Certification and Licensure

A Note About Certification

The NBCE does not certify/license chiropractors.  As a testing organization, the NBCE prepares and administers examinations that state licensing boards use in their evaluation of a doctor for licensure. It is the state board, in the state where he/she will practice that reviews each candidate’s transcripts, scores and other pertinent documents from a variety of sources to determine licensure eligibility and then issues a license to practice. Please contact the state licensing board where a doctor practices to verify licensure/certification.

Chiropractors who require transcripts of their NBCE exam scores should visit mynbce.org and place the request through their online accounts. The NBCE cannot verify board scores by e-mail, phone or letter.

Are You Misusing Your Credentials?

See the article by John Riggs III, DC, MBA, published in Dynamic Chiropractic – February 1, 2018, Vol. 36, Issue 02.

Are You Misusing Your Credentials?

Certification and Licensure

Just as medical doctors and attorneys, chiropractors must prove their knowledge and readiness to practice. After they earn their degrees from chiropractic college, graduates must then take and pass their board exams before they can apply for a license to practice.

All fifty states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico regulate the practice of chiropractic and grant licenses to qualified candidates. Chiropractic physicians are only allowed to practice in states in which they are licensed.

Most states require passing scores on all or part of the four-part test administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

After passing the board exams, candidates then complete the final steps to licensure as required by the state in which they would like to practice. These steps typically include undergoing a criminal background check, passing a state-level exam on the state’s scope of practice limitations, and submitting a list of personal references.

To maintain licensure, doctors of chiropractic are required (in all states but one) to earn continuing education units each year.

In addition, chiropractors may earn post-doctoral diplomate certifications from the International Chiropractors Association as well as various subspecialties, such as acupuncture, radiology and neurology, through the American Chiropractic Association. Certifications are also available in veterinary chiropractic, spinal trauma, sport science and other niche disciplines.





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