The Board of Directors of the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) recently voted to streamline the certification application process. This is the first step in transitioning to an easy online application process, aimed at making it simpler for prospective certificants to reach their goals.
For all BOC certifications, the application process changes will enhance BOC’s ability to maintain certificant records electronically, with fast access that will remove the need for candidates to send the large amount of paperwork created by the old process. After a thorough investigation of “best practices” employed in other healthcare credentialing organizations, the BOC Board voted to make the following changes to the certification application process:
- eliminate the requirement to create and submit a paper resume
- add a checklist of experiential requirements, which will allow candidates to complete and attest to their experiences without having to prepare a long narrative
- create a system that facilitates random audits, verifying applicants’ experiential qualifications
“If you look back at the requirements, they were designed for an era that relied on paper and pretty much expected people to jump through hoops,” said Sharon Nichelson, CMOF, chairwoman of BOC’s Board of Directors. “You would have to get a Notary Public to attest to your signature. That meant taking off from work long enough to locate a Notary and get to his or her office, then you produced identification and paid a fee. We’re now in an era where most things can be checked with a keystroke, and user convenience has become the norm rather than the exception. That’s what future BOC certificants will expect, so we are positioning BOC for the future.”
Zacharias also noted that the new streamlined process will be helpful to employers. “The people who handle a facility’s Human Resources responsibilities are going to have less paper work, and employers are going to love that,” she added.
Candidates for the Orthotist and Prosthetist certifications will need to provide proof that they have fulfilled their educational requirements, in the form of a transcript submitted by their college or university. Similarly, candidates for the BOC Pedorthist, Orthotic Fitter, and Mastectomy Fitter certifications will need to provide proof that they have fulfilled their educational requirements, as well.
“BOC still will be doing due diligence,” Zacharias said, “but we’ll be doing it from the point of view of what makes it most efficient for our candidates and their employers. That benefits facilities enormously, whatever their size, and it certainly will make the process easier on applicants.”
Since 1984, the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) has provided credentials demonstrating the competence and proficiency of O&P professionals. BOC offers NCCA-accredited certification programs in five disciplines: orthotics, prosthetics, pedorthics, orthotic fitting, and mastectomy fitting. BOC’s facility accreditation program partners with Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics and Orthotics Supplies (DMEPOS) suppliers to meet standards set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and improve business practices. BOC credentials celebrate and recognize the competence, professionalism and safe practice environments of BOC-certified practitioners and BOC-accredited facilities.