AO Spine Global Diploma Exam

Certify your knowledge and advance your career.

Enhance your professional reputation through expert certification

The AO Spine Global Diploma Exam has been designed for experienced spine surgeons worldwide who want to certify their knowledge by qualified examiners who are leaders in spine surgery education.

 

What is the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam?

The AO Spine Global Diploma Exam is a summative assessment of knowledge and decision-making with respect to treating patients with spinal conditions. It enables candidates to demonstrate that they have attained a level of knowledge expected of a specialist spine surgeon after 5 years of practical experience. The Diploma Exam has been designed by a group of worldwide leaders in spine surgery education. 

What makes the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam unique?

  • Acquire first truly global certification of a world leading organization in medical education
  • Get access to the global network of spine surgeons and researchers
  • Benefit of the global reputation of AO Spine as the leading global academic community in spine care


Diploma Fee

  • The administrative fee of CHF 100 applies upon applying for the eligibility check of the candidate and is non-refundable.
  • The Diploma Exam fee is CHF 900 (VAT included) and includes both the written and oral examinations. Special introductory fee for 2020 exam candidates is CHF 600 (VAT included). 

How can you benefit from being AO Spine certified?

  • Benefit from AO Spine’s global reputation as the leading global academic community in spine care
  • Worldwide credibility guaranteed
  • Unique digital badging is available to highlight your accomplishments online
  • It's an excellent opportunity to have your theoretical knowledge in spine surgery accredited at an international level
  • Gain recognition by having proof that your theoretical knowledge has been assessed to the latest standards

Who is eligible for the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam 

  • AO Spine members. Not a member? Sign up here.
  • Spine surgeons who have been in surgical practice in spinal surgery for at least 5 year and want to certify their knowledge.

 

Examination

The content of the entire examination (written and oral) is based on the AO Spine Curriculum.

It is not intended to certify competence of technical skill or ability to perform surgical procedures. It is not a compulsory or regulatory certificate of competence or excellence.

The examination is taken in two parts: a proctored test set of 45 multiple-choice questions and a face-to-face case-based set of sessions with pairs of examiners using standardized clinical case scenarios. To receive the Diploma, the candidates must pass both exams.

Application Process

The application process will open on November 1st, 2019 and close on November 14, 2019 at 17.00 Swiss time (CET).

The space is limited to 100 candidates for the 2020 Diploma Exam and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Apply now


1. Submit your CV  and evidence of specialist qualifications in orthopedics or neurosurgery for at least five years via e-mail to globalspinediploma@aospine.org.

2. Click here to register your application and to pay the administrative fee of CHF 100.

If you have any questions please contact globalspinediploma@aospine.org.

Written Examination—Part I

  • General information
    • The written exam consists of 45 multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
    • The duration of the written exam is 90 minutes.
    • The AO Spine Global Diploma Exam will be offered in English language.
    • The test will be taken under proctored conditions at test centers worldwide.
    • The test will be offered between 18 – 20 February 2020 for the 90 min appointment.

  • Who can take the Global Diploma Exam
    • AO Spine members
    • Spine surgeons who want to certify their knowledge.
    • Members of the AO Spine Faculty Management task force, AO Spine curriculum task force or surgeons that have been involved in the written or oral exam preparation are not eligible for the 2020 Global Diploma Exam.
  • When should you take the exam

    • When you have been in surgical practice in spinal surgery for at least 5 years.

