Continuing Certification for Medical Physics

Continuing Certification Exams

Last verified on February 20, 2024
 
 

 

 

Introduction

The Continuing Certification Exam for medical physics is a computer-based exam. A 125-question exam will be offered for each of the medical physics specialties: diagnostic medical physics, nuclear medical physics, and therapeutic medical physics. Each medical physics specialty’s Continuing Certification Exam is tailored to focus on clinical applications of medical physics as would be understood by diplomates who are established in practice. Topics for all specialties include dosimetry, radiation biology, radiation protection, shielding design, professionalism, and ethics. Topics for individual specialties include equipment for treatment or imaging, treatment planning, clinical protocols for treatment or imaging, informatics, and regulations.

This exam is needed only in limited situations. Anyone who has questions may send an email to information@theabr.org or call 520-790-2900.

Continuing Certification Exam dates are available on the medical physics exam calendar.

 

 

Registration

Eligible examinees will be able to register for a Continuing Certification Exam in myABR. Examinees will be able to choose their exam date from upcoming exam administrations. The reporting time will be assigned to the examinee once registration is finalized. To ensure they receive all exam-related emails, examinees should confirm that their contact information is up to date.

 

 

Preparing for the MP Continuing Certification Exam

PLEASE NOTE: List of Constants and Physical Values for Use on the Medical Physics Continuing Certification Exams

The ABR provides examinees with a list of constants, physical values, and related information, which can be found on this page. While the list includes many constants and physical values, the ABR does not warrant the list as a compilation of all constants and physical values needed on the exams. Examinees should review the list carefully before their exam to familiarize themselves with the contents and list organization. Please note that although constants are provided, equations are not typically provided.

The content of all ABR exams is determined by a panel of experts who select the items based on a content guide that the ABR publishes. The content guides are assembled using guidance from medical physics organizations. The content guides are general documents, and individual exam items may not appear to be exactly congruent with the content listed in the guide. In addition, since there is only a limited number of items on any exam, selected items will only be a sample from the larger domain of the content guide.

The Continuing Certification Exam (CCE) comprises questions deemed to represent the knowledge of a minimally competent, experienced medical physicist. In contrast to the qualifying exams, the CCE includes only a small number of questions addressing fundamentals, such as radiation interactions, and instead emphasizes topics expected to be encountered in the daily practice of a clinical physicist. The Angoff score (passing standard) of the CCE is determined by a panel of experts who consider the expected performance of a clinically active, experienced physicist who has prepared for the exam.

To understand how exam questions are written and learn more about different types of exam questions, please see the ABR Item Writers’ Guide. For a look at the extensive QA process that each question goes through, please see the Illustrated Life Cycle of an ABR Exam Item.

Diagnostic Medical Physics (DMP) Content Guide

Nuclear Medical Physics (NMP) Content Guide

Therapeutic Medical Physics (TMP) Content Guide

 

 

Continuing Certification Exam Guide

For important information about exam requirements and the exam day experience, please click on the image to access the Continuing Certification Exam Guide.

 

 

Exam Readiness Check and Sample Questions

The Exam Readiness Check is available only to examinees who are currently registered for an upcoming Continuing Certification Exam. You will be sent an authenticated link to access the Exam Readiness Check 90 days prior to the exam you registered for or 24 hours after registration if it is less than 90 days prior to an exam. It can also be accessed in myABR.

We highly recommend that you complete the Exam Readiness Check in the location and with the computer you plan to use on exam day. Should it be necessary to change your location or computer before exam day, it is highly recommended that you repeat the Exam Readiness Check.

The Exam Readiness Check provides an opportunity for examinees to familiarize themselves with the exam interface and navigation before their exam day. Completing the Exam Readiness Check is important to fully understand the functionality of the exam interface including case navigation, flagging questions, using the image manipulation tools, starting/ending a break, and question content blocking.

When the Exam Readiness Check is launched, a quick technical verification is initiated to ensure that your microphone, camera, internet connection, and computer software are optimized for the exam. In addition, an identification check will be performed. You may need to download an updated version of Google Chrome to complete the technical verification.

