Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST

The American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians (AOBFP) will no longer administer the traditional high-stakes exam taken by its diplomates at least once every 7 to 9 years to fulfill the Component 3 requirement of Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC). Diplomates will now be required to participate in the AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST to fulfill the Component 3 requirement of OCC.

This FAQ is intended to answer questions related to the Longitudinal Assessment on CATALYST, including the platform, assessment administration and assessment exam content. These FAQs will be updated on a periodic basis as additional information becomes available.

General Information

What is the Longitudinal Assessment?

In terms of medical certification, longitudinal assessments generally combine formative and summative assessment features, including feedback and other opportunities for learning. The Longitudinal Assessment is a shorter, more frequent assessment opportunity that occurs during an assessment cycle. The AOBFP LA cycle is three years and includes a set number of questions that must be answered by diplomates during each year of the cycle.

Why choose the Longitudinal Assessment format for OCC Component 3?

The goal of ongoing physician certification through LA is to support diplomates as lifelong learners while elevating the osteopathic medical community and profession. LA incorporates aspects of formative assessment, such as feedback and opportunities for remediation, and is a crucial component that promotes learning during the assessment. In this sense, assessment as learning becomes as important as assessment of learning.

When can I begin participating in the Longitudinal Assessment?

Your certification issue/expiration date will determine when you should begin participating in LA. This information along with all the OCC requirements is available on the AOBFP website.

Certification Expiration Date Start Longitudinal Assessment
Dec. 31, 2023 January 2023
Dec. 31, 2024 January 2024
Dec. 31, 2025 January 2025
Dec. 31, 2026 January 2026
Dec. 31, 2027 January 2022
Dec. 31, 2028 January 2022
Dec. 31, 2029 January 2022
Dec. 31, 2030 January 2023
How do I know when my certification was issued or expires?

Visit the AOA physician portal to view your certification information and to check the status of your OCC.

I have a non-time limited certification; do I need to take the Longitudinal Assessment?

Diplomates who hold a non-time limited certification are not required to participate in the LA. The Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) process for the diplomates that hold a non-time-limited certification (non-expiring, non-dated) is voluntary

I received reciprocal certification through ABMS reciprocity campaign. Do I need to participate in the Longitudinal Assessment?

Yes. To maintain an active AOA family medicine certification, diplomates must fulfill the requirements for OCC. Your OCC requirements are based on the certification issue/expiration date. These requirements can be accessed and viewed from the AOBFP website.

Exam Platform

How is the Longitudinal Assessment administered?

The AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment is administered through the CATALYST platform. CATALYST is a learning platform managed by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). In addition to the learning opportunities that the CATALYST platform offers, assessments delivered on CATALYST provide both performance feedback and educational resources for the concept being assessed.

Do I take the Longitudinal Assessment using a tablet/mobile device?

The LA on the CATALYST platform is accessible 24/7 (within AOBFP’s designated testing window) and can be taken on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Where can I learn more about the CATALYST platform?

Additional detailed information regarding CATALYST platform can be found on the NBOME website.

Longitudinal Assessment Registration

How do I register for the Longitudinal Assessment?

Registration for the LA is available on the AOBFP website. If you are not eligible to enroll for the current application period, the registration system will not allow you to submit an application. Registration consists of a pre-populated application and a $225 annual fee payable by credit/debit card only. The AOBFP will send routine email reminders regarding upcoming applications as registration for the LA is required every year.

What is the deadline to register for the AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment?

The LA application open and close dates are available on the Important Dates page on the AOBFP website.

What is the fee for the Longitudinal Assessment?

The annual LA fee is $225 and must be paid at the time of registration on the AOBFP website. The fee is payable by credit or debit card only.

Longitudinal Assessment Content

Who developed the content on the exam?

Subject matter experts practicing in the field of osteopathic family medicine developed the content for the LA. The AOBFP selected content that is appropriate for ongoing osteopathic certification.

I have a limited scope of practice, will this exam cover all of Family Medicine?

The AOBFP Longitudinal Assessment covers a single area of practice from the osteopathic continuous certification blueprint. You will be presented with a list of subjects to choose from in order to fulfill your requirement.

How can I get involved with writing exam questions?

If you are interested in becoming an item writer, send an email to AOBFPVolunteer@osteopathic.org and include CV.

Longitudinal Assessment Administration

Are the assessments timed?

Questions are administered on the CATALYST platform each quarter and can be answered during a specified date range. The LA questions in each quarter are not timed and can be completed at your own pace.

Diplomates apply for longitudinal assessment starting in October of the prior year The annual fee for Longitudinal Assessment is $225.

Q1: January – March (10 questions)
Q2: April – June (10 questions)
Q3: July – September (10 questions)
Q4: October – December (remediation period for unanswered or incorrect questions)

Can I begin questions and then resume my exam?

Yes. Once you have completed a question and advanced to the next question, you may exit the CATALYST platform. Upon returning to CATALYST the exam will resume at the last unanswered question.

Can I take the assessments with a colleague?

No, the LA is not a collaborative effort. The LA is to be completed independently using educational resources.

What is the passing point for each quarter?

The pass point is a cumulative score of 80% for the 3 quarters.

What happens if I am unsuccessful after the remediation quarter?

The LA consists of three quarters and one quarter of remediation. Diplomates will receive 10 questions during each of the three quarters. A cumulative score of 80% is required to pass.  Diplomates receiving a score of less than 80% will have another opportunity during the 4th quarter. It is expected that diplomates participate each quarter and correctly answer 80% of questions. The AOBFP will review the results for all diplomates that do not meet the 80% score. From 2022-2024, the AOA will provide an additional attempt(s) to pass the following year. Upon successful completion of the remediation, the diplomate will enter into the Longitudinal Assessment process the following year.

Can I take all my questions in the remediation quarter?

No. The remediation quarter is designed to give diplomates a second attempt at questions that were answered incorrectly on the first attempt. The remediation quarter only displays questions that were not answered correctly in previous quarters. Diplomates who do not participate in the first three quarters will only have one attempt to answer the questions during remediation.

Other Questions

What if I am unable to participate in a year of the Longitudinal Assessment due to personal/health issues?

Active participation in each component of OCC is required in order to maintain continuous certification. If you are unable to complete the LA or any other component of OCC you should contact the AOBFP directly as early as possible at AOBFP@osteopathic.org.

Will I receive CME credits for successfully completing the Longitudinal Assessment?

Yes. Five (5) category 1-B credits will be awarded at the end of each calendar year upon successful completion of the LA.

How do I continue to maintain my subspecialty or CAQ certification?

A longitudinal assessment plan will be developed for all subspecialty certifications. Currently, Diplomates who hold a subspecialty certification in Geriatrics and Addiction Medicine will no longer take the OCC high-stakes exam. They will be required to begin LA in 2024. For all other certifications, please contact the conjoint or certifying board directly.