OSTEOPATHIC BOARD CERTIFICATION

Component 3: Cognitive Assessment

Overview

Component 3 of the OCC process is intended to assess the knowledge, core competencies, and skills of AOBPMR diplomates in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and their subspecialties.

Introduction

Through participation in Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), AOA board-certified physicians maintain necessary skills, explore advancements in medicine and demonstrate expertise in their specialty.

In 2021, the AOBPMR 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 AOBPMR 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, tablet, smartphone or mobile app.

Longitudinal Assessment Registration

If you hold primary certification in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, please follow the guidelines below to determine when you should register for longitudinal assessment:

  • If your initial primary certification was issued before Jan. 1, 2021:
    You are required to participate in longitudinal assessment each year, beginning in the expiration year of your current 10-year certificate. Registration opens in fall prior to the start of the following year’s assessment.
  • If your initial primary certification was issued on Jan. 1, 2021, 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 Jan. 1, 2024.

Longitudinal Assessment Schedule

The following chart outlines the annual registration and administration cycles for longitudinal assessment. Each three-year cycle consists of three segments (calendar years).

Longitudinal Assessment Schedule
Cert Expiration Registration Opens Registration Closes Cycle Begins
Dec. 31, 2021 Oct. 15, 2021 Jan. 31, 2022 March 2, 2022
Dec. 31, 2022 Oct. 15, 2021 Jan. 31, 2022 March 2, 2022
Dec. 31, 2023 Aug. 31, 2022 Nov. 15, 2022 March 1, 2023
Dec. 31, 2024 Aug. 31, 2023 Nov. 15, 2023 Jan. 1, 2024
Dec. 31, 2025 Aug. 31, 2024 Nov. 15, 2024 Jan. 1, 2025
Dec. 31, 2025 Aug. 31, 2025 Nov. 15, 2025 Jan. 1, 2026
Dec. 31, 2027 Aug. 31, 2026 Nov. 15, 2026 Jan. 1, 2027
Dec. 31, 2028 Aug. 31, 2027 Nov. 15, 2027 Jan. 1, 2028
Dec. 31, 2029 Aug. 31, 2028 Nov. 15, 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 items delivered at the beginning of each of the first three quarters in the 12-month segment. Items will only be available during the quarter in which they are delivered. Diplomates will receive a total of 30 items during a full 12-month segment. A reference and rationale will display for all items incorrectly answered along with the correct answer.

Number of reattempts:

Diplomates will have the opportunity to re-attempt any items answered incorrectly during the fourth (and final) quarter of the 12-month segment. Only questions delivered during the first three quarters of the segment will be made available for re-attempts. Once the segment is closed no further reattempts will be allowed

Prorated items:

If your certification expiration year falls in year two or three of a three-year cycle, the number of questions you are required to complete for the cycle will be prorated. If your certification expiration year fall in year one of the cycle, instead of 90 questions, you will be required to complete 60 questions. If your certification expiration year falls in year two of the cycle you will be required to complete 30 questions.

Longitudinal Assessment Scoring

You must achieve a cumulative grade of 80% at the conclusion of the three-year cycle in order to successfully pass the longitudinal assessment (for both full and prorated participants).

If you do not achieve an 80% 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 AOBPMR to explore options for remediation.

Longitudinal Assessment Fees

Once you begin longitudinal assessment participation, you must register during each year of the three-year OCC cycle. A $200 fee will be assessed annually at the time of registration.

Longitudinal Assessment FAQs

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.
  • 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 AOBPMR 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, tablet, smartphone or the CATALYST mobile app.

Longitudinal assessment registration:

  • How do I register for longitudinal assessment?
    If you are eligible to participate in longitudinal assessment, you can register at AOBPMR.
  • How much does the longitudinal assessment cost?
    The annual fee is $200 and must be paid at the time of registration.

Longitudinal assessment process:

  • Are the assessments timed?
    No, the assessment questions are not timed.
  • Can I begin questions, stop, and then resume my assessment?
    Yes. You are able to start, pause the assessment and then resume the assessment where you left off at a later time of your choosing. The questions are untimed but must be answered during the quarter in which they are delivered.
  • What is the passing score?
    You must achieve a cumulative grade of 80% at the conclusion of the three-year cycle.
  • What happens if I am unsuccessful in meeting the passing score?
    Should you not meet the 80% cumulative passing score, once the assessment cycle has closed, you will receive a six-month grace period to participate in the final remediation process. The final remediation consists of a 90-question exam administered in a secure, proctored format. A score of 80% or better must be achieved to pass. Failure to pass remediation may result in your board certification being placed into an inactive status.

Compliance With Federal Regulations

The AOBPMR is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1992. If a candidate has a disability and requests accommodation in taking an exam, the candidate must submit a questionnaire application and documentation, and the Board will make a reasonable effort to provide necessary aids or services that do not alter the measurement of skills and knowledge that the exam is intended to test, and does not result in undue burden upon the Board.

In its examination processes, the Board will not require candidates to provide, nor will it use, any protected health information, and is obligated to remain compliant with HIPAA (Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act).

The AOBPMR does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, creed, sex, age, country of origin, country or sexual orientation.