©2024 by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Scope of Practice

May 2024


ABC Certified Fitter-Orthotics

An ABC certified fitter-orthotics is a health care professional who is specifically educated and trained in the provision of certain orthoses. This includes patient evaluation, formulation of a treatment plan, implementation of the treatment plan, continuation of the treatment plan and practice management. An ABC certified fitter-orthotics is competent to practice orthotics within a scope of practice that is specific to fitting certain custom fitted, prefabricated and off-the-shelf orthoses as described below:

  • Cervical orthoses, except those used to treat an unstable spinal condition*
  • Prefabricated orthoses for the upper and lower extremities, except for the following: those used in the initial and/or acute treatment of long bone fractures and dislocations, therapeutic (diabetic) shoes/inserts and functional electrical stimulation orthoses (e.g. myo-orthosis, neuroprosthesis)
  • Prefabricated spinal orthoses, except those used in the treatment of scoliosis or unstable spinal conditions, or halo cervical orthoses
  • Pressure gradient garments
  • Trusses

*See explanation of unstable spinal condition in the Definitions of Common Terms

The ABC certified fitter-orthotics is bound by the ABC Code of Professional Responsibility which is enforced by a Professional Discipline program. The certified fitter-orthotics 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. The time limited certification expires without compliance with the Recertification program. The practice of an ABC certified fitter-orthotics includes, but is not limited to:

1) Evaluation of a patient’s needs for prefabricated orthoses includes, but is not limited to, the evaluation and documentation of the following:

  • physical assessment
  • anthropometric data
  • circulation
  • skin integrity
  • posture, balance and safety
  • orthotic requirements

2) Formulation of a treatment plan is based upon an assessment to alleviate limitations and enhance function. The orthotic fitter’s treatment plan includes, but is not limited to:

  • verification of prescription/documentation
  • a recommendation incorporating patient and/or caregiver input
  • development of functional goals
  • consultation with and/or referral to other health care professionals

3) Implementation of the orthotic fitter’s treatment plan includes, but is not limited to:

  • acquisition of physical assessment data
  • adjustments to accommodate individual anatomic contours
  • structural evaluation
  • documentation of patient education and instruction
  • documentation of patient encounters

4) Utilization of a follow-up treatment plan that ensures successful orthotic outcomes, patient health and quality of life which includes, but is not limited to:

  • documentation of functional changes
  • performing modifications to ensure successful outcomes
  • documentation of on-going patient education and instruction

5) Compliance with practice management plans to develop and document policies and procedures to ensure patient protection which includes, but is not limited to:

  • adherence to applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations
  • following patient care guidelines and procedures
  • maintaining a safe and professional environment for patient care
  • comprehension of claims development and submission

6) Promotion of competency and enhancement of orthotic professional practice to contribute to the profession’s body of knowledge includes, but is not limited to, participation in:

  • continuing education
  • promotion of public awareness of the orthotic profession
  • consumer organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations