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Orthotist & Prosthetist

 What is an ABC Certified Practitioner?

An ABC certified orthotist and/or prosthetist is an allied health professional  specifically educated and trained to make and fit orthoses and prostheses and manage comprehensive orthotic and/or prosthetic patient care. As ABC practitioners, these individuals are certified to independently provide or supervise the provision of patient care.

ABC's Certified Orthotist an​d/or Prosthetist Scope of Practice details the specific functions of certified practitioners. This includes patient assessment, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of a treatment plan, follow-up and practice management.  

Additionally, certified practitioners are required to support and conform to the ABC Code of Professional Responsibility which promotes and assures the overall welfare of the patient and the integrity of the profession.​

 Credentials

Candidates who have met the ABC requirements and passed all three certification exams will be awarded the Certified Orthotist (CO) or Certified Prosthetist (CP) credential. Candidates who have met the ABC requirements and passed all certification exams for both disciplines will be awarded the Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO) credential​.

 International Recognition

​The International Society for Prosthetics ​and Orthotics (ISPO)has awarded ABC and the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE)​ Category I recognition. 

The Category I recognition validates the ABC/NCOPE pathway for its Certified Prosthetist Orthotist certification program. With this recognition the ABC/NCOPE CPO pathway is recognized throughout the world as having met the highest international educational standards in existence today. ABC is the only credentialing body in the United States to receive Category I recognition from ISPO.  

 ABC Student & Resident Awards

​​ABC has donated funds for two O&P young professional awards with the Orthotic and Prosthetic Education and Research Foundation (OPERF). 

The ABC Student Award for Academic Excellence will award $1,000 to ten exceptional O&P practitioner students each year. The funds are to cover educational expenses including tuition, lab and materials fees, books and/or computer time. For more details and to apply, visit the OPERF website

​Application Deadline: October 1

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The ABC Resident Travel Award will award $2,500 to four current residents (or practitioners who completed their residency in the last three years) who wish to present their Directed Study report or project at the Academy Annual Meeting. For more details and to apply, visit the OPERF website.

​Application Deadline: August 1

 

 Eligibility

​Effective January 1, 2020, we will revise the eligibility criteria for the orthotist and prosthetist credentials to a master's degree in orthotics and prosthetics from a CAAHEP accredited educational program. Individuals who graduated from a CAAHEP-accredited bachelor's or certificate program and who have not completed their residency, you have until December 31, 2019, to complete your residency and submit a certification application to ABC. Please contact certification@abcop.org or call 703-836-7114 if you have any questions.

You must meet the following eligibility requirements to be eligible to take the ABC practitioner certification exams. Please refer to the ABC Practitioner Book of Rules and Candidate Guide ​for specific eligibility requirements.

Single Discipline Pathway (Education and Clinical Residency) 

Education

  • A bachelor's degree or higher in any major along with a post-graduate orthotics or prosthetics certificate from a CAAHEP accredited program or

  • A foreign degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree or higher in orthotics and prosthetics  or

  • A foreign degree equivalent to a bachelor's degree or higher in any major along with a post-graduate orthotics and prosthetics certificate from a CAAHEP accredited program

Clinical Residency

NEW Combined Discipline Written Examination Pathway

This pathway is for eligibility for the Combined Orthotic and Prosthetic Written Examination only.  Completion of an NCOPE acredited residency is required for eligibility for the Simulation and Clinical Patient Management (CPM) examinations.  For more information regarding this pathway, please visit our FAQ section. 

 Education

 Application

​Once you have met the education and clinical residency requirements, simply submit your application for approval as a candidate for the practitioner certification exams.  For more information regarding the application process, please refer to the ABC Practitioner Book of Rules & Candidate Guide.

How to Apply:  You must apply onlin​e and register for at least one of the three exams.  The exams may be taken in any order.  Please read the instructions carefully before proceeding to the next section in the application.​

Click here to apply under the single discipline pathway ​, which requires completion of an NCOPE accredited residency program.

Click here to apply for the new combined discipline written examination only, which requires completion of a masters degree.

Required Documentation:  The following documents may be uploaded to your account or emailed to certification@abcop.org 

  • Official bachelor's or master's degree transcript 

  • O&P program certificates (if applicable, include your official transcript/certificate from your O&P certificate program)

  • World Education Service (WES) credential evaluation (only applicable if you received your education in a foreign country.) 

Retaking an Exam or Registering for an Additional Exam:  You may register to either retake or sign up for an additional exam by using the online application.

