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.) an online examination, 2.) submission of a practice case log that meets pediatric case log minimums/criteria, and 3.) a pediatric focused oral examination.

ABPNS Certification for those on the ABNS track who have just completed fellowship:

Application for the ABPNS online examination is now available to all ACPNF fellowship trained pediatric neurosurgeons pursuing recognition of focused practice in pediatric neurosurgery. Neurosurgeons who recently graduated from an ACPNF accredited fellowship must apply to take the ABPNS online examination within one year of completing fellowship and must pass the exam within one year of approval of application. Once the online exam is passed successfully, the applicant will begin the case log submission process using the ABNS case log data system called POST. Those tracking toward pediatric dual certification who are on track to becoming ABNS certified must take the pediatric focused ABNS oral examination. Even if your current case log does not meet the pediatric minimums, but you intend to pursue the dual credential of pediatric focus, you should elect to take the ABNS pediatric focused oral examination. Those individuals applying for certification and recognition of focused practice via the ABNS/ABPNS will apply via the ABNS process.

ABPNS certification for those on the ABNS track who graduated fellowship prior to July of 2017:

By necessity, there will be a transition period during which applicants completing fellowship in 2017 and prior and tracking toward ABNS certification may apply at any time to take the ABPNS pediatric online examination. If the case log submitted either via Neuro-Log or POST is still accessible to the ABPNS and the cases are not outdated (greater than 5 years old at the time of application), then there is no need to submit additional case data to the ABPNS. If you are uncertain about your case data and its availability/time frame, please reach out to Kari Bollerman at to check on your case log and notify you if an alternative means of submitting additional case data to the ABPNS is required.

ABPNS certification for those on the RCPSC track:

Those applicants certified by the Royal College who have completed an ACPNF approved fellowship are eligible for ABPNS-RCPSC dual certification. There are 3 steps to this process:

  1. Apply for and pass the ABPNS pediatric online examination.
  2. About 3 years post fellowship, begin collecting cases for the oral examination. Submit a case log that demonstrates 18 months of cases (peds and adults) with 3 months of follow-up, at least 95 of which must be considered pediatric (age 21 and under). The case log must satisfy the requirements detailed below.
  3. Apply for the ABPNS pediatric focused oral examination once case log is complete. Oral examination will not be scheduled until applicant is four years out of fellowship. (The oral examination has 2 parts: 1.) Pediatric Neurosurgery and 2.) Review of one’s own cases.)

ABPNS certification for those seeking ABPNS certification via the Subsequent Joint Pathway :

This application is for those who have completed an ACPNF accredited pediatric neurosurgery fellowship – AND – have received ABNS certification without pediatric focused oral examination.
The subsequent joint certification process must be completed within 10 years of completion of the approved pediatric neurosurgery fellowship. Failing to complete the process within that time frame will require the candidate to seek joint certification via the “alternate pathway” criteria. The subsequent joint pathway involves submission of a current case log that meets the ABNS-ABPNS case log criteria (below) and a pediatric focused ABPNS oral examination which has 2 parts: 1.) Pediatric Neurosurgery, 2.) Review of one’s own cases.


  • 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 separately 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

ABPNS certification for those seeking ABPNS certification via the Alternate Pathway (for those who are not ACPNF fellowship trained):

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 following the completion of their residency. In order to access the application for the ABPNS online examination, please click on the link above. The application will provide you with the list of required supporting documents needed to complete the application. This category requires submission a surgical case log for each of the 5 years immediately prior to application.

  • The case log submitted must represent all locations of the practice of the applicant at the time certification is requested.
  • The case log submission must demonstrate an emphasis in pediatric neurosurgery, defined by:
  • A minimum of 65 major pediatric operative cases in each of the five years, with a minimum of 3 months follow-up for each case occurring in the most current year, and the most recent case being no more than 6 months from the time of application. Outcome data needs to be submitted only for that most current year. The data on the prior four years can be submitted using the ABPNS case log spreadsheet without the data columns.

After Submission of an Application:

  1. Those whose applications are following the ABNS track will be reviewed by a member of the Joint Credentials Committee of the ABNS and the ABPNS. Those whose applications are following the RCPSC, Subsequent Joint Pathway, or Alternative Pathway tracks 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 online examination.
  3. The online examination will be given twice a year – once in March at the time of the ABNS primary examination and once in the fall.
  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 online 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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