The American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery

News & Announcements

* The process for recognition of focused practice in pediatric neurosurgery by the ABPNS has changed. These changes will apply to all applicants but will affect applicants differently depending on where they are in the initial certification process.

The ABPNS has established a new process in collaboration with the ABNS and the RCPS(C) for certifying pediatric neurosurgeons who have completed an ACPNF-accredited fellowship. Although slightly different for those seeking ABNS certification and those certified by the Royal College, the process of pediatric certification contains the same basic components: 1.) a written examination, 2.) submission of a practice case log and 3.) oral examination including questions based on the applicant’s case log.

Application for ABPNS written examination is now available to all ACPNF approved fellowship trained pediatric neurosurgeons pursuing recognition of focused practice in pediatric neurosurgery. This will be the initial step in the process for those not yet ABNS certified or recently graduated from fellowship.
By necessity, there will be a transition period during which applicants completing fellowship in 2016 and prior and tracking toward ABNS certification may apply at anytime to take the ABPNS pediatric written examination.

Pediatric Fellowship Graduates 2012 – 2016 (Transition Period)

During the transition period, applicants completing fellowship in 2016 and prior who are RCPS(C) certified or those tracking toward ABNS certification, should apply to take the ABPNS written examination. The exam will be given at least twice per year. This will be the first step toward recognition of focused practice in pediatric neurosurgery. Once the exam is passed successfully, the next step is collection and submission of a case log reflecting all of the applicant’s clinical practice. Case logs must meet the ABNS/ABPNS criteria and include at least 12 months of case data with 3 months of clinical followup (see the case log section below).  Applications will then be reviewed by the Joint Credentials committee and once approved the applicant will be able to sit for an oral examination.

Graduates of Pediatric Fellowship after 2017

Neurosurgeons graduating from ACPNF accredited fellowships after July 2017 must apply to take the ABPNS written exam within one year of completing fellowship. The exam must be passed within one year of approval of their application. Once the written exam is passed successfully, the applicant will submit a case log that meets the ABNS/ABPNS criteria in order to take the pediatric focused oral examination. Those individuals applying for certification and recognition of focused practice via the ABNS/ABPNS will apply through the ABNS process. Those pediatric fellowship graduates certified by the RCPS(C) will meet the same case log criteria as the ABNS, but will apply to the ABPNS to take the pediatric focused practice oral examination.

Alternate Pathway: For non ACPNF-fellowship trained applicants. The ABPNS Board of Directors may, at its own discretion, offer certification to neurological surgeons who have been in practice ten years or more following the completion of their residency, and can fulfill the  criteria for recognition in pediatric focus as defined by the ABNS and the ABPNS.

In order to access the application for written examination, please click on the link below. Flowcharts of the various pathways are provided here so you can determine which track is most applicable for you.  The application will provide you with the list of required supporting documents needed to complete the application.

  1. Application for the ABPNS written examination 

  2. Application for Board Certification for Non-ACPNF Fellowship Trained Pediatric Neurosurgeons via the Alternate Pathway


  • 125 consecutive cases
  • All cases must have been performed over a period of 18 months or less
  • All cases must have 3 months follow up
  • Follow up may be performed outside the 18 month window
  • "Staged procedures" will count toward the total of 125
  • Complication management/revision (“take back” surgery) is considered an extension of the original operation, they will not be counted towards the 125 total
  • Clinical data must be from at least 100 unique patient encounters
  • No case can be older than 24 months from the date of submission
  • Cases during residency or fellowship should not be included
  • 95 of the 125 must be cases performed on patients 21 years or younger
  • Of note, the total number of submitted surgical procedures may exceed 125 due to “take back” surgeries
    *The practice data submitted via POST for initial certification will be used to determine the pediatric case log criteria is met for those applying for ABNS/ABPNS dual certification.
    *Those applying for the ABPNS/RCPSC dual certification, please reach out to the ABPNS secretary regarding which case log to use for your submission.
After Submission of an Application:
  1. Those whose applications are following the ABNS track will be reviewed by the Joint Credentials Committee of the ABNS and the ABPNS. Those whose applications are following the RCPSC track will be reviewed by the ABPNS Credentials Committee.  
  2. Applicant will be notified by the Secretary of the ABPNS of his or her eligibility to sit for the next written examination.   
  3. The written examination is held twice a year, in June and at the winter meeting of the Pediatric Section in November/December.  
  4. The ABPNS Exam Committee Chairman will notify all examinees of results.
  5. The ABPNS Secretary-Treasurer will notify all examinees of the next step which will vary based on track (ABNS versus RCPSC).
No applicant will be permitted to take the examination without having complied with all requirements. If unsuccessful in passing the examination on the initial attempt, the applicant must re-take the examination at the next scheduled test date. If the applicant is unable to complete the re-examination process successfully, he or she must reapply and again meet all of the requirements outlined above.
The American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery
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