ABO announces end to phase-in period

January 13, 2012

The American Board of Optometry (ABO) has announced the timetable for the expiration of the Phase-In Rules of the ABO’s Board Certification process.

As directed by the profession, the American Board of Optometry began the process for optometric board certification with modified qualification rules of a 3-Year Phase-In Period.

During this time, the following could be used toward the 150 points of Post-Graduate Requirements needed to qualify to register for the examination:

  • Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)-accredited residency: 150 points (regardless of date of completion)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Optometry (AAO): 50 points (regardless of date of completion)
  • Fellow, College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD): 50 points (regardless of date of completion)
  • Experience in Active Clinical Practice: 5 points per year of active clinical practice

After April 2013, the modifications to the qualification requirements below take effect:

  • ACOE-Accredited Residency: 150 points if competed less than three years ago or 100 points if completed three to 10 years ago. (No points if completed >10 years ago.)
  • Fellow, AAO: 50 points if completed within 10 years (No points if completed >10 years)
  • Fellow, COVD: No longer accepted
  • Experience in Active Clinical Practice: No longer accepted

Requirements for Category 1 and 2 Education will remain unchanged.

For ABO Active Candidates to qualify under the rules of the phase-in period, they must apply to become an Active Candidate no later than April 30, 2013, submit their post-graduate requirements for verification by the ABO no later than June 30, 2013, then take the ABO Board Certification Examination no later than January 2014.

In order for the ABO to verify the active candidate’s credentials and post graduate requirements, and allow better seat selection at a testing center nearby, the ABO recommends beginning the initial application no later than 90 days prior to the starting date of the examination desired by the candidate.

Note that January 2014 is the date of the last exam using Phase-In rules. There are three earlier exam dates that the ABO strongly encourages candidates to take advantage of!

Upcoming exam dates for the initial three-year phase-in are July 15-31, 2012, January 2013,* July 2013* and January 2014.* exact dates to be announced.

For additional information, see the Get Certified tab on the ABO Web site at www.abopt.org.

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