After you complete the Exam Readiness Check, you will gain access to a set of Sample Questions. The purpose of these questions is not to test your knowledge of possible exam content, but rather to allow you to become familiar with the variety of possible question types. To see the answer key for the diagnostic medical physics sample questions, click here. To see the answer key for the nuclear medical physics sample questions, click here. To see the answer key for the therapeutic medical physics sample questions, click here.

 

 

Scoring and Results

The ABR uses criterion-referenced scoring on all its computer-based exams. To learn more about this method and how it differs from norm-referenced scoring, please visit our Exam Scoring Model page.

The pass/fail results for the Continuing Certification exams are posted in each examinees myABR account approximately six weeks after the exam. Examinees will receive an email when results have been posted.

 

 

Exam Scoring Progress

Current Status of MP Continuing Certification Exam Results

Exam results are posted in each candidate’s myABR account approximately six weeks after the exam. Candidates will receive an email when exam results have been posted. After your exam administration, a progress bar will appear here displaying the current phase of the scoring process for that exam. The MP Continuing Certification Exam is not currently being scored.

 

Overview of Computer-based Exam Scoring Process

All ABR computer-based exam results go through the following six phases before results are posted. For more information about the exam scoring process, please see this video from ABR Executive Director Brent Wagner.

Phase 1: Collect

  • Upload candidate responses to scoring system.
  • Confirm that all candidate responses are in the scoring system.

Phase 2: Initial Scoring

  • Execute initial computerized scoring routine.
  • Psychometric staff manually analyze scoring routine output to ensure and confirm accuracy.

Phase 3: Quality Assurance

  • Psychometric staff identify poor performing questions using industry-standard best practices.
  • Poor performing questions are then sent to ABR volunteer subject matter experts for review.
  • Based on these analyses, some questions may be eliminated from scoring to ensure fairness.

Phase 4: Secondary Scoring

  • After eliminating poor performing questions, re-execute computerized scoring routine to recalculate scores.
  • Psychometric staff manually analyze new scoring routine output to ensure and confirm accuracy of final exam results.

Phase 5: Validation

  • Validate that exam results and feedback are correctly displayed in myABR for each candidate.

Phase 6: Release Results

  • Post results to myABR and notify candidates.

 

 

FAQs

When can I take the CCE?
You can take the CCE during year four or five of your five-year Part 3 cycle.

How do I register for the CCE?
Registration for the exam is completed through myABR.

How long is the CCE?
Please see the Exam Breakdown and Timing page for exam details.

What format is the CCE?
The CCE is a computer-based exam.

Where is the CCE administered?
The exam is administered remotely at a location of your choice.

Can I take the CCE instead of answering OLA questions?
Yes, you can take the exam instead of answering OLA questions. 

How do I prepare for the CCE?
Review the content guides. You will also have the opportunity to complete the Exam Readiness Check after you register for the CCE.

Are there sample questions for the CCE?
Yes. After you complete the Exam Readiness Check, you will gain access to a set of sample questions.

What is the Exam Readiness Check?
The Exam Readiness Check provides an opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the exam interface and navigation before exam day.

When do I complete the Exam Readiness Check?
You will be sent an authenticated link to access the Exam Readiness Check 90 days before your exam or 24 hours after registration if it is less than 90 days until your exam.

What is the importance of the Exam Readiness Check?
In addition to familiarizing you with the exam interface and navigation, there is also a technical verification that ensures your microphone, camera, internet connection, and computer software are optimized for the exam.

How many times can I take the CCE?
You may take the exam as many times as the exam is offered in years four and five of your five-year Part 3 cycle.

What happens if I fail the CCE?
The exam can be taken as many times as it is administered in years four and five of your five-year Part 3 cycle.

What happens if I don’t meet the Part 3 requirement?
Not meeting the Part 3 requirement will result in maintenance ending immediately for that certificate. If the certificate is a continuous certificate, the certificate will be publicly reported as “no longer certified.”

How long does it take to receive my CCE results?
CCE results are posted approximately six weeks after the exam.