The certified assistant supports the ABC certified practitioner by assisting in orthotic and prosthetic patient care. ABC's Certified Orthotic and/or Prosthetic Assistant Scope of Practice details the specific capacity the certified individual can practice. Under the guidance and supervision of the ABC certified practitioner, certified assistants may perform orthotic and prosthetic procedures and related tasks in the management of patients. The certified assistant also fabricates, repairs and maintains devices to provide maximum fit, function and cosmesis. ABC certified assistants may not use their credential as independent practitioners engaged in unsupervised patient care. The certified assistant is obligated to support and conform to professional responsibilities that promote and assure the overall welfare of the patient and the integrity of the profession.
To be eligible to take the ABC certification exam, individuals must meet the specific education and experience requirements established by ABC. Applicants must:
(Each course must be from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.)
Note – all applications must include the Assistant Competency Attestation form completed by the supervising ABC Certified Orthotist or Prosthetist, depending on the discipline in which the applicant is seeking certification. The Assistant Competency Attestation form verifies that the applicant has obtained the necessary knowledge and skills needed to perform the functions of an orthotic or prosthetic assistant. The clinical knowledge required to become ABC certified as an Orthotic or Prosthetic Assistant is documented on the Attestation form. If an applicant does not possess a particular knowledge or skill, the supervising orthotist or prosthetist should work with the individual prior to completing the Attestation form.
The examination to become a Certified Assistant is a three hour, multiple-choice computer based examination which consists of 165 items to measure the candidate's knowledge of patient and practice management. It also assesses the candidate’s knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, disease process, pathologies, material science, ethics and professionalism.
Once the application has been received, reviewed and approved, all logistical information, including a list of sites and an explanation of the test site selection process, will be mailed to the registered candidate by the testing service. Once the application has been approved, candidates will be able to choose their preferred exam date and location.
The examination is held via computer-based testing (CBT). Computer-based testing is a method of administering tests in which the responses are electronically recorded. Computer-based testing makes use of a computer instead of a pen and paper exam. The exam is given at 250 locations nationwide.
Applicants that have been evaluated and deemed to have satisfied all eligibility requirements are assigned a candidate status. The candidate is given a three year eligibility period in which to take and pass the examination. The candidate is limited to four attempts at the exam within the eligibility period. After receiving a candidate status, applicants will be notified in writing of the exam date and location. All requirements must be satisfied prior to the application deadline. Individuals who have met the educational and experiential requirements may submit an application for approval as a candidate for certification.
The process for applying:
1) Apply Online (for first-time applicants or retake candidates)
For first time applicants, please fill out and mail/fax the application form for first-time applicants. For those candidates who need to retake the examination, please register for the exam using the exam retake registration form.
2) Enclose the required documentation with your completed application:
Applicants with a foreign education should refer to the Assistant Book of Rules & Candidate Guide for specific eligibility and documentation requirements.
3) Submit the application to: ABC P.O. Box 34862 Alexandria, VA 22334-0862 Fax: (703) 842-8516 Email: email@example.com
Please note overnight services such as UPS and FedEx do not deliver to P.O. Boxes.
Please refer to the ABC Assistant Book of Rules & Candidate Guide for additional information.
Fees:Application: $125 Examination Fee: $225/disciplineExamination Retake Fee: $225/disciplineAnnual Fee: $125
*The exam is offered every other month at 250 locations nationwide. For a list of testing locations in your area, please click here for Available Testing Locations.
Individuals who successfully complete the education, experience and examination requirements prescribed by ABC for orthotic or prosthetic assistants are conferred the credentials of Certified Orthotic Assistant (COA) or Certified Prosthetic Assistant (CPA).
The credential of Certified Prosthetic-Orthotic Assistant (CPOA) is awarded to those individuals who successfully complete the education, experience and examination requirements for each discipline.
If you have questions or need more information about ABC Certification, contact
May PhoummithoneCertification Program Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org(703) 836-7114 x 229
Samlane KetevongManager, Credentialing Programs email@example.com(703) 836-7114 x 221