Who Develops the OCS Exam?

The Specialty Council, representing the area of orthopaedic physical therapy, has been appointed to delineate the advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities for their specialty area; to determine the academic and clinical requirements for certification; and to develop the certification examinations and oversee the maintenance of specialist certification. The Council is comprised of 5 board-certified specialists in the practice area.

The APTA has contracted with the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) to assist in the development, administration, scoring, and reporting of results for the certification examinations. Using the Description of Specialty Practice as a basis, the specialty councils make the final determinations regarding the exam content and the number of items in each area.

Questions (items) for the exam are solicited from content area experts currently practicing in the specialty area representing the full range of practice settings and focus in all regions of the country. Item writers attend workshops and receive instruction to enable them to write high quality, practice-related test items. Test items undergo extensive editing and review by subject matter experts and professional test editors before specialty councils approve them to be placed on the examinations.

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