The Board of Certification/Accreditation International (BOC) announced that it has updated its Certified Orthotic Fitter (COF) requirements. According to a BOC press release, the change comes “after a recent review and analysis of assessment and testing procedures for certification as an orthotic fitter.”
The COF designation will be awarded based upon three requirements: completion of a required course of study, experience in patient care under appropriate supervision, and passing a three-hour multiple-choice examination.
“The demand for certification in orthotic fitting is growing,” said BOC president Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE. “When several respected education providers suggested we re-evaluate the criteria for the COF, we launched an analysis of the program requirements…. Through the review and analysis process, we have been able to establish a certification level that allows practitioners whose work focuses on fitting…orthotic, mastectomy, and pedorthic to follow similar qualification stages in education, experience, and examination requirements. This will streamline the certification process and encourage practitioners to consider learning to fit multiple devices, enhancing their value to patients and to other healthcare providers.”
Sharon Nichelson, CMOF, chairwoman of the BOC Board of Directors, noted, “Most practitioners begin their careers in one specialty. I believe this change will encourage people in two ways: First, it will encourage people to earn orthotic fitter certification because it makes the process clearer and more affordable. Second, it will encourage people who already hold certification in fitting one type of device to consider adding an additional credential.”
BOC’s decision effectively “retires” a formerly mandatory video practical examination (VPE) in the orthotic fitter certification process. The VPE was intended to demonstrate a fitter’s unsupervised abilities. Following an analysis of the video portion of the exam, BOC said it determined that the multiple-choice exam was a sufficient assessment tool. BOC added that it has “refined and extended its experience requirements, making the video an unnecessary step to orthotic fitter certification.”