OSTEOPATHIC BOARD CERTIFICATION

Component 3: Cognitive Assessment

To meet Component 3 requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification, you must pass one or more psychometrically valid examinations that assess your specialty medical knowledge and mastery of core competencies in the provision of health care. The AOBOG sets forth the following requirements for Component 3.

Introduction

Through participation in Osteopathic Continuous Certification, 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 Obstetrics & Gynecology to pass one or more psychometrically valid and proctored examinations focused on assessing medical knowledge and core competencies.

In 2019, the AOBOG announced the replacement of the traditional high-stakes recertification exam previously required every 6 years with a longitudinal assessment model designed to enhance flexibility and streamline the certification process. Longitudinal assessment leverages technology to facilitate continuous learning through shorter assessments relevant to your specialty training and career, delivered over time via a convenient remote online learning platform.

Through 2022, the AOBOG longitudinal assessment has been administered through the Advanced Real-time Certification (ARC) platform. Beginning in 2023, the AOBOG longitudinal assessment will be administered through the CATALYST platform hosted by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). The platform is easily accessible from your computer, tablet, smartphone or mobile app.

Longitudinal Assessment Registration

If you hold primary certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology or subspecialty certification in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, or Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, please follow the guidelines below to determine when you should register for longitudinal assessment:

  • If your initial certification was issued before Jan. 1, 2020:
    You are required to participate in longitudinal assessment each year, beginning in the expiration year of your current 6-year certificate. Registration opens in the fall prior to the following year’s assessment.
  • If your initial certification was issued on Jan. 1, 2020, or later:
    You are not required to begin participation in longitudinal assessment for one full calendar year after becoming board certified. One year from the issue date of your initial certification, you will be required to register during the next available registration cycle and begin participation in longitudinal assessment the following year. Example: If you received initial certification in Spring 2021, you would register for longitudinal assessment in Fall 2022 and begin participation in 2023.

Longitudinal Assessment Schedule

The following chart outlines the annual registration and administration cycles for longitudinal assessment. Once you have begun the longitudinal assessment process, it is an annual requirement.

Longitudinal Assessment Schedule – if initially certified before Jan. 1, 2020
Cert Expiration Registration Opens Registration Closes Cycle Begins

Dec. 31, 2020

Oct. 18, 2019 March 30, 2020 Nov. 4, 2019

Dec. 31, 2021

Oct. 16, 2020 March 15, 2021 Jan. 18, 2021

Dec. 31, 2022

Oct. 20, 2021 Jan. 5, 2022 Jan. 5, 2022

Dec. 31, 2023

Sept. 1, 2022 Jan. 5, 2023 Jan. 11, 2023

Dec. 31, 2024

Sept. 1, 2023 Jan. 5, 2024 Jan. 2024

Dec. 31, 2025

Sept. 1, 2024 Jan. 3, 2025 Jan. 2025
Longitudinal Assessment Schedule – if initially certified on or after Jan. 1, 2020
YEAR OF INITIAL CERTIFICATION Registration Opens Registration Closes Cycle Begins

2020

Oct. 20, 2021 Jan. 5, 2022 Jan. 5, 2022

2021

Sept. 1, 2022 Jan. 5, 2023 Jan. 11, 2023

2022

Sept. 1, 2023 Jan. 5, 2024 Jan. 2024

2023

Sept. 1, 2024 Jan. 3, 2025 Jan. 2025

2024

Sept. 1, 2025 Jan. 5, 2026 Jan. 2026

2025

Sept. 1, 2026 Jan. 4, 2027 Jan. 2027

2026

Sept. 1, 2027 Jan. 3, 2028 Jan. 2028

2027

Sept. 1, 2028 Jan. 3, 2029 Jan. 2029

2028

Sept. 1, 2029 Jan. 7, 2030 Jan. 2030

2029

Sept. 1, 2030 Jan. 6, 2031 Jan. 2031

2030

Sept. 1, 2031 Jan. 5, 2032 Jan. 2032

Longitudinal Assessment Process

Longitudinal assessment, once begun, is an annual requirement. During each calendar year, diplomates will be required to complete online assessment items as follows:

Primary Obstetrics & Gynecology: 24 total assessment items annually (eight per quarter for the first three quarters of the year)

Primary Obstetrics & Gynecology can be customized to your scope of practice. Beginning in 2023, when you first log into the CATALYST platform, you will be prompted to design your assessment for the year. At that time, you will be able to select the practice category that most closely fits your practice:

  • OB/GYN – if your practice focuses at all on both areas
  • Obstetrics only – if you practice 100% in this area
  • Gynecology only – if you practice 100% in this area

Subspecialties (FPMRS, Gyn Oncology, MFM, and REI): 10 total assessment items annually (delivered in one segment closing on/around Sept. 30)

Number of reattempts: If a question is answered incorrectly, the assessment platform will display the reference and rationale. During the fourth quarter, you will have the opportunity to revisit any items answered incorrectly or left unanswered during previous segments. Items answered correctly during this second-chance round will cancel out the previous responses and count toward your overall score. Once a segment has closed, it cannot be reopened.

