New BOC Orthotic Fitter Certification Requirements Increase Accessibility, Efficiency

The Board of Certification/Accreditation International (BOC) recently
updated its orthotic fitter certification requirements. The change comes after
a thorough review and analysis of its assessment and testing procedures.

  Claudia Zacharias
  Claudia Zacharias

To become a certified orthotic fitter (COF), candidates must complete an
approved entry-level education program, demonstrate a minimum of 1,000 hours of
supervised patient fitting experience and pass a 3-hour multiple-choice
examination, conducted four times each year in more than 150 cities. The new
requirements more closely resemble the current BOC mastectomy fitter and BOC
pedorthist credentials.

These requirements benefit both prospective COFs and their employers,

Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE, president of BOC, said, as the change
removed the video practical examination requirement from the exam, while
ensuring that it remained psychometrically sound and cost-effective.

“I hope this change will make the orthotic fitter certification
more accessible and attractive to prospective certificants,” she told
O&P Business News.

Further, Zacharias noted that this will serve to streamline the
certification process and encourage some O&P practitioners to consider
adding additional certifications, enhancing their value to patients and to
other health care providers.

Zacharias cited increasing demands on current health care professionals
— including obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and the specific
emotional and physical needs of veterans — among the environmental factors
resulting in increased demand for the services provided by COFs.

“The health care environment is expanding and BOC continues to
address that expanding need,” she said. “At our recent
strategic-planning session, the BOC board recommitted to a
‘capacity-building’ mission [to increase] the accessibility to
O&P care. We are also committed to expanding our communications efforts,
our alliances and our outreach, and to advocating for certification as
qualification assurance.”

According to a press release, BOC has used this review and analysis
process to establish a certification level that allows practitioners whose work
focuses on fitting the most in-demand devices — orthotic, mastectomy and
pedorthic — to follow similar qualification stages in education,
experience and examination requirements. — by Stephanie Z. Pavlou

For more information:


The revisions made to the BOC’s orthotic fitter certification
requirements benefit orthotic and prosthetic professionals and patients. The
newly revised requirements allow for a potential increase in the number of
certified professionals providing care to patients. BOC’s revision
demonstrates a commitment to improving the field and accommodating the needs of
patients and practicing professionals. A professional can start in the field
and utilize the orthotic fitter certification program as a stepping stone to
specialized orthotic and prosthetic care, as I did. The professionals already
certified in prosthetics, mastectomy fitting or pedorthics can broaden their
practice and knowledge base in a cost-effective and less time-consuming manner.

Business owners should be encouraged by BOC’s commitment for
improvement and change. This same commitment for improvement and change can
promote business owners to review current needs and trends to determine if
bringing in a certified orthotic fitter can provide growth and depth to their
teams, thereby providing care to the ever-increasing number of patients in

— Donald Dotter, BOCP, COF
Antelope Valley
Orthotics and Prosthetics

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