OCC – Continuous Certification

Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) Information

Component 4 Practice Performance Assessment (PPA) modules are now available. For PPA module information, go to http://www.osteopathic-cat.com/

OCC Protocol (PDF )

Application for OCC (PDF)


Spring – Saturday, June 10, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida

  • First Application Deadline (no late fee):  April 10, 2017
  • Final Application deadline (includes $500 late fee):  May 10, 2017

Fall – Thursday, October 12, 2017 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD

  • First Application Deadline (no late fee):  August 11, 2017
  • Final Application deadline (includes $500 late fee):  September 12, 2017

OCC Written Examination Tables of Specifications



1. What is OCC?

Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) is a process in which board certified DOs will maintain current status and demonstrate competency in their specialty area.  The goals for OCC are to provide certified physicians with a process to continually assess and improve their skills and to assure patients and the public that certified physicians are being assessed through reliable and valid measures.

2. Who is required to participate in OCC?

All diplomates with time-limited certification are required to participate in OCC.

3. Will I remain certified if I don’t participate in OCC?

By choosing not to participate in OCC, you are voluntarily suspending the rights to your board certification.

4. Who has the option of participating?

If you have a non-time-limited certification, you are not required to participate in OCC at this time; however, we strongly encourage your participation. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has agreed to accept OCC for Maintenance of Licensure (MOL). If you do not participate in OCC, you may have additional requirements for MOL as prescribed by the state(s) where you are licensed. Diplomates with non-time-limited certificates will still be required to maintain their license to practice and to maintain AOA membership, including meeting all CME requirements for their specialty.

Getting Started with OCC

1. How do I start OCC for my specialty?

Official letters of announcement have been sent to all diplomates who are required to participate in OCC, with a registration deadline of April 30, 2013. The AOBS will provide an OCC registration process for all diplomates with a time-limited certificate, as well as those diplomates with a non-time-limited certificate who wish to participate. The application process is in place to ensure that the AOBS has the diplomate’s most current information. The OCC application is available on the AOBS website.

2. Do I need to register in order to participate?

Registration is required in order to participate in OCC.

3. How can I track my progress on the continuous certification requirements?

The AOA is developing an online platform that will be accessed through Osteopathic.org in order to track the progress of an OCC cycle.

4. Are there any new fees associated with the OCC process?

No, there are no additional OCC fees.

Maintaining OCC

1. What happens to my AOA board certification if I have a restricted license?

A sub-committee of the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists has been created that will monitor license suspensions on a case by case basis with the input of the individual certifying board.

2. Do I still have to take an exam? If yes, when will the examinations be offered?

The written examination is required for all diplomates participating in the OCC process. The AOBS will offer written examinations twice a year (spring and fall). Diplomates may begin taking the examination two years prior to the expiration date of the certification, allowing six (6) opportunities to pass the examination. Eligibility example: If a diplomates original certificate was issued April 2004 and expires April 2014, the eligibility for the written examination would begin with the Spring of 2011 and end with the Fall of 2013.

3. How many Practice Performance Assessments (PPA) will be required?

Practice Performance Assessments will be required once every three years in the OCC process.

4. Where will I find these PPAs, and how do I register?

Information regarding the PPA modules may be found on www.osteopathic-CAT.com.

5. What components need to be completed before I take an exam?

Components 1 and 5 must be verified prior to taking an examination.

6. What if I miss a step and don’t complete all of the requirements by the deadlines?

The objective of the AOBS is to stay in contact with all diplomates while in the OCC process, with the expectation that no one will miss a step. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each diplomate in the OCC process to stay informed and up to date with all of the OCC requirements.

Special Cases of OCC

1. How may I meet the Component 4 requirements if I am not currently practicing in my field of certification?

Diplomates who are in an academic or administrative position, and who are not clinically caring for patients may complete non-patient care modules, such as Communications, Ethics, Professionalism.

2. How are those OCC requirements different?

Non-patient care modules, such as Communications, Ethics and Professionalism will demonstrate that the diplomate is still maintaining knowledge of the basic competencies.

3. How may I meet the OCC requirements if I am not providing patient care?

Diplomates with time-limited certification who are in an academic or administrative position and who are not clinically caring for patients may request a clinically inactive status, which allows diplomates to propose Component 4 activities that are applicable to their current role in osteopathic medicine. The Board must review and approve proposed Component 4 activities. All other OCC components must be satisfied, including the examination. The clinically inactive status applies to academic physicians who do not supervise residents providing patient care and unemployed physicians.

Should the diplomate decide to return to practice (part-time or full-time), he or she must submit proof of 25 hours of 1A CME in the specialty in the first year and take the written examination at the first available administration.

Requests for an clinically inactive status must be submitted in writing to the AOBS at the time of application to the OCC process. Documentation from an institution or company officer verifying the academic or administrative position is required. Once the inactive status has been granted, it becomes the responsibility of the diplomate to notify the AOBS within thirty (30) days following return to patient care if he/she decides to return to practice.

4. Who do I contact with questions?

Diplomates may contact the American Osteopathic Association with questions about the online platform (1-800-621-1773) and the AOBS (1-800-621-1773 Ext. 8078 or AOBS@osteopathic.org) if questions arise regarding the OCC process.

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