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NCOPE and the Residency Program. January 2008. Who is NCOPE?. National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education

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who is ncope
Who is NCOPE?
  • National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education
  • The educational accreditation agency for O&P which works in cooperation with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) for primary education accreditation
ncope s mission
NCOPE’s Mission

“Be the recognized authority for the development and accreditation of O&P education and residency standards, leading to competent patient care in the changing healthcare environment”

NCOPE’s Strategic Plan

  • NCOPE Incorporated in December 1999
  • NCOPE granted 501(c)(3) tax status
  • Maintains close ties with ABC
ncope s composition
NCOPE’s Composition
  • 11-member board of directors
  • One representative from a person who’s practice is a member of AOPA
  • One representative from a person that is a member in good standing with the Academy
  • Two representatives from people that are certified in good standing at the practitioner level by ABC
  • Two people who are current residency directors from active residency programs
  • Three from CAAHEP and NCOPE accredited programs (O&P Educators) (two practitioner level and one technician level)
  • Two public members
  • Includes ABC-certified practitioners, O&P educators, curriculum specialists and academic administrators
  • NCOPE board members are nominated on to the board by a nomination process
ncope staff
  • Robin Seabrook, Executive Director
  • Dominique Mungo, Residency Coordinator
history of o p residency
History of O&P Residency
  • Primary standards developed and adopted in 1993 – start Paradigm Shift for education/training
  • Modeled after the Orthopedic Medical Residency
  • Residency standards developed and adopted in 1994
  • Residency became a requirement for certification by ABC on December 1, 1995
  • Changes implemented in residency program in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004, 2006
    • Requirement to turn in research project at completion (1998)
    • Technical assessment form (1999)
    • Official Transcripts due at time of registration (2001)
    • Requirement to perform a Case Presentation and Community Service Project (2004)
    • Research Project now called “Directed Study” and instructors/supervisors must have three years post-certification experience (2006)
the residency standards
The Residency Standards
  • The standards are divided into five (5) sections
  • General Policies
  • Facility Responsibilities
  • Program Staff Qualifications/Responsibilities
  • Resident Responsibilities
  • Scope of Clinical Experience
general policies overview
General Policies Overview
  • Facility must be ABC accredited or have applied for accreditation within the past six months
  • Residents must have graduated from CAAHEP/NCOPE accredited programs
  • If education was received in another country, then a copy of an evaluation by the World Education Services (WES) is required
  • The length of the residency is at least 12-months per discipline
  • Residents must provide direct patient care but only under the supervision of an ABC certified practitioner
  • Program is responsible to impart expertise and promote competency of the resident by expecting them to meet or exceed the residency objectives
resident responsibility overview
Resident Responsibility Overview
  • Duties and responsibilities are:
    • Participate in patient care under supervision commensurate with his or her level of advancement and responsibility
    • Maintain a log of all cases in which you are involved (Do not submit to NCOPE it is not required!!)
    • Conform residency training to the policies and procedures of the facility where you are working
    • Read ABC’s Code of Professional Responsibility and gain an understanding of professional responsibility to your profession and patients.
register with ncope
Register with NCOPE
  • Must register within 30 days of starting residency
  • Submit the following items:
    • Registration form
    • Registration fee ($1,200.00)
    • Official copies of college transcripts
    • Copy of certificate from CAAHEP accredited program if you have O&P certificate
  • You will receive a letter of confirmation
    • If you do not hear from NCOPE then we have not heard from you!
resident s responsibility to register with ncope
Resident’s Responsibility to Register with NCOPE
  • It is the responsibility of the resident, not the resident director, to assure that you register with NCOPE within the first 30 days of starting residency
  • For any registration form received after the 30 day period, a delay in the residency completion date will occur, and an administrative fee will be assessed
resident and noncompete agreements
Resident and Noncompete Agreements
  • Some residency sites may require a resident to sign a noncompete agreement
    • A noncompete agreement is either a separate agreement or a clause in an employment contract that prohibits an employee from working in a related business in your area for a certain length of time. Noncompete agreements are used to prevent an employee from using business's confidential information.
  • NCOPE philosophically does not agree with noncompete agreements in residency, however, NCOPE cannot prohibit residency sites from requiring residents to sign a noncompete agreement
noncompetes continued
Noncompetes Continued
  • NCOPE’s position statement is as follows:
    • NCOPE’s philosophical position continues to remain the same regarding noncompetes and residency. That is, NCOPE does not look favorably on the use of noncompetes at any time during residency. However, based upon legal recommendation, NCOPE cannot ban non competition agreements, since there is no universal public policy reason against such an agreement. Residents are employees of, and receive salary and benefits from their residency program. As employees, in most states they can be asked to sign valid noncomplete agreements.
  • Residents are encouraged to obtain and have legal counsel review and seek advice before signing any type of noncompete agreement
clinical hours
Clinical Hours
  • If your educational program has you document back clinical hours (250 per discipline) prior to the award of your certificate, your residency will not start until after those hours are completed
  • A resident is eligible to begin his/her residency after completion of 250 per discipline clinical hours
submit evaluation forms
Submit Evaluation Forms
  • 3 months – 1st Quarter Due
  • 6 months – 2nd Quarter Due
  • 9 months – 3rd Quarter Due
  • 12 months – Final 12-Month Due
submit evaluations forms on time
It is the responsibility of the resident, not the resident director, to assure NCOPE has received evaluation forms