  • How to apply
    • Application period starts on November 1, 2019, and closes on November 14, 2019.
    To apply:
    1. Submit your CV  and evidence of specialist qualifications in orthopedics or neurosurgery for at least five years via e-mail to globalspinediploma@aospine.org.
    2. Click here to register your application and to pay the administrative fee of CHF 100.
  • Application process
    • Applications will be assessed by the Steering Committee within two weeks after the application has been submitted.
    • For the application process, candidates need to pay a non-refundable administrative fee of 100 CHF. 
    • Eligible candidates will be notified and invited to register within one (1) week for the written examination by paying the non-refundable special 2020 examination fee of CHF 600.
    • The deadline for the application is November 14, 2019 17.00 Central European Time (CET).  
    • For the written examination, 100 places are available on a first come, first served basis. If there are more eligible candidates than places available, candidates are able to add their names to a waiting list.
    • Please contact AO Spine on globalspinediploma@aospine.org if you have any questions.
  • Diploma fee
    • The administrative fee of CHF 100 is due upon application for the eligibility check of the candidate and is non-refundable.
    • The Diploma Exam fee is CHF 900 (VAT included) and includes both the written and oral examinations. Special introductory fee for 2020 exam candidates is CHF 600 (VAT included).
  • Passing the exam
    • Candidates who are successful at the written exam will be expected to be present at the oral component at the Global Spine Congress in Rio de Janeiro 2020 or during the AO Davos Courses in December 2020.
    • Candidates are not required to register for the Global Spine Congress or the AO Davos Courses 2020 in order to take the oral part of the examination but will not be able to attend the GSC or Davos Courses unless they pay the relevant registration fee. Candidates must make their own travel and accomodation arrangements for either venue.
    • Candidates can express a preferred venue for taking the oral exam but the final decision will be at the discretion of the Steering Committee.
    • Candidates who are unsuccessful in the written exam will not be invited to take the oral exam but may retake the written exam at the next opportunity by paying the examination fee again.
    • There is no refund of the fee if the candidate fails to pass either of the two exam components.
  • Passing criteria
    • The pass mark for the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam is set by the Steering Committee using criterion-referenced methods based on the Angoff method.
    • The standard of the examination is the knowledge of a spine surgeon who has been in practice for at least five (5) years.
    • Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful exam candidates.
  • Further information

    • Candidates undertaking the examination can expect to be treated with respect and not subjected to bias or discrimination.
    • AO Spine will ensure the highest possible transparency and fairness in the evaluation of the candidates.
    • If English isn't your first language, it's essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake an intensive and challenging exam in English.
    • The AO Spine Global Diploma Exam is not a mandatory exam in order to be eligible as AO Spine faculty.

Oral Examination—Part II

  • General information
    • The oral exam contains face-to-face case-based discussions. 
    • The cases are standardized clinical case scenarios in trauma, deformity, tumor, infection, and degeneration, and are based on the AO Spine Curriculum.
    • The total duration of the Global Diploma oral exam is two (2) hours.
    • During the duration of two (2) hours, the candidates will discuss 3 cases (á 10 min) with relevant pairs of examiners. 
    • The oral exam will be conducted in English. 
    • The oral exam will take place on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the Global Spine Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or Saturday December 5, 2020. in Davos, Switzerland.
  • When should you take the exam
    • After you have passed the written part of the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam.
  • How to apply
    • Eligible candidates will be invited to register for the oral examination after they have passed the written component of the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam and express a preference for Rio de Janeiro or Davos.
    • Candidates are not required to register for the Global Spine Congress or the AO Davos Courses 2020 in order to take the oral part of the examination but will not be able to attend the GSC or Davos Courses unless they pay the relevant registration fee. Candidates must make their own travel and accomodation arrangements for either venue.
    • Please contact AO Spine on globalspinediploma@aospine.org if you have any questions.
  • The exam
    • The oral exam will take place on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the Global Spine Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or Saturday December 5, 2020. in Davos, Switzerland.
    • Candidates will be expected to be present for the oral component at the Global Spine Congress 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil or at the AO Davos Courses 2020 in Davos, Switzerland.
    • Successful candidates will be invited to a Global Diploma Exam Ceremony, which will take place at the Global Spine Congress 2020 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil or at the AO Davos Courses 2020 in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Passing the exam
    • The pass mark for the AO Spine Global Diploma Exam is set by the Steering Committee and criterion referenced.
    • Feedback will be provided to unsuccessful exam candidates.
    • Candidates who are unsuccessful at the oral test may retake the exam at the next opportunity by paying a reduced examination fee without having to re-sit the written MCQ exam.
    • For re-application, please contact globalspinediploma@aospine.org.
  • Conflict of interest
    • The names of the candidates presenting for the oral component will be made known to the examiners in advance, and vice-versa. Any concern about a potential conflict of interest by a candidate or examiner must be notified immediately to the Steering Committee in time to allow suitable arrangements to be made if necessary.
  • Further information
    • Candidates undertaking the examination can expect to be treated with respect and not subjected to bias or discrimination.
    • AOSpine will ensure the highest possible transparency and fairness in the evaluation of the candidates.
    • If English isn't your first language, it's essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake an intensive and challenging exam in English.
    • The AO Spine Global Diploma Exam is not a mandatory exam in order to be eligible as AO Spine faculty.

AO Spine Global Diploma Exam—quick links

If you have any questions, please contact us via e-mail at globalspinediploma@aospine.org

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