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The ABLS® Certification provides a valuable learning experience, promotes treatment efficacy and patient safety, and helps attract new patients. We are the only medical specialty board worldwide devoted to advanced education in the biophysics of lasers and light in surgery and medicine. We invite qualified practitioners to apply and Do the Board!

Laser Surgery Certification

The certification process of the American Board of Laser Surgery consists of three overall steps, regardless of specialty:

  1. Application Form submission and acceptance
  2. The Written Examinations
  3. The Oral Specialty Examination
Application Form

The Application Form can be downloaded from the Contact, Application and Payments page, and is used for all specialties. It is completed by typing in the required information into the expandable fields as shown, and it then can be conveniently emailed to us (it may also be typed and printed out, or hand written, and mailed to our Administrative Office).

Written Examinations

Preparation and sitting for the Written Examinations follows acceptance of the Application. The Board provides a proprietary Study Guide that contains the information required to sit for the Written Examinations. These are taken online and on an open-book basis. The Study Guide and Written Examinations are customized to the certification the candidate is undertaking, whether non-cosmetic or cosmetic laser practitioners. The minimum passing score is 80% of the possible points earned on each of the Fundamental Laser Science/Tissue Interaction and Laser Safety Examinations, and 75% for the Cosmetic Laser and Light Procedures Examination (for cosmetic practitioners). The Study Guide may be kept for future reference.

Candidates may take UP TO ONE YEAR to review the Study Guide, prepare for and then sit for the Written Examinations. Once prepared, candidates should contact us by email for the preferred start date (we need a few days advance notice, please), and then we send the Written Examinations by email as PDF files with a weblink to take these using an Online Answer Form. (We do not provide an option for manually writing the examinations.). Candidates will have five (5) full business days to complete the Written Examinations, following the day of receipt.

Oral Specialty Examination

The Oral Specialty Examination follows the successful completion of the Written Examinations. It is designed to explore and evaluate the candidate's clinical experience. It does not revisit the topics covered in the Written Examinations. There is nothing to formally study for. Candidates will be asked to submit some additional information prior to the Oral Specialty Examination, including previous education in laser use, examples of patient information and consent materials, procedure flow sheets, a log of recent example procedures, and some before-and-after case photos related to their specialty. The Oral Specialty Examination is administered via video web conference. Candidates may, however, request an in-person examination if a Diplomate examiner is available in their geographic area. However, they are responsible for all travel expenses to meet with the examiner.

We offer a short Trial Examination for all specialties. We invite you to take it and then email us at lasers1060@gmail.com. We will email you with your results.

Take the ABLS TRIAL EXAM

Fees for Certification

The total cost is similar to many medical specialty boards. Unlike many boards, the Board’s fee structure is phased according to each step in the process for convenience and affordability:

  • The application fee is $150, regardless of practice specialty. If an applicant is not accepted based upon his/her credentials, the application fee is refunded with the exception of a $50 review and administrative processing charge.
  • The fees for the Board’s Study Guide and the Written Examinations are as follows:
    • For NON-COSMETIC LASER PRACTITIONERS: $750 USD for U.S. and Canada and includes USPS Priority Mail shipping. $850 USD for Overseas residents and this includes FedEx shipping. We now ship overseas using only FedEx as non-express mail takes too long and cannot be tracked.
    • For COSMETIC LASER AND LIGHT PRACTITIONERS: $895 USD for U.S. and Canada and includes USPS Priority Mail shipping. This fee is somewhat higher as the cost of the Study Guide is greater to accommodate the several cosmetic specialties that are included. $995 for Overseas residents and this includes FedEx shipping. Again, we now ship overseas using only FedEx as non-express mail takes too long and cannot be tracked.
    • Fee discounts are offered for practices where two or more candidates apply at the same time. Please email us for details.

The appropriate fee for the Study Guide and Written Examinations is due WITHIN 25 DAYS following notification of acceptance of the Application, and prior to provision of the Study Guide. This fee covers formal notification of Application acceptance on ABLS letterhead, provision of the proprietary Study Guide, sitting for the Written Examinations, grading of the examinations, formal notification of examination results on ABLS letterhead, and shipping the Study Guide.

Candidates should take the Written Examinations within one year from the date the Study Guide is received; however, candidates are encouraged to complete the examinations as soon as their schedule allows and they have reviewed the Study Guide. Candidates have five (5) full business days to complete the Written Examinations following the day of receipt.

If a candidate fails the Written Examinations on the first attempt, the examinations may be retaken without prejudice. The retake fee is due within 6 months of not passing: $225 USD for all practitioners. If retaken after 6 months, the fee is doubled to $450 USD.

Replacement copy of the Study Guide (if needed) is $75 USD for U.S and Canada, or $100 USD for Overseas residents. These both include USPS Priority Mail shipping. Express shipping overseas is optionally available.

The fee for the Oral Specialty Examination is $750 USD for all practitioners, whether U.S. or Overseas residents.

This fee is due within 25 days following notification of the successful completion of the Written Examinations. The Board asks candidates to sit for the Oral Specialty Examination within six (6) months of completion of the Written Examinations. This allows ample time for submission of the required advance materials by the candidate and scheduling of the examination. The Oral Specialty Examination fee also includes provision of the ABLS Certificate (two copies) and a formal letter on ABLS letterhead to the new Diplomate.

Shipping of Certificates: For U.S. and Canada, USPS Priority Mail is included. For Overseas residents, standard USPS International Priority Mail is included, and high-resolution PDF files of the Certificate and formal ABLS letter are also emailed. Note: Depending on the country, overseas mail can take up to 2–4 weeks (or more), is not track-able outside of the U.S., and cannot be guaranteed. The PDF files can be used to print locally while awaiting the mail. If the package is lost, the ABLS can reprint the Certificate and reship for $75 USD (includes standard USPS International Priority Mail shipping) but at the Diplomate's expense. Express shipping overseas is optionally available.

Please note that additional Certificate copies, or replacement certificates, cost $50 USD for U.S. residents (includes USPS Priority Mail shipping), and $75 USD for non-U.S. residents (includes standard USPS International Priority Mail shipping). Express shipping overseas is optionally available.

Payment methods for fees: FOR U.S. AND CANADA: either online by major credit card via the Board's PayPal service, or online by PayPal account directly, or by check mailed to our Administrative Office. FOR OVERSEAS CANDIDATES: either online by PayPal account directly, or by bank/cashier's check mailed to our Administrative Office (personal checks are not accepted), or by using Western Union (note, any money transfer fee is the responsibility of the candidate). We can also accept bank-to-bank wire transfers. We cannot accept credit cards from overseas. Checks from overseas candidates MUST be drawn on a bank with a major U.S. correspondent bank (such as Bank of America), and the date on the check MUST have the month written out (such as January 15, 2019, or 15 January, 2019).

Please go to the Contact, Application & Payment page for payment details. Credit card payments (U.S. and Canada only) and direct PayPal payments are through our secure PayPal account.