If multiple learners are presentfor example during rounds—actual time is counted, not the amount of time multiplied by the number of learners.

Can preceptors count time precepting PAs and nurse practitioners as part of the 180 1:1 contact hours?

Only time precepting medical students and residents count toward the 180 hours.

How should preceptors count and track their teaching time?

Ideally, the academic unit will count and track time, so as not to provide a burden on the preceptor. Typically, the academic unit knows how much time a learner is assigned to a preceptor.

How long does a preceptor have to complete an improvement activity and finish the 180 hours?

Physicians are required to complete one performance improvement activity during their three-year certification cycle. So, depending on where in the cycle they start the activity and teaching, they can take up to three years to complete the requirements.

What is an attestation?

An attestation is a document signed by the preceptor attesting that he/she actively participated in the performance improvement activity and the required 1:1 teaching. Attestations should be retained by Sponsors.

How do sponsors submit completions to ABFM and what do they submit?

Log into MOCAM at On the right side of the dashboard, click on Precepting Physician Completion Report. Upon opening the application, enter today’s date in the name field. 

For each ABFM Diplomate being submitted for credit, add a row to the table. For each Diplomate provide the following information:

  • Board ID: The ABFM Board ID of the Diplomate. ABFM Board IDs are 6 digits in length and being with a one (1) or zero (0).
  • Last Name: The last name, as provided to the ABFM.
  • First Name: The first name, as provided to the ABFM. The name must match (e.g., Jeffrey vs. Jeff).
  • Email: The email address for the Diplomate.
  • Start Date: Indicate the date the Diplomate started participating in the project. The date may not be before the start date of your participation in the Precepting Program.
  • End Date: Indicate the date the Diplomate met the participation requirements for the project. The date may not be in the future.
  • Instance ID: This is a calculated value.

You can also select the "Import" button to populate the data from an appropriately formatted spreadsheet.

What do Sponsors have to keep records of?

For each participating preceptor, Sponsors should keep records of the pre and post measurement, the aim and improvement activity, and the attestation.

What do preceptors have to keep records of?

Preceptors do not have to keep records.

Can residents participate this program to fulfill the required QI component of certification?


Can the portfolio manager submit individual preceptors’ data one by one, as each preceptor completes the 180 hours? Or do all participating preceptors have to be submitted together?

You can submit as they come in or wait until the end of the month and submit a batch of those that have completed.

On the sample attestation form, one of the “yes/no” questions is “I was engaged in planning and executing the project.” Not all of our faculty are involved planning the project in a big picture way. Is that okay?

As long as the physician completes the required teaching hours and is involved in their assessment, intervention, and review of the data, they meet the requirements.

On the sample attestation form, one of the “yes/no” questions is “I participated in team meetings for the project.” Our structure does not involve regular team meetings. Will preceptors get credit even without team meetings?


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