Standards of the Orthotic and Prosthetic Profession

The term “professional” makes you think someone has a specialized education, demonstrated skills, and proven experience. This is especially true for orthotists and prosthetists. Like their counterparts in the allied health professions, O&P practitioners are evaluated against exacting stan­dards of education, clinical experience, professional knowledge, and demonstrated competence.

The following are three areas in which orthotists’ and prosthetists’ standards are measured:


Nine U.S. accredited programs offer formal O&P education with credentials ranging from bachelor’s degrees to master’s degrees. The instruction in these programs places particular emphasis on anatomy and physiol­ogy, patient management skills, clinical practices and professional­ism, fabrication, and fitting tech­niques.


Board certification of practitioners establishes and promotes the highest standards of organizational and clinical performance in O&P service. The American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics serves as the comprehensive credentialing organization for establishing individual and organizational performance standards in orthotic and prosthetic care.

ABC certification is well-recognized and highly respected in the O&P field. To earn it, orthotists and prosthetists must meet well-defined educational and experience requirements and pass a rigorous written examination, written simulation, and two-day clinical exam.


Despite the existence of national O&P certification and accreditation programs, various underqualified providers continue to deliver substan­dard orthotic and prosthetic care, resulting in negative consequences. To combat this, 14 states now require licensure for orthotists and prosthetists.

Allen Orthopedic Labs is an ABC certified office with ABC certified practitioners.