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Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC)

For the Public

Sports Medicine CAQ

Steps to Certification




142 East Ontario Street
Floor 4
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Phone 800-621-1773,
Extension 8267
Fax 312-202-8441

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About Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC)

The AOBP is in the midst of changes related to OCC. Please do not use the current information posted as a reference. Please make sure to contact the AOBP directly if you have any questions at

Definition of OCC:

  • A process developed to incorporate practice performance and improvement into the board certification process.
  • It provides opportunities to evaluate and improve knowledge.
  • Insures the incorporation of evidence based medicine into clinical practice.
  • The goal is to provide quality patient centered care

History of OCC:

  • In the 1980’s, reports from various health care entities such as the Institute of Medicine were critical of the quality of healthcare in the United States. Various organizations such as Congress, the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services and other insurance groups, consumer groups, the Federation of State Medical Boards and other healthcare parties took notice and began planning changes to the system.
  • In response to these reports, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) created a plan to insure the continued independence of the medical profession and its ability to govern itself. This plan centered on continuous, lifelong learning and quality improvement and was called Maintenance of Certification (MOC). The first step in the MOC plan was to eliminate “lifelong” certification and require Osteopathic Continuous Certification examinations. This occurred in the 1990’s. In addition, certification terms were extended by many boards.
  • The ABMS MOC plans were put into place by all of the boards represented by the ABMS in 2010.
  • In response to these steps, in 2007 the AOA Board of Trustees (BOT) tasked the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists with the development of a similar plan. The program which has been developed is called Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) and every board represented by the BOS has created a specialty specific plan with unique osteopathic components. These plans became effective on January 1, 2013.

The OCC Cycle:

  • The OCC cycle is a nine year period consisting of three - three (3) year CME cycles and is independent of the AOBP’s specialty certificate term length which remains at ten (10) years.
  • There will be specific requirements which must be met for each three year CME cycle as well as the nine year OCC cycle and the ten year Osteopathic Continuous Certification requirement. These will be explained in the following sections.

The Components of OCC:

  • There are five components of OCC.
    • Licensure
    • Lifelong Learning and Assessment
    • Demonstration of Cognitive Expertise
    • Practice Performance Assessment
    • Professional Association
  • The five components of OCC must be integrated with the seven Osteopathic Core Competencies which were developed and adopted by the AOA BOT.  These core competencies form the foundation of OCC and are assessed throughout a physician’s career. They are:
    • Osteopathic Philosophy and Manipulative Medicine
    • Medical Knowledge of the medical sciences and their application to patient care.
    • Patient Care that promotes health care and the treatment of health problems.
    • Interpersonal & Communication Skills facilitating information exchange with patients, their families and other health care professionals.
    • Professionalism demonstrating mature assumption of responsibilities, ethical principles and societal/cultural sensitivity.
    • Practice Based Learning and Assessment involving self-evaluation and leading to improvement in patient care.
    • Systems Based Practice demonstrating an awareness and ability to use system resources to provide quality patient care.


Content Disclaimer: The information provided in the American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics (AOBP) web site is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract between the AOBP and any person or entity unless otherwise specified. Information on the AOBP website is subject to change without prior notice. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, the AOBP makes no guarantees of any kind.

©2013, American Osteopathic Board of Pediatrics
Operating under the authority of the American Osteopathic Association