NBCE Testing & Expense is Unnecessary

News Analysis
NBCE Testing & Expense is Unnecessary

Schools Assess Competency of All Students Prior to Graduation

With the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) making headlines once again with sordid stories of power struggles and questions about where all that money comes from and where it goes it might be informative to understand how and why so much came to ride on their exams.

Back in the early 70's the chiropractic schools were accredited by either the ICA or the ACA. Eventually the ACA won out by going behind the back of the ICA and having the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) apply for Federal recognition with the United States Department of Education.

With that, years of battling over accreditation came to a head and it was either meet the standards of the CCE or you would not be an accredited school. Attempts at forming another accrediting agency failed after the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA) lost its bid for Federal recognition after leadership on the "straight" side decided they could "change the CCE from within" and unexpectedly changed their stance at the last minute before the Department of Education's hearing on the matter.

Immediately following the CCE's Federal recognition in May 1974, the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) issued a Resolution that its state board members should revise statutes and administrative codes to require that future applicants for licensure show evidence of having graduated from a college recognized by the CCE.

The state boards dutifully followed those orders and now, other than a handful of states, you must have a diploma from a CCE accredited school in order to get a license.

But that wasn't enough control.

Beginning in 1963, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) was formed and administered its first test in 1965. This was following the FCLB's commissioning of a study to set up a national testing service that administered standardized exams.

The argument was that the states were all administering their own exams and these were not standardized and did not uphold the highest standards. So Part I was born which was soon followed by Parts II, III, IV and the SPEC exam. Some states also just simply got tired of the time and expense of administering practical exams.

Now all 50 states either accept or require passing scores on NBCE exams Parts I, II, III, and IV for licensure.

The final nail in the proverbial coffin occurred On March 11, 2015 when the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine voted unanimously to transfer its Laws and Rules examination to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). This decision was made despite the recommendation from the Florida Department of Health to “eliminate” the laws and rules examination from licensure requirements for becoming a chiropractor in the State of Florida. Most states still administer their own jurisprudence exams. Once the NBCE takes over the administration of those their control will be completely sealed.

These actions by the CCE, FCLB, NBCE and the response by the states to enact such statutes and codes remains the single biggest locus of control that the CCE, FCLB and NBCE have over the educational and licensing functions of the entire chiropractic profession.

As the United States Department of Education stated in 2006 - these actions created a virtual cartel and monopoly within the chiropractic profession.

All one need do is compare the leaderhsip and Board members of the three goups over the past decade and one will easily see that these folks jump in and out of one organization into the other with many of the positions coming with lucrative paydays.

According to NBCE propaganda, their exams ". . . offer assurance to the general public that, regardless of where a chiropractor went to school or was licensed, he or she has demonstrated a baseline of knowledge as well as ability in diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, principles of chiropractic, associated clinical sciences and chiropractic practice."

Let's think about that statement by the NBCE and any other similar argument that is routinely made for why we so desperately need the CCE, NBCE and FCLB to tell us whether or not a graduate of a chiropractic school is competent.

In essence, the CCE, NBCE and FCLB are saying that the schools and their faculty cannot be trusted to determine the competency of its own graduates but they (CCE, NBCE, FCLB) can and should be trusted.

The argument is absurd on its face.

And beyond being absurd, it is an insult to every chiropractic school and every faculty member teaching within those schools.

Every quarter a new cohort of students walk across the graduation stage. Just prior to that walk to be handed their diploma by the President of the school and the turning of the tassles, the Dean of the chiropractic program presents the graduation candidates to the President and Board of Trustees and announces that the faculty are presenting them for graduation because they have demonstrated all of the necessary competencies to practice chiropractic.

Meanwhile, the CCE, NBCE and FCLB are shouting in the background: "Not so fast, these students aren't ready to practice until we say they are ready."

What a bunch of nonsense.

Its a Cartel that has a monopoly over the educational and licensing functions of the entire chiropractic profession and it needs to end.

According to publicly available tax records, in 2016 the NBCE had $29,748,379.00 in assets and in 2016 alone had total revenue of $11,142,547.00.

NBCE paid out $3,773,067.00 in salaries in 2016.

The Board of Directors paid themselves a total of $231,450.00 in 2016 alone for one hour of work per week.

The approximately $11,000.000.00 in NBCE revenue each year comes from testing students on mandated examinations they need in order to get licensed in the majority of jurisdictions. The vast majority of students get the money to pay for these exams from student loans.

Urge your state board, your Governor and your elected representatives to remove all CCE and NBCE mandates in all statutes, rules and regulations.

CLICK BELOW for more history of the NBCE.

McCoy Press