Quarterly evaluations are due within 2 weeks but no later than 30 days of that particular quarter

All information must be submitted to NCOPE before you will be eligible to take the ABC board exams

Submit Evaluations Forms on Time
abstract directed study project
Abstract/Directed Study Project
  • Submit title of directed study and 200-word abstract within the first six months of residency
  • Submit directed study project at the conclusion of residency
  • Directed Study Cover Sheet
  • Directed Study Statement Form
directed study types
Directed Study Types
  • Literature Review
  • Case Study Involving Human Subjects
  • Scientific Study
  • Scientific Study Supervised by a Qualified Research Organization
  • Other Study
  • Use NCOPE’s web site and go to “Directed Study”
    • Definitions/types listed
    • Information on informed consent and plagiarism
    • Forms required to accompany study
conclusion of residency
Conclusion of Residency
  • Submit the following:
    • Final 12-Month Evaluation – form will ask if you presented a case study and performed a community service project – make sure you sign and the director signs
    • Technical Knowledge and Skills Assessment Form
    • Resident’s Evaluation of Residency Program
    • Directed Study Project with accompanying forms
the five residency objectives areas
The Five Residency Objectives Areas
  • Clinical assessment
  • Patient management
  • Professional responsibility
  • Practice management
  • Technical implementation
required orthotic experience
Required Orthotic Experience
  • Foot orthosis
  • Ankle-foot orthosis
  • Knee-foot orthosis
  • Knee-ankle-foot orthosis
  • Hip orthosis
  • Wrist-hand orthosis
  • Cervical orthosis
  • TLSO
  • LSO
  • Scoliosis orthosis
recommended orthotic experience
Recommended Orthotic Experience
  • Hip-knee-ankle-foot orthosis
  • Shoulder-elbow orthosis
  • HALO – procedures
  • Fracture management
  • RGO
  • Standing Frames
  • Seating
  • Footwear modification
required prosthetic experience
Required Prosthetic Experience
  • Postoperative management (may include shrinkers, immediate fit, early fit, preparatory prosthesis, instructions, etc.)
  • Static and dynamic alignment of sockets related to various amputation levels
  • Syme
  • Transtibial
  • Transfemoral
  • Transradial
  • Transhumeral
recommended prosthetic experience
Recommended Prosthetic Experience
  • External power
  • Immediate postoperative prosthesis
  • Various joint disarticulations
  • Partial foot
sites and positions
Sites and Positions
  • NCOPE currently has 434 active accredited sites
    • Hospital/University Based
    • Private Patient Care
    • VA Medical Centers
  • 364 Orthotic positions
  • 385 Prosthetic positions

As of 1/15/08

  • Quarterly newsletter called Noteworthy
  • Former Resident Directory
  • Resident Status Reports
  • NCOPE’s web-site
  • Resident List Serve
  • (RRN) Regional Residency Network
  • E-mail
  • Phone call
former resident directory
Former Resident Directory
  • On-line directory of former residents that you can contact to ask questions
resident status report
Resident Status Report
  • Provided at least twice a year to residents and Network directors
  • Informs residents of items NCOPE has on file and what items are needed
ncope s web site
NCOPE’s Web Site
  • NCOPE’s web site has a fresh, clear design that makes navigation and finding information easier
  • Visit our new site at
web site features
Web Site Features
  • A map that highlights the regions and network directors for NCOPE’s Regional Residency Network Program
  • The e-mail addresses of Network Directors
  • A map for quickly searching accredited O&P residency programs
  • Information on how to register for the Resident List Serve
  • A complete list of accredited O&P education programs
  • Recent and archived issues of the Noteworthy
  • The Resident Handbook in a PDF file
regional residency network rrn
Created in 2002 to provide support to all residents participating in the residency program

The RRN is used to distribute information, provide assistance, monitor resident’s progress and report issues of concern to NCOPE

Regional Residency Network (RRN)
who are the rrn directors
The RRN Directors are ABC-certified individuals who were educated and trained under the current residency system

They have been where you are and are here to help!