 

 Exams

You are required to pass all three exams which evaluate your knowledge and clinical aptitude in orthotic and prosthetic practice. The exams are independent of one another and may be taken in any sequence. 

Exam Descriptions 

Written Multiple Choice Exam
The three-hour, 165 question, multiple choice exam assesses your knowledge of patient and practice management. Knowledge assessed on the written exam includes anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, disease process, pathologies, material science, ethics and professionalism.

Simulation Exam
The three-hour interactive exam uses seven simulated case scenarios to test your analytic and clinical problem solving skills. The cases include topics such as prescription criteria, device recommendation, technical implementation and follow-up protocols.

Combined O&P Written Multiple Choice Exam
The three and a half hour, 200 question, multiple choice exam assesses your knowledge of patient management. Knowledge assessed on the exam includes anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, disease process, pathologies, prescription criteria, material science, ethics and professionalism.

Clinical Patient Management (CPM) Exam
There are three hands-on practical assessments​ of your knowledge and skills through direct examiner and patient model interaction in a clinical environment. You must perform specific tasks while demonstrating and describing the orthotic or prosthetic recommendation, fitting criteria, patient instructions and follow-up plans involved in the provision of care.   

Exam Format and Availability 

Written and Simulation Exams
The written and simulation exams are given using computer-based testing (CBT). The written and simulation exams are offered every other month at over 300 locations nationwide. Please click​ ​h​ere for a list of testing locations in your area.

Click to view Prometric's ​​What to Expect on Test Day​ video​.​​​

CPM Exam
The CPM hands-on practical exam is offered three times at the ABC Testing Center in Tampa, FL.

Examination Preparation
ABC has created numerous resources to help you prepare for your ABC practitioner certification exams. Please click here to access these resources​.​

 Fees & Dates

Fees:  The following fees are required for each discipline 

Single Discipline Pathway

​Fee
​Application (non-refundable)*​$250
​Written Exam​$250
​Simulation Exam​$250
​Clinical Patient Management Exam​$700
​Late Fee**​$75
 
*The application fee is  a one-time fee required once per discipline. 
 
**Applications submitted after the application deadline for the applicable exam cycle will be subjected to the late fee.

Combined Discipline Written Examination Pathway

​Fee
​Initial Application*​$250
​Combined O&P Written Exam​$300
​Application 2 (Orthotics or Prosthetics)*​$100
​Simulation Exam (Orthotics or Prosthetics)​$300
​CPM Exam (Orthotics or Prosthetics)​$775
​Application 3 (Orthotics or Prosthetics)*​$100
​​Simulation Exam (Orthotics or Prosthetics)​$300
​CPM Exam (Orthotics or Prosthetics)​$775
​Late Fee**​$75
 
*The application fees are non refundable
 
**Applications submitted after the application deadline for the applicable exam cycle will be subjected to the late fee, which is non refundable.

Annual Fee (required once certification is awarded): $275

Written a​nd Simulation Exam Dates and Deadlines

​Exam Cycle​​​​ Application Deadline ​Residency Deadline
October 7-12, 2019 August 1, 2019 September 1, 2019
December 9-14, 2019 October 1, 2019 ​November 1, 2019
February 10-15, 2020 December 1, 2019 January 1, 2020
April 6-11, 2020February 1, 2020​March 1, 2020
​June 8-13, 2020​April 1, 2020May 1, 2020
August 3-8, 2020June 1, 2020​November 1, 2020​​​

Exam Locations: The exams are offered at over 300 ​locations nationwide. Please click here for a list of testing locations in your area.

Clinical Patient Management (CPM) Exam Dates and Deadlines

Winter Exam Dates ​Application Deadline ​Residency Deadline
Orthotics: January 10-11, 2020 November 1, 2019 December 1, 2019
​​Prosthetics: January 24-25, 2020 November 1, 2019 ​December 1, 2019
​Spring Exam DatesApplication Deadline​Residency Deadline
Orthotics:  May 15-16, 2020March 1, 2020April 1, 2020
Prosthetics:  May 29-30, 2020March 1, 2020April 1, 2020
​Fall Exam Dates​Application Deadline​Residency Deadline
Orthotics: ​September 25-26, 2020July 1, 2020​August 1, 2020
Prosthetics: ​October 9-10, 2020​July 1, 2020​August 1, 2020​

Exam Location:  The CPM exams will be held at the ABC Testing Center in Tampa, FL.