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The CBOM examination framework is a tripartite structure so as to include:

  • Written component
  • Oral examination on “short answer management problems (SAMPs)
  • Oral examination on a research project (formerly the “Thesis”)

1. Written Component

Many of the definition and factual core knowledge questions are in written question formats involving short answers and multiple choice questions which address the broad scope of occupational medicine knowledge, e.g. asking definitions, terms, facts, concepts from the stated core requirements.

2. Short Answer Management Problems (SAMPs)

Candidates are presented with written scenarios of health problems reported by workers. Examiners will ask standard question relating to each case, and responses of the candidate are graded using a template of ideal answers. SAMPs focus on management using knowledge rather than merely facts.

3. The Research Project

The research project provides CBOM the best use of the candidate’s research as an examination tool for certification. The research project will demonstrate the candidate’s ability to:

  1. Use critical appraisal skills on a specific occupational medicine topic of your choice;
  2. Define a study topic so as to answer a specific question related to occupational medicine;
  3. Construct a rigorous research methodology and use it to thoroughly search the literature and evaluate the quality of evidence therein;
  4. Summarize the evidence using qualitative and quantitative tools to determine a level of confidence in the conclusions reached;
  5. Adequately cite the appropriate references and be able to produce a good quality document logically and coherently describing the research, the critical appraisal and the findings;
  6. Orally discuss and respond to questions about the research project and the implications of its findings for the practise of occupational medicine both in the candidate’s particular context and in the broad professional field.The oral exam on the research project involves exploring the candidate’s incorporation of the foregoing elements. Candidates will know beforehand that these are the key issues of interest in the research project for exam purposes. The candidate will also know, prior to the exam, that standardized questions on areas such as the following will be asked:
          • How the topic was chosen and the research question(s) developed
          • How the research methodology was developed and why
          • How quality of evidence was determined
          • How critical appraisal principles were applied to the literature
          • How numerical data were analyzed
          • How criteria of causality were addressed

The research project is a “take-home” exam. Candidates are permitted to use any consistent format convention in the write-up.

Note: Candidates upgrading from ACBOM to CCBOM are not required to submit a research project report.


  • Duration of the overall exam will be about 2-1/2 hours:
  • ½ hour for the written component
  • 1 hour oral on short answer management problems (SAMPs)
  • 1 hour oral on the research project


Candidates are advised to prepare for the ACBOM and CCBOM examinations with the assistance of a mentor. CBOM will provide help to examination candidates who are seeking mentors.


Examinations for ACBOM and CCBOM usually take place annually in the Fall but may be held, at the Board’s discretion, at other times of the year. In such situations, the timetable for examination candidates will be adjusted accordingly.


  • The application deadline for the fall examination is July 31 of the same year and must be received at the Board office.
  • A commitment to an examination year must be made before September 30 in the year prior to the examination.
  • Four copies of the draft of the Research Project Report must be received by April 15 of the examination year.
  • Four copies of the final version of the Research Project Report must be received at the Board office by August 15 of the examination year.

Annual dues are payable by members of CBOM at the beginning of the calendar year.


The Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine was established to “encourage the study, improve the practice and elevate the standards of occupational medicine throughout Canada.” It is incorporated federally to certify competence of those physicians with special knowledge of occupational medicine.

Physicians interested in applying for certification will find all of the information on eligibility and application on this website.

© 2020 Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine


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