Please see an update to this release below.
In a recent decision by the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Board of Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Pedorthics (“Kentucky Board”), the Board affirmed the conclusion of an independent report that found that the Board of Certification/Accreditation (BOC) and American Board for Certification (ABC) certification exams are equally valid testing options. The Kentucky Board voted to recommend adding BOC to the Commonwealth’s licensure regulations as a testing provider for licensure candidates.
The Kentucky Board is the only O&P licensure board in the nation that has commissioned an independent psychometric evaluation of both the ABC and BOC exams. Psychometrics is the field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Those specializing in psychometrics are experts in the objective measurement of skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational/occupational achievement.
The hallmark, side-by-side psychometric comparison commenced in the Fall of 2013 and was completed by Michael R. Cunningham, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at the University of Louisville. Dr. Cunningham’s findings are outlined in a report prepared for and delivered to the Kentucky Board in February 2014; the report evaluated both ABC’s and BOC’s prosthetist, orthotist, orthotic fitter, and pedorthist job task analyses and certification tests.
On July 2, the Amputee Coalition posted the report, which they obtained through Kentucky’s “Open Records Request” process, on their website. An accompanying note indicated that the Amputee Coalition shared this information “Because we want amputees to be equipped with unbiased, expert information about their prosthetists’ qualifications…”
Among the many key findings in his report, Dr. Cunningham validates BOC’s compliance with professional standards for testing, stating “…this independent review concludes that candidates for certification and licensure in the disciplines of Prosthetics and Orthotics who have passed all three BOC examinations are likely to possess the preparation and skills for professional practice in those disciplines. The BOC examinations for Orthotic Fitter and Pedorthics…also meet current professional standards.”
Commenting on the KY Board’s decision, BOC President and CEO Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE says, “The BOC team is extremely pleased with the Board’s decision; we are looking forward to a timely change in the regulations so we may begin working with and serving Kentucky’s citizens.” She adds, “Dr. Cunningham’s independent psychometric evaluation of both BOC’s and ABC’s exams clearly puts to rest any question about parity between the testing options. BOC remains keenly focused on psychometric soundness, unwavering customer service, and improving the lives of those who depend on our profession.”
When asked about Dr. Cunningham’s report, Steven Nettles, EdD, Program Director for BOC’s contracted testing firm, Applied Measurement Professionals, stated, “I’m not surprised Dr. Cunningham’s report found both BOC and ABC exams psychometrically valid; this has been my professional opinion from the beginning. I know Kentucky residents will benefit from access to care by professionals from both certifying organizations.”
July 22, 2014 Update: Because the redacted portions of the document the Amputee Coalition posted on July 02, 2014 at this link omitted much of the data about BOC’s exams, we requested permission from the author, Michael R. Cunningham, Ph.D., to release the version of the report we received following our “Open Records Request.” Having received this permission, that version is now posted on the Amputee Coalition’s website at this link. Between the two versions, almost all the information is now available.