Component 3: Cognitive Assessment


Through active participation in OCC, AOA board-certified physicians maintain necessary skills, keep up with current practices in medicine and demonstrate excellence in their specialty. Component 3 of the OCC process is intended to assess the knowledge and skills of AOBNP diplomates in the fields of Neurology and Psychiatry and their subspecialties.

Neurology & Psychiatry Longitudinal Assessment

The AOBNP has transitioned away from the traditional 10-year high-stakes recertification exam to a longitudinal assessment model for continuous certification of Neurology and Psychiatry primary certifications. Longitudinal assessment provides high-quality effective evaluation, while providing physicians with flexibility in meeting the OCC Component 3 requirement.

Diplomates who currently hold an active primary certification in Neurology or Psychiatry will be required to begin longitudinal assessment in the expiration year of their current 10-year certificate. Diplomates must register for the AOBNP’s longitudinal assessment annually. Registration is required in the fall a year prior to the beginning the longitudinal assessment.

Diplomates who have received their certification in Neurology and Psychiatry on or after Jan. 1, 2020, are not required to register and begin participation in the AOBNP longitudinal assessment program for one calendar year after receiving their certification. After one full calendar year following the issue date of the initial primary certification, diplomates will need to register for AOBNP longitudinal assessment during the next available registration year and begin the longitudinal assessment the following year (i.e., a diplomate who is certified in 2021 must register for AOBNP longitudinal assessment in 2023 and begin longitudinal assessment in 2024).

Subspecialty OCC Cognitive Assessment Exams

The AOBNP offers OCC Written Exams in the subspecialties of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurophysiology. The subspecialty OCC Written Exams are administered annually , and the exams may be taken within two 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 exams are designed to ensure appropriate evaluation of the diplomate’s knowledge, intellectual abilities, judgment and skills in the discipline of the subspecialty. Diplomates are expected to be current in neurologic and/or psychiatric advances for at least the past three years.

View exams currently accepting applications.

Child/Adolescent Psychiatry OCC Exam

The Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Subspecialty OCC Certification Exam will address the following content topics:

  • Adolescent Development
  • Assessment
  • Case Presentations
  • Child Development
  • Diagnoses
  • Manual Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology – Agents and Therapies
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Psychoactive Substance Use/Abuse

Geriatric Psychiatry OCC Exam

The Geriatric Psychiatry OCC Exam will address the following content topics:

  • Adult Development
  • Aging and Sexuality
  • Biology of Aging
  • Cultural Factors
  • Disorders – Medical/Psychological
  • Epidemiology of Psychiatric Disorders
  • Genetics of Geriatric Psychopathology
  • Grief and Bereavement
  • Evaluation – Psychiatric/Medical/Neurological
  • Legal/Ethical Issues
  • Neurology
  • Sociodemographics
  • Substance Abuse
  • Therapy/Treatment

Neurophysiology OCC Exam

The Neurophysiology OCC Exam will address the following content topics:

  • Ambulatory EEG
  • BAER
  • Clinical Application to Central and Peripheral Neurological Disorders
  • Clinical Application in Neuromuscular Disease
  • Clinical Application in Sleep Disorders
  • Digital Spectral EEG
  • EEG
  • Electrophysiology – EMG
  • Epilepsy
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Interventional Application of EEG
  • Long Latency Waveforms – H reflex and F waves
  • MEG
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test
  • Needle Examination
  • Nerve Conduction Studies
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Neurophysiology
  • Polysomnography Testing
  • SER – upper limbs
  • Single Fiber EMG
  • Sleep
  • VER
  • Video EEG Monitoring

Conjoint Committee OCC Exams

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

Subspecialty OCC Cognitive Assessment Fees

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

Subspecialty OCC Cognitive Assessment
EXAM Type Fee
OCC Cognitive Assessment Exam Fee $1,800
OCC Late Application Fee $540
OCC Cognitive Assessment Re-examination Fee $1,200
OCC Late Re-examination Application Fee $360

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 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 AOBNP 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 AOBNP 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.