The Committee on Advanced Subspecialty Training (CAST) is responsible for the development and refinement of training requirements for advanced subspecialty fellowship programs (accreditation). Until 9/1/2019 CAST was also responsible for individual advanced subspecialty trainees (certification) beyond those of the core neurosurgery residency.
As of 9/1/2019, The ABNS is responsible for managing subspeciality certification now referred to as Recognition of Focused Practice (RFP). There are currently three ABMS approved RFPs: 1) Pediatric Neurological Surgery, 2) Neurocritical Care and 3) CNS Neuroendovascular surgery.
CAST is comprised of a Chair, a Secretary/Treasurer, and five additional members. Adhoc members are added as needed. A CAST committee member may serve up to two terms, with each term lasting 3 years.
The SNS Executive Council appoints members to CAST. From those members the SNS executive council elects the officers. Members are drawn from the active SNS membership. In addition, the SNS Executive Council looks for current or past members of the RC for Neurological Surgery and/or current or past directors of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) as good candidates for appoint to CAST. This is due to the familiarity these people have with the principles of the accreditation and certification processes. The CAST Chair attends the SNS Council meetings for the purpose of continuity between the work of CAST and that of the Council.
CAST is in close communication with the AANS Sections in the establishment of fellowship-level subspecialty training program requirements. Fellowship Review Committees, appointed in conjunction with Section leadership, assist CAST in reviewing accreditation applications and establishing practice standards. Considerations for FRC participation include, but are not limited to, active membership in the SNS, past or present Section leadership activities, and experience as a director of an existing fellowship.
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