Component 3: Cognitive Assessment


Through participation in Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), AOA board-certified physicians maintain necessary skills, explore advancements in medicine and demonstrate expertise in their specialty. OCC Component 3 requires physicians certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology to pass one or more psychometrically valid and proctored examinations focused on assessing medical knowledge and core competencies.

The AOBA has transitioned away from its recertification cognitive assessment exam completed every three years to an annual longitudinal assessment model to fulfill the OCC Component 3 requirement. This new longitudinal assessment model, completed annually, will provide ongoing and continuous learning, and practice improvement opportunities. Longitudinal assessment leverages technology to facilitate continuous learning through shorter assessments relevant to your specialty training and career, delivered over time via a convenient online learning assessment platform.

The anesthesiology longitudinal assessment is administered through the CATALYST platform hosted by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). The platform is easily accessible from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Subspecialty OCC Cognitive Assessment Exams

The AOBA offers OCC Written Exams in the subspecialties of Pediatric Anesthesiology and Pain Management. The subspecialty OCC Written Exams are administered annually, and the exams may be taken within three years of your certification expiration date. The application period for each subspecialty OCC written exam will open six months prior to the exam. The final deadline will be 30 days prior to the exam administration window.

Each subspecialty OCC written exam consists of questions on clinical diagnosis and treatment, current knowledge, and clinical problems commonly encountered. The psychometrically valid written cognitive assessment is designed to evaluate your specialty medical knowledge and mastery of core competencies in the provision of health care. The questions are designed to ensure appropriate evaluation of a candidate’s knowledge, intellectual abilities, judgment and skills in the discipline.

View exams currently accepting applications.

Pediatric Anesthesiology

The examination is a 2-hour and 30-minute exam that consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, each with a single best answer. Questions will be categorized as follows:

OCC Pediatric Anesthesiology Subspecialty Certification
I. History
  • 1-3%
II. Basic Concepts 20-24%
III. Pharmacology
  • 3-7%
IV. Anesthesia Equipment for Pediatrics
  • 2-6%
V. Monitoring
  • 2-6%
VI. Preoperative Evaluation
  • 1-5%
VII. Anesthetic Procedures & Methods
  • 4-8%
VIII. Specific Techniques
  • 51-55%

Pain Management

The examination is a 2-hour and 30-minute exam that consists of 100-120 multiple-choice questions, each with a single best answer. Questions will be categorized as follows:

OCC Pain Management Subspecialty Certification
I. Anatomy & Physiology
  • 8-12%
II. Diagnostic Testing 5-9%
III. Pain Assessment & Classification
  • 3-7%
IV. Pharmacology
  • 21-25%
V. Medical & Invasive Techniques
  • 23-27%
VI. Pediatric, OB & Other Special Situations
  • 6-10%
VII. Psychological Aspects
  • 1-5%
VIII. Disability & Medicolegal
  • 11-15%
IX. Osteopathic Principles & Methods
  • 1-5%

Conjoint Committee OCC Exams

If you hold subspecialty board certification through one of the conjoint committees the AOBA participates in, please visit the conjoint website for info on OCC Component 3 requirements.

Subspecialty OCC Cognitive Assessment Fees

The AOBA subspecialty OCC cognitive assessment exams may be taken within three years of your certification’s expiration date.

Subspecialty OCC Cognitive Assessment
OCC Cognitive Assessment Exam Fee
  • $750
OCC Late Application Fee $225

No application will be considered complete until all fees have been paid. Examination fees must be made by credit card within the application portal. No other forms of payment may be accepted.

Exam Cancellation Fees

  • 0 – 30 days before the exam: no refund
  • 31 days or more prior to the exam date: 50% refund
  • No refunds of late fees
  • Rejected Applications: 75% refund

Note: Prior to submitting your application, please be certain that you meet the criteria to apply

Exam Dates and Deadlines

The application period opens six months prior to the exam. The first application deadline will be 60 days prior to the first date of the exam administration window. The final deadline will be 30 days prior to the exam administration window.

All candidates requesting exam accommodations must submit their requests at the time of application and all information must be received at least 30 days prior to the exam administration date.

Exam Policies

Exam Scoring

AOA reports certification results using standardized scores. An adjusted score of 70% or greater is required to pass. The passing standard is determined by subject matter experts and osteopathic physicians who practice in the discipline.

Pass and fail decisions are based solely on the content mastery displayed by the diplomate. Results will be reviewed by the AOBA Examination Committee and submitted for final approval. The AOA will notify candidates of exam results within 60 days of the exam.

Exam Failure

Loss of certification (inactive status) will result for diplomates who fail to successfully complete the OCC process and who hold a time-dated certification.

Diplomates who hold a non-time-limited (non-dated, non-expiring) certification are not required to participate in OCC but may opt to participate in the OCC process voluntarily.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOBA supports and adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for candidates who meet ADA eligibility. The Board will make a reasonable effort to provide qualified candidates who have documented disabilities the necessary auxiliary aids and services that do not fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the board assessment process is intended to test or result in an undue burden.

The AOBA also supports and adheres to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for all patients or patient records that may be used as part of any part of the AOBNP board certification process.