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

No part of this document may be produced in any form without written permission of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics, Inc.

Scope of Practice

January 2024


ABC Certified Orthotic and/or Prosthetic Assistant

An ABC certified assistant is an individual educated and trained to participate in comprehensive orthotic and/or prosthetic care while under the Indirect Supervision of a certified and/or licensed orthotist and/or prosthetist.  The maximum permissible ratio of certified assistants to the supervising prosthetist or orthotist is 5:1.

Certified assistants, under the supervision of a certified and/or licensed orthotist and/or prosthetist may perform orthotic and/or prosthetic procedures and related tasks in the management of patient care. The initial evaluation and formulation of the treatment plan is the responsibility of the supervising orthotist and/or prosthetist. The certified assistant may also fabricate, repair and maintain orthoses and/or prostheses. ABC certified assistants may not use their credentials as independent providers of patient care.

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

1) Participation in the evaluation of patients with impairment of human movement or musculoskeletal abnormalities that would impede their ability to participate in their social/ work environment or other activities in order to determine a functional intervention. Patient assessment may include but is not limited to the evaluation and documentation of:

  • anthropometric data
  • cognition
  • circulation
  • skin integrity
  • protective sensation
  • pain
  • endurance
  • range of motion
  • muscle strength
  • posture, balance and safety
  • proprioception
  • orthotic and prosthetic requirements
  • environmental barriers including social, home and work reintegration

2) Implementation of the established orthotic or prosthetic treatment plan which includes, but is not limited to:

  • acquisition of anthropometric data
  • modification and/or rectification of physical data
  • preparatory care
  • material selection
  • fabrication
  • prototype development including evaluative wear
  • structural evaluation
  • diagnostic fitting
  • assessment of intervention for appropriate outcomes
  • gait training
  • functional training (both self-care and work related)
  • documentation of patient education and instruction
  • documentation of patient encounters

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

  • documentation of functional changes
  • formulation of modifications within the established plan of care to ensure successful outcomes
  • reassessment of patient goals
  • reassessment of treatment objectives
  • assist in development of long term treatment plan
  • documentation of on-going patient education and instruction
  • documentation of patient encounters
  • use of evidenced based practice

4) 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
  • understanding claims development and submission

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

  • continuing education
  • training of residents/students
  • clinical research
  • evidence based studies
  • promotion of public awareness of the orthotic and/or prosthetic profession
  • consumer organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations