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Initial Board Certification

Initial Certification Process

Candidates for ABSS certification must first be board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, or equivalent. However, applicants may begin the process of ABSS certification if they have passed the ABNS, ABOS, or equivalent written examination. Certificates in spine surgery, however, will not be conferred upon successful candidates until proof of attainment of ABNS, ABOS, or equivalent certification has been submitted.

The ABSS certification process includes a written examination and an oral examination. After submission of an application for Part I Written Examination and all of the required materials, the application will be reviewed by the Credentials Committee. Upon approval of the Credentials Committee, an applicant will receive information on how to register for the written examination. The examination is computerized and held in conveniently located proctored facilities throughout the US. ABSS has provided a two-week window so that examinations can be scheduled at the most convenient time possible.

Following approval for the Part I Written Examination, an applicant may go ahead and apply for Part II Oral Examination. However, the oral examination cannot be taken until the written examination has been passed.