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Initial Certification

Initial Certification > Radiation Oncology


Radiation Oncology

Initial certification information is for candidates who have not been previously certified in radiation oncology.

The Certificate

A certificate will be issued to each candidate who has satisfactorily completed an ACGME-accredited training program or alternate pathway and has passed computer-based (qualifying) and oral (certifying) examinations, demonstrating an adequate level of knowledge and ability in radiation oncology in accordance with the definition as stated in the bylaws, policies, and procedures of the American Board of Radiology.

As you progress through your residency and after completion of training, you will take examinations that afford you your initial certification in radiation oncology.

Your certificate remains valid contingent upon meeting the requirements of Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

Throughout the period for which you hold certification, you are expected to continue learning and improving your skills in a personalized program (see ABR MOC information). Your progress will be evaluated annually via a rolling three-year "look-back."

Your initial certification status and MOC status will be publicly reported on our website, as well as on the official public reporting website of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), www.certificationmatters.org. This shows interested parties that you are keeping up with the latest developments in your field.

A certificate granted by this Board does not of itself confer, or purport to confer, any degree or legal qualifications, privileges, or license to practice radiation oncology, nor does it confer an ability to legally perform procedures with radioactive materials regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), lincensure for which can only be granted by the NRC.

Time Limitation for Attaining Initial Certification (Period of "Board Eligibility")

Candidates have specific time limits for remaining eligible to be initially certified by the ABR and to maintain their status as board eligible. Board eligibility will begin at the completion of radiation oncology residency training. For international medical graduates (IMGs) seeking initial certification through an alternate IMG pathway, "completion of training" is defined as the end of the four-year period outlined in the Sponsoring Department Agreement.

The termination dates for board eligibility status are listed below.

Completion of Training

Termination of Board Eligibility

2004 or before

December 31, 2014


December 31, 2015


December 31, 2016

2011 and afterward

Six full calendar years from completion of training

After the period of board eligibility ends, candidates failing to successfully complete the initial certification process will no longer be considered by the ABR as board eligible, will no longer be permitted to designate themselves as such for communications or credentialing purposes, and will no longer be reported as such to external agencies in verification letters. Please click here for more information on board eligibility and reinstatement of board-eligible status.

Questions related to these or other board certification issues can be addressed to ic@theabr.org, or by calling (520) 790-2900.

To read the board eligible policy, please click here.