Lack of Data Supporting NBCE Claims

News Staff
Lack of Data Supporting NBCE Claims

NBCE Neglects to Provide Requested Outcomes Data

On October 24, 2023 the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation (FVS) along with a consortium of several other organizations sent a request to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) seeking essential data to evaluate the role and impact of NBCE exams in chiropractic education and practice. The Foundation and these other organizations were responding to a request for stakeholder participation in the NBCE's so called "Advancement and Development Project." 

The FVS, known for its advocacy in the chiropractic profession, sought essential data to evaluate the role and impact of NBCE exams in chiropractic education and practice. 

CLICK HERE for a copy of that letter and the data that was requested


In its marketing materials and representations to the public, state regulatory boards, accrediting agencies, federal government, schools, and students the NBCE makes broad, sweeping claims about their exams and the role they play in ensuring competency and public safety. 

The stakeholder request was a response to the NBCE's call for help from its stakeholders which they sent out in relation to their Advancement and Development Project. The NBCE embarked upon this project as damage control in an effort to repair the outrage occurring in the chiropractic profession over the NBCE's actions.

CLICK HERE for more on NBCE's Troubles

The NBCE letter in relation to their Advancement and Development Project claimed its surveys were an "effort to increase testing opportunities for students across the nation and invited stakeholders to help shape the future of chiropractic testing". The NBCE asked for feedback on how to increase exam opportunities and address concerns over exam delivery costs without sacrificing the validity, fairness, or integrity of their exams or increasing the cost and/or resources required by Chiropractic Colleges who host NBCE Exams.

Stakeholders Request Outcomes Data

In its letter to Norman Ouzts DC, the Chief Executive Officer of the NBCE, the Consortium highlighted the pivotal role that NBCE exams play in assessing the competence of chiropractic graduates through its mandated testing via a monopoly.

The Consortium asserted that access to pertinent data is paramount in pursuit of improved chiropractic education and examination processes. The comprehensive list of data requested from the NBCE encompasses critical aspects of chiropractic education and practice and would reveal if there is evidence to back up NBCE's claims regarding competency and public safety.

CLICK HERE for more on that story

NBCE Responds Three Months Later

Unfortunately the NBCE took nearly three months to respond to the stakeholders who took the time to engage in the process and once the NBCE decided to respond they did not provide the requested data and instead sent the organizations down several rabbit holes, ostensibly to find the requested data only to determine that it did not exist.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the NBCE's Response     

Response to the NBCE

The Consortium has sent a comprehensive response dated January 20, 2024 to NBCE's attempt to obfuscate the issues and includes a poignant critique of its operations. It accuses the NBCE of misrepresenting its role within the regulatory framework given its monopolistic control over chiropractic education, testing, licensure, and regulation. This control is a product of decades-long lobbying efforts by the NBCE and others, effectively creating a 'virtual cartel' within the chiropractic profession.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the Response

The chief concern here is the NBCE's apparent evasion in providing comprehensive data in response to various requests made by the chiropractic community. These requests encompassed crucial areas like licensing exam success rates, performance trends over time, chiropractic college performance, practice success metrics, safety records, comparison with other health professions, and more.

In each case, the NBCE either provided insufficient information, redirected the request to other sources that did not address the request, or completely ignored the inquiries. Such responses, or lack thereof, cast a shadow over the transparency and accountability of the NBCE. For instance, in the case of safety records and malpractice claims involving chiropractors who have passed NBCE exams compared to those who haven't, the NBCE's response was not only inadequate but also evasive, failing to provide empirical evidence to support their claims of ensuring public safety.

The letter also points out the disparity between the NBCE's public portrayal of its role and the reality of its influence and operations. The NBCE's public statements and marketing materials often present it as a crucial entity in maintaining professional competence and public safety in chiropractic care. However, the lack of empirical evidence and the evasion in addressing direct queries about its effectiveness and impact call these claims into question.

Moreover, the financial aspects, such as the breakdown of costs and resource allocation for NBCE exams and the relationship between the NBCE and its subsidiary, Ethics and Boundaries Assessment Services LLC (EBAS), raise additional concerns. The significant debt between EBAS and NBCE, as revealed in their 2022 financial report, indicates potential conflicts of interest and questions the financial sustainability of these operations.

The concerns raised in this letter are about advocating for a more transparent, accountable, and effective regulatory framework in chiropractic care. It's a call for the NBCE to realign its operations with the needs and expectations of its stakeholders and to ensure that its practices genuinely contribute to the safety, competence, and well-being of the public and the chiropractic profession.

As stated in the letter to the NBCE:

"The most serious concern is that while the NBCE claims to enhance competency, excellence, and public safety in the chiropractic profession through its testing and standards, it is noteworthy that you have not provided comprehensive data to substantiate these claims. The lack of empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of your exams in ensuring these goals raises questions about the validity of your assertions. This situation highlights a gap between the NBCE's stated objectives, your public claims and your ability to demonstrate the claimed impact of your exams on the chiropractic profession."

Get Involved

As this situation continues to unfold, it is imperative for all stakeholders, including chiropractic colleges, practitioners, regulatory boards, accreditors, and the public, to critically evaluate the role and claims of the NBCE. The future of chiropractic care hinges on a balanced, fair, and transparent regulatory environment, one that truly reflects the collective will and needs of the chiropractic community.

A group of over 50 organizations within chiropractic have joined together an issued a series of Resolutions to restore freedom in chiropractic education, licensing, regulation and testing.

CLICK HERE for more information

McCoy Press