Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA)

Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA)

Last verified on August 27, 2018
Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) for Part 3 of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program is almost ready to start. Diagnostic radiology and diagnostic radiology subspecialty diplomates will begin this ongoing assessment in early 2019. Diplomates certified in radiation oncology, medical physics, and interventional radiology will start in 2020.


OLA is a progressive online assessment that will replace the previous proctored MOC Exam required every 10 years. OLA is aligned with the other three parts of MOC that remain the same—Part 1: state licensure; Part 2: CME and self-assessment; and Part 4: participation in practice quality improvement activities.  

Benefits of OLA

  • Flexibility in Participation – You choose when to answer the questions.
  • Immediate Feedback – You will know if you answer correctly or incorrectly, and what the correct answer is for each question. Brief discussion and reference information is also included.
  • No Travel Required – Questions are available for you to answer on your own time at work or at home with no travel required.

OLA Questions

The OLA questions are written and reviewed by your radiology peers who volunteer their time on a number of committees.  

OLA Process

OLA enables diplomates to demonstrate what they know. For diagnostic radiologists, questions will be tailored to a self-selected practice profile. The OLA dashboard will enable you to monitor your progress and performance. ABR board members and staff are committed to ensuring that OLA is reliable, reasonable, relevant, and meaningful. The ABR has a sustained responsibility to the public to certify that diplomates demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skill, and understanding of their disciplines to benefit patients.  


Is this similar to the American Board of Anesthesiology’s (ABA’s) MOCA Minute™?

Yes. This new process, which has been well-vetted by the American Board of Anesthesiology with overwhelming diplomate satisfaction, will be a similar ongoing online assessment of learning. However, the two programs are not anticipated to be identical.

I was supposed to take an MOC Exam in 2017. Will I be listed as “not meeting MOC requirements” because I can’t take the exam?

No. If you were meeting MOC requirements at the 2017 MOC Annual Review, then your Part 3 requirement is deferred until the rollout of OLA. If you were NOT meeting MOC requirements at this review because you had not taken an MOC exam in the past 10 years, you will be required to take an MOC exam. Please call the ABR office for more information.

I have a subspecialty certificate in Hospice and Palliative Medicine or Pain Medicine. Am I also deferred from taking the exam?

The rules regarding participation for diplomates with these subspecialty certificates has not yet been finalized.

Is the MOC program being discontinued?

No. The MOC program is continuing, but the Part 3 Cognitive Expertise requirement has been deferred. You will need to continue to attest to meeting the Part 1, 2, and 4 requirements each year between January 1 and March 1.

Will I still have to travel to an exam center, like Pearson VUE®, to take the online assessment?

No, you will answer questions online at a location convenient to you. This will require no time away from work or travel expenses.

Will I still get to choose the clinical practice areas included in my exam?

Yes, practice profile rules for diagnostic radiologists will not change. Diagnostic radiology diplomates without a subspecialty will be able to choose up to three practice areas in which to receive questions. Radiation oncology, medical physics, and interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology (IR/DR) diplomates will not have the ability to select clinical practice areas for OLA.

How will I receive the questions?

You will be notified once a week via email that you have an opportunity to answer two questions, which will be available to you in myABR. You may choose to answer these questions immediately or delay your response to a time that is more convenient for you. The opportunity will be available for four weeks. When you choose to answer a question, you will have a brief time limit, typically one minute, to answer it.

Will I know if my answer is correct?

Yes, you will receive immediate feedback on your answer. Each question will have a brief explanation of the correct answer, and a reference will be given if you want to learn more.

What if my answer is incorrect?

You will receive a similar question on the same topic in the future.

How will I know if I am passing Part 3?

A passing threshold will be applied when a minimum number of items, approximately 200, have been answered. Since a diplomate need only answer 52 items a year, it will take a number of years to reach this target.

When will the new online assessment start?

The ABR is currently conducting a pilot of the OLA software. If all goes well with the pilot, OLA will be rolled out to all diagnostic radiology diplomates in 2019. OLA for radiation oncology, medical physics, and interventional radiology will roll out in 2020.

I recently took and passed an MOC exam. Will I be required to participate in the new online assessment process?

Yes, all diplomates will be required to participate in OLA when it becomes available for their specialty, regardless of when their last MOC exam was passed.

How will this affect initial certification?

This change will not affect the ABR’s initial certification exams for diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology/diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, medical physics, or any subspecialties.

Will CME credit be given for participation in OLA?

No. The ABR is not accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide CME.

Why does the ABR still need the Chicago and Tucson exam centers?

In addition to the traditional MOC exam, the ABR also delivers the diagnostic radiology initial certification Core and Certifying exams at the Chicago and Tucson exam centers. Attempts have been made to transition these exams to commercial testing centers (i.e., Pearson VUE®, Prometric, etc.). However, these vendors are unwilling to deliver the Core and Certifying exams because of our requirements for case-based exam content, large exam data sets, controlled lighting, and monitor calibration.

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