The Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) recently released additional details regarding upcoming changes to the educational and experiential prerequisites for its orthotist and prosthetist certifications. The new requirements, which will take effect on January 1, 2013, mark the fulfillment of a commitment that has come to be known as the “Historic Agreement,” which can be found at www.bocusa.org/historic-agreement.
Finalized in December of 2008, the Historic Agreement was the result of meetings of five of the major national O&P organizations “to forge a consensus regarding the minimum standards necessary for education and training of providers and suppliers of custom orthotics and prosthetics.” Since then, BOC has continued to grow and innovate in response to changes in the field, and is now an active member of the O&P Alliance, a coalition of the leading national organizations representing the orthotic and prosthetic profession.
The new prerequisites include an education from a Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP) accredited educational program, followed by a residency approved by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). As of January 1, 2013, BOC-accredited facilities will be eligible to serve as NCOPE-accredited residency sites, provided they meet all the other requirements established by NCOPE.
“Applicants for our orthotist and prosthetist certifications who want to apply under the current requirements must meet current prerequisites and apply by December 31, 2012,” notes Jan paul Miller, MA, MEd, BOC’s Director of Certification. “Applicants who have not yet fulfilled the current requirements by year-end will not be ‘grandfathered in.’” Current certificants are not affected by the change.