Challenging the Status Quo: Vermont Board of Chiropractic Exits the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards

Staff Writer
Challenging the Status Quo: Vermont Board of Chiropractic Exits the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards

Move is Seen as a Step Towards Diversity and Fairness in Chiropractic


In a decisive move that underscores a growing trend within the chiropractic profession, the Vermont Board of Chiropractic voted to discontinue its membership in the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB). This landmark decision, driven by considerations of cost, benefit, and the nature of the support provided by the FCLB, signals a significant shift in the approach to chiropractic regulation and accreditation.

According to the minutes of the meeting the Board delved into the tangible benefits and financial implications of FCLB membership and the motion was made to part ways with the organization passing unanimously. 

The FCLB proclaims itself to be an "association of government agencies empowered to regulate the chiropractic profession". Despite its influential role, the FCLB operates without direct governmental or regulatory oversight, accountable solely to its internal governance. Making matters worse it requires "membership" from state regulatory boards which use state tax dollars to join and state resources to further its efforts to police the profession. This means that a private corporation is benefiting from state resources in its efforts to control what state regulatory boards do. This use of state money and resources, coupled with funding predominantly sourced from student loan money channeled through the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), has sparked scrutiny and criticism. The intertwining roles of individuals within the FCLB, NBCE, and state regulatory boards, often concurrently, have raised concerns about the transparency and impartiality of these organizations. Recent legal challenges, including a discrimination lawsuit against the FCLB and its leaders, have further exposed the intricate and, at times, controversial dynamics within these entities.

CLICK HERE for more on the lawsuit

The chiropractic profession's journey through standardization, beginning with the recognition of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) by the U.S. Department of Education in 1974, has led to a contentious, landscape in chiropractic education, regulation and licensing. The subsequent alignment and collaboration of the FCLB, CCE, and NBCE have established a unified, monopolistic, framework governing chiropractic education, regulation, and practice. This consolidation has marginalized factions within the profession, particularly those advocating for a more conservative and diversified approach to chiropractic care.

The monopolistic tendencies of these entities, recognized by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) as resembling a "virtual cartel," operating as a monopoly within the profession has prompted a reevaluation of the current state and future direction of chiropractic regulation and practice. Legal and ethical concerns, particularly pertaining to the potential restraint of trade by Active Market Players on state regulatory boards, have further accentuated the need for reform.

In response, a burgeoning movement advocating for diversity, fairness, and competition has gained momentum. Proposals urging the removal of exclusive endorsements of the CCE and NBCE from regulatory frameworks and the cessation of targeted funding using student loan debt to the FCLB have echoed across the profession. These initiatives aim to dismantle the monopolistic control and foster an environment where competition, innovation, and diverse practices thrive. Over 50 chiropractic trade associations, schools, foundations and companies have signed on to a series of Resolutions calling for freedom in chiropractic education, testing, licensing and regulation.

CLICK HERE for more on that effort

The Vermont Board of Chiropractic's decision to withdraw from the FCLB resonates with this broader call for change. It embodies a critical step towards reshaping the landscape of chiropractic regulation, emphasizing the imperative for a profession that values diversity, inclusivity, and balanced representation. As the profession stands at this crossroads, the actions and decisions of regulatory boards like Vermont's will undoubtedly shape the future of chiropractic practice, steering it towards a more equitable and dynamic future.   McCoy Press