OCC – Continuous Certification

Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) Information

AOBOO OCC Protocol revised 5.12.17

List of Specialty Credit Hours as Defined by the AOBOO to Fulfill the 50 Credit Hours for Certification (PDF)

Examination Application Deadlines: March 1st or August 1st


  • May 2, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort, Bonita Springs, FL



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 will not be 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, which also includes meeting all CME requirements for their specialty.

Getting Started with OCC

1. How do I start OCC for my specialty?

Official letters of announcement were sent to all diplomates who are required to participate in OCC, with a registration deadline of April 30, 2013. The AOBOO provides 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 AOBOO has the diplomate’s most current information. The application is available on the AOBOO 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 www.Osteopathic.org in order to track the progress of an OCC cycle.

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

Each participant in the OCC process is required to pay an annual OCC fee of $150.00. Verification of participation in and compliance with the OCC process is available through the Board Office.

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 to 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 AOBOO will offer written examinations twice a year (spring and fall). Diplomates may begin taking the examination three years prior to the expiration date of the certification, allowing six (6) opportunities to pass the examination. Eligibility example: If a diplomate’s 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 do I complete component 4?

Component 4 requires AOBOO certified physicians to attest to participating in a quality improvement activity.  Physicians can visit https://physicianportal.osteopathic.org/PPA to attest.  Please, note you will be required to sign into the site using your osteopathic.org login information.

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

The objective of the AOBOO 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, or 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.

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 inactive status must be submitted in writing to the AOBOO 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 clinically inactive status has been granted, it becomes the responsibility of the diplomate to notify the AOBOO 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 AOBOO if questions arise  (312-202-8154 or aoboo@osteopathic.org).