The Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) has voted unanimously to permanently suspend the BOC Footwear Specialist certificate program. The decision was made during the April 20-21 annual meeting of the BOC board of directors.
According to BOC President Greg Safko, “the board weighed several key factors in their decision, ranging from the mission of the BOC as a ‘certification’ body to indications of confusion among footwear personnel themselves regarding scope of practice and billing privileges. In an interest to ensure the highest level of care to ‘at risk’ patients and footwear clientele, the BOC board encourages all footwear personnel to ‘Step Up’ and pursue the professional path of education, training, and certification awarded through the popular BOC pedorthist program.”
BOC’s board decided this action was necessary to protect individuals with diabetes and others with disease, injury, overuse, and congenital conditions. “While we don’t believe that the most ‘at risk’ population was being served by the ‘least qualified’ personnel in the footwear profession in most cases, there may have existed that possibility,” stated BOC’s immediate past chair, Teresa Alpert-Leibman, BOCO, BOC Pedorthist, CPed, “and that is one important reason for our decision.”
“We feel that footwear personnel will be given an incentive to ‘Step Up’ to pedorthics and seek certification through our decision,” emphasized Preston Madler, BOC chairman. “Further, as inducement, for those who have already earned their ‘BOC Footwear Specialist’ certificate, we’ll apply their program fees toward the full application fee for the BOC Pedorthist program. Now that’s a solid ‘win-win’ for all stakeholders—patients/customers, employers, and practitioners themselves.”