Change to the Maintenance of AOA Board Certification

By Jan. 1, 2013, all specialty certification boards must implement Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), which will change the certification process from being a single event to a continuous, lifelong process. Each certified DO with time-limited certificates will be required to participate in the five components of the OCC process. Component four, "Practice Performance Assessment and Improvement," is a NEW requirement for certification and will require that DOs complete a self-assessment program as designated by their specialty boards.

Why is Osteopathic Continuous Certification being implemented?

1) The single certification/recertification examination model at given intervals is no longer the competitive standard in the health care industry, or the standard demanded by the public.

2) Federal and state governments as well as health plans are now tying reimbursement to performance measures.

3) External factors in the past decade have also made it apparent that the osteopathic medical profession needed to consider performance evaluation as part of the certification process. Some of these factors include:

  • Institute of Medicine reports calling for improvements in the quality of medical care.

  • Allopathic requirements for Maintenance of Certification. More than half of ABMS Boards have implemented these new industry standards with many more following.

  • Federation of State Medical Boards recommendations for Maintenance of Licensure requirements that call for continuous professional development for license renewal.

The AOA's role is to ensure that the profession remains a viable force in the delivery of health care. As a result, the AOA held various meetings with the above organizations, as well as with osteopathic affiliates – divisional societies, specialty colleges and certifying boards to ensure that DOs would continue to be viewed as an important part of the nation's health care delivery system.

Learn more about OCC.

Additional OCC Resources.