IMPORTANT: The final quarter of each year closes Dec. 15 to allow the AOBOG office sufficient time to process certification renewals.

Longitudinal Assessment Scoring

You must achieve a grade of 85% at the conclusion of the year in order to successfully pass the longitudinal assessment.

If you are unsuccessful in meeting the 85% required to pass the year, the AOBOG will look at your results over a combined 3-year rolling period to give you a chance to improve your overall score. If your 3-year average is above 85%, no adverse action will be taken against your certification.

If you fail to participate in a required longitudinal assessment, your certification may be placed in inactive status. In that case, you may contact the AOBOG to explore options for remediation.

Longitudinal Assessment Fees

Once you begin longitudinal assessment participation, you must register each year. A $300 fee will be assessed annually at the time of registration. Diplomates holding more than one time-limited certification will be assessed a $150 fee for each additional certification.

Longitudinal Assessment FAQs

Current users: View our list of Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about the ARC platform. Active users can log in here. FAQs about longitudinal assessment in general and the CATALYST platform coming in 2023 can be found below.

General information:

  • What is longitudinal assessment?
    Longitudinal assessment is a process that leverages technology to facilitate continuous learning by providing shorter assessments of knowledge relevant to your specialty training and career, delivered over time and accessible via a convenient remote online learning platform.
  • When can I begin longitudinal assessment?
    Your certification issue/expiration date will determine when should begin participating in longitudinal assessment. View the schedule.
  • How do I know when my certification was issued or expires?
    Visit the AOA Physician Portal to view your certification details and check the status of your OCC.
  • I have a non-time limited certificate. Do I need to participate in longitudinal assessment?
    No, participation in longitudinal assessment is voluntary if you hold a non-time-limited certificate.
  • Do I need to complete longitudinal assessment if I received certification through the AOA’s ABMS reciprocity campaign?
    Yes, you must fulfill all requirements for Osteopathic Continuous Certification in order to maintain AOA Board Certification.

Exam platform:

  • How is longitudinal assessment administered?
    The AOBOG longitudinal assessment will be administered through the CATALYST platform, hosted by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, beginning in January 2023.
  • How do I access the CATALYST platform?
    The CATALYST platform can be access any time via computer, tablet, smartphone or the CATALYST mobile app.
  • I have certifications in both OB/GYN and a subspecialty. How do I complete both assessments on the CATALYST platform?
    Once you are logged in to the platform, there is a dropdown box on the dashboard that you can use to navigate between the two assessments.

Longitudinal assessment registration:

  • How do I register for longitudinal assessment?
    If you are eligible to participate in longitudinal assessment, you can register on the AOBOG website.
  • How much does longitudinal assessment cost?
    The annual fee is $300 for the first certification and $150 for each additional certification and must be paid at the time of registration.

Longitudinal assessment process:

  • Are the assessments timed?
    Each question is untimed. You have the entire quarter to answer your questions. (Important note: the remediation quarter ends Dec. 15.)
  • Can I begin questions and then resume my assessment?
    Yes. You can begin the assessment, leave the site, and return at any time during the quarter. Unanswered questions will only be marked incorrect if left answered at the end of the quarter. You are required to answer the current question before moving on to the next.
  • Can I use reference materials?
    Longitudinal assessment is open book. You are welcome to use reference materials. The references used each year will be posted on this website and on the CATALYST platform. Information regarding references is intended to assist you. It is helpful, but not essential to answer the questions. Due to copyright restrictions, AOBOG cannot provide most reference materials. AOBOG primarily uses the ACOG Practice Bulletins and Committee Opinions for the primary OB/GYN assessment.
  • How do I review questions after answering them?
    You can review all questions you have answered in the past by using the “Item History” tab when logged in to the platform. This area will allow you to review all questions previously answered, including how you answered them, and what the reference(s) and rationale are for that question.
  • What happens if I don’t complete the assessment items within the quarter/segment?
    Any items left unanswered at the end of a quarter/segment will be marked as incorrect/unanswered. Your first attempt to answer those questions will be forfeited. You will be able to revisit these questions and any other incorrect question in the fourth quarter. Items answered correctly in this second-chance round will replace the incorrectly answered items from the previous quarters. Once a quarter/segment has ended, it cannot be reopened.
  • What is the passing score?
    You must achieve a grade of 85% at the conclusion of each year in order to successfully pass the longitudinal assessment.
  • What happens if I am unsuccessful in meeting the passing score?
    If you are unsuccessful in meeting the 85% required to pass the year, the AOBOG will look at your results over a combined 3-year rolling period to give you a chance to improve your overall score. If your 3-year average is above 85%, no adverse action will be taken against your certification. If your 3-year average is below 85%, the board may require you to take remedial steps to maintain certification.

