The National Commission for Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) announced that on August 2 its board has approved to focus only on higher learning and education accreditation activities at the post-secondary level. For that reason, NCOPE has decided to no longer accredit/approve orthotic fitter, therapeutic shoe fitter, and mastectomy fitter education courses since they fall outside the scope of post-secondary education. This decision is effective immediately.
NCOPE stated that all currently approved courses will maintain their NCOPE accreditation through December 31, 2017, and any individual who completes any of those courses during this period will be considered as completing an NCOPE-accredited program. NCOPE further said it will assure that the related and necessary content of these courses is adequately covered in existing curriculum at programs accredited at institutions of higher learning.
According to an NCOPE press release, the decision to remove these fitter programs was the result of its review and consideration of several reports expressing best practices for the O&P profession, including current national issues that are impacting reimbursement levels and the overall understanding of the profession as a whole.
For more information on this decision and the impact on fitter course accreditation, contact NCOPE Executive Director Robin Seabrook at [email protected].