Exam Policies

Rescoring of Examinations

Candidates may request that the AOBP psychometrician manually review the computer scoring of the exam. Requests for review of the written exam must be submitted in writing to AOBP at aobp@osteopathic.org within 30 days of receiving exam results. If the request is for an oral exam, the appeals must be submitted within two hours from the completion of the oral exam process.

Right to Appeal

If a candidate feels that actions of the AOBP with regard to any part of the certification process constitute unequal application of the Bylaws or Policies and Procedures, unwarranted discrimination, prejudice, unfairness or improper conduct of the examination, he or she has the right to appeal to the board.

Appeals to the board must be made in writing and should include any supporting document for proper review of the case. The appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 days of receiving exam results.

The board will not consider appeals based on examination content, sufficiency or accuracy of answers to exam questions, scoring of the exam, and/or determination of the minimum passing score. If an appeal is denied by the AOBP, the candidate retains the right to appeal to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS).

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOBP complies with all applicable federal and state regulations, including:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The AOBP complies with requirements prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, as well as regulations for Title II and Title III (and all subsequent regulations) as printed in the federal register.

Certification Examination Process Policy

Initial Entry Process

  1. 1. Approval of an application to take the specialty or subspecialty examination by specialty certifying board will initiate the initial entry process for a candidate.
  2. 2. Candidates must follow the specialty certifying board’s certification examination process as outlined on the board’s website. Candidates must complete the initial entry process by the conclusion of the six (6) year board eligibility status time frame.
  3. 3. Candidates who have not achieved board certification by the conclusion of the six (6) year board eligibility status time frame must petition the specialty certifying board as outlined in the post board eligibility process that follows.

Post Board Eligibility Process

  1. 1. Candidates who did not achieve board certification by the conclusion to the six (6) year board eligibility timeframe must apply for examination to the specialty certifying board to enter the post board eligibility certification process within three (3) years of termination of the board eligibility status timeframe.
  2. 2. Candidates must petition the specialty certifying board indicating why that did not seek certification within the six-year policy period and indicate why they are now seeking certification.
  3. 3. Upon approval for entry, the Candidates must follow the examination application process outlined under Initial Certification.
    1. a. Candidates must participate in the first available administration of each exam.
    2. b. Candidates will have four (4) attempts to pass each step of the examination process.
    3. c. Candidates must participate in the next available examination administration if unsuccessful on an examination attempt.
    4. d. Nonparticipation in the next available examination administration is considered a forfeiture and an unsuccessful examination attempt.
  4. 4. Candidates who do not achieve board certification through the post board eligibility process will have no further opportunity to obtain AOA board certification in the specialty or subspecialty.

Specialty Certifying Board Requirements

  1. 1. All specialty certifying boards are required to ensure that the applicants have complied with the certification examination process as outlined in Section 2. (Certification Examination Process).
  2. 2. During the six (6) years of board eligibility status, a specialty certifying board may have more stringent requirements in the number of examination attempts a candidate may complete to achieve AOA board certification.

Code of Conduct: Irregular or Improper Behavior

Because of the AOA’s commitment to the high level of confidentiality and integrity of our certifying board examinations, board examination results and questions of improper conduct are reviewed by board members. Improper behavior, including but not limited to, giving, receiving or otherwise obtaining unauthorized information or assistance, looking at or utilizing the test material of others, taking notes, failing to comply with computer site staff instructions, talking with other candidates or other disruptive behavior will be considered cause for review of conduct and a possible violation of the certification process. Candidates must not discuss the examination while the session is in progress. Candidates must not disclose the contents of the examination to others or reproduce the examination or any portion of the examination in any manner, including without limitation reconstruction through memorization, electronic means or dictation. All AOA examinations are copyrighted and protected by federal law. The above policies apply to all examinations administered by any AOA specialty certifying board.

It is a criminal offense to copy or reproduce any portion of the certifying examinations. Each board will monitor examinations for irregular or improper behavior by direct observation, statistical analysis and by other means. Irregular or improper behavior will constitute grounds for invalidation of the candidate’s examination and each board reserves the right to invoke other sanctions, such as exclusion from future examinations, revocation of board certification and reporting misconduct to censing bodies or law enforcement agencies.