 

OCC Written Exam (for inactive/expired certificates)

Physicians holding inactive or expired certificates must pass the traditional written OCC exam. Upon passing the exam and completing any other outstanding OCC requirements, your credentials will be submitted for reactivation of certification. At that point, you will be eligible to register for longitudinal assessment.

The multiple-choice exam for reentry into OCC in the primary specialty of obstetrics and gynecology is offered once each year, generally in the spring in an online, remote proctored setting.

The Primary OCC Exam is a two-hour exam consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions on general obstetrics (35-45%) and gynecology (55-65%) as well as general questions encompassing female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, maternal fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology, and gynecologic oncology. General knowledge reflective of the current standard of care based on the best available medical evidence is expected. Emphasis is placed on important changes in treatment guidelines (where applicable).

Primary Certification
CATEGORY PERCENT
Gynecology

  1. Abnormal uterine bleeding
  2. Abortion
  3. Breast disorders
  4. Cervical cytology screening and management/cervical neoplasia
  5. Contraception
  6. Domestic violence/sexual abuse
  7. Ectopic pregnancy
  8. Endocrine disorders
  9. Genomics
  10. Gynecologic oncology
  11. Health screening guidelines
  12. Infertility
  13. Menopause management
  14. Non-Contraceptive use of contraceptives
  15. OMM/OPP
  16. Operative complications
  17. Osteoporosis
  18. Pelvic pain
  19. Perioperative care
  20. PMS/PMDD
  21. Sexual dysfunction
  22. Sexually transmitted infections
  23. Urinary tract infection
  24. Urogynecology
  25. Uterus and adnexal disorders
  26. Vaginal disorders
  27. Vulvar disorders
55-65%
Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine

  1. Antepartum care
  2. Antenatal fetal assessment
  3. Intrapartum care and puerperium
  4. Medical complications in pregnancy
  5. Obstetrical complications
  6. Obstetrical ultrasound
  7. OMM/OPP
  8. Preconceptual counseling
  9. Psychiatric disorders
35-45%

Every effort will be made to release results within 45 days of the examination date. Exam results will be posted online in the same portal you registered for the exam. Candidates will be notified by email of the results posting.

Subspecialty OCC Oral Exam (for inactive/expired certificates)

Physicians holding inactive or expired subspecialty certificates must pass the Subspecialty OCC Oral exam. Upon passing the exam and completing any other outstanding OCC requirements, your credentials will be submitted for reactivation of certification. At that point, you will be eligible to register for longitudinal assessment.

Subspecialty OCC oral exams are offered spring and fall for Gynecologic Oncology and Maternal Fetal Medicine and spring only for Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility. The subspecialty OCC examination is a three-hour oral exam.

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology and Maternal Fetal Medicine oral exams will be scored as follows:

  • 50% – discussion of cases submitted from the log of clinical activity
  • 50% – candidate’s general knowledge of the subspecialty

Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility subspecialty oral exams will be scored as follows:

  • 100% – clinical case scenarios

A passing score is 75%. Every effort will be made to release results within 45 days of the examination date. Exam results will be posted online in the CBMS portal. Candidates will be notified by email when results are posted.

Applications and Payment

OCC Component 3 exam costs are outlined below:

OCC Certification
Exam Type Fee
ARC Annual OCC Fee
(once per calendar year)
$300 for one certification
$150 each additional certification
OCC Cognitive Assessment Exam Fee
(for inactive/expired certificates)
$1,525
Subspecialty OCC Exam
(for inactive/expired certificates)
$3,525

AOBOG Refund Policy

  • Primary OCC Examination
    • Applicant not accepted for examination by the Credentials Committee = 75% refund
    • Applicant cancels prior to 14 days of the scheduled examination = 50% refund
    • Applicant cancels within 14 days of the scheduled examination = no refund
  • Subspecialty Examinations
    • Applicant not accepted for examination by the Credentials Committee = 75% refund
    • Applicant cancels prior to 45 days of the scheduled examination = 50% refund
    • Applicant cancels within 45 days of the scheduled examination = no refund

Exam Failure

For physicians holding time-dated certification, failure to successfully complete the OCC process (all components) will result in the loss of certification when their current certification expires.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The Board supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for candidates who meet ADA eligibility. The board will make a reasonable effort to provide qualified board 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 Board supports the intent of 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 AOBOG board certification process.