Upon receipt of an application, the board takes appropriate steps to verify the statements of fact within it. Prior to accepting a candidate into the certification process, the board requires a statement from the program director to the effect that he or she has met the minimum training requirements, performed in a satisfactory manner and is well prepared to enter the independent practice of neurosurgery. Inquiries are made from other references about training, practice and hospital privileges. The board also searches each applicant’s licenses to practice medicine through the Federation of State Medical Boards. In addition, at its discretion, the board may send representatives to review the candidate’s practice. After considering all available information pertaining to the entire certification process, including practice data, ABNS directors decide on the candidate’s eligibility for oral examination and potential certification. Permission will not be granted until all aspects of the requirements have been met to the satisfaction of the board.

Candidates should be scheduled for oral examination, the final step in the certification process, within five years of completing training. The application process generally takes about 18 months between submission of an application (including practice data) and sitting for oral examination. Compliance with this regulation requires early submission of all information. If the five-year limit lapses, the individual is no longer considered to be within the certification process and must repass the primary examination to return to tracking toward certification. Three years (not another five) will then be allowed to complete the process.