Subspecialty Certification

Spinal Cord Injury Medicine (SCIM) and Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) Move to Longitudinal Assessment (LA) in 2025

You asked for it and the ABPMR heard you!

After the successful launch of longitudinal assessment for Brain Injury Medicine (BIM) in 2024, two additional subspecialties will be moving to LA beginning in 2025.

If you hold a subspecialty certificate in either SCIM or PRM you must begin Longitudinal Assessment in January. You will satisfy the continuing certification requirement if you meet the performance standard at the end of the year in which your certification expires.

The new platform will be similar in function to the current LA-PM&R and LA-BIM platforms, but there are some differences. To get started on the platform, you can watch this brief video tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions on how to log on and navigate. Once finished, you can begin answering questions – it is as simple as that! The platform will be open and available in early January 2025.

Don’t want to watch the video? Follow these instructions to begin with LA-SCIM or LA-PRM*.

*Note that this video mentions questions related to the Brain Injury Medicine subspecialty holders; however, the LA platform for SCIM and PRM is identical to this one – only with specific questions geared to your subspecialty.

  1. Log onto the ABPMR website using your credentials. You will then be directed to your certification dashboard.
  2. Under the Active LA Quarter section, you will be able to view all longitudinal assessments that you are enrolled in. For those diplomates enrolled in primary LA-PM&R, you will have the ability to access that platform here by choosing the Access LA-PM&R Platform button.
  3. On the certification dashboard you will find helpful information without even entering the platform. You can see the current quarter’s end date, how many questions you have left to answer for the quarter, and what will be included in the current quarter.
  4. You can select from one of three options: Quarter Details (it will redirect you to the Quarter Details page); Question History (see the questions you have already taken); Answer A Question to go right into the assessment.
  5. You will see your progress as you answer questions. The boxes remain gray until you answer a question. If you get the question correct, the gray box will turn green; if it is incorrect on the first attempt, it will change to yellow with a diagonal line through it. If you get a question incorrect on the second attempt, the box will change to red. Note: Reattempts will not occur until after Quarter 1.
  6. In the Topic Area section, you will see the different topic areas that are included in the assessment. You may choose to continue your assessment with a question from this topic area by using the Answer A Question button within that topic area section.
  7. The third section you see is the Articles section. As a reminder, article-based questions will not be available until quarter 4. But the articles themselves are available and accessible the entire year.
  8. Ready to answer questions? On the assessment page you will be presented with a question, four response options, and a timer. You will also notice the ability to strike-through options. You will not be able to submit your answer until you select one of the options and the Submit Answer button appears.
  9. In the Active Quarter section, you will again see your progress as you move along in the assessment. From here you can continue your assessment with the next automatically selected question by using the Answer A Question button. Or you can manually select a question from the Active Quarter Details page by using the Pick Next Question Category button.
  10. Once you have submitted your answer you will be brought to the Rationale page. You will see immediately if you have answered the question correctly or incorrectly, as well as a brief rationale about the item topic.

Frequently Asked Questions About LA-SCIM and LA-PRM

Do I need to participate in LA-PRM/LA-SCIM?

  • The Longitudinal Assessment is intended to replace the Continuing Certification Examination and fulfill the Assessment requirement of your continuing certification requirements. By 2025, all ABPMR diplomates certified in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine will be expected to participate in LA on an ongoing basis. You must meet the performance standard at the end of the year in which your certification expires.

How am I assessed on my LA subspecialty performance?

  • Cycle end date of 2025: Performance tracked over four quarters in 2025. Percent correct will be provided at the end of one year and must meet the performance standard.
  • Cycle end date of 2026: Performance tracked starting in 2025 and ending in 2026 (8 quarters). Percent correct will be provided at the end of current certification cycle and must meet the performance standard.
  • Cycle end date of 2027: Performance tracked starting in 2025 and ending in 2027 (12 quarters). Percent correct will be provided at the end of current certification cycle and must meet the performance standard.
  • Cycle end date of 2028 and beyond: Performance tracked over four years. Summative assessment will take place in year five of the five-year cycle.

How will I know if I meet the LA-PRM/SCIM performance standard?

  • Your performance will be displayed on your LA-PRM/SCIM dashboard and updated in real time – if you are wondering how you are doing, just sign into your dashboard! If you meet the LA-PRM/SCIM performance standard set by the ABPMR, your knowledge assessment requirement for continuing certification (CC) will be fulfilled and you will advance and begin a new five-year certification cycle.

Will you keep issuing 10-year certificates for pediatric rehabilitation medicine or spinal cord injury medicine?

  • Beginning in 2025, the ABPMR will no longer issue 10-year certificates for PRM or SCIM certification. The ABPMR will be transitioning to a five-year certification cycle.

What if I do not meet the LA-PRM/LA-SCIM performance standard?

  • Throughout your participation in LA-PRM/SCIM, you will receive immediate feedback regarding correct and incorrect answers as well as brief rationales. We expect you will learn and improve over time, and there will be plenty of advance notice if you are not on track to meet the standard. If you do not meet the standard at the end of your certification cycle, your certificate will expire. You may then regain your certification by either meeting the performance standard in LA-PRM/SCIM for another five-year cycle, or by taking the next administration of the Re-Entry Examination for your subspecialty.

How do I study for LA-PRM/LA-SCIM?

  • Longitudinal assessment is different from an examination. Instead of implying “study-then-test” thinking, try to think of the platform as the study tool, because participation in LA-PRM/SCIM is designed to help you learn and improve over time. As you answer questions, the platform will show you the areas in which you have knowledge gaps, and it will provide resources for improvement and further learning – and the spaced repetition feature will keep bringing back topics with opportunity for improvement.

Can I access questions I have answered in previous quarters?

  • You will not be able to see the text of the question, but feedback about each question is provided in the question history in your LA-PRM/SCIM dashboard. You may review all key points for questions, correct/incorrect answers, rationales, and references.

What if I do not complete all the questions during a quarter?

  • At the end of the quarter, all unanswered questions will be marked as incorrect. Unanswered questions do not carry over to the next quarter. You will also not receive reattempts for unanswered questions.

Why do I have to pay each year for LA?

  • Previously, diplomates paid a one-time fee at the end of a 10-year certificate applied towards the PRM/SCIM Continuing Certification Examination and the overall maintenance of the certification. This fee closed out that certification cycle; it was not applied towards the future cycle.
  • For 2025 and beyond, the prior one-time fee is being divided into yearly program fees. The fees apply towards the services required to maintain your certification as well as access to LA-PRM/SCIM.

Will my 10-year certificate still be honored?

  • All certificates issued prior to the launch of Longitudinal Assessment are being honored; however, LA is intended to fulfill the Assessment requirement of your continuing certification requirements in lieu of the one-day high-stakes examination, and you must meet the performance standard by the end of your current certification cycle. All PRM/SCIM diplomates are encouraged to participate in LA to continue their certification, regardless of certification end dates or when they last took the PRM/SCIM examination.

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Originally Published: June 18, 2024