Component 3: Cognitive Assessment
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 Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery to pass one or more psychometrically valid and proctored examinations focused on assessing medical knowledge and core competencies.
In 2022, the AOBOO announced the replacement of the traditional high-stakes recertification exam previously required every 10 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.
The AOBOO 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 or tablet.
Longitudinal Assessment Registration
If you hold primary certification in Ophthalmology or Otolaryngology, please follow the guidelines below to determine when you should register for longitudinal assessment:
- If your initial primary certification was issued before Jan. 1, 2022:
You are required to participate in longitudinal assessment each year, beginning in the expiration year of your current 10-year certificate. Registration opens June 1 prior to the following year’s assessment.
- If your initial primary certification was issued on Jan. 1, 2022, 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 primary 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 2022, you would register for longitudinal assessment in Fall 2023 and begin participation in 2024.
Longitudinal Assessment Schedule
|Longitudinal Assessment Schedule|
|Cert Expiration||Registration Opens||Registration Closes||Cycle Begins|
Dec. 31, 2022
|Sept. 1, 2021||March 31, 2022||May 4, 2022|
Dec. 31, 2023
|June 1, 2022||Oct. 31, 2022||Jan. 1, 2023|
Dec. 31, 2024
|June 1, 2023||Oct. 31, 2023||Jan. 1, 2024|
Dec. 31, 2025
|June 1, 2024||Oct. 31, 2024||Jan. 1, 2025|
Dec. 31, 2026
|June 1, 2025||Oct. 31, 2025||Jan. 1, 2026|
Dec. 31, 2027
|June 1, 2026||Oct. 31, 2026||Jan. 1, 2027|
Dec. 31, 2028
|June 1, 2027||Oct. 31, 2027||Jan. 1, 2028|
Dec. 31, 2029
|June 1, 2028||Oct. 31, 2028||Jan. 1, 2029|
Longitudinal Assessment Process
Each longitudinal assessment cycle will coincide with the OCC cycle, lasting three years.
During each calendar year of the three-year cycle, you will be required to:
- Answer 10 untimed multiple-choice questions during the first three quarters of the year, for a total of 30 questions per calendar year. All questions must be answered during the calendar year in which they were issued.
- The final quarter is for remediation where all skipped or incorrectly answered questions can be re-attempted one additional time.
Number of reattempts:
If a question is answered incorrectly, the assessment platform will display the reference and correct answer. You will have one additional attempt at any skipped or incorrectly answered questions during the remediation period in the final quarter of the year. Once the segment is closed at the end of the calendar year, reattempts will not be allowed.
Longitudinal Assessment Scoring
You must achieve a cumulative grade of 70% at the conclusion of the three-year cycle in order to successfully pass the longitudinal assessment.
If you do not achieve a 70% cumulative grade or you fail to participate in a required longitudinal assessment, your certification may be placed in inactive status. In that case, you may contact the AOBOO to explore options for remediation.
Longitudinal Assessment Fees
Annual registration for longitudinal assessment is required. A $200 fee will be assessed at the time of registration.
Longitudinal Assessment FAQs
- 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?
If you are already certified prior to January 1, 2022: your certification issue/expiration date will determine when should begin participating in longitudinal assessment.
If you are certified after January 1, 2022: one year from the issue date of your initial primary 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 2022, you would register for longitudinal assessment in Fall 2023 and begin participation in 2024.
- 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.
- How is longitudinal assessment administered?
The American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery longitudinal assessment is administered through the CATALYST platform, hosted by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.
- How do I access the CATALYST platform?
The CATALYST platform can be accessed anytime via computer or tablet.
Longitudinal assessment registration:
- How do I register for longitudinal assessment?
If you are eligible to participate in longitudinal assessment, you can register directly on the AOBOO website.
- How much does longitudinal assessment cost?
The annual fee is $200 and must be paid at the time of registration on an annual basis.
Longitudinal assessment process:
- Are the assessments timed?
No, but all items must be attempted during the quarter in which they were presented.
- Can I begin questions and then resume my exam?
Yes, you can access the item again, during the item’s quarter, as long as you have not submitted an answer.
- What is the passing score?
You must achieve a cumulative grade of 70% at the conclusion of the three-year cycle to successfully pass the AOBOO longitudinal assessment.
- What happens if I am unsuccessful in meeting the passing score?
The AOBOO longitudinal assessment will coincide with the three-year OCC cycle. During the 4th quarter of each calendar year, you will be given one additional opportunity to remediate any skipped or incorrectly answered questions during the first three quarters. Should you fail to remediate during the final quarter of the final year of the OCC cycle, you will have 6 months to take and pass the AOBOO OCC exam which will consist of all items presented the entire longitudinal assessment cycle. You will have the opportunity to exam once a month during the 6-month period. After the 6-month grace period has ended, if you fail to pass the secured OCC exam, your certification will be placed into an inactivate status.
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 AOBOO-HNS board certification process.