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National Board of Chiropractic Examiners

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National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
Abbreviation NBCE
Formation 1963
Location Colorado, United States
President N. Edwin Weathersby,D.C.

The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) is a non-profit national and international testing organization for the chiropractic profession that develops, administers, analyzes, scores, and reports results from various examinations. Examinations are offered twice a year (in the U.S.) to students of CCE accredited schools. The NBCE maintains its headquarters in Greeley, CO. It was established in 1963 to standardize the licensing requirements as opposed to each state having its own requirements. Since 1963, the majority of states have adopted the passage of parts I,II,III, and IV in lieu of their state boards, but each state typically has its own requirements that must also be met. [1]


The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners provides written and practical examinations that are administered at chiropractic colleges in the United States, Canada, France, and Australia. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners does not promote a particular philosophy but "formulates test plans according to information provided collectively by the chiropractic colleges, the state licensing agencies, field practitioners, subject specialists, and a Job Analysis of Chiropractic."

There are four primary tests for students: [2]
  • Part I covers six basic science subjects – general anatomy, spinal anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pathology, and microbiology.
  • Part II covers six clinical subjects – general diagnosis, neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, principles of chiropractic, chiropractic practice, and associated clinical sciences.
  • Part III covers case history, physical examination, neuromusculoskeletal examination, roentgenologic examination, clinical laboratory and special studies examination, diagnosis or clinical impression, chiropractic techniques, supportive techniques and case management.
  • Part IV covers x-ray interpretation and diagnosis, chiropractic technique, and case management skills.

The NBCE also administers tests in two electives: physiotherapy and acupuncture.

After successful completion of each NBCE exam a "Certificate of Attainment" is given, but practitioners must still meet individual state or international requirements.

There are two tests for post-licensure purposes:

  • Special Purposes Examination for Chiropractic (SPEC): This test is to re-assess clinical competency and licensing eligibility in cases involving disciplinary action, reciprocity, and other state board needs.
  • NBCE Ethics and Boundaries Examination (NBCE E&B): Assesses the knowledge of ethics and boundaries issues, including ethical misconduct, sexual misconduct and sexual harassment encountered in chiropractic practice.

Board of directors

There are 11 board members. The first five directors come from each of the five U.S. geographic regions. Every three years each region nominates one state board delegate to represent their region on the board. Two directors are appointed by the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, and the remaining four are considered "at large" and are elected by the board to serve one to three year terms. The board elects officers to fill the positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

External links