A Certified Orthotist C.O. (c) is a rehabilitative healthcare professional specifically educated and trained in the evaluation, design, fabrication and fitting of custom orthopedic devices known as orthoses. Orthoses align, protect and/or support the body in individuals with disabling conditions of the neuromuscular and/or musculo-skeletal structures of the body.
Upon receipt of a physician diagnosis and referral, a C.O. (c) will conduct clinical assessments to determine the appropriateness of orthotic treatment. Certified Orthotists C.O.(c) are also responsible for monitoring patient progress and adjusting and/or modifying the orthotic device throughout the treatment course in order to optimize fit, comfort and function.
To become a Certified Orthotist C.O.(c), one must complete an undergraduate university degree and accredited orthotics and prosthetics clinical program in order to be accepted by Orthotics Prosthetics Canada (OPC) as an Orthotic Resident. The resident must complete a minimum of 3450 hours of patient care experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Orthotist C.O.(c). Upon completion of the residency term, the resident is eligible to sit for the OPC certification exam. The resident must pass all portions of the exam comprised of written, oral, and practical examinations in order to achieve the designation as a Certified Orthotist C.O.(c). Once Certified, mandatory continuing education credits must be acquired.