Who are the RRN Directors?
contact the rrn director in your region
Contact the RRN Director in Your Region
  • Region 1 (California & Hawaii)Stephanie Porter, CPO email:
  • Region 2 (Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska) Larry Paise, CPO email:
  • Region 3 (Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado)Dallas Curtis, CPO email:
  • Region 4 (Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa,

Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and North Dakota)Jennifer Richards, CPO email: or Angie Swindell, CO email:

contact the rrn director in your region continued
Contact the RRN Director in Your Region (continued)
  • Region 5 (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South

Carolina & Georgia)Edwin Hassler, CPO email:

  • Region 6 (Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky &


Megan Zachar, CO email:

  • Region 7 (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia,

North Carolina, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware & New Jersey)

Michelle Hall, CPO email:

  • Region 8(Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut & New York) Heidi Jeske, CO email:
the resident and the academy
The Resident and the Academy
  • Benefits include:
  • A complimentary subscription to the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics (JPO). 
  • Access to past Best of the Resident ResearchSeries Papers
  • Access to Best of Thranhardt Lecture Series Papers
  • Access to Journals of Proceedings from the Academy’s past Annual Meetings
  • Discounts at the Academy’s Bookstore
  • Access to the O&P Research Reference Guide and the O&P Research Project Guide
  • Opportunities to participate in the work of the Academy’s eight Scientific Societies
  • For more benefits and information –
  • Students who are enrolled in a full-time CAAHEP program pay $36 for membership for a fixed year – July 1-June 30.
  • Residents and Candidates are both $36 as well until certification.
  • Students and Residents get all the same benefits and resources as our full Active members except for voting rights.
points to remember
Register within 30 days

Submit quarterly evals, technical assessment form, resident’s evaluation program, abstract and directed study with the study cover sheet and statement form

For any registration form or quarterly evaluation forms received after the 30 day period, a delay in the residency completion date will occur, along with an administrative fee

It is the responsibility of the resident, not the resident director, to assure NCOPE has received registration forms and evaluation forms

All information must be submitted to NCOPE before you will be eligible to take the ABC board exams

Points to Remember
frequently asked questions
Can I start my job and then have the site apply for NCOPE accreditation?

Yes, but this is not encouraged. It is best to register and attend a residency site that is already NCOPE accredited.

Must I count and calculate my experience in terms of hours, i.e., 1900 hours?

No! Months versus hours are used to measure and calculate a resident’s experience. It must be a full 12-months per discipline.

Frequently Asked Questions
frequently asked questions1
If I complete five months of a residency and then leave for a new site, must I repeat the five months?

No, but you need to assure that we have the proper evaluation forms on file for those months you completed.

Who is responsible for sending in the quarterly evaluations?

You! The resident must submit the quarterly evaluations on their behalf. The forms should be submitted in a timely manner to NCOPE. The director is responsible for assuring we receive the final evaluation identifying successful completion.

Frequently Asked Questions
frequently asked questions2
Must I submit my daily log?

No. It is not required to submit to NCOPE, it is a tool. In addition, due to HIPAA guidelines, NCOPE does not want you to submit your daily log.

Must I submit my directed study upon completion?

Yes! You must also have the cover sheet and statement form accompany the study.

Frequently Asked Questions
abc and the certification exams
ABC and the Certification Exams
  • You must contact ABC near the completion of your residency at to get information regarding applying for exams
    • Exam deadlines (the date that your residency program must be complete in order to apply)
      • March 1st (written, written simulation and CPM)
      • June 1st (written and written simulation only)
      • September 1st (written, written simulation and CPM)
best of luck
Best of Luck!
  • NCOPE looks forward to working with you as a resident
  • Please call or e-mail the NCOPE office (703) 836-7114 ext. 237 (Dominique) or 225 (Robin)
  • Our e-mail addresses